‘Lost in translation? Archaeological materials science as evidence for the study of the history of technology; case studies on ceramic’

hsmt seminars hilary term 2020 for website

Moujan Matin (University of Toronto)

Perhaps owing to historians’ heavy reliance on written documentation, the study of the history of science and technology has traditionally largely focused on heroic accounts of eminent chemists, physicists, and mathematicians whose breakthrough contributions landmark the development of sciences. Such accounts of history are severely unbalanced and usually neglect the masses of anonymous craftspeople - e.g. potters, miners, smiths, glassmakers, and farmers - who constituted the backbone of the development of knowledge and crafts. Archaeological materials science (or Archaeometry) proposes an important methodology that reveals new information on the processes of manufacture of objects, trade, and networks of interaction, and provides insights into the less visible aspects of the history of technology. This paper looks at some case studies on such efforts involving laboratory and experimental examination of ceramics.


The following seminar will be held online with Zoom. For more information please visit: https://www.hsmt.ox.ac.uk/event/lost-translation


The History of Science, Medicine and Technology Seminar is convened by Erica Charters (Wolfson College), Rob Iliffe Linacre College), Catherine Jackson (Harris Manchester College), Rob Bailey (University of Oxford) and John Lidwell Durnin (Linacre College)