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Crafting networks in early farming societies: tracing the residues of Neolithic activities through the study of stone artefacts (CRAFTS)
Start date: Oct 1, 2013, End date: Sep 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This project investigates a key research question in the study of many different societies: how do changing strategies and technologies of production constrain and shape social relations? This question will be addressed by investigating the role of technology in the development of social networks in early farming societies using an interdisciplinary research strategy that integrates stone tool analysis and functional analysis with a wide range of other inorganic and organic materials. The Neolithic period has been chosen to explore this issue because it represents a crucial phase in human history characterised by diverse technological and social changes. A crucial step in understanding the technological and social networks that structured the life of Neolithic communities is to establish the nature, range and social context of craft and food-processing activities taking place within Neolithic settlements. Three archaeological sites of critical importance for the Neolithic of Europe are chosen as case studies (Çatalhöyük, Knossos, Makriyalos). The character of activities will be established scientifically through the application of state-of-the-art analytical techniques, principally microwear and residue analysis techniques. Central to this project is the integration of scientific approaches with a broader theoretical framework for understanding technological acts, cross-craft interactions and contexts of social interaction in Neolithic communities.The primary objective of the IEF project is for the applicant to develop new and highly specialised scientific training in microscopic analysis techniques at the world-leading Laboratory for Artefacts Studies in Leiden. The proposed research will allow for the development of new collaborations between the host institution in the Netherlands and other institutions in Britain, Greece and Turkey. Training received through the IEF project will enhance the applicant’s scholarly status and lead to professional maturity.
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