edited by Joanna Sofaer. x+164 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white (33 colour plates). 387 2017. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784917548. Epublication ISBN 9781784917555. |
Creativity is embedded in human history. Indeed, it is impossible to understand material change and the development of the new without invoking creativity. The location, exploration and analysis of creativity should therefore be of particular concern to archaeologists. This volume engages with this challenge by focusing on the outcomes of creativity – material culture – and an exploration of creative practice. The European Bronze Age provides a useful focus for discussions of the outcomes of creativity because in this period we see the development of new and pre-existing materials that we take for granted today, in particular textiles and bronze. We also see new ways of working with existing materials, such as clay, to create novel forms. In both new and existing materials it is frequently possible to see the growth of technical skill, to produce complex forms and elaborate decorated surfaces.
The papers in this volume view Bronze Age objects through the lens of creativity in order to offer fresh insights into the interaction between people and the world, as well as the individual and cultural processes that lie behind creative expression. Many have their origin in the international conference Creativity: An Exploration Through the Bronze Age and Contemporary Responses to the Bronze Age held at Magdalene College, University of Cambridge in 2103 as part of the HERA-funded project Creativity and Craft Production in Middle and Late Bronze Age Europe. Contributions span the early to late Bronze Age, deal with a range of materials including textiles, metal, and ceramics, and reflect on data from across the continent including Iberia, Scandinavia, Central and Eastern Europe. This breadth illustrates the wideranging importance and applicability of creativity as an heuristic concept. The volume further develops a range of theoretical and methodological directions, opening up new avenues for the study of creativity in the past.
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