Crafty Thinking: Measuring Skill Across Time and Space

Author(s): Benjamin Kolb

Year: 2020


This is a paper/report submission presented at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Apprenticeship systems are essential to the development of craft specialization, yet archaeologists have only recently begun to advance general models of these systems in addition to measurements of skill. This presentation will use a blacksmith shop at the Chittenango site located in upstate New York as a case study. Developing criteria for the measurement of skill was key in investigating this site. Additionally, the presentation will go beyond this case study to discuss general models of skill developed to study blacksmithing as well as other craft specializations, including what historical archaeology might learn from prehistoric archaeology. The study of skill and apprenticeship requires thinking about these phenomena at numerous levels, from the most basic mechanics of physical motion to higher level inferences about political economy and the cultures that craft specialization is embedded in.

Cite this Record

Crafty Thinking: Measuring Skill Across Time and Space. Benjamin Kolb. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457417)

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Temporal Keywords
19th Century

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 718