Pragmatic Technology and the Libyan Bronze Age

Abstract

The last decade has seen an increase in our knowledge of the archaeology of the Libyans in the western desert of Egypt. This paper considers the extent to which the Libyans possessed a metals technology. Without access to indigenous ore bodies, it has been widely assumed that the Libyans lacked any metallurgical know- how. The discovery of crucibles at Marsa Matruh and Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham has not changed this view. In this paper it is argued that the Libyans possessed a pragmatic knowledge based on the need to repair and re-work metal objects gained through trade or war. The crucibles represent material evidence for this that has been over looked by scholars with overly pessimistic conceptions of the adaptive capacities of nomadic and semi-nomadic societies.

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Hulin, L., (2010) “Pragmatic Technology and the Libyan Bronze Age”, Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 1(1), p.18-21. doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/azu_jaei_v01i1_hulin

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Linda Hulin (University of Oxford)

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