Author(s): Catherine J. Frieman
An Archaeology of Innovation is the first monograph-length investigation of innovation and the innovation process from an archaeological perspective. It interrogates the idea of innovation that permeates our popular media and our political and scientific discourse, setting this against the long-term perspective that only archaeology can offer. Case studies span the entire breadth of human history, from our earliest hominin ancestors to the contemporary world. The book argues that the present narrow focus on pushing the adoption of technical innovations ignores the complex interplay of social, technological and environmental systems that underlies truly innovative societies; the inherent connections between new technologies, technologists and social structure that give them meaning and make them valuable; and the significance and value of conservative social practices that lead to the frequent rejection of innovations.