The RITaK Conferences. 2013-2014: Raw Materials, Innovation, Technology of Ancient Cultures - RITaK 1


Petra Eisenach (ed)
Thomas Stöllner (ed)
Arne Windler (ed)


raw materials, technology transfer, knowledge transfer, innovations, resources, mining, theory, reciprocity, goods exchange, materiality, economics, archaeometallurgy, crafts, societies, bronze, trade, coins, numismatics, salt, silver, economic history


Globally, raw materials play a central role and are a key factor in determining the economic power and growth of modern states, confederations and coalitions. The extraction and supply of raw materials is a main driving force in global trade today, but has also profoundly influenced human economic and cultural history. In order to elucidate the importance of mineral ores in pre-modern societies, PhD students and staff at the Leibniz graduate school “Raw Materials, Innovation and Technology of Ancient Cultures” [RITaK] – a co-operation between the German Mining Museum [Deutsches Bergbau-Museum, DBM] and the Ruhr-University Bochum [RUB] – were involved in interdisciplinary research. This publication contains the results of the international RITaK end-of-project conference, held from the 27th-29th of September, as well as contributions to the RITaK workshop “Perspectives for an Economic Archaeology”, held on the 22nd and 23rd of November 2013. At a theoretical and model-building level, the first seven articles provide archaeological, sociological and economic perspectives on the diverse economic, cognitive, cultural and social feedback processes set in motion by the appropriation and use of raw materials. The following contributions focus on different archaeological and historical cultures in Europe, Central Asia and the Mediterranean area from the Neolithic to the Middle Ages. Raw material processing and preparation, metal recycling, prehistoric and historic mining, the exchange mechanisms involving raw materials and their products, as well as technology and knowledge transfer, are all covered. Together, the 23 contributions to this volume offer the possibility for intensive engagement with the theme of resources and their influence on and entanglement with human behaviour, mentalities, knowledge acquisition, technological and social developments and even the relationship between people and their environments and the human appropriation of space.


  • Front matter
  • Content
  • Preface
    Thomas Stöllner
  • Resources, innovation, technology: Theoretical approaches to abstract concepts and research content
    Thomas Stöllner
  • Kulturelle Ökonomie: Theoretische Aspekte und archäologisch-ethnographische Beispiele
    Thomas Knopf
  • Kulturelle Aspekte von Strategien zur Bewältigung des Strukturwandels
    Alexandra David, Dieter Rehfeld
  • Die Vielfalt der Tauschpraxis. Ein praxistheoretischer Beitrag zur Soziologie der Reziprozität
    Frank Hillebrandt
  • The resources in practice. A new notion of materiality in sociology
    Frank Hillebrandt
  • From mechanics to embodiment. Some theoretical considerations on techniques
    Constance von Rüden
  • Ungleichheit in agrarischen Gemeinschaften - Ein agentenbasiertes Computersimulationsmodell
    Michael Roos
  • From the Aegean Sea to the Parisian Basin: Spondylus shell exchange in Europe during the process of Neolithisation
    Arne Windler
  • Organisationsformen von Tausch im Neolithikum – Eine Fallstudie aus Nordwestbayern
    Silviane Scharl
  • Experimental archaeology in Bronze Age mining and smelting – hard rock, hot metal, new ideas
    Simon Timberlake
  • A new player in the game? An archaeological and archaeometallurgical approach in detecting long distance relations in Late Chalcolithic Anatolia
    Michael Klaunzer
  • New thoughts about Iron Age metallurgy in Faynan: A discussion
    Ingolf Löffler
  • The palaeoecological effects of prehistoric and historic mining on the vegetation and the environmental implication. The example of Kitzbühel (North Tyrol, Austria)
    Barbara Viehweider
  • Salz – Bergbau – Wirtschaft: Diskussion wirtschaftsarchäologischer Aspekte am Beispiel der prähistorischen Salzbergwerke von Hallstatt
    Kerstin Kowarik, Gabriel Wurzer, Hans Reschreiter
  • Das Thema Wirtschaft im Diskurs der Oppidaforschung
    Doreen Mölders
  • Metal trade of the Phoenicians in Huelva
    Carlos Martín Hernández
  • The sources and supply of silver for Archaic Greek coinage: A re-evaluation of the lead isotope and chemical data
    Zofia Anna Stos-Gale
  • A brief survey of the development of silver mining in ancient Laurion
    Sophia Nomicos
  • Roman imports and metal recycling in the Roman Iron Age settlement Kamen-Westick
    Patrick Könemann
  • The access to raw materials and its impact on Hedeby’s development in the Viking period
    Volker Hilberg
  • Between the Bronze Age and the Middle Ages: New Investigations of Slag from Panjhir, Afghanistan
    Stephen William Merkel
  • Development of specific mining technological aspects from the Early to the Late Middle Ages
    Martin Straßburger
  • Innovations in medieval mining laws
    Lena Asrih
  • Contributors
  • Programs



February 2, 2017


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