Society for American Archaeology ANCIENT APPRENTICESHIP
70th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Salt Lake City
Thursday 31 March 2005, Salt Palace Convention Center, Room 250 F, 1 pm.
Round Table Luncheon
Friday 1 April 2005,
Salt Palace Convention Center, Room 254 A-C, 12-1 pm.
Symposium 45: Learning a craft, a physical learning process, is based on observation, imitation and most importantly, repetition. This symposium concentrates on the types of knowledge and the methods of knowledge transfer by craftsmen in the social context of learning. Subjects that will be covered are: how do we recognize the work of apprenticeship or evidence of learning in the archaeological material; what are the social aspects of knowledge transfer in relation to social mobility; engendering knowledge transfer; the epistemology of craftsmanship and lastly, the use of insights gained by discerning different types of knowledge and learning in teaching archaeology.

Ancient Apprenticeship and Body Knowledge;
 by: Willeke Wendrich, Department of NELC, UCLA
1:00-1:15 pm.
Ancient technology was passed on through generations. The transfer of knowledge from master to apprentice was done partly by demonstrating, but mostly by having the apprentice train the same movements over and over again, building up a physically engrained knowledge of movements. To understand the demands of ancient production the modern researcher will find that the most suitable method of acquiring knowledge is to take on the role of apprentice. This research strategy provides not only information on the techniques and the properties of the materials, but also on the learning process itself.
Epistemology and Ontology of Craftsmanship;
by: Lise Bender Jørgensen, Vitenskapsmuseet, Trondheim (Norway)
1:15-1:30 pm.
Craftmanship is transmitted by familiarity, obtained by daily, close contact with a master craftsman, as so-called tacit knowledge. Craftsmanship has a language of its own, consisting of movements and experience. Traditionally, this is perceived as utterly non-academic. This paper intends to explore the epistemology and ontology of craftsmanship, and ways to bridge the gap betwwen tacit and verbalized knowledge.
Secret Agents and Social Structures:
The Effects of Social Contexts of Learning on Ceramic Decorative Motor-Performance Attributes;
by: John Creese, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto (Canada)
1:30-1:45 pm.
An experiment was designed in order to test archaeological methods utilizing motor habit performance related “microvariables” as a means to identify the work of individual prehistoric potters. It was hypothesized, contre Hill (1977), that motor-performance related attributes are sensitive to their social contexts of learning, and change over time. Individuals in two groups, a “social pressure” and an “individualist” group, completed an incised design on wet clay plaques on two occasions. Principal Components Analysis and a Discriminant Analysis provide strong support for the proposition that individual patterns of motor-performance are directly influenced by the social environment of their acquisition.
Apprenticeship in Textile Crafts: The Transmission of Culture;
by: Martin Ciszuk (Sweden)
1:45-2:00 pm.
The transmission of a craft through apprenticeship involves not only tools and raw materials, but also an initiation into a system of language, ethics, taste and rules. This discourse reflects the age, the context and the society the craft is part of. As a textile researcher and professional craftsman, with experience in knowledge transfer on weaving and sewing, my contribution will be an attempt to analyze the ideas expressed through the craft by studying archaeological and historic textiles, using examples from Swedish hand weaving, 19th – 20th century silk weaving, and Roman textiles from Egypt.
Tradition in the Making.
Contemporary Pottery Making and Apprenticeship Processes within New Mexico Pueblos: A Case Study;
Helene Wallaert, Maxwell Museum of Anthropology, Albuquerque
2:00-2:15 pm.
Comprehension of phenomena related to the elaboration of cultural boundaries remains a central issue for many research disciplines. Anthropologists have explored these topics recently through studies of cultural transmission, trying to understand how people relate to their community, and manifest their identity. Southwest American pottery has been the focus of major studies but the question of contemporary craft learning has not. Much more investigation is needed to understand how potters relate to their community, how they deal with the recognition of their techno-cultural background. This paper will explore pottery teaching and learning processes within a group of New Mexico Pueblos.
Stone Tool Apprenticeship and Enculturation in the Eastern Canadian Arctic;
Brooke Milne, Department of Anthropology, University of Western Ontario (Canada)
2:15-2:30 pm.
The Early Palaeo-Eskimos of the eastern Canadian Arctic are best recognized archaeologically from the remains of their sophisticated stone tool technology. Despite this, however, little is presently known about how these peoples acquired this technological skill, from whom, at what age, where, and at what time of year. This paper presents data from several sites located in the interior of southern Baffin Island, which illustrates that stone tool apprenticeship among the Early Palaeo-Eskimos was not only seasonally and geographically specific but that it was also closely tied to enculturation and the process of landscape learning in this vast geographic region.
Break; 2:30-2:45 pm.
The Apprenticeship of Landscape Learning:
Connecting the Concept to Larger Models of Evolution and Environmental Change;

by: Marcy Rockman, Statistical Research Inc.

2:45-3:00 pm.
The landscape learning process is defined as the social response to situations in which there is both a lack of knowledge about the distribution of natural resources in a region and a slack of access to such knowledge that may have been previously acquired by others. The landscape learning concept was first developed to better understand the archaeology of colonization. This paper broadens the theoretical scope of landscape learning, connecting it with the culture and evolution –dual inheritance model of Boyd and Richerson, the variability of selection model of Potts, and the dynamic scalar model of environmental change by Hopkinson.
Communities of Practice and Networks of Exchange:
Glaze Paint Analyses of Pueblo IV Ceramics in the Silver Creek Area, Arizona;
by: Samuel Duwe, Department of Anthropology,
University of Arizona
3:00-3:15 pm.
Previous analyses of Pueblo IV glaze painted ceramics in the Silver Creek area of east-central Arizona have indicated both aggregation and migration affecting the size and social composition of communities. This paper will examine the chemical composition of the glaze pigments themselves by laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). These data can be used to understand provenance of the pigment, and can be used at an intra-site scale to delineate specific paint recipes inherent to ceramic traditions, or potting communities at a possible household level. Questions of exchange and communities of practice will be addressed, specifically in understanding networks of prehistoric knowledge transmission.
Apprenticeship and Figured Ostraca at the Ancient Egyptian Village of Deir el Medina;
by: Kathlyn Cooney, Stanford University
3:15-3:30 pm.
The artisans who worked on the ancient Egyptian New Kingdom Royal Tombs also produced thousands of ostraca, limestone chips with informal sketches. I argue that most craft training probably did not happen in a formal setting, but informally at the work site and in the craftsmen’s village. Sketching on ostraca provided not only the opportunity to learn and practice the accepted artistic forms, but also to test new forms and combinations. Informal sketching was one of the main methods through which style was maintained, but it was also the avenue to taste change, by which styles were updated and changed.
J.D. Beazley: The World of Ancient Attic Vase Painters and their Apprentices;
by: Eleni Hasaki, Department of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology, Bryn Mawr College
3:30-3:45 pm.
This paper will focus on the frequency of the terms “pupils”, “followers” and “imitators” in the work of J.D. Beazley: Attic Black-Figure Vase Painters (1956) and Attic Red-Figure Vase Painters (1963) in which he reconstructed a vivid world of over 1,000 painters from the 6th-4th centuries BCE. The absence of any methodological framework and the inconsistency in the use of these terms of ancient apprenticeship have been repeatedly criticized in modern scholarship. I will also compare his analysis of the Attic vase-painting workshops to our knowledge of the organization of the Renaissance painters' workshops, a world that allegedly inspired Beazley.
Learning from the Ancestors;
by: Marilyn Kelly-Buccelati, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA
3:45-4:00 pm.
Our excavations of the Hurrian city of Urkesh, in northeastern Syria, have uncovered a city dating 3000-1500 BC. Over the centuries certain traditions were rediscovered, particularly in the areas of ceramic production and the carving of cylinder seals. In both cases we have examples of learning by imitation. In the ceramic production, it is clear that when the imitations were produced there were no living practitioners of that type of ceramics, given the long chronological distance between the original and the imitation. The cases for cylinder seal design imitation are two, both imitations of the original design of inferior quality.
Methods of Reconstructing Craftsmanship, Objects and Intentions;
by: Terje Planke (Norway)
4:00-4:15 pm.
In the Gokstad-boat project at the Viking-ship museum/ University of Oslo, our goal is to reconstruct not only the form itself but also the structure and the procedures of the craft. By reconstructing the boat - in full size - twice, we are moving power towards the boat builder as an interpreting subject making subjective choices. How might we then grasp the intentions of the craftsmen that worked 1000 years ago? We are leaning on local boat building traditions we have documented and identify important changes in the perspectives. Gadamers concepts of Gesamtkonzeption and Wirkungsgeschichte makes an important point of departure.
Apprenticeships in Archaeology: The Role of Experimental Archaeology;
by: Heather Miller, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto (Canada)
4:15-4:30 pm.
The teaching of archaeology in North America, unlike many disciplines, has always included both traditional lecture classes and apprentice-like courses involving 'hands-on' learning - what education specialists call kinesthetic learning or 'muscle learning'. This includes field schools and lab methods courses, as well as courses in experimental archaeology. While the former have maintained a steady importance in the field, experimental courses seem to have waxed and waned in popularity. The possible reasons for this variation are explored, and the role of experimental archaeology as a way to teach research methods discussed in relation to changes in archaeological theory.
Discussant; 4:30-4:45 pm.
Brenda Bowser, Department of Anthropology, Washington State University

Mobile people
Residue analysis
Fayum field school Berenike excavations Cotsen Institute

*) The animation at the top of this page is made by H. Barnard based on the painting in the Tomb of Min (TT109, near Luxor) depicting the official Min giving archery lessons to Prince Amenhotep (the later Pharao Amenhotep II, ca. 1425 BCE) and the line drawing thereof by N. de G.  Davies (1935) .