Industry (archaeology)

In the archaeology of the Stone Age, an industry or technocomplex[1] is a typological classification of stone tools. It is not to be confused with industrial archaeology, which concentrates on industrial sites from more recent periods.

An industry consists of a number of lithic assemblages, typically including a range of different types of tools, that are grouped together on the basis of shared technological or morphological characteristics.[2] For example, the Acheulean industry includes hand-axes, cleavers, scrapers and other tools with different forms, but which were all manufactured by the symmetrical reduction of a bifacial core producing large flakes.[3] Industries are usually named after a type site where these characteristics were first observed (e.g. the Mousterian industry is named after the site of Le Moustier). By contrast, Neolithic axeheads from the Langdale axe industry were recognised as a type well before the centre at Great Langdale was identified by finds of debitage and other remains of the production, and confirmed by petrography (geological analysis). The stone was quarried and rough axe heads were produced there, to be more finely worked and polished elsewhere.

As a taxonomic classification of artefacts, industries rank higher than archaeological cultures. Cultures are usually defined from a range of different artefact types and are thought to be related to a distinct cultural tradition. By contrast, industries are defined by basic elements of lithic production which may have been used by many unrelated human groups over tens or even hundred thousands of years,[1] and over very wide geographical ranges. Sites producing tools from the Acheulean industry stretch from France to China, as well as Africa. Consequently, shifts between lithic industries are thought to reflect major milestones in human evolution, such as changes in cognitive ability[4] or even the replacement of one human species by another.[5] Therefore, artefacts from a single industry may come from a number of different cultures.

Video of the extraction of a stone tool from a silex rock.
Acheulean handaxes from Kent. The types shown are (clockwise from top) cordate, ficron, and ovate.


  1. ^ a b Clarke, David (1978). Analytical Archaeology (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Columbia University Press. pp. 372–373. ISBN 978-0231046305.
  2. ^ Kadowaki, Seiji (2013). "Issues of Chronological and Geographical Distributions of Middle and Upper Palaeolithic Cultural Variability in the Levant and Implications for the Learning Behaviour of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens". In Akazawa, Takeru; Nishiaki, Yoshihiro; Aoki, Kenichi (eds.). Dynamics of Learning in Neanderthals and Modern Humans Volume 1: Cultural Perspectives. Tokyo: Springer. pp. 62–63. ISBN 9784431545118.
  3. ^ Semaw, S; Rogers, M; Stout, D (2009). "Oldowan–Acheulian transition: Is there a Developed Oldowan artifact tradition?". In Camps, M; Chauhan, P (eds.). Sourcebook of Paleolithic Transitions. New York, NY: Springer. pp. 173–192.
  4. ^ Corbey, Raymond; Jagich, Adam; Vaesen, Krist; Collard, Mark (2016-01-02). "The acheulean handaxe: More like a bird's song than a beatles' tune?". Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews. 25 (1): 6–19. doi:10.1002/evan.21467. ISSN 1520-6505. PMC 5066817. PMID 26800014.
  5. ^ Mellars, Paul (2004-11-25). "Neanderthals and the modern human colonization of Europe". Nature. 432 (7016): 461–465. doi:10.1038/nature03103. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 15565144.

See also

Archaeology South-East

Archaeology South-East (ASE) is a large contracts division in southern England which provides professional archaeological services for public and private sector clients. Clients include commercial developers and environment agencies (who need to take account of archaeology during construction projects, in line with the UK government's National Planning Policy Framework) and private house owners who require historic building recording services. ASE is based in offices in Portslade, near Brighton with additional offices in London and Braintree and specialises in work in Southeast England including Greater London.Archaeology South-East is part of UCL Centre for Applied Archaeology (CAA), itself part of UCL Institute of Archaeology which is a global research and teaching institution. In conjunction with the CAA, staff at ASE have been involved in archaeological work and heritage consultancy in over 87 countries.

Industry (disambiguation)

Industry is the production of goods or related services within an economy.

Industry may also refer to:

Industry classification, a classification of economic organizations and activities

Industry (archaeology), a typological classification of stone tools

List of museums in London

This is a list of museums in London, the capital city of England and the United Kingdom. It also includes university and non-profit art galleries. As of 2016, there were over 250 registered art institutions in Greater London.

Open-pan salt making

Open-pan salt making is a method of salt production wherein salt is extracted from the brine using vacuum pans. The brine is heated in a partial vacuum to lower the boiling point. In the past salt has been extracted by heating the brine in pans operating at normal atmospheric pressure, known as open pans.

Virtually all European domestic salt is obtained by solution mining of underground salt formations although some is still obtained by the solar evaporation of sea water.

Oxford Archaeology

Oxford Archaeology (OA, trading name of Oxford Archaeology Limited) is one of the largest and longest-established independent archaeology and heritage practices in Europe, operating from three permanent offices in Oxford, Lancaster and Cambridge, and working across the UK. OA is a Registered Organisation with the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA), and carries out commercial archaeological fieldwork in advance of development, as well as a range of other heritage related services. Oxford Archaeology primarily operates in the UK, but has also carried out contracts around the world, including Sudan, Qatar, Central Asia, China and the Caribbean. Numbers of employees vary owing to the project-based nature of the work, but in 2014 OA employed over 220 people.

The registered head office is in Osney Mead, Oxford, southern England; this address is also the base for OA South. Other offices are OA North in Lancaster, northern England, OA East in Bar Hill, Cambridgeshire, eastern England. Between 2007 and 2011, OA had offices in Mauguio (OA Méditerranée), southern France and Caen (OA Grand Ouest), northern France.

Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana

The Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, also known as the Palazzo della Civiltà del Lavoro or simply the Colosseo Quadrato (Square Colosseum), is a building in the EUR district in Rome.

The building was designed in 1937 to host the Mostra della Civiltà Romana during the 1942 World Fair by Italian architects Giovanni Guerrini, Ernesto Bruno La Padula and Mario Romano.

It lies in the district of Rome known as the Esposizione Universale Roma (also known as 'E.42' and 'EUR'). It is particularly symbolic of this district, exemplifying its monumentality.

The building is an example of Italian Rationalism and of Fascist architecture.

Wessex Archaeology

Wessex Archaeology is a company with limited liability registered in England, No. 1712772 and is a Registered Charity in England and Wales, No. 287786, and in Scotland, Scottish Charity No. SC042630.

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