Publication details

Člověk a artefakt. Téma archeologické antropologie

Title in English Man and Artefact. A Theme of Archaeological Anthropology

UNGER Josef HYLMAROVÁ Milada MAZÁČ Martin ŠENKÝŘ Miroslav KRÁLÍK Miroslav

Year of publication 2014
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Anthropologia Integra
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Archaeology, anthropology, ethnology
Keywords archaeological anthropology; artefact; human-artefact relationship; technology; utilitarian functions; social status; symbolism; Early Bronze Age; Roman Period; Migration Period; Early Medieval Period; fortifi cation; bracelet; ring; spur; axe
Description Artefacts created by man represent enhanced means for the performance of the ancient biological functions (obtaining food, defending territory, social status presentation, reproduction, and organization of life in a social group) as they are culturally universal/indifferent; on the other hand, human cultures vary substantially in their detailed forms due to differences in technology, religion, symbolism, fashion, etc. One of the themes of archaeological anthropology is the relationship between human and artefact that can be expressed by tripartite interactions among artefact, human and purpose. Artefact is affected by the properties of the used raw material and its availability in natural environment; but at the same time, it directly reflects features/properties of the user, person or a human society (body size, age, gender, health status, time constraints, technological level, raw material resources, tradition); and, to the extent required, it must also respect the purpose for which it was made and/or is used (working/utilitarian functions, fashion, symbolism, religion, etc.). Each particular artefact necessarily involves all three of these components, their mutual relationships, however, is not trivial. On examples of several archaeological artefacts (fortification of ancient Roman short camp, bracelet from the Roman and the Migration period, boot, spur, wall and axe from the 9th century A.D., ring from the early Bronze Age) we tried to demonstrate some independence of the above mentioned three aspects and their specific interactions. Interpretation of the role of any particular archaeological artefact in life of past people/societies should take all of these aspects into account.
Related projects:

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.

More info