Invention and innovation in African iron-smelting technologies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sub-Saharan Africa is often characterized by Europeans as a region that saw no significant technological change from the adoptions of agriculture and ironworking until the European colonization of the entire continent after 1880. This article criticizes this view by exploring the distinction between invention and innovation, using African iron smelting as a case study. It argues that there is in fact much evidence for the invention of new technologies in recent African prehistory, but that very low population densities precluded innovations in mass production and transportation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-319
Number of pages13
JournalCambridge Archaeological Journal
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 4 2015

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invention
innovation
mass production
prehistory
population density
technological change
colonization
new technology
agriculture
evidence
Africa
Iron Smelting
Invention
Innovation
Colonization
Technological Change
Sub-Saharan Africa
Agriculture
Prehistory
Population Density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology
  • Cultural Studies

Cite this

Invention and innovation in African iron-smelting technologies. / Killick, David J.

In: Cambridge Archaeological Journal, Vol. 25, No. 1, 04.03.2015, p. 307-319.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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