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date: 14 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter presents an overview of the chaîne opératoire approach and recalls its relevance as a social and transmission signal. It describes the main components of the ceramic chaînes opératoires and the principles for identifying them on the archaeological material through diagnostic attributes including both surface features and microfabrics. Next, it takes a forward look at the classification of ceramic assemblages according to the chaîne opératoire approach in order to unravel the sociological complexity behind their variability. Finally, this chapter highlights the heuristic character of the chaîne opératoire approach when studying, on the synchronic axis, the techno-economic systems, and on the diachronic axis, changes in technical traditions considered as the expression of culture histories and the factors affecting them.

Keywords: chaîne opératoire, social signal, transmission signal, technical tradition, diagnostic attributes, techno-economic systems

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