Studying Technological Change synthesizes nearly four decades of research by Michael Brian Schiffer, a cofounder of the field of behavioral archaeology. This new book asks historical and scientific questions about the interaction of people with artifacts during all times and in all places. The book is not about the history or prehistory of technology, nor is it a catalog of methods and techniques for inferring how specific technologies were made or used. Rather, it supplies conceptual tools that can be used to help craft an explanation of any technological change in any society.
The behavioral approach leads to new questions, creative research employing diverse lines of evidence, and, often, counterintuitive explanations. In behavioral archaeology, one never loses sight of the materiality of human behavior. Needless to say, advocates of other research approaches will find much in this book to dispute. But critics cannot gainsay the productivity of the behavioral approach nor the fact that it has furnished fresh insights into episodes of technological change.