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Mechanics of Pre-industrial Technology : An Introduction to the Mechanics of Ancient and Traditional Material Culture - Brian Cotterell

Mechanics of Pre-industrial Technology

An Introduction to the Mechanics of Ancient and Traditional Material Culture

Paperback Published: 29th June 1992
ISBN: 9780521428712
Number Of Pages: 344

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This is the first general account of the mechanics behind pre-industrial technology. By combining the skills of an engineer and an archaeologist, it shows how mechanics can be used to create a better understanding of the function of artifacts and the achievements of early technology. The authors examine technology from the earliest stone tools of more than two million years ago to the erection of the statues of Easter Island which continued into the seventeenth century. Representative material cultures from most areas of the world have been selected for this study and the book shows how sophisticated many of their apparently simple techniques and artefacts actually were. After an introduction to basic mechanics the book examines the elements of machines: the various structures which can be made to bridge openings; the mechanics involved in fashioning stone tools; projectiles such as the spear and boomerang; the efficiency of transport by land and water; and the mechanics of musical instruments.

'Mechanics of pre-industrial technology is a marvellous book. It is to the brim full of information, never dull and well researched throughout. The illustrations are extremely well chosen, very copious and most informative.' ANU Reporter 'It should be required reading for all archaeologists, to stop them perpetuating the scientific howlers that disfigure so many 'interpretations'.' British Archaeological News

List of figuresp. x
List of tablesp. xii
Prefacep. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Invention and diffusionp. 1
Theories of cultural evolutionp. 5
Artifact sophistication and complexityp. 8
The development of mechanical sciencep. 11
Mechanics of material culturep. 13
Methods of mechanical analysisp. 14
Mechanical experimentationp. 15
Definitions and unitsp. 16
Basic mechanicsp. 18
Space and timep. 18
Massp. 20
Forcep. 22
The laws of motionp. 22
The main sources of force in pre-industrial technologyp. 23
Muscular forcep. 23
Gravitational forcep. 24
Frictional forcep. 27
Scalars and vectorsp. 29
Accelerationp. 31
Work and energyp. 33
Powerp. 35
Equilibrium and stabilityp. 44
Fluids and solidsp. 47
Fluidsp. 47
Concept of pressurep. 47
The motion of ideal fluidsp. 50
The siphonp. 54
The water-wheelp. 56
Viscous flowp. 57
Water-clocksp. 59
Solidsp. 64
Stress and strengthp. 65
Deformation and strainp. 69
Stress-strain relationshipsp. 70
Resilience and strain energyp. 72
Machinesp. 74
The leverp. 75
The moment of a forcep. 77
Lever systems of animalsp. 80
Lifting with a leverp. 80
The beam pressp. 83
The balancep. 84
The inclined planep. 86
The pulleyp. 89
The winch and capstanp. 93
The screwp. 94
The gear wheelp. 96
The wedgep. 97
Structuresp. 101
Suspension bridgesp. 102
Column and lintel constructionp. 104
Beamsp. 106
Trussesp. 115
Arches and domesp. 119
Archesp. 119
Domesp. 123
Stone toolsp. 125
The stone materialsp. 127
Flaked stone toolsp. 130
Fracture mechanicsp. 135
The initiation phase of flake formationp. 140
The propagation phase of flake formationp. 142
The termination phase of flake formationp. 145
Flake surface markingsp. 147
Ground stone toolsp. 151
The mechanics of abrasionp. 153
Use-wear on stone toolsp. 155
Projectilesp. 160
The motion of projectilesp. 161
The spearp. 163
The spearthrowerp. 166
The stability of a spearp. 170
The boomerangp. 175
The bow and arrowp. 180
The composite bowp. 185
The archer's paradoxp. 187
Torsion catapultsp. 188
Land transportp. 193
The mechanics of walkingp. 193
Pack transportp. 196
Wheeled vehiclesp. 197
Friction of rollers and wheelsp. 198
The dished wheelp. 204
Animal ability and harnessp. 206
The wheelbarrowp. 214
Moving the colossip. 216
Lubricationp. 220
Rollersp. 223
Ropesp. 225
Easter Island statuesp. 226
Classical Greece and Romep. 232
Water transportp. 234
Buoyancyp. 237
Lateral stabilityp. 238
Propulsionp. 245
Oarsp. 245
Sailsp. 250
Water resistancep. 255
The performance of the Triremep. 257
Steering and directional stabilityp. 259
Musical instrumentsp. 265
The nature of soundp. 266
The pitch and quality of a musical notep. 267
Harmony and musical scalesp. 270
Musical instrumentsp. 276
Chordophones, or stringed instrumentsp. 276
Aerophones, or wind instrumentsp. 280
Idiophones, or percussion instruments other than drumsp. 287
Membranophones, or drumsp. 291
Archaeomusicologyp. 292
Epiloguep. 293
Glossary of mechanical termsp. 296
Symbolsp. 305
Useful mathematical formulasp. 308
Referencesp. 309
Indexp. 319
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521428712
ISBN-10: 0521428718
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 344
Published: 29th June 1992
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.57 x 19.1  x 1.85
Weight (kg): 0.63