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From Hand to HandleThe First Industrial Revolution$
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Lawrence Barham

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199604715

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199604715.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

An Enigmatic and Anonymous Revolution

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
From Hand to Handle
Author(s):

Lawrence Barham

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199604715.003.0001

This book explores the cognitive, social, and technological foundations as well as the environmental implications of an innovation that occurred some 300,000 years ago: hafting. It traces how hafting took its first modern form and revolutionised social and economic lives. Citing the concept of ‘combinatorial evolution’ developed by the economist and complexity theorist W. Brian Arthur, the book examines the incremental and radical process underlying composite technology and argues that hafting represents the first industrial revolution whose consequences are still felt today. It also places this innovation in tool-making in the context of what went before and what came after and analyses the earliest archaeological evidence for the manufacture of hafted tools with their integrated components. Finally, the book considers how global climate change affected human populations during the period in which hafting emerged.

Keywords:   innovation, hafting, combinatorial evolution, composite technology, industrial revolution, tool-making, archaeological evidence, hafted tools, climate change

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