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SAF 2011 

The Experience of Technology 

Scottish Archaeological Forum Conference
22- 23 October 2011 at the University of Glasgow

Keynote address: 

Prof. Olivier Gosselain

(L'Université libre de Bruxelles)

Session Chairs:

Prof Ian Armit

(University of Bradford)

Prof Audrey Horning

(Queens University Belfast)

Prof Peter van Dommelen (University of Glasgow)

Dr Nyree Finlay

(University of Glasgow)


The year 2011 is the thirtieth anniversary of the publication of the Scottish Archaeological Forum’s Early Technology in Northern Britain (Kenworthy 1981), the proceedings of the 1979 conference entitled ‘Archaeology and Early Technology in Scotland’. The papers within the volume generally focused on the production and manufacture of material culture within economic frameworks. In keeping with the zeitgeist of the 1970s, technology was considered as a separate object for research divorced from the social dimensions in which things were made and given meaning.


In the intervening period technology has retained a focus for study in archaeology, history, anthropology, philosophy and the social sciences. As we embrace the second decade of the 21st century there appears to be considerable scope for developing further the theme of technology as a sensuous and somatic experience within the social dimension as opposed to an extra-somatic object of study. This conference seeks to explore how technology, as a sensuous embodiment, interfaces with the auditory, haptic and olfactory experiences, which may incorporate aspects of phenomenology, behaviour, practice and agency, identity, materiality, deterritorialisation, landscape studies and other concepts.



  • Landscape and phenomenology

  • Sensory experiences – auditory, haptic and olfactory

  • Social dimension, agency, practice and behaviour

  • Materiality – how objects can give meaning to the concept of somatic technology

  • The philosophy of deterritorialisation – technology as an interface where object and subject are indivisible.


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