Technology and Society

Until now the primary data for the Shahi kingdoms consisted of contemporary inscriptions, texts, and numismatic and archaeological evidence. This project includes technology (materials and techniques of manufacture) as a new category of primary sources. The convergent patterns formed by mapping selected material artifacts as defined by their technical characteristics, will permit the empirical study of political, economic, and social networks.
By adapting the methods of mapping and network analysis to the statistical data available for this subject and time period, and combined with diachronic analysis of the mobility and transmission of objects across the geographic and temporal extent of the kingdoms, our goals are:
(1) to define with greater certainty (than known at the outset of the project) the boundaries of the Shahi kingdoms at three key moments: the late 7th century; first half of the 8th century; and mid-10th century; and
(2) to reveal the dynamic patterns of production, consumption, exchange, and transformation across the extensive temporal and geographic parameters of this study.
The project website includes an “object study series” in which the curatorial team of the National Museum of Afghanistan will select and study representative stone and clay-based objects and present them in detailed graphic form (images, videos, etc.) in conjunction with comparative  technical comments from conservators at our collaborating institutions in the USA and Japan.


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