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.
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(246mm x 189mm x 18mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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