A developmental perspective on technological change.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Generalized processes of technological development have implications for understanding change in prehistoric technologies. Documented cases of development typically follow a pattern where a period of rapid performance increase is followed by a period of more gradual change. This pattern appears to be the result of basic evolutionary search processes. If key variables related to performance can be identified and quantified, patterned changes in the tempo of performance improvement may be discernible in archaeological cases through a consideration of the statistical properties of assemblages. Understanding the developmental component of change may be an important aspect of understanding material variability in the archaeological record. Theoretical, computational, historical and archaeological cases are briefly discussed.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-608
Number of pages12
JournalWorld Archaeology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008


  • TECHNOLOGICAL innovations
  • HISTORY of technology
  • DIFFUSION of innovations
  • SIMULATION methods & models
  • agent-based model
  • evolutionary search
  • nonlinear
  • S-curve
  • Technological change
  • technological development


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