Always Already Tools: Introduction

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


In 2016, articles appeared that mentioned a six-thousand-year-old amulet shaped like a wheel that had been discovered on an archeological dig in Pakistan in 1980. The amulet was not a beautiful example of metalworking. It was made of pure copper — and hence contained large crystals — rather than the alloys later favored for such work. Nor was it symbolically significant. It did not herald, say, the importance of wheels to ancient agriculture. Rather, the amulet was brought to the public’s attention because the technique used to make it — lost-wax casting — is supposed to be indicative of a highly innovative society. More importantly still: NASA still uses a process based on lost-wax casting — investment casting — to make equipment that has flown to the International Space Station and to Mars…
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBetween Making and Knowing
Subtitle of host publicationTools in the History of Materials Research
EditorsJoseph D. Martin, Cyrus C.M. Mody
PublisherWorld Scientific
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-120-764-8
ISBN (Print)978-981-120-762-4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


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