ABSTRACT

The aim of this work was threefold. First, to explore skill and enquire whether the Bronze Age skilled metalworking specialist can be demonstrated empirically. Using craft theory, operationalised through perceptive categories through which the chaîne opératoire is updated, over 300 prehistoric axes were analysed – a selection of which I have discussed in great detail in this book. This showed that the concept ‘specialist’ is inadequate to characterise the variation in skill that was found. Subsequently, a nuanced categorisation of amateur, craftsperson, master, and virtuoso was introduced.