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Time, Space and Innovation: an Archaeological Case Study on the Romanization of the North-Western Provinces (50 BC to AD 50)

Claudia Dürrwächter


This book is concerned with social stability and change. Despite continuing interest in both aspects by various discAlines of the social sciences they are still not fully understood. Unlike the natural sciences, where Darwin’s princAles of random variation and selection are commonly accepted as mechanisms of change, the social sciences still lack a paradigm of cultural evolution and the explanation of social change remains a crucial question. This is not an ordinary archaeological case study based on expertise in one area, but rather an attempt at truly interdiscAlinary research. It tries to bridge the gap between quantitative and discursive methods as well as the boundaries of modern discAlines because it is felt that social change affects all aspects of human society and cannot be fully investigated from any one-sided perspective. Specifically, the research: 1) Finds a definition of innovation that can be applied with equal facility in different branches of the social sciences namely: archaeology, social geography, economics and policy-research; 2) Explores the process of innovation in the archaeological record of Europe especially on the Romanization of the North-Western Provinces and its attendant social changes. The application of the conceptualmodel of innovation to the archaeological record provides new insights into pre-historical processes as well as testing the definition’s applicability for all four scientific domains mentioned above; 3) Extends techniques from Time Geography that have been developed in an EU funded project on time geography to the study of innovation in the historical and archaeological record.