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Technology is one of the most transformative innovations of humankind: it has profoundly impacted economic, social and cultural history. Understanding human capacity to innovate from a wider historical perspective provides fundamental tools for the study of technological advance and human progress. At the same time, technology applied to crafts has radically changed the relationship between maker and matter, that is humankind’s ability to manipulate its material environment and transform it into material culture. Therefore, technological innovation applied to materiality practices represents a crucial research theme.

Stone is perhaps the most challenging matter for craftspeople to process. It entails a series of specific technological choices alongside an articulate operational sequence. The TECHNET action puts forward a multidisciplinary approach to the development of technology in ancient crafts using stone vases as case study.

As objects made of stone, ancient lithic vases constitute crucial analytical “tools” to understand ancient manufacturing processes. My starting hypothesis is that Greco-Roman stone vases may inform us on technological development, knowledge transfer through artisans’ interaction, and material culture practices in the Classical period. Studying them discloses the dynamics of technological advance for its valuation in human history.