Technology in World History
( Oxford, October 2005 )
This set chronicles the social and cultural impact of technology on history from the prehistoric era through modern day. The editor employs a broad definition of technology, encompassing both traditional interpretations addressed in standard world history survey sets (agriculture, industrialization, transportation, navigation, civil engineering, etc.) as well as areas such as medicine and pharmacology, warfare, time (clocks and calendars), and fine and domestic arts (porcelain, glasswork, fabric, jewelry, etc.). Subjects range from radical breakthroughs such as cloning to everyday but significant advancements such as stirrups and horseshoes. Articles provide background information; discuss the intent, actual use, and lasting impact of specific technological advancements; and describe the roles that technicians and skilled workers played in society. The text also addresses historic technological anomalies: Why were zebras never domesticated? Why was pottery making abandoned in Polynesia during the first millennium? Why did the peoples of Mesoamerica never develop wheeled transportation?