Reconsidering the chaîne opératoire : towards a multifaceted approach to the archaelogy of the techniques

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Marie-Elise PORQUEDDU, LAMPEA UMR 7269, France
Claudia SCIUTO, University of Pisa, Italy
Anaïs LAMESA, French Institute for Anatolian Studies, Turkey

Open Archaeology invites manuscripts for the Special Issue on Reconsidering the Chaîne Opératoire: Towards a Multifaceted Approach to the Archaeology of Techniques.

The special issue Reconsidering the Chaîne Opératoire: Towards a Multifaceted Approach to the archaeology of Techniques is aimed at re-discussing the theory and methods of technological studies, considering their diachronic application to different contexts and materials. In particular, we wish to focus on the study of objects as a formal (standardised) language, which could be used to outline a horizontal narrative of artefacts making as well as that of human communities.

A long tradition of studies is devoted to the chaîne opératoire (CO) as a fundamental concept in archaeology, while new reflections stem from the application of such a structuralist concept within new theoretical schemes. While the CO framework has been formulated, systematically implemented, and continues to be developed particularly within the field of prehistoric lithic industries, this call aims at inviting contributions in which the taxonomy of technicity has been applied to outline specific patterns in different chronological and material contexts. Contributions could address one of the following three different perspectives on the application of the CO:

  • the biographical narrative of artefacts’ trajectories;
  • the taxonomic description of gestures and skills behind the making of an object;
  • an effort in understanding the relationships between craftspersons, societies and the environment, facing the challenges of interdisciplinarity.

These selected research axes highlight the networks existing between individuals and materials, whether crafting is perceived as a process in which multiple human and non-human agencies are intertwined, or as practices reflecting artisanal traditions and cultural identities.

The authors are kindly invited to submit their contribution via the online submission system Editorial Manager available at:

Please select the Category « SI on Reconsidering the Chaîne Opératoire » to ensure that the manuscript is processed by the Guest Editors.

It is important that authors include a cover letter with their manuscript. The cover letter should explicitly state that the manuscript (or one with substantially the same content, by any of the authors) has not been previously published in any language anywhere and that it is not under simultaneous consideration or in press by another journal.

Before submission the authors should carefully read over the Instructions for Authors, which are located at:

Submission of a manuscript does not necessarily imply approval for its publication in this Open Archaeology special issue. The manuscript will be subjected to a peer review procedure managed by our esteemed Guest Editors and its acceptance will depend on this assessment.

There are no specific length restrictions for the overall manuscript or individual sections; however, we urge the authors to present and discuss their findings in a concise and accessible manner. We recommend a length of 5,000–10,000 words, excluding the bibliography and figure captions and a maximum of 10 figures and tables.

We are looking forward to your submission up to 31 December 2022. If you have any questions, please contact Marie-Elise Porqueddu ( or Katarzyna Inga Michalak