Cultural Transmission from an Archaeological Perspective

Mikael Nordin

Human beings have been copying and reusing culture and
technology for approximately 2.6 million years. Access to
new cultural advancements have been crucial for all
human societies during all of prehistory.

With this presentation I want to give an archaeological
perspective on today's issues of free software, free culture,
patents and copyright. I am going to give examples on
how humans have copied and reused culture and
technology through out all of prehistory with concrete
archaeological examples, mainly from the stone age. I am
also going to show examples of how people have been
trying to limit access to ideas and technology for others.

The presentation will focus on these questions:

What does the possibility to copy culture and technology
mean for human societies and how does people profit from
limiting the access to these cultural traits and technologies
for others?

Does culture have an intrinsic wish to be copied? Does
culture in fact want to be free?