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Biography: Frances Liardet

Frances Liardet

Frances Liardet, who holds degrees from Oxford and Bristol Universities, began her exploration of craft practices by examining skill traditions in an­cient boatbuilding.

She describes her work as “an experimental project involving the reproduction of Mediterranean Group I core-formed alabastra. It consists of an apprenticeship in the making of these vessels, during which I will carry out a series of carefully constructed experiments. ... This project forms part of a systematic enquiry into the typology which, although it can be categorized by form and style, can fruitfully be reassessed as the product of a number of hand work traditions de­veloped and sustained by individual groups of artisans.”

“Artifacts which form coherent typologies such as Mediterranean Group I stem necessarily from durable craft traditions, which themselves arise from the repeated transmission of craft skills,” she said. “However, there is relatively little archaeological literature which considers the specific proc­esses by which craft skills are transmitted—that is to say, taught and learned. Consequently the ex­planatory potential of studies on teaching and learning for archaeological typologies has not been addressed.”