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Examines the ways in which people in ancient and contemporary societies have selected, evaluated, and used materials of nature, transforming them to objects of material culture. Some examples: Maya use of lime plaster for frescoes, books and architectural sculpture; sounds and colors of powerful metals in Mesoamerica; cloth and fiber technologies in the Inca empire. Explores ideological and aesthetic criteria often influential in materials development. Laboratory/workshop sessions provide hands-on experience with materials discussed in class. Subject complements 3.091.