Nov 22, 2018 in Analysis
Material Сulture Analysis

Material culture analysis can be described as the use of materials and objects in the development and study of history. According to Elizabeth and Janice, the composition of this topic mainly entails items that are considered of physical substance. These objects or materials are principally shaped by human accomplishment, although nature is also attributed to the history of items. For instance, one can argue that an animal horn is a product of nature, while a book is produced by human creation. Some of the historical artworks are other examples of objects that are monumental in material culture analysis. Various methodologies can be used to effect object creation and they include: Gregg Finley, E. McClung Fleming, Jules Prown, Grant McCracken, and Adrian Forty methodologies. This article therefore discusses material culture analysis in regards to my own initiated object creation using Gregg Finley’s method.

Gregg Finley’s Methodology

Gregg Finley’s methodology enhances historical inquiry through the application of material culture. In so doing, the following queries are answered in the process; the type of object being created, reason for its creation, the outlook of the creation, the function of the creation, material used in making the creation and associated cultural and economic implications of the object. Scott believes that this method seeks to give artifacts about the intrigues involved in deciding the design of a particular object. After a critical evaluation of possible available objects to choose from, I selected a mud molded coin as my object for discussion, with respect to material culture analysis.

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Academic level

A Mud Molded Coin

I selected a mud molded coil as my own creation for the assessment of material culture analysis because of the history associated with money coins. A coin being an item that is regarded as currency has a lot of history attached to it. Everyone largely knows the development and evolution of coins as means of payment when conducting trade. Because of this, the heritage that is connected to coins is monumental and requires protection and recognition as being historical. The history of coins is drawn back in the year 650 years BC, and was mainly made of electrum, a naturally occurring yellow material of silver and gold mixture.

The Object I Want to Create

A molded coin made of mud is the object I want to create and thus, this study focuses on the topic. I chose to make this creation because I feel coins interrelate to past cultural histories among different communities. As earlier indicated, a coin is regarded as a historical artifact and therefore my selection best suits the subject of cultural material objects. Basically, a coin is a form of money, but for my case, it is purely for historical reasons. This is due to the reason that mud money cannot be accepted as a form of payment in the contemporary world. Accordingly, this object creation can only be used in museums to serve as a reminder of cultural background, thereby narrowing its applicability to tradition upkeep. The creation is therefore important for tourist attraction.

Cultural Implications

The fact that the object created is made from mud, it conveys a lot of cultural aspects. According to Gullbekk, it brings out early activities as carried out by the ancestors. Of course molding entails use of soil and water, (activities that are associated with cultural farming). Secondly, a coin been a form of imbursement also brings out an element of trading activities by the communities in question. The interconnection between social, cultural, and political factors positively interlink this object creation and the cultural aspect of cultural undertakings by the people. Given that my creation is well molded and crafted, a lot of tourists; both international and local ones, will desire to have a glimpse at the making of the creation. The eventual of this amounts to interactions and thus new friendships across mixed races, religions, or even classes. As a result of this, people of different ethnicities are likely to intermarry, and this will bring a mixture in cultural practices.


Economic Implications

My mud molded creation has significant economic implications as it sensitizes people on the need to adopt coins as modes of paying for goods and services. With this artifact, future creations will be able to identify and appreciate coins as acceptable payment systems, hence facilitating the continuity of these types of money. Robert and Sjoerd believes that trade is best facilitated within and across neighboring communities by effective cultural strategies. I trust that my creation is will facilitate trade activities in the future since I deem it to be a mouthwatering one with respect to a region’s economics.

Biases with my Object Creation

It is widely known that almost all undertakings are characterized by a number of prejudices. One of the main biases is recognition from all entities within a given setting. As it is understood, other people do not prefer coins and instead, they use notes. One is assured that such people will at no point recognize my creation. Another chauvinism characterized by a mud molded coin is class, where certain people deem themselves as being of higher class, and thus not wanting to be associated with this heritage creation. Other religious groups believe that creations like this one amounts to idolism and would thus not welcome my idea.

Decision to Choose a Mud Molded Coin as my Creation

I considered quite a number of factors before I chose this object for my creation. Cultural inter linkage played a big role in deciding on my creation. I had some other options but I zeroed in on mud molded coin as it is centered across all races, religions, and gender. According to Allison, such undertakings encourage and enhance diversity to a great extent. Another contributing factor is the fact that materials of similar nature have been in existence since time memorial. I also felt that my chose is a unique one and would be able to wholly analyze this topic of material culture.

Other Similar Objects

There are other objects of similar kind that are in existence. The main ones being that silver coins are used and accepted as modes of payment unlike my creation. Therefore, the only difference is that my creation is molded mud while these other coins are metal. Consequently, there are other various forms of mud molded objects that depict particular cultural norms of certain groups of people. A good example is that of molded building bricks. Whereas other material objects are nicely crafted to bring an element of aesthetics, I prefer my creation to remain natural, as this will bring an enhanced cultural heritage.

Importance of Material Culture Analysis

The study of material culture promotes the recognition of substance originality or citizenship. This characteristic explains where given objects were created or manufactured. The usability, make, and object prices are attached to material culture. Different people of diverse cultures are thus able to analyze and evaluate the cost of particular commodities. Material culture analysis brings the sensitization on how people should take good care of existing cultural artifacts, so as to avail them in the future for upcoming generations. Scholars have also been issued to researchers in conducting visits to such historical places in trying to make insightful studies with respect to selected objects. Creativity is enhanced, as participants will always try to develop attractive designs in new objects. Through material culture analysis, a good relationship between the academia and society is established, thereby bridging that gap.

From the study of material culture, humans are portrayed in fascinating ways, especially women. This is drawn to the notion of their feminism nature, and such arrays of perceptions are embodied by the outlook of appearance, more particularly their dress code. From this analysis, one clearly sees the importance of the study of material culture analysis.

Artifacts Research

It has become apparent that many scholars are interested in pursuing research in the field of material culture analysis. In so doing, they get to study the significance of the earlier created objects. According to Nicole, one of the core benefits of this is that these researches help in streamlining best possible ways that can be adopted in the future, replacing the older objects that might as well be considered as obsolete. Researchers also get to know how such creations were made when compared to existing creation methods. This is achieved by the identification of, and interpretation of specific parts of that time.


From the discussion above, one clearly sees that material culture analysis plays a pivotal role in enhancing people’s cultural values and beliefs. It is through cultural interaction that people get to associate with each other and exchange ideas. In so doing, they also get to learn ways of earlier traditions and practices. It is also through these interactions that people of different diversities get to study past object materials of a given community. This article has analyzed a specific item; a mud molded coin. The discussion explains this object creation using Gregg Finley’s methodology, and addresses a number of issues with respect to cultural enhancement. I definitely believe that my object will create a cultural environment for the days to come, and enhance remembrance of what the situation was during initial times.


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