In September 2002, a second workshop on the theme of the social context of technological change was held at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge. Discussion has been the core of these meetings so far, with the aim being to relate the results of the specialist investigator to broad historical questions concerning the nature and development of ancient societies. The papers presented here address a wider context: geographically, with the inclusion of the Aegean and thematically, with papers on natural products and raw materials. The time frame remains the same in covering the Late Bronze Age/New Kingdom. The majority of the papers draw on Egyptian evidence, and illustrate a multiplicity of approaches to the problems set by ancient technologies: modelling, methodology of art history and archaeology applied to a problematic group of artefacts, integration of archaeological and textual sources, and the application of the results of scientific analysis to illuminate ancient technology.