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Power, Economy, and Ideology

$51.99 (C)

Part of School of American Research Advanced Seminars

Timothy Earle, Kristian Kritiansen, Richard Bradley, Candelario Saenz, Patrick Kirch, Antonio Gilman, Yale Ferguson, Vincas Steponaitis, Gary Feinman, Robert Drennan
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  • Date Published: April 1993
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521448963

$ 51.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • The study of chiefdoms has moved from a preoccupation with their formal characteristics to a concern with their dynamics as political institutions. The contributors are interested in how ruling elites retain power through control over production and exchange, and then legitimize that control through an elaborated ideology. The ten case studies look at particular chiefdoms, originating in specific historical conditions. Despite obvious differences between the chiefdoms, certain common underlying processes are revealed. The collection recognizes how complex and interdependent are the sources of power in society, as well as the forces of instability that constantly threaten to tear it apart.

    • A controversial and exciting reconsideration of the notion of chiefdoms
    • Contributors are well known in a variety of fields including anthropology, archaeology, history
    • Well written and accessible, encouraging appeal to students
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "The papers, which grew out of a 1988 Advanced Seminar at the School of American Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico, are all of a high quality and are all thought provoking. The theoretical diversity represented by the 10 authors, the empirical summaries of a worldwide sample of chiefly cases, and the volume's uncanny cohesiveness make this book an essential addition to the libraries of those social scientists concerned with chiefdoms or, more broadly, with the historical relationships between polity, economy, and culture....deserves high praise." American Antiquity

    "...a very useful source. Its pages are studded with detailed accounts of what prehistoric chiefdoms left behind in the way of material remains." Ethnohistory

    "Chiefdoms is a welcome addition to recent studies of cultural evolution." American Anthropologist

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 1993
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521448963
    • length: 356 pages
    • dimensions: 232 x 154 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • contains: 21 b/w illus. 10 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    l. The evolution of chiefdoms Timothy Earle
    2. Chiefdoms, states, and systems of social evolution Kristian Kristiansen
    3. The pattern of change in British prehistory Richard Bradley
    4. Property rights and the evolution of chiefdoms Timothy Earle
    5. Lords of the waste: predation, pastoral production, and the process of stratification among the Eastern Tuaregs Candelario Saenz
    6. Chiefship and competitive involution: the Marquesas Islands of eastern Polynesia Patrick Kirch
    7. Trajectories towards social complexity in the later prehistory of the Mediterranean Antonio Gilman
    8. Chiefdoms to city-states: the Greek experience Yale Ferguson
    9. Contrasting patterns of Mississippian development Vincas Steponaitis
    l0. Demography, surplus, and inequality: early political formations in highland Mesoamerica Gary Feinman
    11. Pre-Hispanic chiefdom trajectories in Mesoamerica, Central America, and northern South America Robert Drennan.

  • Editor

    Timothy K. Earle, Northwestern University, Illinois


    Timothy Earle, Kristian Kritiansen, Richard Bradley, Candelario Saenz, Patrick Kirch, Antonio Gilman, Yale Ferguson, Vincas Steponaitis, Gary Feinman, Robert Drennan

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