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Social Complexity in Prehistoric Eurasia
Monuments, Metals and Mobility

$112.00 (C)

Bryan Hanks, Katheryn Linduff, Ledmila Koryakova, Michael Frachetti, David Anthony, Andrei Epimakhov, Phil Kohl; Evgenii Chernykh, Han Rubin, Li Xiaocen, David Peterson, Jianjun Mei, Gideon Schelach, Emma Bunker, Laura Popova, Francis Allard, William Honeychurch, Joshua Wright, Chunag Amartuvshin, Jean-Luc Houle, William Fitzhugh
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  • Date Published: August 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521517126

$ 112.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Social Complexity in Prehistoric Eurasia challenges current interpretations of the emergence, development, and decline of social complexity in the steppe region of China and the former Soviet Union. Through a thematic investigation of archaeological patterns ranging from monument construction and use and production and consumption of metals to the nature of mobility among societies, the essays in this volume provide the most up-to-date thinking on social and cultural change in prehistoric Eurasia. Collectively, they challenge broader theoretical trends in Anglo-American archaeology, which have traditionally favored comparative studies of sedentary agricultural societies over mobile pastoralist or agro-pastoralist communities. By highlighting the potential and limitations of comparative studies of social complexity, this volume sets the agenda for future studies of this region of the world. It emphasizes how the unique nature of early steppe societies can contribute to more comprehensive interpretations of social trajectories in world prehistory.

    • Puts forth a new theoretical agenda for the study of the steppe region
    • Includes contributions by some of the leading researchers working in the region today
    • Views Eurasia in relation to its own prehistory, not primarily in relation to other, better known, sedentary societies in Europe and Asia
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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2009
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521517126
    • length: 438 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 159 x 26 mm
    • weight: 0.7kg
    • contains: 93 b/w illus. 21 maps 11 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction Bryan Hanks and Katheryn Linduff
    Part I. Framing Complexity:
    2. Introduction Ledmila Koryakova
    3. Differentiated political landscapes and non-uniform complexity in Bronze Age steppe archaeology Michael Frachetti
    4. Climate change, conflict, and the origins of the Sintashta-Arkaim complex David Anthony
    5. Settlements and necropolises of the Bronze Age of the Urals: opportunities for the reconstruction of social dynamics Andrei Epimakhov
    6. The Maikop singularity: a unique example of the unequal accumulation of wealth on the Bronze Age Eurasian steppes? Phil Kohl
    Part II. Mining, Metallurgy and Trade:
    7. Introduction Katheryn Linduff
    8. Formation of the Eurasian steppe belt of stockbreeding cultures: viewed through the prism of archaeometallurgy and radiocarbon dating Evgenii Chernykh
    9. Modelling early metallurgical production and community organization Bryan Hanks
    10. Technology and exchange: the metallic artifacts excavated in the ancient Dian region of Yunnan province from 5th c. BC to 2nd c. AD Han Rubin and Li Xiaocen
    11. Metal making and social complexity in the Bronze Age Steppes: material culture practices and value David Peterson
    12. Early metallurgy and socio-cultural complexity: a view based on archaeological discoveries in eastern Central Asia Jianjun Mei
    Part III. Frontiers and Border Dynamics:
    13. Introduction Tom Barfield
    14. Violence on the frontiers? Sources of power and socio-political change at the easternmost parts of the Eurasian steppes during the early first millennium BCE Gideon Schelach
    15. First millennium BCE Beifang artifacts as historical documents Emma Bunker
    16. Blurring the boundaries: uncovering the complex interactions between foragers and pastoralists in the Volga-Ural region Laura Popova
    Part IV. Social Power, Monumentality and Mobility:
    17. Introduction Francis Allard
    18. Re-writing monumental landscapes as inner Asian political process William Honeychurch, Joshua Wright and Chunag Amartuvshin
    19. 'Socially integrative facilities' and the emergence of societal complexity on the Mongolian steppe Jean-Luc Houle
    20. Deer stones and khirigsuurs: pre-Scythian Bronze Age ceremonialism and art in northern Mongolia William Fitzhugh.

  • Editors

    Bryan K. Hanks, University of Pittsburgh
    Bryan K. Hanks is assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh and research associate of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. He has been involved in collaborative archaeological research in the Russian Federation since 1998 and has received funding from the National Science Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.

    Katheryn M. Linduff, University of Pittsburgh
    Katheryn M. Linduff is UCIS Professor of Art History and Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the co-editor (with Karen S. Rubinson) of Are All Warriors Male? Gender Roles on the Ancient Eurasian Steppes and (with Sun Yan) Gender and Chinese Archaeology.


    Bryan Hanks, Katheryn Linduff, Ledmila Koryakova, Michael Frachetti, David Anthony, Andrei Epimakhov, Phil Kohl; Evgenii Chernykh, Han Rubin, Li Xiaocen, David Peterson, Jianjun Mei, Gideon Schelach, Emma Bunker, Laura Popova, Francis Allard, William Honeychurch, Joshua Wright, Chunag Amartuvshin, Jean-Luc Houle, William Fitzhugh

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