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Order, Legitimacy, and Wealth in Ancient States

Order, Legitimacy, and Wealth in Ancient States


Part of New Directions in Archaeology

Mary Van Buren, Janet Richards, John Baines, Norman Yoffee, David O'Connor, Rosemary A. Joyce, Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, Susan E. Alcock, Bennet Bronson, Elizabeth M. Brumfiel
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  • Date Published: December 2000
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521776714

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About the Authors
  • Three terms, Order, Legitimacy and Wealth, delineate a comparative approach to ancient civilizations initially developed by John Baines, Professor of Egyptology at the University of Oxford, and Norman Yoffee, Professor of Archaeology and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan, in 1992. In an influential paper, they compared and contrasted the nature of social and political power in Egypt and Mesopotamia. This was the first analysis of the impact of wealth and high culture on the development of states. The contributors to the present book, first published in 2000, apply the classic Baines/Yoffee model to a range of ancient states around the world, providing documentary and archaeological evidence on the production and uses of 'high culture', literature and monumental architecture. There are chapters on Mesoamerica, the Andes, the Indus Valley, the Han Dynasty of China, and Greece during the Roman empire, while others expand on the original Egypt-Mesopotamia comparison.

    • Landmark volume on the archaeology of ideology
    • Specialist papers from experts in their field presenting an excellently balanced portfolio of ancient civilizations
    • Well-focused but wide-ranging in its implications, combining well-known respected names and younger writers
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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2000
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521776714
    • length: 178 pages
    • dimensions: 246 x 189 x 10 mm
    • weight: 0.33kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Order, Legitimacy, and Wealth in Ancient States:
    1. Introduction: ideology, wealth, and the comparative study of 'civilizations' Mary Van Buren and Janet Richards
    2. Order, legitimacy, and wealth: setting the terms John Baines and Norman Yoffee
    Part II. Civilizations in Comparative Perspective:
    3. Society and individual in Early Egypt David O'Connor
    4. Modified order, responsive legitimacy, redistributed wealth: Egypt, 2260–1650 BC Janet Richards
    5. Law courts and the mediation of social conflict in ancient Mesopotamia Norman Yoffee
    6. High culture, Mesoamerican civilization, and the classic Maya tradition Rosemary A. Joyce
    7. Political fragmentation and ideological continuity in the Andean highlands Mary Van Buren
    8. Wealth and socio-economic hierarchies of the Indus Valley civilization Jonathan Mark Kenoyer
    9. Classical order, alternative orders, and the uses of nostalgia Susan E. Alcock
    10. Order, legitimacy, and wealth in ancient China Bennet Bronson
    Part III. Conclusions:
    11. The politics of high culture: issues of worth and rank Elizabeth M. Brumfiel.

  • Editors

    Janet Richards, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

    Mary Van Buren, Colorado State University


    Mary Van Buren, Janet Richards, John Baines, Norman Yoffee, David O'Connor, Rosemary A. Joyce, Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, Susan E. Alcock, Bennet Bronson, Elizabeth M. Brumfiel

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