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Beyond Chiefdoms
Pathways to Complexity in Africa


Part of New Directions in Archaeology

Susan Keech Mcintosh, Aidan Southall, Ann B. Stahl, Roderick J. Mcintosh, Raymond N. Asombang, Igor Kopytoff, Nicholas David, Judy Sterner, James Denbow, Peter Robertshaw, David L. Schoenbrun, Pierre de Maret, Jan Vansina
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  • Date Published: November 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521022699

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About the Authors
  • Recent critiques of neoevolutionary formulations that focus primarily on the development of powerful hierarchies have called for broadening the empirical base for complex society studies. Redressing the neglect of sub-Saharan examples in comparative discussions on complex society, this book considers how case material from the region can enhance our understanding of the nature, origins and development of complexity. The archaeological, historical and anthropological case materials are relevant to a number of recent concerns, revealing how complexity has emerged and developed in a variety of ways. Contributors engage important theoretical issues, including the continuing influence of deeply embedded evolutionary notions in archaeological concepts of complexity, the importance of alternative modes of complex organization such as flexible hierarchies, multiple overlapping hierarchies, and horizontal differentiation, and the significance of different forms of power. The distinguished list of contributors include historians, archaeologists and anthropologists.

    • A distinguished list of contributors from archaeology, anthropology and history
    • Provides both case studies and theoretical discussions and critiques of archaeological approaches to complexity
    • Reintroduces an African perspective in archaeological theorizing about the emergence and development of complex society
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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2005
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521022699
    • length: 188 pages
    • dimensions: 246 x 190 x 10 mm
    • weight: 0.345kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 12 maps 7 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Pathways to complexity: an African perspective Susan Keech McIntosh
    2. The segmentary state and the ritual phase in political economy Aidan Southall
    3. Perceiving variability in time and space: the evolutionary mapping of African societies Ann B. Stahl
    4. Western representations of urbanism and invisible African towns Roderick J. McIntosh
    5. Modelling political organization in large scale settlement clusters: a case study from the inland Niger Delta Susan Keech McIntosh
    6. Sacred centres and urbanisation in West Central Africa Raymond N. Asombang
    7. Permutations in patrimonialism and populism: the Aghem chiefdoms of Western Cameroon Igor Kopytoff
    8. Wonderful society: the Burgess shale creatures, Mandara polities, and the nature of prehistory Nicholas David and Judy Sterner
    9. Material culture and the dialectics of identity in the Kalahari: AD 700–1700 James Denbow
    10. Seeking and keeping power in Bunyora-Kitara, Uganda Peter Robertshaw
    11. The (in)visible roots of Bunyoro-Kitara and Buganda in the Lakes Region:
    800–1300 David L. Schoenbrun
    12. The power of symbols and the symbols of power through time: probing the Luba past Pierre de Maret
    13. Pathways of political development in Equatorial Africa and neo-evolutionary theory Jan Vansina.

  • Editor

    Susan Keech McIntosh, Rice University, Houston


    Susan Keech Mcintosh, Aidan Southall, Ann B. Stahl, Roderick J. Mcintosh, Raymond N. Asombang, Igor Kopytoff, Nicholas David, Judy Sterner, James Denbow, Peter Robertshaw, David L. Schoenbrun, Pierre de Maret, Jan Vansina

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