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An Island Polity
The Archaeology of Exploitation in Melos


Colin Renfrew, Malcolm Wagstaff, John F. Cherry, Robin Torrence, Brian A. Sparkes, Peter Shelford, Donald Davidson, Catriona Tasker, Clive Gamble, Siv Augustson, Jane M. Renfrew, F. Hodson, M. E. Cosgrove, S. E. Warren.
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  • Date Published: January 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521103909

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About the Authors
  • The Greek island of Melos in the Cyclades has been inhabited for at least five thousand years. Two periods of its history are well documented: the late Bronze Age, when it supported an important urban centre at Phylakopi and the late fifth century BC, when as an independent city-state it briefly defied and was then destroyed by the expansionist power of Athens. The case of Melos is thus relevant to the understanding of the processes of early state-formation and of the integration of small-scale societies into larger political units. As the contributors to this volume show, a small island provides a very suitable area - clearly defined, self-contained - in which to examine the processes of social, cultural and economic change and the forces - sometimes gradual and almost imperceptible in their effect, sometimes sudden and dramatic - by which changes are initiated.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521103909
    • length: 376 pages
    • dimensions: 279 x 210 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.85kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: an initial perspective Colin Renfrew and Malcolm Wagstaff
    Part I. The History of Society in Melos:
    2. A preliminary definition of site distribution on Melos John F. Cherry
    3. The earliest prehistory of Melos John F. Cherry and Robin Torrence
    4. Bronze age Melos Colin Renfrew
    5. Classical and Roman Melos Brian A. Sparkes
    6. Post-Roman Melos Malcolm Wagstaff
    Part II. Environmental System and Constraints:
    7. The geology of Melos Peter Shelford
    8. Geomorphological evolution during the late Holocene Donald Davidson and Catriona Tasker
    9. Island resources and their limitations Malcolm Wagstaff and Clive Gamble
    10. Traditional land use Malcolm Wagstaff and Siv Augustson
    Part III. Intra-Systemic Relations:
    11. Settlement and population change Malcolm Wagstaff and John F. Cherry
    12. Early agriculture in Melos Jane M. Renfrew
    13. Animal husbandry, population and urbanisation Clive Gamble
    14. Alternative subsistence strategies Malcolm Wagstaff, Siv Augustson and Clive Gamble
    Part IV. Inter-Systemic Relations:
    15. The obsidian trade Peter Shelford, F. Hodson, M. E. Cosgrove, S. E. Warren and Colin Renfrew
    16. Prehistoric exchange Colin Renfrew
    17. Production and exchange in the classical and Roman periods Brian A. Sparkes
    18. Post-classical exchange Malcolm Wagstaff
    Part V. Integration:
    19. Settlement and resources Malcolm Wagstaff and John F. Cherry
    20. Polity and power: interaction, intensification and exploitation Colin Renfrew

  • Editors

    Colin Renfrew

    J. Malcolm Wagstaff


    Colin Renfrew, Malcolm Wagstaff, John F. Cherry, Robin Torrence, Brian A. Sparkes, Peter Shelford, Donald Davidson, Catriona Tasker, Clive Gamble, Siv Augustson, Jane M. Renfrew, F. Hodson, M. E. Cosgrove, S. E. Warren.

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