Storage In Ancient Complex Societies

Author : Linda R. Manzanilla
ISBN : 9781315520957
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 58.80 MB
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The ability to accumulate and store large amounts of goods is a key feature of complex societies in ancient times. Storage strategies reflect the broader economic and political organization of a society and changes in the development of control mechanisms in both administrative and non-administrative—often kinship based—sectors. This is the first volume to examine storage practices in ancient complex societies from a comparative perspective. This volume includes 14 original papers by leading archaeologists from four continents which compare storage systems in three key regions with lengthy traditions of complexity: the ancient Near East, Mesoamerica, and Andes. Storage in Ancient Complex Societies demonstrates the importance of understanding storage for the study of cultural evolution.
Category: Social Science

Ancient Complex Societies

Author : Jennifer C. Ross
ISBN : 9781315305615
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 45.27 MB
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Ancient Complex Societies examines the archaeological evidence for the rise and functioning of politically and socially “complex” cultures in antiquity. Particular focus is given to civilizations exhibiting positions of leadership, social and administrative hierarchies, emerging and already developed complex religious systems, and economic differentiation. Case studies are drawn from around the globe, including Asia, the Mediterranean region, and the American continents. Using case studies from Africa, Polynesia, and North America, discussion is dedicated to identifying what “complex” means and when it should be applied to ancient systems. Each chapter attempts to not only explore the sociopolitical and economic elements of ancient civilizations, but to also present an overview of what life was like for the later population within each system, sometimes drilling down to individual people living their daily lives. Throughout the chapters, the authors address problems with the idea of complexity, the incomparability of cultures, and the inconsistency of archaeological and historical evidence in reconstructing ancient cultures.
Category: Social Science

The Collapse Of Complex Societies

Author : Joseph Tainter
ISBN : 052138673X
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 36.95 MB
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Dr Tainter describes nearly two dozen cases of collapse and reviews more than 2000 years of explanations. He then develops a new and far-reaching theory.
Category: Social Science

The Comparative Archaeology Of Complex Societies

Author : Michael E. Smith
ISBN : 9781139502030
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 53.34 MB
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Part of a resurgence in the comparative study of ancient societies, this book presents a variety of methods and approaches to comparative analysis through the examination of wide-ranging case studies. Each chapter is a comparative study, and the diverse topics and regions covered in the book contribute to the growing understanding of variation and change in ancient complex societies. The authors explore themes ranging from urbanization and settlement patterns, to the political strategies of kings and chiefs, to the economic choices of individuals and households. The case studies cover an array of geographical settings, from the Andes to Southeast Asia. The authors are leading archaeologists whose research on early empires, states, and chiefdoms is at the cutting edge of scientific archaeology.
Category: Social Science

After Collapse

Author : Glenn M. Schwartz
ISBN : 0816529361
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 62.97 MB
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From the Euphrates Valley to the southern Peruvian Andes, early complex societies have risen and fallen, but in some cases they have also been reborn. Prior archaeological investigation of these societies has focused primarily on emergence and collapse. This is the first book-length work to examine the question of how and why early complex urban societies have reappeared after periods of decentralization and collapse. Ranging widely across the Near East, the Aegean, East Asia, Mesoamerica, and the Andes, these cross-cultural studies expand our understanding of social evolution by examining how societies were transformed during the period of radical change now termed Òcollapse.Ó They seek to discover how societal complexity reemerged, how second-generation states formed, and how these re-emergent states resembled or differed from the complex societies that preceded them. The contributors draw on material culture as well as textual and ethnohistoric data to consider such factors as preexistent institutions, structures, and ideologies that are influential in regeneration; economic and political resilience; the role of social mobility, marginal groups, and peripheries; and ethnic change. In addition to presenting a number of theoretical viewpoints, the contributors also propose reasons why regeneration sometimes does not occur after collapse. A concluding contribution by Norman Yoffee provides a critical exegesis of ÒcollapseÓ and highlights important patterns found in the case histories related to peripheral regions and secondary elites, and to the ideology of statecraft. After Collapse blazes new research trails in both archaeology and the study of social change, demonstrating that the archaeological record often offers more clues to the Òdark agesÓ that precede regeneration than do text-based studies. It opens up a new window on the past by shifting the focus away from the rise and fall of ancient civilizations to their often more telling fall and rise. CONTRIBUTORS Bennet Bronson, Arlen F. Chase, Diane Z. Chase, Christina A. Conlee, Lisa Cooper, Timothy S. Hare, Alan L. Kolata, Marilyn A. Masson, Gordon F. McEwan, Ellen Morris, Ian Morris, Carlos Peraza Lope, Kenny Sims, Miriam T. Stark, Jill A. Weber, Norman Yoffee
Category: Social Science

The Ancient Maya

Author : Robert J. Sharer
ISBN : 0804748179
Genre : History
File Size : 48.79 MB
Format : PDF
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The rich findings of recent exploration and research are incorporated in this completely revised and greatly expanded sixth edition of this standard work on the Maya people. New field discoveries, new technical advances, new successes in the decipherment of Maya writing, and new theoretical perspectives on the Maya past have made this new edition necessary.
Category: History

Beyond Collapse

Author : Ronald K. Faulseit
ISBN : 9780809333998
Genre : History
File Size : 47.37 MB
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This book interprets how ancient civilizations responded to various stresses, including environmental change, warfare, and the fragmentation of political institutions. It focuses on what happened during and after the decline of once powerful regimes, and posits that they experienced social resilience and transformation instead of collapse.
Category: History

Ancient Maya Commoners

Author : Jon C. Lohse
ISBN : 9780292778146
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 34.5 MB
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Much of what we currently know about the ancient Maya concerns the activities of the elites who ruled the societies and left records of their deeds carved on the monumental buildings and sculptures that remain as silent testimony to their power and status. But what do we know of the common folk who labored to build the temple complexes and palaces and grew the food that fed all of Maya society? This pathfinding book marshals a wide array of archaeological, ethnohistorical, and ethnographic evidence to offer the fullest understanding to date of the lifeways of ancient Maya commoners. Senior and emerging scholars contribute case studies that examine such aspects of commoner life as settlement patterns, household organization, and subsistence practices. Their reports cover most of the Maya area and the entire time span from Preclassic to Postclassic. This broad range of data helps resolve Maya commoners from a faceless mass into individual actors who successfully adapted to their social environment and who also held primary responsibility for producing the food and many other goods on which the whole Maya society depended.
Category: Social Science

The Cambridge History Of Ancient China

Author : Michael Loewe
ISBN : 0521470307
Genre : History
File Size : 20.17 MB
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A survey of the cultural history of pre-Imperial China. Historians and archaeologists cover the Shang, Western Zhou, Spring and Autumn, Warring States, Neolithic background, language, intellectual history, relations with central Asia, and the debts of the Qin and Han empires to these periods. There are chapters on institutional history, based on both traditional and palaeographic literature, and on material culture.
Category: History

Why Did Ancient Civilizations Fail

Author : Scott A J Johnson
ISBN : 9781315512884
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 58.32 MB
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Ideas abound as to why certain complex societies collapsed in the past, including environmental change, subsistence failure, fluctuating social structure and lack of adaptability. Why Did Ancient Civilizations Fail? evaluates the current theories in this important topic and discusses why they offer only partial explanations of the failure of past civilizations. This engaging book offers a new theory of collapse, that of social hubris. Through an examination of Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Roman, Maya, Inca, and Aztec societies, Johnson persuasively argues that hubris blinded many ancient peoples to evidence that would have allowed them to adapt, and he further considers how this has implications for contemporary societies. Comprehensive and well-written, this volume serves as an ideal text for undergraduate courses on ancient complex societies, as well as appealing to the scholar interested in societal collapse.
Category: Social Science