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The creation of inequality : how our prehistoric ancestors set the stage for monarchy, slavery, and empire

Author: Kent V Flannery; Joyce Marcus
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. ; London : Harvard University Press, 2012.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Overview: Our early ancestors lived in small groups and worked actively to preserve social equality. As they created larger societies, however, inequality rose, and by 2500 BCE truly egalitarian societies were on the wane. In The Creation of Inequality, Kent Flannery and Joyce Marcus demonstrate that this development was not simply the result of population increase, food surplus, or the accumulation of valuables.  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Kent V Flannery; Joyce Marcus
ISBN: 9780674064690 0674064690
OCLC Number: 758384090
Description: xiii, 631 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Contents: Preface --
Part 1: Starting Out Equal: --
1: Genesis and exodus --
2: Rousseau's "state of nature" --
3: Ancestors and enemies --
4: Why our ancestors had religion and the arts --
5: Inequality without agriculture --
Part 2: Balancing Prestige And Equality: --
6: Agriculture and achieved renown --
7: Ritual buildings of achievement-based societies --
8: Prehistory of the ritual house --
9: Prestige and equality in four Native American societies --
Part 3: Societies That Made Inequality Hereditary: --
10: Rise and fall of hereditary inequality in farming societies --
11: Three sources of power in chiefly societies --
12: From ritual house to temple in the Americas --
13: Aristocracy without chiefs --
14: Temples and inequality in early Mesopotamia --
15: Chiefly societies in our backyard --
16: How to turn rank into stratification: tales of the South Pacific --
Part 4: Inequality In Kingdoms And Empires: --
17: How to create a kingdom --
18: Three of the New World's first-generation kingdoms --
19: Land of the Scorpion King --
20: Black ox hides and golden stools --
21: Nursery of civilization --
22: Graft and imperialism --
23: How new empires learn from old --
Part 5: Resisting Inequality: --
24: Inequality and natural law --
Notes --
Sources of illustrations --
Index.
Responsibility: Kent Flannery, Joyce Marcus.

Abstract:

Flannery and Marcus demonstrate that the rise of inequality was not simply the result of population increase, food surplus, or the accumulation of valuables but resulted from conscious manipulation  Read more...

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This provocative work, likely to become an important contribution to the literature of social and political anthropology, will be of interest both to scholars in the field and to anthropology and Read more...

 
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excellent exposé on the evolvement of inequality

by emtie (WorldCat user published 2012-11-28) Excellent Permalink

Famous archaeologists Flannery and Marcus have assembled a broad body of anthropological literature, which they combine with archaeological studies. They show how clan-based societies in several parts of the world produced first signs of hereditary inequality. Starting dates were different...
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schema:description"Overview: Our early ancestors lived in small groups and worked actively to preserve social equality. As they created larger societies, however, inequality rose, and by 2500 BCE truly egalitarian societies were on the wane. In The Creation of Inequality, Kent Flannery and Joyce Marcus demonstrate that this development was not simply the result of population increase, food surplus, or the accumulation of valuables. Instead, inequality resulted from conscious manipulation of the unique social logic that lies at the core of every human group. A few societies allowed talented and ambitious individuals to rise in prestige while still preventing them from becoming a hereditary elite. But many others made high rank hereditary, by manipulating debts, genealogies, and sacred lore. At certain moments in history, intense competition among leaders of high rank gave rise to despotic kingdoms and empires in the Near East, Egypt, Africa, Mexico, Peru, and the Pacific. Drawing on their vast knowledge of both living and prehistoric social groups, Flannery and Marcus describe the changes in logic that create larger and more hierarchical societies, and they argue persuasively that many kinds of inequality can be overcome by reversing these changes, rather than by violence."@en
schema:description"Preface -- Part 1: Starting Out Equal: -- 1: Genesis and exodus -- 2: Rousseau's "state of nature" -- 3: Ancestors and enemies -- 4: Why our ancestors had religion and the arts -- 5: Inequality without agriculture -- Part 2: Balancing Prestige And Equality: -- 6: Agriculture and achieved renown -- 7: Ritual buildings of achievement-based societies -- 8: Prehistory of the ritual house -- 9: Prestige and equality in four Native American societies -- Part 3: Societies That Made Inequality Hereditary: -- 10: Rise and fall of hereditary inequality in farming societies -- 11: Three sources of power in chiefly societies -- 12: From ritual house to temple in the Americas -- 13: Aristocracy without chiefs -- 14: Temples and inequality in early Mesopotamia -- 15: Chiefly societies in our backyard -- 16: How to turn rank into stratification: tales of the South Pacific -- Part 4: Inequality In Kingdoms And Empires: -- 17: How to create a kingdom -- 18: Three of the New World's first-generation kingdoms -- 19: Land of the Scorpion King -- 20: Black ox hides and golden stools -- 21: Nursery of civilization -- 22: Graft and imperialism -- 23: How new empires learn from old -- Part 5: Resisting Inequality: -- 24: Inequality and natural law -- Notes -- Sources of illustrations -- Index."@en
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