Non-Fiction Books:

The Emergence of Premodern States

New Perspectives on the Development of Complex Societies



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The Emergence of Premodern States
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Like many other sciences, archaeology is experiencing a data deluge. The recent accumulation of accessible data on early urban societies, coupled with the re-emergence of comparative studies, puts modern scholars in a position to make significant theoretical advances concerning the key episode of human social organization that provided the foundations of the contemporary world: the formation of the state. A complex systems approach--pioneered at the Santa Fe Institute--involves fully interdisciplinary explorations of long-debated questions. Can basic quantitative analysis of human social evolution reveal macrocultural processes? Can we understand social cohesion by way of cultural genotypes? And does the emergence of social complexity involve the creation of new potential or the realization of latent human capabilities? In this volume, many of the foremost experts in quantitative archaeology and anthropology leverage innovative methodologies--including agent-based modeling, network analysis, and theoretical applications of evolutionary biology--to push the field in new directions.

Author Biography

JEREMY A. SABLOFF, an archaeologist, is an External Professor and Past President of the Santa Fe Institute and the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania (1964) and his PhD from Harvard University (1969). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Society of Antiquaries, London, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His principal scholarly interests include ancient Maya civilization, the rise of complex societies and cities, the history of archaeology, and the relevance of archaeology in the modern world. PAULA L. W. SABLOFF, an anthropologist, is an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. She received her B.A. from Vassar College (1967) and her M.A. and PhD from Brandeis University (1971 and 1977 respectively). She has taught at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pittsburgh while conducting research in Mexico, the United States and Mongolia. A political anthropologist, her research interests have focused on Mexicans' manipulation of government land classification and Mongolians' changing ideas of democracy and capitalism. For the past five years, she has returned to her first love-archaeology-creating a database in order to compare premodern societies. She is writing papers from this database on kings' modes of risk reduction in war and the political agency of royal women.
Release date Australia
June 18th, 2018
Edited by Jeremy A. Sabloff Edited by Paula L.W. Sabloff
25 Illustrations; Illustrations, black and white
Santa Fe Institute Press
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