Bronze Age Economics

The First Political Economies


Timothy Earle

First Edition • March 1, 2002 • 464 pages


Print ISBN: 9780813338774 • $65.00 USD$47.50 CAN

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This integrated collection of new and newly revised essays by archaeologist Timothy Earle represents both a personal journey and a growing synthesis of how political economies emerged in human societies. Drawing in detail on the cases of chiefdoms in Hawaii, the Andes, and Denmark, Bronze Age Economics documents how intensification of economies, surplus mobilization, and controlled distribution of both staple and prestige goods fundamentally drove the political evolutionary processes that prefigured states. Representing as it does the trajectory of Earle’s lifework, this book fairly encapsulates the history of processual archaeology and social evolutionary theory over the past quarter century.

 Timothy Earle is Professor and Chair of Anthropology at Northwestern and was formerly Professor of Anthropology at UCLA. In addition to numerous edited volumes, his authored books include How Chiefs Came to Power (1997),Chiefdoms: Power, Economy, and Ideology (1991), The Evolution of Human Societies: From Forager Group to Agrarian State (with A Johnson, 1987), Exchange Systems in Prehistory (1977). Earle is a current member of the Executive Committee of the AAA.

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