In this Book

summary
Is wealth inequality a universal feature of human societies, or did early peoples live an egalitarian existence? How did inequality develop before the modern era? Did inequalities in wealth increase as people settled into a way of life dominated by farming and herding? Why in general do such disparities increase, and how recent are the high levels of wealth inequality now experienced in many developed nations? How can archaeologists tell?

Ten Thousand Years of Inequality addresses these and other questions by presenting the first set of consistent quantitative measurements of ancient wealth inequality. The authors are archaeologists who have adapted the Gini index, a statistical measure of wealth distribution often used by economists to measure contemporary inequality, and applied it to house-size distributions over time and around the world. Clear descriptions of methods and assumptions serve as a model for other archaeologists and historians who want to document past patterns of wealth disparity.

The chapters cover a variety of ancient cases, including early hunter-­gatherers, farmer villages, and agrarian states and empires. The final chapter synthesizes and compares the results. Among the new and notable outcomes, the authors report a systematic difference between higher levels of inequality in ancient Old World societies and lower levels in their New World counterparts.

For the first time, archaeology allows humanity’s deep past to provide an account of the early manifestations of wealth inequality around the world.

Contributors

Nicholas Ames
Alleen Betzenhauser
Amy Bogaard
Samuel Bowles
Meredith S. Chesson
Abhijit Dandekar
Timothy J. Dennehy
Robert D. Drennan
Laura J. Ellyson
Deniz Enverova
Ronald K. Faulseit
Gary M. Feinman
Mattia Fochesato
Thomas A. Foor
Vishwas D. Gogte
Timothy A. Kohler
Ian Kuijt
Chapurukha M. Kusimba
Mary-Margaret Murphy
Linda M. Nicholas
Rahul C. Oka
Matthew Pailes
Christian E. Peterson
Anna Marie Prentiss
Michael E. Smith
Elizabeth C. Stone
Amy Styring
Jade Whitlam

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Half Title, Series Info, Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. 1. Studying Inequality’s Deep Past
  2. Michael E. Smith, Timothy A. Kohler, and Gary M. Feinman
  3. pp. 3-38
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  1. 2. Letting the Gini Out of the Bottle: Measuring Inequality Archaeologically
  2. Christian E. Peterson, Robert D. Drennan
  3. pp. 39-66
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  1. 3. Dreaming Beyond Gini: Methodological Steps Toward a Composite Archaeological Inequality Index
  2. Rahul C. Oka, Nicholas Ames, Meredith S. Chesson, Ian Kuijt, Chapurukha M. Kusimba, Vishwas D. Gogte, Abhijit Dandekar
  3. pp. 67-95
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  1. 4. Testing Hypotheses About Emergent Inequality (Using Gini Coefficients) in a Complex Fisher-Forager Society at the Bridge River Site, British Columbia
  2. Anna Marie Prentiss, Thomas A. Foor, Mary-Margaret Murphy
  3. pp. 96-129
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  1. 5. In and Out of Chains? The Changing Social Contract in the Pueblo Southwest, AD 600–1300
  2. Timothy A. Kohler, Laura J. Ellyson
  3. pp. 130-154
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  1. 6. Steady Inequality in Changing Times: An Examination of Regional Patterns in Hohokam Structure Data
  2. Matthew Pailes
  3. pp. 155-179
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  1. 7. Exploring Measures of Inequality in the Mississippian Heartland
  2. Alleen Betzenhauser
  3. pp. 180-200
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  1. 8. Farming, Inequality, and Urbanization: A Comparative Analysis of Late Prehistoric Northern Mesopotamia and Southwestern Germany
  2. Amy Bogaard, Amy Styring, Jade Whitlam, Mattia Fochesato, Samuel Bowles
  3. pp. 201-229
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  1. 9. The Trajectory of Social Inequality in Ancient Mesopotamia
  2. Elizabeth C. Stone
  3. pp. 230-261
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  1. 10. Assessing Wealth Inequality in the Pre-Hispanic Valley of Oaxaca: Comparative Implications
  2. Gary M. Feinman, Ronald K. Faulseit, and Linda M. Nicholas
  3. pp. 262-288
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  1. 11. Deep Inequality: Summary and Conclusions
  2. Timothy A. Kohler, Michael E. Smith, Amy Bogaard, Christian E. Peterson, Alleen Betzenhauser, Gary M. Feinman, Rahul C. Oka, Matthew Pailes, Anna Marie Prentiss, Elizabeth C. Stone, Timothy J. Dennehy, Laura J. Ellyson
  3. pp. 289-318
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 319-326
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 327-338
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  1. Further Series Titles
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780816538362
Related ISBN
9780816537747
MARC Record
OCLC
1022763393
Pages
352
Launched on MUSE
2018-02-12
Language
English
Open Access
No
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