Rethinking World-Systems: Diasporas, Colonies, and Interaction in Uruk Mesopotamia

Rethinking World Systems Diasporas Colonies and Interaction in Uruk Mesopotamia The use of world systems theory to explain the spread of social complexity has become accepted practice by both historians and archaeologists Gil Stein now offers the first rigorous test of world syst

  • Title: Rethinking World-Systems: Diasporas, Colonies, and Interaction in Uruk Mesopotamia
  • Author: Gil J. Stein
  • ISBN: 9780816520091
  • Page: 252
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The use of world systems theory to explain the spread of social complexity has become accepted practice by both historians and archaeologists Gil Stein now offers the first rigorous test of world systems as a model in archaeology, arguing that the application of world systems theory to noncapitalist, pre fifteenth century societies distorts our understanding of developmenThe use of world systems theory to explain the spread of social complexity has become accepted practice by both historians and archaeologists Gil Stein now offers the first rigorous test of world systems as a model in archaeology, arguing that the application of world systems theory to noncapitalist, pre fifteenth century societies distorts our understanding of developmental change by overemphasizing the role of external over internal dynamics In this new study, Stein proposes two complementary theoretical frameworks for the study of interregional interaction a distance parity model, which views world systems as simply one factor in a broader range of intersocietal relations, and a trade diaspora model, which explains variation in exchange systems from the perspective of participant groups He tests his models against the archaeological record of Mesopotamian expansion into the Anatolian highlands during the fourth millennium B.C Whereas some scholars have considered this Uruk expansion to be one of the earliest documented world systems, Stein uses data from the site of Hacinebi in southeastern Turkey to support his alternate perspective Comparing economic data from pre and postcontact phases, Stein shows that the Mesopotamians did not dominate the people of this distant periphery Such evidence, argues Stein, shows that we must look closely at the local cultures of peripheries to develop realistic cross cultural models of variation in colonialism, exchange, and secondary state formation in ancient societies By demonstrating that a multitude of factors affect the nature and consequences of intersocietal contacts, his book advocates a much needed balance between recognizing that no society can be understood in complete isolation from its neighbors and assuming the primacy of outside contact in a society s development.

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