The Prehistory of Iberia: Debating Early Social Stratification and the State (Routledge Studies in Archaeology)

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9780415885928: The Prehistory of Iberia: Debating Early Social Stratification and the State (Routledge Studies in Archaeology)

The origin and early development of social stratification is essentially an archaeological problem. The impressive advance of archaeological research has revealed that, first and foremost, the pre-eminence of stratified or class society in today’s world is the result of a long social struggle. This volume advances the archaeological study of social organisation in Prehistory, and more specifically the rise of social complexity in European Prehistory. Within the wider context of world Prehistory, in the last 30 years the subject of early social stratification and state formation has been a key subject on interest in Iberian Prehistory.

This book illustrates the differing forms of resistances, the interplay between change and continuity, the multiple paths to and from social complexity, and the ‘failures’ of states to form in Prehistory. It also engages with broader questions, such as: when did social stratification appear in western European Prehistory? What factors contributed to its emergence and consolidation? What are the relationships between the notions of social complexity, social inequality, social stratification and statehood? And what are the archaeological indicators for the empirical analysis of these issues? Focusing on Iberia, but with a permanent connection to the wider geographical framework, this book presents, for the first time, a chronologically comprehensive, up-to-date approach to the issue of state formation in prehistoric Europe.

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About the Author:

María Cruz Berrocal is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Prehistory (CCHS) of the Spanish Higher Council of Scientific Research (CSIC) in Madrid, and has until recently been a MEC/Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of California at Berkeley. Her main field of work is rock art in the context of the beginning of food production economies. She has recently undertaken new research on the prehistoric settlement, rock art, and the rise of social complexity in the Fidji Islands.

Leonardo García Sanjuán is a Senior Lecturer in Prehistory at the University of Sevilla (Spain), and has previously occupied academic positions at the universities of Southampton and Bradford (United Kingdom). His main field of interest is social complexity in the Late Prehistory of Iberia, with a special focus of funerary practices and monumental architecture.

Antonio Gilman, professor emeritus in the Department of Anthropology, University of California at Northridge, is an internationally-known authority in the study of social organisation in Prehistoric Europe. Throughout his career he has authored, co-authored and edited several books on the subject of economic and social organisation among European (especially Iberian) Bronze Age societies.

Review:

"Beyond introducing US students to the Spanish-language archaeology of an important European country where major advances in thinking about prehistory have been relatively recent, the volume is an important introduction to a vibrant tradition of Iberian archaeology that differs from Americanist prehistoric archaeology in being both particularistic and generalizing. Highly recommended." - R. B. Clay, emeritus, University of Kentucky, CHOICE magazine

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