Social Complexity and Complex Systems in Archaeology
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Social Complexity and Complex Systems in Archaeology turns to complex systems thinking in search of a suitable framework to explore social complexity in Archaeology.
Social complexity in archaeology is commonly related to properties of complex societies such as states, as opposed to so-called "simple" societies such as tribes or chiefdoms. These conceptualisations of complexity are ultimately rooted in colonial and Eurocentric perspectives with problematic implications for the field of archaeology. This book provides an in-depth conceptualisation of social complexity as the core concept in archaeological and interdisciplinary studies of the past, integrating approaches from complex systems thinking, archaeological theory, social practice theory, and sustainability and resilience science. The book covers a long-term perspective of social change and stability, tracing the full cycle of complexity trajectories, from emergence and development to collapse, regeneration and transformation of communities and societies. It offers a broad vision on social complexity as a core concept for the present and future development of archaeology.
The book is intended to be a valuable resource for students and scholars in the field of archaeology and related disciplines such as history, anthropology, sociology, as well as the natural sciences studying human-environment interactions in the past.
Table of Contents
1.Introduction; 2.The History of Complexity in Archaeology; 3.Conceptualising Social Complexity; 4.Social Complexity Trajectories in Anatolia; 5.Conclusions
Dries Daems is Assistant Professor in Settlement Archaeology and Digital Archaeology at Middle East Technical University. He is also affiliated with the Sagalassos Project at University of Leuven. His research interests include social complexity, agent-based modelling, material studies and human-environment interactions.