Anthropology | Constructing Complexities
P399 | 25441 | Alt


Meets second eight weeks only

Constructing Complexities

A major goal of archaeology has been an attempt to
understand “the rise of complexity”. Yet, it is often
unclear just what is meant by the word “complex”.  If, as
some suggest, the state is actually a form of socio-
political simplification, what do categories like chiefdom
and state really mean? What is the relationship between
religion, identity, ideology,power,practice, rulership,
monumentality, feasting, and complexity? These and similar
questions will be investigated using ethnographic and
archaeological readings on chiefdoms and early states.
Students in this seminar will review, discuss and critically
evaluate approaches to complexity, centrality, heterarchy,
hierarchy, and governance as well as critiques of those
approaches.