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The Archaeology of Rank


  • 2 b/w illus. 3 tables
  • Page extent: 224 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 0.41 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: n/a
  • Dewey version: n/a
  • LC Classification: n/a
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Social archaeology
    • Social classes--History
    • Social structure--History

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521612005 | ISBN-10: 0521612004)

Social archaeology is concerned with how one might use the archaeological record of the present to elucidate how social interactions were ordered in a past society. This requires a meaningful model of society, considerable archaeological data, and a reliable connection between them. A major goal of this book is to improve our understanding of one aspect of social archaeology, the inference of status hierarchy. The first section covers what is involved in social inference, and presents ideas on how it may be done reliably. In the following section, the typological models of Elman Service and Morton Fried are used to clarify certain aspects of ranking. The final section draws together a number of insights concerning the recognition of status inequality. These approaches are given systematic arrangement and evaluated in light of the model of social inference. This arrangement clarifies how they relate to each other, making it easier to see how they may be applied in varied real contexts, and stimulates new ideas for more correlations of ranking.

• Accessibly written • A general introduction to social archaeology as well as a more detailed look at the archaeology of rank • Will be of interest to biblical scholars and anthropologists as well as to archaeologists


1. The present study of past society; 2. Social theory and social life; 3. Inequality and social life: a working model; 4. Mortuary data as evidence of ranking; 5. Mortuary data as evidence of ranking; 6. The form and distribution of artifacts; 7. Status, settlements, and structures; 8. Catal Hüyük: a ranked Neolithic town in Anatolia?; Notes; References; Index.


'The book explains the various models of social theory used by archaeologists and provides a coherent review of their respective value in generating inferences from the archaeological record … an important contribution to the field.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

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