Skip to main content

Full text of "archaeology of complexity"

See other formats


Robert Chapman 

II Routledge 

H^^ Ta^or fit Francis Group 

Also available as a printed book 

see title verso for ISBN details 


Archaeologies of Complexity addresses the nature of contemporary 
archaeology and the study of social change, and debates the transi- 
tion from perceived simple, egalitarian societies to the complex 
power structures and divisions of our modern world. 

Since the eighteenth century, archaeologists have examined com- 
plexity in terms of successive types of societies, from early bands, 
tribes and chiefdoms to states; through stages of social evolution, 
including 'savagery', 'barbarism' and 'civilization', to the present 
state of complexity and inequality. The book explains the often 
ambiguous terms of 'complexity', 'hierarchy' and 'inequality' and 
provides a critical account of the Anglo-American research of the last 
forty years which has heavily influenced the subject. 

The author challenges the established arguments, supporting a 
radical alternative analysis of early state societies with a detailed case 
study of the later prehistoric societies of the western Mediterranean. 
He stresses the need for a more even engagement between Anglo- 
American and other archaeologists on issues of archaeological theory 
and practice. The result is a fresh and engaging look at theories of 
social complexity and the relevance of archaeology to modern society. 

Robert Chapman is Professor of Archaeology at the University of 


Robert Chapman 

n Routledge 

jj>^^ Taylor &. Francis Group 

First published 2003 

by Routledge 

1 1 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE 

Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada 

by Routledge 

29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001 

Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group 

This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2003. 

© 2003 Robert Chapman 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or 

reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic, 

mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter 

invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any 

information storage or retrieval system, without permission in 

writing from the publishers. 

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data 
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library 

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data 

Chapman, Robert, 1949- 

Archaeologies of complexity / Robert Chapman. 

p. cm. 

Includes bibliographical references (p. ) and index. 

1. Social archaeology. 2. Social change. I. Title. 

CC72.4 .C47 2003 

930.1 -dc21 


ISBN 0-203-45177-5 Master e-book ISBN 

ISBN 0-203-45757-9 (Adobe eReader Format) 
ISBN 0-415-27307-2 (hbk) 
ISBN 0-415-27308-0 (pbk) 

For Jo and Chris 


List of illustrations viii 

List of tables x 

Preface xi 

Acknowledgements xii 

1 A complex and unequal world: knowledge, 

relevance and experience 1 

2 Archaeological theory and practice: from the 

outside looking in 12 

3 Models of society and social change: from the 

inside looking out 33 

4 Matters of terminology: back to basics 71 

5 A class act: representing the prehistoric past of 
south-east Spain 101 

6 The uses and abuses of complexity: prehistoric 

societies in the west Mediterranean 164 

7 Complex archaeologies and archaeologies of 
complexity 187 

Bibliography 1 99 

Index 231 


3.1 Group-oriented chiefdoms of Late Neolithic and 

Early Bronze Age Wessex 40 

3.2 Three-level and four-level decision-making 

hierarchies in the Susiana Plain 48 

4.1 Central mounds and plazas of Cahokia 89 

4.2 Monks Mound, Cahokia 90 

4.3 Four-level settlement hierarchy in the Ayacucho valley 92 

5.1 Map of south-east Spain showing the main sites 
mentioned in the text 103 

5.2 Map of the Vera basin showing the main sites 
mentioned in the text 104 

5.3 The eroded landscape of the middle and lower 

Aguas valley 105 

5.4 The hill of Gatas in the foothills of the Sierra Cabrera 111 

5.5 Vertical view of an area excavation of an Argaric 

house at Gatas 112 

5.6 Population change in the Vera Basin from f.4000 BC 

to the present day 121 

5.7 Location of metalworking at Los Millares 127 

5.8 Location of metalworking and lithic production 

areas in Fort 1, Los Millares 128 

5.9 Argaric settlement at El Oficio 132 

5.10 Relation of site size to areas of dry and wet farming 

within 2km of Argaric sites in the Vera basin 134 

5.11 Agricultural production at Gatas during occupation 
phases 1—6 136 

5.12 Grave goods in tomb 9 at Fuente Alamo 145 

5.13 Double burial in tomb 37 at Gatas 147 

5.14 Silver diadem associated with an adult female at El 

Argar 148 



5.15 Argaric halberds 149 

5.16 Maximum, mean and minimum sea water 
temperatures for the Almeria coast 154 

5.17 Site territories for Fuente Alamo and Gatas 157 

6.1 Map of Copper Age fortified settlements in Iberia 168 

6.2 Copper Age monumental enclosures at La Pijotilla 

and Marroquies Bajos 170 


3.1 Ten meanings of 'agency' 66 

5.1 Copper Age and Argaric metalwork in south-east 

Spain 129 

5.2 Animal bone weights at Gatas and Fuente Alamo 133 

5.3 Frequencies of Copper Age and Argaric metalwork 

in south-east Spain 139 

5.4 Evidence of different stages of metalworking on 

Argaric settlements 141 

5.5 Lines of palaeoenvironmental evidence for south- 
east Spain 152 


This book addresses two main themes, the nature of contemporary 
archaeology and the study of social change, especially towards what is 
called increasing complexity. It stems from the experiences of teach- 
ing archaeology in my own country and practising archaeological 
research in another one. The effect of these combined experiences has 
been to make me think about (a) the nature of archaeological theory 
and its relation to practice, (b) the relevance of what I do as an 
archaeologist to the contemporary world, and (c) how we approach 
the study of past societies. Although the case study is taken from the 
west Mediterranean, I have tried to make clear the implications for 
specialists in other areas and periods. I have also adopted a style that 
I hope makes the book easily accessible to students who want to 
learn about archaeological theory and social change in an historical 
context. In this way, I aim to encourage a greater awareness of 
the more complex ways in which these subjects have been studied 
during the last four decades, and to escape from the 'linear evolu- 
tion' model of paradigm change that has dominated archaeology. In 
addition, I add my voice to those who encourage a more even 
engagement between the Anglo-American world and 'other' archae- 
ologies, especially those of countries in which we may practise our 
archaeology. The result is, I hope, both interesting and challenging 
to the reader. 


I have written this book within two physical and intellectual con- 
texts. First, I am grateful to my colleagues in the Department of 
Archaeology at the University of Reading for providing the daily 
environment in which to work and to think, as well as the students 
whom I have taught the rudiments of archaeological theory and 
Mediterranean prehistory. The opportunity to begin preparing and 
writing the book was provided by a sabbatical year in 1998—99, 
supported by the Research Endowment Trust Fund of the University 
and the strong backing of Michael Fulford. I would also like to 
thank Roberta Gilchrist and Heinrich Harke for relieving me of 
some administrative responsibilities during the completion of the 
book. Margaret Matthews kindly prepared the illustrations. 

Second, I warmly thank all Spanish colleagues who have collabor- 
ated with me, sent me copies of their publications, shared their ideas 
with me and, not least, entertained me over the years. In particular I 
thank Pedro Castro, Trinidad Escoriza, Silvia Gili, Vicente Lull, 
Rafael Mico, Cristina Rihuete, Roberto Risch and Maria Encarna 
Sanahuja, not forgetting Teresa Sanz and Montserrat Menasanch, for 
their endless support, stimulus and friendship. Their collective 
spirit is a wonderful counter to the competitive individualism that 
pervades so much of the academic world. Following Marx's prin- 
ciple, each gives of his/her abilities towards each according to his/her 
needs. I would also like to thank the numerous specialists who have 
worked with the 'equipo' in the Vera Basin and whose publications 
are cited in this book. In particular, Jane Buikstra has been with us 
since the beginning of the Gatas project. 

I thank Vicente Lull, Rafael Mico and Steven Mithen for reading 
and commenting on draft chapters. I have tried, wherever possible, 
to take their advice and criticism, but in some cases it would require 
the writing of another book! The editorial staff at Routledge has 



been both encouraging and patient and I thank Vicky Peters, Julene 
Barnes, Polly Osborn and Richard Stoneman. 

Lastly I thank my family, Jan, Jo and Chris, for their support and 
tolerance of my interest in the past and the time investment that 
teaching, administration and research demands of modern academ- 
ics. I dedicate this book, with love, to Jo and Chris. 



Knowledge, relevance and experience 

We live in a complex and unequal world, a world without historical 
precedent. During the last two million years, successive human spe- 
cies have colonized the planet, and during the last five decades our 
species has begun the physical exploration of space. In the course of 
human history, the decisions which affect us have been taken at 
increasing distances from our daily lives: autonomy has been sur- 
rendered to, and power appropriated by, regional and national gov- 
ernments. Out of the first states five and a half thousand years ago 
grew the first empires, mobilizing and exploiting human labour and 
material goods across regions many times the size of the original 
states. From the fifteenth century ad, European colonists annexed 
land and peoples on other continents. As recently as the 1950s our 
world atlases were a collage of colours, symbolizing the empires of 
European nation states. The leaders of these states took political 
decisions affecting the lives of millions around the globe, and fought 
two world wars in the last century. Capitalism accentuated inequal- 
ities, both within nation states and between those states and their 
colonies. Although we now live, with the exception of a few 
enclaves, islands and promontories, in a post-colonial world, changes 
in technology, politics, culture and the economy mean that our lives 
are governed increasingly at the global scale. 

The concept of globalization is the subject of much debate in the 
social sciences. At a cultural level, changes as diverse as mass tour- 
ism, consumerism, and modern communications based on informa- 
tion technology reduce diversity in the world and enhance belief in a 
'global consciousness' (Turner 1994: 8—9) among dominant Western 
interest groups. In this new millennium it may be possible for tour- 
ists in any city in the world to eat in a McDonald's or a Pizza Hut, 
buy the same designer label clothes and get their CDs from a Virgin 
megastore. Once inside these identical microenvironments, such 


homogenization means that these tourists could be anywhere: they 
can travel without travelling and continue to support Western eco- 
nomic interests. Such is the power of commodification that, it has 
been argued, the main threat to religious faiths such as Islam 'is 
going to be brought about by Tina Turner and Coca-Cola and not by 
rational arguments and rational inspection of presuppositions and 
the understanding of Western secularism' (Turner 1994: 9—10). The 
irony, of course, is that faced with this choice, many of us in the 
West might be tempted to reach for the Koran! 

Cultural globalization supports the homogenization of behaviour 
and taste. Individual parts of the current world system are also 
linked by economic globalization, with the creation of a global 
financial system based on electronic money. Each day we follow the 
trail of such money through the East Asian, London and New York 
financial markets, as stocks and shares, as well as national currencies, 
rise and fall in relation to the confidence of such markets. Every- 
thing is interconnected (an important part of any definition of com- 
plexity). The market is one. The fall from grace of the East Asian 
'Tiger' economies, followed by speculation on the state of the Chi- 
nese and Brazilian economies in 1998, sent tremors around the mar- 
kets and terrified investors. This autonomous financial system, with 
its banks controlling Third World debt and confidence bolstered or 
undermined by the views of financiers and speculators, has dire con- 
sequences for the world's political order: 'the increasing powers of 
co-ordination lodged within the world's financial system have 
emerged to some degree at the expense of the power of the nation 
state to control capital flow and, hence, its own fiscal and monetary 
policy' (Harvey 1989: 165). Global capitalism has added 'money 
power' to the control of the means of production (Harvey 1989: 
347). The worldwide domination of neo-liberal economics in the 
last two decades has elevated business over politics and multi- 
national corporations over national politicians and governments: 
for example, of the 100 largest world economies, 51 are such 
corporations and 49 are nation states (Hertz 2001: 7). 

Not surprisingly, the world of today is one with greater inequal- 
ities, both in the West and between it and the rest of the world. The 
crippling cost of Third World debt prevents much needed invest- 
ment in health and education. The United Nations Human Develop- 
ment Report published in 1999 cites the case of Tanzania, where the 
costs of repaying such debt are nine times greater than spending on 
health and four times greater than spending on education (Independ- 
ent, 12 July 1999). Companies seek to reduce labour and wage costs, 


in order to maximize competitive profits. Productive labour is con- 
tracted out to the Third World and poorly paid, temporary 
employment ('Mcjobs') has increased in the West. Figures on the 
world's top 100 transnational corporations from 1990 to 1997 show 
that their assets have increased by a staggering 288 per cent, while 
in contrast their employees have increased by less than 9 per cent 
(Klein 2000: 261). The richest 1 per cent of the North American 
population owns 40 per cent of the country's wealth (Hertz 2001: 
45). The rise in economic inequality since the collapse of Commun- 
ist states and the introduction of free market capitalism in the Soviet 
Union and eastern Europe has been the fastest on record (Callinicos 
2000: 2). 

Since the Thatcher and Reagan years of the 1980s the Western 
world has become awash with millionaires and the imbalance 
between rich and poor is now the greatest in modern times. Cal- 
linicos (2000: 1) also cites the 1999 United Nations Human Develop- 
ment Report to document this disparity: the net worth of the 200 
richest people in the world in 1998 equalled the income of a stag- 
gering 41 per cent of world population. The number of millionaires 
in Britain rose from 6,600 in 1993 to 47,300 in 1999, and it is 
predicted that there will be some 150,000 in 2002. Most of this 
growth is based on the stock market, executive stock option 
schemes, information technology, the media, leisure and fashion. At 
the same time two out of every five children in the United Kingdom 
are born into poverty, and some 400,000 people are homeless. The 
estimated combined wealth of forty entertainers in the United 
Kingdom is equivalent to the national debts of either Burundi or 
Chad. There is also an 'embedded structure of inequality' (Callinicos 
2000: 6) that serves to undermine belief in wage mobility and the 
potential for economic 'advancement' based on the free market in 
Western economies. One hundred and fifty years ago, Marx and 
Engels condemned the 'icy water of egotistical calculation' (1998: 
37) and the 'naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation' (1998: 38) 
of nineteenth-century capitalism. These harsh judgements have lost 
little of their force or relevance, in spite of changes in historical 
context and scale of analysis. 

Of course, if it were not for the machine, for technology, there 
would be no capitalism. Digital technologies are at the heart of the 
revolution in global communication, underpinning the financial 
markets and enabling access to a staggering pool of worldwide 
information. We live in the era of the nerd. The appallingly 
rich nerds and their transnational corporations get more out of the 


Internet than does the Third World. Once again, inequality rules. 
For postmodernists, digital technologies signify a move towards 
greater equality, towards 'democratization', as information becomes 
widely disseminated and individuals and groups possess the ability 
to develop alternative views. This liberating 'multivocality' (to give 
it its much vaunted name) 'allows special interest groups to form 
and create new identities and local meanings' (Hodder 1999: 151). 
Unfortunately for this idealistic vision, access to information tech- 
nology, and hence to information, is restricted, even within the 
developed countries (Hodder 1999: 151—2), thus adding another 
inequality in the contemporary world. Although it has been esti- 
mated that some 100 million computers are linked to the Internet, 
they are accessible to only 2.4 per cent of the world's population 
(Callinicos 2000: 8). While a North American can use one month's 
salary to buy a computer, a Bangladeshi needs the savings from eight 
years' work to achieve the same aim (United Nations Human Develop- 
ment Report, cited in the Independent, 12 July 1999). Low levels of 
literacy across the planet exacerbate such inequalities. 

Complexity, evolution and archaeology 

How has this complex and unequal world developed? Have inequal- 
ities always existed in human societies or was there an original state 
of equality, natural to our species? These questions are among those 
that have exercised historical and social scientists since the eight- 
eenth century. As Bruce Trigger has pointed out, the development 
of complexity in human societies has been tied in to the concept of 
evolution during modern times, given the concern of evolution with 
'understanding directionality as a major characteristic of human his- 
tory' (1998a: 10). Trigger goes on to argue that 'this directionality 
involves an overall tendency towards creating larger, more internally 
differentiated, and more complexly articulated structures that 
require greater per capita expenditure of energy for their operation' 
(1998a: 10). This link between complexity and evolution can be 
seen clearly in the arguments of the nineteenth-century father of 
modern sociology, Herbert Spencer. 

The cosmos, plant and animal life, and human society had 
evolved in that order from simple, homogenous beginnings 
into increasingly differentiated, more complexly organised, 
and more intricately articulated entities. . . . Societies that 
were more complex and better integrated were able to 


prosper at the expense of less complex ones, just as human 
individuals and groups who were better adapted to social 
life supplanted those who were less well adapted. 

(Trigger 1998a: 57) 

Here, then, is one clear source of increasing inequalities, in the abil- 
ity of the 'more complex' to dominate the 'less complex', as societies 
evolve from the local to the regional, continental and global levels. 

The concept of social evolution through stages towards increasing 
complexity was present in European thought before Darwin pub- 
lished The Origin of Species in 1859: as has been pointed out often 
(e.g. Harris 1968), evolution was a social concept before it became a 
biological one. Already in the eighteenth century, Enlightenment 
philosophers were using the observations of missionaries and 
explorers to arrange non-European societies in sequences of increas- 
ing complexity. Scholars such as Montesquieu and Turgot con- 
structed evolutionary stages from hunting, through pastoral, to 
agricultural societies. Others, like Miller, examined the evolution of 
institutions (for example, the family) rather than societies. Examples 
of these 'conjectural histories' became even more prominent in the 
nineteenth century, whether comparing whole societies, or social 
institutions, legal systems, kinship systems, or knowledge and belief 
systems (e.g. Trigger 1998a: 74-7; Burrow 1968; Harris 1968). 

Underlying all of these evolutionary sequences was the 
Enlightenment belief in progress, with greater complexity or social 
evolution being equated with progress towards modernity. The 
clearest touchstone of increasing complexity was technology, as seen 
in the emerging ethnographic record, and in the distant past 
revealed by the new discipline of archaeology. From Thomsen's cre- 
ation of the Three Age System, through the refinements and sub- 
divisions of Lubbock, Montelius, Reinecke, Dechelette and others, 
technology provided the best-preserved marker of social evolution. 
In the hands of Lewis Henry Morgan, technology was tied into pro- 
duction in his three-stage evolutionary scheme, from savagery to 
barbarism to civilization, which became a major influence on devel- 
oping Marxist thought through the work of Friedrich Engels 
(1972). By the 1930s Soviet scholars were using a series of evo- 
lutionary stages from pre-class to class and classless societies, 
although now technology was subsumed within the famous five 
modes of production (Bloch 1985). Another tradition of evolution- 
ary thought, although severely ruptured in the early nineteenth cen- 
tury, revived in the cultural evolutionism of the 1950s and 1960s. 



Technology remained a key to the capture of energy which marked 
the more 'successful' and complex cultures, but greater emphasis 
was placed upon social institutions, and especially upon the evolu- 
tion of societies through stages from the 'simplest' hunters and 
gatherers to the more 'complex' states. 

One of the great achievements of archaeology has been to con- 
struct history, and to replace conjectural history. Whatever specula- 
tions there may be about the forms taken by societies at successive 
stages, or periods, of their history, whatever differences of opinion 
there might be about any general sequence of evolution (e.g. unilin- 
ear, multilinear, convergent, divergent, parallel, etc.), and whatever 
the causal mechanisms championed by individual scholars, it is the 
archaeological record which holds the key to the study of long-term 
changes in complexity and inequality. 

The rationality that was one basis of the Enlightenment has been 
put to good use to construct a human past. At the same time, this 
rationality has neither removed 'the irrationalities of myth, religion, 
superstition', nor prevented 'the arbitrary use of power' (Harvey 
1989: 12). Indeed the idealistic belief in progress that was another 
basis of the Enlightenment has been severely dented by the experi- 
ence of armed conflict and ethnic cleansing in the twentieth century. 
For some, such as the biologist Stephen Jay Gould, 'progress is a 
noxious, culturally embedded, untestable, nonoperational idea that 
must be replaced if we wish to understand the patterns of history' 
(cited in Lewin 1993: 139). For others, such as Bruce Trigger, our 
understanding of human societies, based on two centuries of archae- 
ology and anthropology, has enabled us to discount the automatic 
association of increased complexity with general progress, and affirm 
that 'technological progress has sustained an extraordinary increase 
in human numbers and has enabled human beings — at least in the 
short run — to dominate and exploit the world's ecosystem' (1998a: 
260). But what of the long term, which, after all, is the preserve of 
archaeology, and indeed, our own future as a species? Technology 
may support larger populations, but its appropriation has enhanced 
the inequalities between them. 

These are serious issues that lie at the heart of the critique of 
modernism by postmodernists and others, for whom such notions as 
progress and evolution are ethnocentric: as such they mark the 
persistence of the intellectual legacy of racism, colonialism and 
imperialism and the denigration of cultural diversity. The concept 
of complexity has also come under close scrutiny. Michael Rowlands 
has argued that it is Eurocentric, and that 'the meta-narrative of 


simple to complex is a dominant ideology that organizes the writing 
of contemporary world prehistory in favour of a modernizing ethos 
and the primacy of the West' (1988: 36). According to Rowlands, 
the key traits that mark the attainment of complexity (e.g. cities, 
the state, writing, bureaucracy, social stratification, and long- 
distance trade) have been selected because of their importance in 
the development of European modernity (1988: 32). This simple- 
complex duality, a creation of modernism, underlies many other 
contemporary disciplines besides archaeology. For Shanks and Tilley 
complexity was 'ideologically loaded' (1987a: 164): the use of terms 
such as 'simple' and 'complex' implied 'superior' and 'inferior', the 
former being valued at the expense of the latter (1987a: 163—4). 

But if we turn to the long-term record of archaeology, there is, I 
think, no doubt that the human societies which inhabit this planet 
have become more complex (in the sense of interconnectedness) and 
more unequal, both within individual societies and at the level of 
global relations. This is a gross trend, superimposed on shorter-term 
records of evolution and devolution, of 'rise' and 'fall' of more com- 
plex societies such as the earliest states, of change at different rates 
and scales, or to put it more grandly, of history. There have been 
many different forms of society, as there are today, and complexity 
should not be conceived as the ultimate goal of social evolution. 
Indeed the simple— complex duality which occupies Rowlands is 
itself a simplification which obscures this variety of social forms and 
the sequences of change visible in the archaeological record in differ- 
ent parts of the world. It should not be an aim of archaeologists to 
classify past societies as either 'simple' or 'complex'. When Anglo- 
American archaeologists talk of 'complex societies', they are using a 
kind of shorthand, a device for focusing on societies which are more 
like 'us'. The emergence of such societies is thought to be significant 
in the history of our species. Rather than a discredited piece of mod- 
ernism, is it not inevitable that we look to identify and understand 
such major social changes in our past? 

Of course, the criteria that we use to identify changes — such as 
the emergence of complex societies — in the past are chosen in the 
present, in historically determined contexts. The term 'complex' 
may be defined in different ways, and the criteria by which complex- 
ity can be materialized may differ between societies. This is not to 
advocate relativism, but to recognize the divergence of world 
archaeology as practised today, and our greater understanding of the 
use of material culture in everyday social practices. 

Contemporary studies of complexity are, then, the latest in a long 



line of such studies, beginning with the conjectural histories of the 
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Unlike these predecessors, we 
are dealing with an empirical record, that of archaeology, and can 
trace sequences, traditions, different social forms and different 
materializations of complexity and inequality. The record of com- 
plexity has become more complex! It also permeates disciplines such 
as ecology and biology. Across the disciplines there is much talk of 
'complex systems' (e.g. McGlade and van der Leeuw 1997), and of 
'Complexity Theory', which, it is claimed, can unify the human and 
natural sciences, and which also makes use of archaeological data 
(Lewin 1993). In this sense, archaeology is argued to be making a 
significant contribution to the understanding of all living systems. 

Knowledge and relevance 

But what does it matter that archaeologists and other researchers are 
studying complexity in such systems? Surely, one might argue, an 
understanding of the archaeological record is not going to change 
the world? Despite the idealistic commitment of some (e.g. Shanks 
and Tilley 1987a), is not change in the 'real' world in the hands of 
the financiers, the entrepreneurs, the military-industrial complex, 
and the transnational corporations? Is not the message of globaliza- 
tion one of despair and hopelessness? While the intellectual talks of 
knowledge and truth, power in the real world is surely based on the 
maxim of the former American Secretary of State, Alexander Haig: 
'if you've got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow'?! 
We are aware, as Marx intended, that capitalism is a product of 
history, but this knowledge has not removed capitalism and all its 
inequalities. Is not knowledge powerless? 

A cynic (perhaps self-defined as a 'realist') would answer 'yes' to 
most of these questions. For him/her, archaeology is a pastime, a 
personal, sometimes romantic, voyage of discovery, a way of satisfy- 
ing curiosity about one's ancestors, but in no way a means for action 
in the present. And yet knowledge can be a source of power. Why 
else have dictators and despots tried to control knowledge by 
imprisoning and exiling academics and teachers (as in the Chinese 
cultural revolution of the 1960s), or by burning books (as in Nazi 
Germany)? Is not a sound knowledge of the history of our species an 
effective counter both to creationism and fundamentalism, let alone 
to racial or ethnic prejudice? To understand that ethnicity is not 
inherent in human nature, nor unchanging through time, is a know- 
ledge which is lacking in many areas of the world today, at the cost 



of thousands of lives. To understand how inequality is created and 
maintained is a basis for critical thought and action. To understand 
that there are 'other' ways of organizing society and life, and that 
gross inequality and exploitation are not part of some 'natural order', 
can provide the basis for political action and personal empowerment 
in daily life. 

The past as 'the heritage' is already appropriated and funded by 
governments, and by cultural and ethnic minorities, to express unity 
and difference (see Hodder 1999: 159). It is appropriated by all 
manner of 'alternative' voices, including ecofeminist goddess wor- 
shippers and New Age groups (see Hodder 1999; Meskell 1998). 
Indeed, one of the fascinating things about archaeology is that each 
year another group or individual with no training in, or critical 
knowledge of, the discipline feels free to voice opinions which make 
popular television programmes but outrage and dismay professional 
archaeologists. We would not dream of marching into engineering 
or neuro-surgery and claiming to have discovered the solution to 
problems that puzzle practitioners of these disciplines. Books on lost 
continents, on Atlantis, on prehistoric goddess worship, reach wider 
markets than anything published by professional archaeologists. The 
past is appropriated, whether we like it or not, and we should stand 
up for rationality, and for what we know and can demonstrate about 
the past. We cannot transform contemporary power relations and 
inequalities by archaeology alone, but we must not stand apart from 
the real world and allow the appropriation of pasts that are just plain 

This book as experience 

If we accept that complexity and inequalities of all kinds (racial, 
ethnic, gender, class, etc.) are critical problems in the world today, 
and that the past offers one avenue for their understanding, then 
there is a basis for relevant archaeological research. Complexity and 
inequality have been studied in both prehistoric and historic periods 
of the past; their material manifestations, whether in the form of 
impressive monuments or rich burials, have played a prominent role 
in the history of archaeology, and attract great public interest. What 
has changed in the last four decades is the conception of both com- 
plexity and inequality, as archaeologists have become more inter- 
ested in theoretical approaches; the latter determine the concepts 
they use, how to give them meaning through archaeological data 
and how to evaluate our ideas using this unique record. 


My concern in this book is with issues of theory and practice and 
their articulation in the study of early complex societies, as well as 
with the complexity of contemporary archaeology. The link here is 
provided by my own experience. During the last three decades my 
research in the west Mediterranean has brought me into contact 
with non-Anglo-American traditions of thought in the social and 
historical sciences. The subject of research, much of it collaborative, 
has been the development of inequalities in Copper and Bronze Age 
societies, especially in south-east Spain. The archaeological record of 
this region is widely recognized in Europe and has also been 
included in comparative syntheses and edited volumes on emerging 
complexity in both the Old and New Worlds (e.g. Earle 1991b; 
Price and Feinman 1995; Arnold 1996c). 

My experience has been one of an 'outsider'. I first arrived in Spain 
with processualism, literally, as I was carrying a new copy of Lewis 
Binford's An Archaeological Perspective (1972) on my first visit to the 
south-east. I was the latest member of the Cambridge archaeological 
diaspora, leaving behind the archaeological record of my own coun- 
try and bringing 'The Word' to more distant (and less 'developed') 
regions. This self-confident intellectual colonialism kept me going 
for a decade. But it was only when I entered into collaboration with 
Vicente Lull and his colleagues and students on the Gatas project 
that I began to see the archaeology, especially the theory and meth- 
odology, of the Anglo-American world, more as an outsider. Both 
processual and postprocessual archaeologies were subjected locally to 
critical review, as their essential texts became available in Spain. A 
strongly independent attitude was created: these Spaniards did not 
lie back and think of Cambridge! Armed with the perspective of 
historical materialism, they proposed a theory of social practices, and 
they followed through the implications of such a general theory for 
units of analysis, whether these are artefacts, excavation units or 
regional groups. Above all, there was a commitment to the relation- 
ship between theory and practice, as was developed in our fieldwork 
on the Gatas project. Suddenly aspects of the ongoing processual— 
postprocessual debate seemed both distant and parochial. 

At the same time, archaeological research on social change in the 
west Mediterranean began to cause me concern. I noticed that terms 
like 'complexity', 'hierarchy' and 'inequality' were used interchange- 
ably, or ambiguously. Concepts like 'complex society' were used 
without definition, or based on different categories of material evi- 
dence. 'Complexity' was opposed to 'lack of complexity'. Clearly 
there were problems in the ways in which society and social change 



were being conceived and measured. How could we compare and 
contrast the historical sequences in different regions if these prob- 
lems were not addressed? 

In the chapters that follow, I will attempt to discuss these prob- 
lems, within the context of archaeological theory and practice, using 
the archaeological record of south-east Spain as my main example. 
My concern is with disentangling concepts and ideas, with high- 
lighting ambiguity, and with examining how archaeologists work 
on specific problems, rather than with more abstract modelling of 
changes in complexity. I begin by taking a critical look at con- 
temporary archaeology, with an 'outsider's' view of Anglo-American 
archaeology, and an examination of the Spanish experience of arch- 
aeological theory and practice in the last three decades. In Chapter 3 
I introduce the reader to different traditions of study of society and 
social change during the last four decades in the Anglo-American 
world. This is followed, in Chapter 4, by scrutiny of the definition 
and use of concepts such as 'egalitarian', 'inequality', 'hierarchy' and 
'complexity' in Anglo-American archaeology. In both of these chap- 
ters, the view is now that of an 'insider'. The substantial case study 
of early complexity, as seen through projects relating theory to prac- 
tice in south-east Spain, is presented in Chapter 5. The implications 
of Chapters 3—5 for other areas of the west Mediterranean are exam- 
ined in Chapter 6 while Chapter 7 draws together the main argu- 
ments and suggests some wider implications for archaeology in the 
twenty-first century. 



From the outside looking in 

It is hardly a novel insight that archaeologists disagree with each 
other about matters of theory and methodology. What marks out 
the last three decades in Anglo-American archaeology is the 
antagonistic nature of debate, and the time and space it has taken up 
in conferences and publications. Much of this debate has been wel- 
come and essential to the growth of our discipline. Even those who 
do not regard themselves as 'theoretical archaeologists' recognize the 
role that theory has to play in structuring our thoughts and practice, 
as well as in defining data relevant to the problems that we study. 

Isms, insiders and typologies 

Different theories and schools, usually with names ending in 'ism', 
have been recognized in the social and historical sciences since the 
nineteenth century: functionalism, evolutionism, Marxism and 
idealism were all keenly debated at this time. Other isms (e.g. struc- 
turalism) have emerged in the twentieth century. Interest in these 
theoretical approaches has ebbed and flowed in different regional 
traditions: evolutionism declined in popularity in the early part of 
the last century and then underwent a resurgence of activity in the 
1950s and 1960s; Marxism maintained itself as an intellectual trad- 
ition in Europe (although the number of Marxist archaeologists only 
increased significantly in the last two decades) while being virtually 
prohibited in North America (Bloch 1985). It is the nature of the 
social and historical sciences that such isms do not succeed each 
other in a linear sequence, each restricted to its time. They are tradi- 
tions of thought, subject to internal debate, defining their existence 
by their content and by their opposition to other such traditions. 

A lot of the variation that characterizes activity in different 
schools of archaeology has been subsumed, and as a consequence 



ignored, in the last three decades. First we went through a phase of 
'processualism' versus 'traditionalism' from the mid-1960s to the 
late 1970s; this was followed by 'processualism' vs 'postprocessual- 
ism' (or 'interpretive' archaeology). I do not propose to go through 
the detailed histories of these conflicts, let alone the rhetoric and 
argument by caricature used by proponents. The founding texts of 
New/Processual archaeology (hereafter PA) were published from 
1968 to 1972 (Binford and Binford 1968; Clarke 1968; Binford 
1972; Clarke 1972; Renfrew 1972), while those of Postprocessual 
archaeology (PPA) appeared from 1981 to 1987 (Hodder 1982a, 
1982b; Shanks and Tilley 1987a, 1987b). Positions were denned by 
opposition, debates took place in the public arena (e.g. at meetings 
of the Society for American Archaeology, or the Theoretical Archae- 
ology Group in Britain), and barriers to communication were 
erected. As Hodder has written recently, 'theoretical debate has 
become factional and divisive and exclusionary' (1999: 12) and 
'archaeological theorists are trapped in separate non-communicating 
discourses' (2001: 10-11). 

The act of definition of these archaeologies was in some respects 
analogous to that of ethnic group differentiation. At a more basic 
level, it was, and remains, an act of classification. The typologies of 
artefacts which were so roundly condemned in 'traditional' archae- 
ology (not to mention the evolutionary 'types' of societies used by 
processual archaeologists) have now been replaced by typologies 
of archaeologists (see Thomas 1995: 349—50 for archaeologists 
employed in British universities). Assumptions are made that all 
individuals share all of the traits which define the group, or type, 
that they continue to share those traits, and that internal variation is 
less important than boundary definition. 

Internal variation was visible within PA from a very early stage. 
For example, Lewis Binford (1972) made a specific point of criticiz- 
ing David Clarke's Analytical Archaeology (1968), while Clarke 
(1973) and Flannery (1973) launched critiques of Hempelian posi- 
tivism and laws of human behaviour in the same year. Changes in 
Binford's position on these issues were apparent soon after (1977), as 
were his disagreements with Michael Schiffer (Binford 1981). The 
differences between Old and New World variations of PA were also 
apparent in Whallon's (1982) comments on archaeological 

Preucel (1995: 147) has argued recently that 'postprocessual 
archaeology is a label that actively resists definition . . . not a uni- 
fied program but ... a collection of widely divergent and often 



contradictory research interests' (cf. Coudart 1999: 163). A single 
typology is insufficient to bring out this variation. Likewise Hodder 
acknowledges that 'there is as much or more variation within post- 
processual archaeology as there is between it and processual archae- 
ology' (1991b: 37); for him the very diversity of theoretical 
approaches is one of the key defining features of PPA. While uphold- 
ing its distinctiveness as a school of thought (a claim that is difficult 
to sustain in typological terms, given his definition of PPA cited 
above), Hodder proposes that PPA is 'less a movement and more a 
phase in the development of the discipline' (1991b: 37), and more 
recently that PA and PPA are 'not contradictory but complementary' 
(1999: 12). Thomas (2000: 2) recognizes the diversity of research 
activity within PPA, which he describes as 'a non-existent school of 
thought' (cf. Tilley 2000: 73), and follows Hodder in referring to a 
'post processual era' (2000: 18). 

The nature of academic debate is such that variation within 
schools of thought is often ignored by their proponents or critics 
(e.g. see Shanks and Tilley's 1987b critique of PA); and yet this 
variation is the key to a more nuanced understanding of theoretical 
debate and disciplinary change. For a Darwinist, selection could be 
seen to act on this variation in the course of disciplinary evolution, 
while a Marxist would no doubt focus attention on the contradic- 
tions, within any such ism, which led to its transformation. It seems 
to me strange that the role of agency in social change is widely 
proclaimed in PPA, with stress placed on the activities of 'know- 
ledgeable actors', and yet such freedom of thought and action is 
denied to individual archaeologists. 

This judgement may be a little harsh, given recent arguments for 
compatibility between some aspects of PA and PPA (e.g. Earle 
1991a; Hodder 1991b; Preucel 1991a; Preucel 1995), of their com- 
mon status as science (VanPool and VanPool 1999), and of their 
common use of middle-range methodologies (Tschauner 1996). But 
to reduce disciplinary change to a simple succession of hermetically 
sealed Kuhnian paradigms does little service to reality; the same 
applies to the simplistic attribution of labels like 'processualist' and 
'postprocessualist'. Definition of these schools is now part of the 
history of archaeology, and yet discussion is still framed in terms of 
such definition. For example, while I can recognize some of the same 
variation as Thomas (1995) in theoretical positions adopted by uni- 
versity-based archaeologists in the United Kingdom, his definition 
of PA as opposed to PPA is over-restrictive because it is historically 
situated in the latter's opposition to the former in the 1980s. To 



merge together those influenced by the American New Archaeology 
with the Cambridge palaeoeconomy school combines individuals 
who had little in common with each other when terms like PA were 

These problems with typologies of archaeologies and archae- 
ologists should focus our attention on a more subtle analysis of 
theoretical positions within Anglo-American archaeology, and on 
similarities as well as differences. This may not help those whose 
political strategies within the discipline favour exclusion and restric- 
tion, or those who feel the need to claim identity through inclusion 
within a particular, mode-ish (or post-mode-ish) group. Moving 
beyond such tribalism will, I think, enhance our internal debates, as 
they respond to, and incorporate, the outcome of practice by indi- 
vidual archaeologists and archaeological projects. There is also some- 
thing to be learnt from the reaction of 'outsiders' to such debates 
within Anglo-American archaeology; our prime concerns are not 
necessarily theirs, as we shall see in the next section. 

Isms and outsiders: a world archaeology? 

Reading through the papers in Hodder's (1991a) edited book on 
archaeological theory in Europe, it is striking how uneven, selec- 
tive or marginal the impact of PA and PPA has been. Long tradi- 
tions of environmental and ecological approaches, tied into the 
study of settlement patterns and landscapes, ensured that Scandinavia 
and Holland were the most receptive areas. Scientific interaction 
and collaboration existed between these countries and the United 
Kingdom from the 1930s. But beyond this north-west European 
network, different intellectual traditions and institutional structures 
have combined to restrict the adoption of Anglo-American theor- 
etical approaches. 

Within the former eastern bloc, Marxist state ideologies com- 
bined with the isolation of scientific communities to limit know- 
ledge and discussion of both PA and PPA (e.g. Kobylinski 1991). In 
Greece, the expansion of interest in archaeological theory was due to 
the influence of French structural Marxism from the late 1970s, 
while PA was valued primarily for its materialist methodology (Kot- 
sakis 1991). The situation in Italy seems more complex: the impact 
(much of it methodological) of PA was evident mostly in the 1980s, 
but its anthropological approach was countered by the historical 
strength of the indigenous classical tradition and, to a lesser extent, 
by the Marxist research of scholars such as Peroni, Puglisi, Carandini 



and Tosi, while PPA's espousal of idealism (through Collingwood) 
was thought to be unoriginal, and even reactionary, in the land of 
Croce (Guidi 1988, 1996). Even in France, there was no widespread 
adoption and discussion of PA, in spite of the famous Binford— 
Bordes debate on the meaning of Middle Palaeolithic variability, 
while postmodernist writings have had minimal impact on French 
archaeologists, let alone other humanities and social sciences there 
(Coudart 1999: 162). 

Olivier and Coudart argue that the need for both scientific 
explanation and historical understanding, as perceived in France, 
makes PA and PPA 'two different expressions of the same thing' 
(1995: 365); more recently Coudart has argued that 'the majority of 
French archaeologists typically use the term "theoretical archae- 
ology" to designate both approaches together' (1999: 166—7). This 
perception may also account for the highly selective approach to 
Anglo-American archaeological theory in countries such as Greece 
(see above) and Portugal (Jorge and Oliveira Jorge 1995). 
Such oppositions as explanation/understanding, and objectivity/ 
subjectivity, which seem to form major stumbling blocks to com- 
munication between PA and PPA, are also played down within 
Marxist thought (McGuire 1992). 

Where there has been communication on issues of theory and 
methodology, it has been characterized by a marked time lag. Key 
texts or journals have been unavailable because of poor library facil- 
ities, financial difficulties, political constraints, and the lack of 
English translations. But in all cases I would argue that communica- 
tion has been predominantly in one direction: how many foreign 
works on archaeological theory and practice have been translated 
into English, thus exposing the Anglo-American world to ideas 
from outside? The history of translation of the seminal works of the 
French prehistorian Andre Leroi-Gourhan on ethnographic analogy 
and prehistoric archaeology (the most famous book taking thirty 
years to appear in English) provides a good example of communica- 
tion hindered by language (Scarre 1999: 157). In this context, I 
wonder whether some Anglo-American 'theoretical archaeologists' 
have read far more in translation of continental European philo- 
sophers and social theorists than they have of European archaeolo- 
gists and their current research. Even with such a lingua franca, 
increased communication via the journal and meetings of the Euro- 
pean Association of Archaeologists, and via the Internet, we still 
have to confront the subtleties of meaning and the logic and 
concepts that are central to thought in different languages. 



The existence of different intellectual traditions, institutional 
structures and political contexts, as well as linguistic and other bar- 
riers to communication, have all combined to create a rather eclectic 
approach to PA and PPA within European archaeology. We are not 
dealing with the all-conquering 'types' of archaeology perceived 
within the Anglo-American world. In contrast, the degree of adop- 
tion of Anglo-American ideas on theory and methodology depends 
on context, hence its eclectic nature. Communication has tended to 
be in one direction only, enhanced by the use of English as the 
lingua franca. Although PPA may be defined as a phase in the dis- 
cipline's evolution (Hodder 1991b: 37), this seems hard to support 
in a European context unless PPA is conceived of in its broadest 
sense, as 'simply "post-", without offering a new unity' (Hodder 
1991b: 37). However, this defines PPA by opposition, or contrast, 
rather than by content, and fails to contend with the accusation of 
Anglo-American 'hegemony', by which the agenda for theoretical 
debate is set within the main English-speaking nations. According 
to the Norwegian Bjorner Olsen, such hegemony is dangerous for 
the discipline as a whole: 'we have to avoid centring and unifying 
any discourse as processual or postprocessual; such a position can 
only lead to orthodoxy, repression and exclusion' (1991: 224). The 
French archaeologist Laurent Olivier refers to the perception of PPA 
in continental Europe as 'an intellectualized European version 
of American globalization' (1999: 176). Most recently, Cornelius 
Holtorf and Hakan Karlsson (2000: 8) have asserted the need for 
non-Anglo-American archaeologists to play more central roles in 
debates on archaeological theory. 

Many of the same observations on the impact of Anglo-American 
archaeology can be made for areas of the world outside Europe 
(Ucko 1995). Much again depends on context, intellectual tradi- 
tions and networks, political contraints, language and availability of 
texts in translation. Time lag again characterizes the reception of 
ideas from Anglo-American archaeological theory. In addition, we 
have to understand the legacy of colonialism: in some countries, 
European 'schools' of archaeology are still active, while in others the 
influence of the archaeology of colonial powers is still evident (e.g. 
Kinehan 1995, on German influence in Namibia). Post-colonial 
independence is also seen in an intellectual form, as local traditions 
of archaeological practice assert themselves: in Africa, for example, 
it has been argued that European archaeological influences 'have at 
best constrained rather than aided or facilitated a proper under- 
standing of African cultural history' (Andah 1995: 96). If, as this 



argument continues, 'archaeologists, anthropologists and historians 
start out from European concepts and standards, not those of 
African society' (Andah 1995: 98; cf. Schmidt 1983), it is not sur- 
prising that attempts to set the archaeological agenda are being 
actively resisted. 

The case of South America provides a range of examples of the 
development of local archaeologies in the context of colonialism, 
nationalism and political instability (Politis 1995; Funari 1995). 
While experience varied from country to country, American and 
European influences account for training in basic archaeological 
methods and for the introduction of theoretical frameworks (e.g. 
evolutionism, diffusionism, Marxism). For example, Funari (1999) 
documents the influence of the north American ecological approach 
through archaeologists such as Meggers in Brazil, while Lopez Mazz 
(1999) shows the traditional influence of French techniques, ana- 
lytical methods and theoretical approaches on archaeological field- 
work, lithic typologies and rock art studies in Uruguay and Brazil. 
The influence of PA was most noticeable in the 1980s, although its 
reception was far from uniform. The reading, discussion and citation 
of key texts in countries like Chile and Argentina (under conditions 
of political dictatorship in which Marxism became the ideology of 
resistance) was not matched in Mexico (see Bate 1998), where Marx- 
ist debate flourished. Currently PPA is beginning to be discussed in 
countries such as Brazil (Funari 1995) and Mexico (Bate 1998), 
where positivism has already been criticized, along with the per- 
ceived lack of theory on social change in PA, and the nature of 
archaeological knowledge. 

As with the European countries discussed above, both PA and 
PPA have been of marginal importance to large parts of South Amer- 
ica. But Politis (1995: 227) argues that 'so far in the history of South 
America, there has been no such thing as a school of "indigenous 
archaeology", if that implies a way of thinking and practising 
archaeology which has not been derived from Western archae- 
ology'. Does this imply that the influence of PPA in particular will 
continue to grow across the continent? I think it highly unlikely. 
While Politis's view of the relations of dependence between 
South American and Western archaeologists will continue at the 
level of technical resources and infrastructure, I see strong evidence 
of intellectual independence, for example, in the work of the Grupo 
Oaxtepec (see McGuire 1992: 67—8), with their rejection of 
French structural Marxism, as well as of polar oppositions such as 



The Mexican Manuel Gandara studied at the University of Mich- 
igan at the turn of the 1980s, and then produced what must be one 
of the most detailed, well-argued and balanced critiques of proces- 
sual archaeology published anywhere (1982). He recognized the dif- 
ferences, and changes, of opinion among proponents of PA, as well as 
its positive contributions, and, using the concept of a 'theoretical 
position', rather than Kuhn's 'paradigm', analysed the degree to 
which PA was internally coherent. Interestingly, Gandara also 
anticipated the relativist critique of PPA by pointing out that 'if 
there is no way of evaluating our propositions (on the past), and 
"all science is ideology" is a proposition, then there is no means of 
evaluating it' (1982: 154). 

Vargas Arenas and Sanoja (1999) provide an excellent example of 
the history and development of what is called 'Latin American social 
archaeology', for which Gordon Childe and Marx and Engels are the 
central intellectual ancestors. Reacting against what is seen as the 
use of Latin America to test 'First World' theories, archaeology is 
employed as 'a starting point in explaining the ulterior historical 
processes that led to the emergence of nations, national states, social 
classes, and cultural and national identities' (Vargas Arenas and 
Sanoja 1999: 59—60). In this way local history is ultimately asserted, 
in the face of the external cultural and economic pressures of global- 
ization. As we shall see in Spain, an archaeological methodology is 
developed, in this case using such concepts as socio-economic forma- 
tion, domestic space, mode of life and mode of work, from the classic 
texts of historical materialism. 

The writings of these, and other, Marxists of the Grupo Oaxtepec 
(see McGuire 1992: 67—8) have been fiercely independent of Anglo- 
American archaeology in attempting to develop local theoretical 
structures. This does not mean that they have ignored the work of 
Anglo-Americans: their publications are cited, especially on topics 
such as settlement analyses, spatial archaeology, formation processes 
and analytical techniques. Similarly they have rejected French struc- 
tural Marxism in favour of a 'back to basics' development of the 
writings of Marx and Engels. Competing theoretical positions (to 
use Gandara's concept) are recognized and accepted, rather than 
adhering to a model of linear succession (as in 'traditional' followed 
by 'processual' and then 'postprocessual' archaeologies). Such theor- 
etical positions develop knowledge through practice, as links are 
established between general theories and what are called 'obser- 
vational' or 'mediating' theories, which tie in to the empirical world 
and enable the study of aspects of relevance to the general theories. 



The most recent, detailed statement of many of these issues is given 
by Bate (1998). 

Perhaps the main observation that can be made about world 
archaeology is that it consists of shared methods and techniques 
within networks of theoretically divergent traditions. The theories 
vary on a spectrum from deterministic materialism to relativist ideal- 
ism. We are dealing with a world of pluralism. In spite of the per- 
ceived hegemony of Anglo-American archaeology, both PA and PPA 
have been adopted in an uneven and eclectic manner. The major the- 
oretical schools defined in Anglo-American archaeological theory 
since the 1960s have been of marginal relevance to the experience of 
archaeologists in much larger areas of the world. And yet 'we' still try 
to set the agenda, or imagine that 'our' concerns are 'their' concerns. In 
addition to the need for greater humility, I also argue that we need to 
look closely at other regional traditions to see what we can learn from 
their experiences and practices. With this in mind, let us now look at 
the history of Spanish archaeology during the last three decades. 

Pensamiento Critico: Spanish archaeology 

Spanish archaeology is not a unified tradition, or school of thought, 
any more than is the archaeology of other major European countries 
(cf. Scarre 1999 on France). It shares a recent history of isolationism 
and centralization, as well as a prevailing philosophy of cultural 
history and idealism, under the dictatorship of Franco. Since his 
death in 1975, democratic government has been combined with de- 
centralization (the creation of the autonomous, regional govern- 
ments in 1978), the opening up of political, economic and cultural 
ties with other countries, and the end of repression of left-wing 
ideologies. Within this context, Spanish archaeologists have studied 
overseas (mainly since 1990), in countries such as North America 
and Britain, as well as engaging in collaborative projects and 
exchanges (both personnel and books/periodicals) with foreign 
institutions. This has exposed them to the theoretical debates of the 
Anglo-American world, as well as to the rich continental European 
tradition of the social sciences, and reaction has varied from the 
rejection of theory to the embracing of different theoretical posi- 
tions. Rather than present a detailed history of such reactions (for 
which the reader is directed to Lull 1991; Vazquez Varela and Risch 
1991), my aim here is to examine such reactions in the context of a 
predominantly materialist approach in which stress is placed upon 
the relationship between theory and practice. 



There has been no processual or postprocessual phase of develop- 
ment within Spanish archaeology. The publications of PA which 
began to be cited, translated and discussed in Spain from the mid- 
1970s raised awareness of the lack of theory, as expressed by a small 
number of 'voices in the wilderness' (e.g. Gran Aymerich, Rivera, 
Alcina, see Martinez Navarrete 1989). While there were some calls 
for an 'anthropological' or a 'scientific' archaeology, there was no 
widespread adoption, or school, of PA. Instead it was the methods 
associated with PA, or what was seen as PA, which more readily 
passed into practice: the importance of all kinds of scientific 
methods (for which a local infrastructure did not yet exist) was rec- 
ognized, especially in relation to environmental reconstruction, 
settlement patterns, prehistoric territories and the importance of 
landscape surveys. For example, Ruiz et al. (1986: 41—2) contrasted 
the advances in methods of PA with its failure to consider social 
relations as more than the epiphenomena of technological change 
and environmental adaptation. This emphasis on methods rather 
than theory characterizes a large sector of Spanish archaeology. 

The theoretical bases of PA were criticized in the 1980s, as Span- 
ish archaeology expanded within the university sector and the first 
conferences on theory and methodology were held. Strong criticism 
was made of such key issues as the hypothetico-deductive method, 
laws of human behaviour that were timeless and spaceless, cultural 
adaptation, and external causality. Such criticisms find a common 
ground with those published in the 1980s within postprocessual 
archaeology in Britain, but they did not stem from this external 
tradition (as we shall see below). The PPA school in itself was also 
subjected to critique by Spanish archaeologists, who attacked its 
relativism, particularism and idealism, as well as its perceived lack 
of a coherent theory (e.g. Ruiz et al. 1988; Lull et al. 1990). The 
embracing of Critical Theory from the Frankfurt School by Juan 
Vicent did not prevent him from launching a critique of PPA 
(1991). Indeed, if I were to attempt a typology of Spanish archae- 
ologists and their theoretical stances over the last decade, I doubt 
whether I could name more than a handful who might be described 
as postprocessual archaeologists: Felipe Criado is one of the best 
known of these, while Martin de Guzman adopted a structuralist 
approach independently of PPA. 

How did this situation come about? The answer lies in the spread 
of historical materialism in the social and historical sciences in post- 
Franco Spain, as Marxism re-emerged as a political philosophy. In 
Cataluna especially, historical materialism was known and discussed 



in intellectual circles (e.g. in studies of modern history) in the 
Franco years. It was in the years immediately following Franco's 
death that the form of the transition to democracy was debated, 
along with the role of a variety of left-wing political groups. This 
ferment was at its most active in Barcelona, where different models 
of Marxism (e.g. Gramsci, Althusser), along with the works of 
postmodernists such as Foucault and Derrida, were the focus of 
detailed and intense argument (Vicente Lull, personal communica- 
tion). In the archaeology of the 1980s, citation of the sources of 
classical and structural Marxism, along with reference to the works 
of Marxist archaeologists such as Childe and Carandini, began to 
appear in publications (e.g. Lull 1983; Ruiz et al. 1986). Martinez 
Navarrete (1989: 73) included historical materialism as one of the 
four alternative approaches to the crisis in theory and methodology 
in Spanish archaeology (the others being derived from PA, structur- 
alist anthropology and the philosophy of science). From the earliest 
centres in Barcelona and Jaen, the influence of historical materialism 
has spread more widely in Spanish archaeology during the 1990s, 
although this is often more evident in the citation of sources than in 
any coherent analyses. 

Within the last decade Spanish archaeologists have become more 
aware of the historical materialist tradition exemplified in Latin 
American social archaeology. Books published in the 1970s by the 
exiled Chileans Bate (1977, 1978) and Montane (1980) and the 
Peruvian Lumbreras (1974) began to be circulated in Spain, along 
with papers in journals such as the Boletin de Antropologia Americana. 
Occasional citations of the publications of these authors had 
appeared in the mid-1980s (e.g. Ruiz et al. 1986 cited Bate 1977), 
but it was not until 1989 that Latin American social archaeology 
was widely cited in a general book on archaeology (Alcina Franch 
1989). In 1992—3 personal ties were established through invitations 
to Latin Americans to give papers in Barcelona and attend a confer- 
ence in Huelva. This provided the opportunity to explore areas of 
agreement and disagreement on issues of ontology and epistemology 
(Vicente Lull, personal communication). 

As in Latin America, independence of thought, in the context 
of critique, has been visible within Spanish historical materialism. 
Similarities in the state of archaeology with the Anglo-American 
world (e.g. absence of theory, emphasis on culture history and 
idealism, lack of focus on social relations, lack of methodological 
rigour, emphasis on archaeology as technique — see Estevez et al. 
1984) were noted as soon as the works of PA became more widely 



available in Spain. In some cases the range of positions within 
PA, as well as changes of opinion, were ignored by its critics (e.g. 
Ruiz et al. 1986). But this critique, in its broader intellectual 
milieu, aimed at creating a different archaeological theory and 
practice: 'Spanish, and more widely Mediterranean . . . and Latin 
American social thought has produced a . . . critical tradition suf- 
ficient to develop its own approaches, rather than just reproduce 
out of context the models of the English-speaking world which 
are now so much in fashion' (Risch, in Vazquez Varela and Risch 
1991: 46). 

The active construction of archaeological theory and practice in 
Spain, as in Latin America, has been fuelled by historical material- 
ism, with an explicit rejection of idealism (e.g. Ruiz and Nocete 
1990: 105); priority is given to the material conditions of life, with 
emphasis on factors of production and reproduction. This not only 
reflects the theoretical basis of materialism (and here archaeologists 
such as the members of the Barcelona group — see Vazquez Varela 
and Risch 1991: 36 — have gone right back to basics, in the same 
way as their Latin American colleagues, in rebuilding theory from 
the original works of Marx and Engels), but also a strategy for estab- 
lishing priorities in archaeological research. As Gonzalez-Marcen 
and Risch have argued, materialism 'does not mean that other 
aspects such as politics, ideology, aesthetics, etc. are irrelevant 
for the understanding of concrete historical processes, but that in 
order to locate them, it is first necessary to establish the material 
conditions in which they develop' (1990: 99). 

This materialism is allied to belief in a 'real' world of experience, 
against which our ideas can be evaluated. According to this, it is 
argued that 'reality exists, or existed, that it is or has been out there, 
outside of the observer'. This realism 'implies that (archaeological) 
remains are observable, discernible, measurable and experimental 
and are, or have been, materials in transformation' (Lull 1988: 72, 
my translation). These archaeological 'facts' do not speak for them- 
selves; they are given meaning within a theoretical framework, 
which itself provides the means for evaluating ideas through 'empir- 
ical tests' (e.g. excavations). As Lull says, 'a theory which does not 
propose a methodology for empirical evaluation is only speculation' 
(1988: 70; cf. Audouze 1999: 168, note 1). This anti-relativist 
stance, by which different 'representations' (rather than 'reconstruc- 
tions' — Lull 1988: 71) of the past are subjected to testing (the 
success of this being judged by criteria such as the degree of empir- 
ical support, and the methodological coherence of the theory) avoids 



the reduction of scientific debate to a matter of political opinion. 
Social science is seen as neither value-free nor politically determined. 
The question of the relationship between theory and practice has 
been central to historical materialism in Spain since the first discus- 
sions of theory in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Here dialectic sup- 
plants dichotomy; it makes no sense to a Marxist to develop theory 
without practice, or vice versa. A purely 'theoretical' archaeologist is 
like a driver without a car. One of the first objects of criticism in Spain 
by the Barcelona group was the adoption of fieldwork and analytical 
techniques without thought as to the new practices that might be 
required by different theoretical arguments. Like their Latin Ameri- 
can colleagues, they have proposed that general theory be linked by 
relevant operational concepts and units of analysis to the archaeo- 
logical record (a proposal which finds clear comparison with 'top 
down' approaches to theory and practice in PA, as seen, for example, in 
Whallon 1982, and Raab and Goodyear 1984 on the use of 'middle- 
range theory' to derive more directly testable, lower-level proposi- 
tions or hypotheses from the high-level theories such as Marxism or 
Darwinism). This approach stems from the belief that Marxist archae- 
ology must use the principles of historical materialism to develop 
analytical procedures for the study of the archaeological record. 

If we take the concept of exploitation as a central category 
on which the general categories acquire their specific con- 
tent, its analysis must be linked to production, distribution 
and consumption. Therefore one of the principal aims of 
Marxist archaeological research is to elaborate analytical 
procedures that allow one to infer the processes of produc- 
tion and their organisation through archaeological 

(Gonzalez-Marcen and Risch 1990: 99) 

As in Latin America, the Barcelona group has attempted to 
develop a materialist theory of human societies (a 'theory of the 
production of social life' — see Castro et al. 1998a) based on the work 
of Marx (principally using Das Capital and Grundrisse). Central to 
this process have been the redefinition of types of social production, 
and an analysis of exploitation in relation to the concepts of class, 
surplus and property. As we shall see later, this has important impli- 
cations for the analysis of the concept of complexity, and particularly 
for the identification of state societies (Lull and Risch 1996; see also 
Nocete 1994). 



How do general concepts such as social production and exploita- 
tion find expression in the archaeological record? The first step is to 
define a theory of 'social practices', by which social production is 
manifested in the course of everyday activities (Castro et al. 1996a). 
The principal focus is on the 'materialization' of these activities and 
practices, through the use of the material culture that is so visible in 
the archaeological record. The theory of 'archaeological objects' thus 
provides a link between social production and material culture (Lull 
1988). These two theories provide the key link between high-level 
Marxist theory and the activity of the archaeologist. 

But we still require the definition of relevant units of analysis by 
which the archaeological record can be studied. A change of theory 
is insufficient without a change in practice (a criticism which some 
Spanish archaeologists make of both PA and PPA). It is argued that 
excavation methods and recording units ought not to be based on 
the assumption that objective description will precede such inter- 
pretation; description and interpretation are not mutually exclusive 
in practice. But the use of the Harris system, by which the context is 
the main stratigraphic and recording unit (Harris 1989), and the 
grouping of contexts as the basis of interpretation occurs after the 
excavation, elevates description over historical interpretation. In 
contrast it is argued that the basic units of analysis ought to have 
both natural and social meaning: 'natural', given the post- 
depositional processes which take place on archaeological sites 
(Castro et al. 1993), and 'social' given the social practices which have 
contributed to the material patterning. The unit of analysis here is 
the conjunto (or 'whole', 'ensemble'), which might be, for example, a 
complete structure, or house, at different phases of its occupation 
and use; a conjunto is a hypothesis, a proposal made during the course 
of excavation which compels excavators to make explicit their inter- 
pretations as fieldwork proceeds. All finds, samples and so on are 
also labelled according to these conjuntos, grouping together material 
which resulted from social or natural practices in that same unit of 
analysis. The first use of the conjunto was in the excavations of the 
Talayotic settlement at Son Fornes in Mallorca (Gasull, Lull and 
Sanahuja 1984: 6—10), and more recently it has been used on the 
Bronze Age settlement of Gatas in south-east Spain (Castro et al. 

It is interesting to note that, in spite of developing in a different 
tradition, this approach to excavation is echoed by later develop- 
ments within PPA: Hodder's conception of interpretation occurring 
'at the trowel's edge' (1997: 693), and Richards's view of excavation 



'as interpretive practice, as opposed to neutral observation' (1995: 
218) mirror the view of the Barcelona group. Hodder's (1999) dis- 
cussion of what he calls a 'reflexive method' and his critique of 
Harris matrices examines the stratigraphic integrity of 'primary 
recording units', without discussing what these units are, and how 
and why they are selected prior to excavation. But given his argu- 
ment that observation and interpretation are not rigidly separated 
during excavation, it is a logical step to argue that the choice of such 
'primary recording units' would relate to the problems under study. 
In his discussion of archaeological reasoning, Hodder lists nine 
characteristics of such reasoning in the field (1999: 33—62). His 
third characteristic is that such reasoning depends upon 'pre- 
understandings', which seem to include the existing state of know- 
ledge of the types of site under study. According to the system 
developed by the Barcelona group, such knowledge is essential for 
the definition of conjuntos in the field, as structures, floors, phases of 
deposition and collapse are recognized during excavations and 
decisions made about sampling and detailed recording. The level of 
'interpretation at the trowel's edge' here extends to the definition of 
the 'basic' units of analysis. 

Taken as a whole, the Spanish experience of archaeological 
theory during the last two decades usefully counters the notion that 
innovation centres on the Anglo-American world. If nothing else, 
this should instil some humility in English-speaking archaeologists: 
we should avoid looking down from our peripheral island on 
theoretical debate in eastern and southern Europe as 'less well 
developed' (Pluciennik 1999: 659). We should also think carefully 
about two related issues: (1) the comparability and compatibility of 
different theories, and (2) the advantages of a materialist approach 
to archaeology. 

Conflicting theories? 

The thesis that the evolution of any discipline is marked by a succes- 
sion of mutually exclusive theories, or paradigms, or isms, is super- 
ficially attractive, at least to the proponents of the latest approach! 
But we should ask ourselves two questions: 

1 Is there such a neat, evolutionary sequence, which conforms to 
the influential, discontinuous model of disciplinary change 
advanced by Thomas Kuhn (1962)? 

2 Are these theories or schools really mutually exclusive? 



It has been argued (Bunge 1996: 190) that Kuhn's idea of 'mono- 
paradigmatic' normal science is only really applicable to the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. If we take the history of 
archaeology and anthropology, there is sufficient evidence to support 
the claim that theories may have varied in popularity during the last 
two centuries, but continued to co-exist, mainly between, but also 
within, regional traditions. Thus, for example, evolutionism domin- 
ated mid-nineteenth-century thought, but declined in popularity in 
the Anglo-American world during the first half of the twentieth 
century, overtaken by cultural approaches in North America and 
functionalism in Britain. At the same time, evolution (e.g. in the 
form of the five modes of production, see Bloch 1985) provided the 
basis of both anthropology and archaeology as practised in the Soviet 
Union and, after the Second World War, in eastern Europe. But 
evolutionary approaches returned to the fore in North America in 
the 1950s, moving from the cultural ecology of Leslie White (an 
isolated figure in the 1930s and 1940s) and Julian Steward through 
to the development of processual archaeology. It continues to main- 
tain a strong presence there, not only in terms of cultural ecology, 
but also in an approach rooted in Darwinism and called 'evolution- 
ary archaeology' (e.g. Dunnell 1980; Boone and Alden Smith 1998). 

The expansion of theoretical debate within archaeology, as well as 
the breakdown of state-imposed theoretical structures in the former 
Soviet Union and eastern block countries in Europe, has encouraged 
the proliferation of different theories. What appears to be different 
now is that such theories co-exist more markedly within, rather than 
simply between, regional traditions. Within the Anglo-American 
world, the expansion of publishing outlets, along with international 
conferences, journals, and the Internet, have combined to accentuate 
this trend. We can, of course, look on this as being the result of the 
triumph of postprocessual archaeology, an archaeology of its time, 
which shows the Kuhnian model in action. Alternatively we can 
take the proponents of PPA at their word (see above) and recognize a 
period of theoretical fragmentation in which the nature of archaeo- 
logical knowledge and practice, as well as of social change, are all 
debated from such initially diverse positions that any definition of a 
dominant paradigm is impossible. 

I have used the phrase 'initially diverse' to describe different the- 
ories, because of the evidence from the history of archaeology for 
changes of position as the proponents of such theories recognize 
the existence of common ground. This should not happen if the 
theories are mutually exclusive. According to what is called the 



'incommensurability thesis' in the philosophy of science 'two bodies 
of discourse — whether theories, world views, paradigms or what 
have you — are incommensurable if the assertions made in one body 
of discourse are unintelligible to those utilizing the other' (Laudan 
1990: 121). Different theories are supposed to look at the world in 
different ways; observations and interpretations depend on theory, so 
major theory shifts require us to look at the empirical world in 
totally different ways. This is the essence of the model proposed by 
Kuhn (1962) and embraced by processual archaeology (e.g. Sterud 

And yet theories and isms in archaeology (let alone other social 
sciences) do not exist in isolation. For all their differences in concep- 
tions of society (e.g. based on conflict vs consensus), social change 
(e.g. internal vs external causality) and the nature of archaeology 
(e.g. politically committed vs neutral), these theories show histories 
of development through overlap and interaction. For example, 
Marxism and processualism share a materialist approach and an 
opposition to idealism. An interest in social evolution finds a com- 
mon ancestor in Lewis Henry Morgan (Bloch 1985), through the 
cultural ecology of Leslie White and the cultural materialism of 
Marvin Harris. This influence of Marxism, however diluted, on early 
processual archaeology, has been acknowledged at the same time as 
its influence on postprocessual archaeology (McGuire 1993: 132). 
Both Trigger (1989: 326) and Klejn (1977: 13) have stressed the 
similarities in theory between processual archaeology and Soviet 
archaeology in the 1930s, while Dolukhanov argues more strongly 
that they can be 'viewed as a single paradigm' (1995: 333). More 
recently Gilman has pointed out examples of processualists who 
have begun to study property in the archaeological record (1998: 
911); he has argued that 'the work of many of the more sophisticated 
practitioners of cultural ecology is fully compatible with Marxist 
approaches to analogous problems' (1989: 72) and that 'the closeness 
between Marxism and the mainstream of American archaeological 
research is particularly striking at the level of practice' (1989: 72). 

Similarity is not, of course, identity: individual theories retain 
sufficient identity to make them distinct from other theories. Work- 
ing with different theories in the study of the past, finding areas of 
convergence and conflict (Hodder's 'productive tensions', 1999: 58) 
is, it seems to me, part of 'normal' archaeology. The relative popular- 
ity of such theories may be attributed to internal factors, such as 
their internal coherence (e.g. between high- , middle- and low- 
level theory, see above; or between factors such as the ontology and 



methodology of the theory, see Bate 1998: 28—9 citing the work of 
Gandara), and external factors such as their fashionability in the 
academy (whether from peer pressure or perceived job opportun- 
ities!). Proponents may work to gain a mutual understanding, a 
position advocated by Kuhn himself, and by Binford, who recom- 
mended the adoption of a different paradigm as a means to 'view 
experience' in a different way (1989: 486, see Wylie 1992: 282). 
Such a viewpoint recognizes the value of different theories, as well as 
the complexity of both the archaeological record and human 

If theories or isms were irreconcilably theory-laden and incompat- 
ible with each other, the whole world of knowledge would change 
with each change of theory. But proponents of one theory make use 
of the data produced from the fieldwork generated, sometimes over 
generations, by different theories (e.g. the search for symbolism in 
Breton megaliths by Kirk 1991, 1993; Thomas and Tilley 1993). 
This is often observed in the initial stages of a theory's development, 
as proponents seek to show how the same data can be interpreted in 
novel ways. Knowledge is shared between different theories (Wylie 
1992), such that these theories may start their quest for understand- 
ing based on widely recognized patterning in the archaeological 
record. It is also accepted that archaeologists collect data that may 
be relevant to more than one theory. From this perspective, the 
internal dynamics of archaeological theory and practice are infinitely 
more complicated than a simple paradigm replacement model. 

A materialist approach 

Much of postprocessual archaeology (at least its poststructuralist 
branch), as well as European social thought, is permeated by ideal- 
ism; ideas are claimed to exist independently of matter. People's 
actions are determined by their interpretation of other people's 
actions. The central concept here is 'meaning': people respond to 
symbols, they give meaning to them (which may not be the mean- 
ing given by other people), and they act according to their percep- 
tion of these meanings. The task of interpretation has become 
analogous to that of giving meaning to 'texts', as in hermeneutics. 
Once we were archaeologists, but now we are all literary critics! 
What is more, Ricoeur and others argue that 'reality' has no exist- 
ence independent of the meanings which people give to symbols and 
signs; reality is constructed, according to scholars such as Kuhn and 
Feyerabend. Ideas cannot be evaluated against an exterior world of 



experience, as required by the scientific method; indeed science 
itself, like technology, is frowned upon, as being a tool of 

This perspective is both subjective ('the philosophical view that 
the world, far from existing independently, is a creation of the 
knower', Bunge 1996: 330) and relativist ('facts' are created by dif- 
ferent different theories, or paradigms, which are incommensurable). 
The view that material objects are independent of our perceptions is 
termed realism ('the epistemology that all of us adopt tacitly when 
not under the influence of narcotics or anti-scientific philosophies', 
Bunge 1996: 335), and is upheld here. In contrast to idealism, 
materialism proposes that 'everything in the world is material or 
concrete, ideas being bodily (brain) processes' (Bunge 1996: 282). 
Of course, human beings make use of symbols, in a manner that is 
unparalleled in the animal kingdom, and the fact that these symbols 
are visual means that they can play an important role in social inter- 
action. But this process of giving 'meaning' occurs within the con- 
text of material constraints; any such meaning is, in itself, not an 
interpretation, but an hypothesis which requires evaluation in the 
material world (Bunge 1996: 291). 

The idea of archaeology as text, with its talk of 'reading' the past, 
meets its first obstacle in the acknowledged disagreement over the 
meaning of the 'text' in itself (Buchli 1995: 183). In literary criti- 
cism there are individual authors of individual texts. The archaeo- 
logical record, in contrast, was created, both intentionally and 
unintentionally, by multiple 'authors' (see Preucel 1991b: 23), act- 
ing under the constraints of the material world and social structure, 
let alone subsequent processes of human and natural transformation. 
That record is what exists now. No one would propose that indi- 
viduals in the past thought about 'creating' the archaeological 
record. This criticism could be accepted (in which case it leaves the 
problem as to how this record is studied and given meaning) but the 
textual metaphor maintained for human action in the past. Given 
the nature of our data, it would seem that the study of individual 
attribution of meaning would be better carried out within the 
context of historical or living societies (see Trigger 1989: 30—1; 
1998b: 18; cf Meskell 1999: 34 on the more 'fruitful' study of 
individuals in historical contexts). We may refer to this as the 
'horses for courses' model of archaeological enquiry. 

The material world may be viewed through meaning, but it is 
created through action; symbols and ideas are undoubtedly part of 
that meaning and action. People perceive the world around them, 



but as Trigger, citing Childe, has pointed out, 'humans adapt to a 
symbolic world rather than to a real one . . . (but) this symbolic 
world has to correspond to the real one to a very considerable degree 
if a society was to survive' (1998b: 8). This leads Trigger to stress 
the importance of a materialist approach which does not neglect 
symbolism and cognition: 'the archaeological record is a product of 
human behavior that was shaped with varying degrees of directness 
by material constraints, as these were comprehended in terms of 
culturally conditioned understandings of reality' (1998b: 12). 

To argue for a materialist approach to archaeology does not mean 
that ideas are neglected (as was mentioned above with regard to the 
work of the Barcelona group). It is always a challenge to see if new 
ways can be developed to find out about different aspects of past 
human behaviour, whether economic, social, political or cognitive. 
But examples of idealist approaches often leave symbols and ideas 
floating in isolation, with no consideration of productive factors and 
no testable hypotheses. For example, Hodder's presentation of 
material culture as text (1988) used the example of the development 
of Neolithic enclosures in central and north-west Europe from non- 
domestic to domestic use to propose that 'it is possible to argue that 
the text for the formation of defended settlement enclosures was 
initially written in a non-domestic, and often ritual context' (1988: 
70). For southern Scandinavia Hodder proposed that 'the idea of 
settlement agglomeration and communal centres first came about in 
a ritual context', and that 'later practical activity could build on the 
initial statement' of ritual activity (1988: 71). But how did settle- 
ment agglomeration come about? How did production support this? 
Must we imagine Neolithic populations blindly following an 'idea', 
an 'initial text', rather like the crowd chasing Monty Python's Brian, 
holding aloft his sandal as a sign? And can we really oppose 'ritual' 
and 'practical' activity in this polarized way? The same criticisms are 
provoked by another of Hodder's examples, the change from ini- 
tially individual to later communal earthen and stone tombs in the 
southern Scandinavian Neolithic. The initial tombs may very well 
have created 'the potential for the idea of a descent group linked to a 
common ancestor' (1988: 71—2), but what activates that potential, 
and how is it embedded in the social relations of production? 


The arguments proposed in this chapter are the basis for what fol- 
lows in the rest of this book. The approach taken is materialist and 



realist. It accepts the plurality of positions on theory and method- 
ology that have been taken, and are being taken, within archaeology. 
The history of archaeology cannot be reduced to a simple, linear 
sequence of grand theories or isms; competing theories are accepted, 
and unavoidable, given the complexity of human behaviour and the 
archaeological record. 

Archaeology is now a world discipline, with different regional 
traditions evolving in response to local histories and needs. While 
they may share common methods of 'doing' archaeology (put a 
Marxist, a structuralist and a positivist in the same trench and they 
will not hold their trowels or physically dig any differently!), they 
do not, and will not, blindly follow the latest trends of the Anglo- 
American world. When faced with these different traditions, we 
would do well to show a little humility, and see what we can learn 
from them. How do they conceive of archaeology as a discipline? 
What contribution can they make to debates on the strengths of 
materialism or idealism as strategies for learning? How do they go 
about relating theory to practice and developing theoretical con- 
cepts? Do these concepts allow them to see and study the past in 
new and productive ways? Answers to these questions have been 
suggested in this chapter in relation to parts of the Spanish-speaking 
world, and they will be developed further in relation to the study of 
society and social change in the past. But before we move on to these 
issues, we need to examine how they have been studied in the 
Anglo-American world since the 1960s. This is the subject of Chap- 
ter 3, in which I adopt a critical insider's view of the ways in which 
the theory and practice of social analysis in archaeology have 
changed in the last four decades. 




From the inside looking out 

In Chapter 1, I pointed out that the idea of social evolution has been 
an integral part of Western thinking since the eighteenth century. 
Different criteria (whether material or not) have been used to divide 
human societies into successive types, or stages, in the evolution 
from 'simple' to 'complex' societies. The early practitioners of 
archaeology and anthropology used technology as a direct measure of 
the evolution of societies. Although the proto-anthropologists were 
studying non-Western societies such as the Bushmen, the Australian 
Aborigines and the Indians of the American north-west coast, their 
view of them was as survivors, as fossils from earlier stages of evolu- 
tion (e.g. Sollas 1911). This present was their past. During the first 
half of the twentieth century, the interests of the two disciplines 
diverged, as anthropologists rejected what they viewed as 'con- 
jectural history' in favour of fieldwork-based studies of these soci- 
eties as they are now. Archaeology continued to focus on technology 
and subsistence as criteria for defining successive stages of social 
evolution, most notably in the work of Gordon Childe (1936, 1942 
and 1951). But the direct inference of past social organization 
remained a minority activity among archaeologists, located on a 
higher rung of the ladder of archaeological inference (Hawkes 1954). 
The re-birth of social evolution within North American anthro- 
pology in the 1950s also renewed the links between the study of the 
present and of the past. From the perspective of archaeology, ethno- 
graphic analogy and the direct inference of social organization from 
material traces of the past were two of the central activities of North 
American processual archaeology (e.g. Binford and Binford 1968). 
Although this impact of neo-evolutionism in anthropology upon 
archaeology now seems a long time ago, part of the history of our 
discipline, it is still the important starting point for the topic of this 
book. The concepts of neo-evolutionism permeate archaeological 



thought in the English-speaking world. Whether one agrees with 
them or not, they have formed the basis of much archaeological 
practice during the last four decades. During the course of this chap- 
ter I will trace changes in neo-evolutionary thinking, as well as the 
effects of critiques from historical materialism and practice theory. 
My aim is to show how our concepts of society and social change 
vary, and have varied, along with ideas as to the appropriate units 
and scales of analysis for their study. A secondary aim is to place 
these changes within the broader context of the approaches to 
archaeology discussed in Chapter 2. My focus throughout is on 
Anglo-American archaeology: unlike Chapter 2, I am now on the 
inside looking out. 

Introducing the fall guys 

Although North American neo-evolutionism began with the work 
of Leslie White and Julian Steward (for discussion see Trigger 
1989: 289—94), I want to focus attention here on two of the books 
most cited by archaeologists: Elman Service's Primitive Social Organ- 
isation (1962) and Morton Fried's The Evolution of Political Society 

For Service, social organization comprised the structure of a soci- 
ety (its constituent groups, whether residential or non-residential) 
and the network of interpersonal relations which were 'regulated' or 
'influenced' by statuses ('recognised social positions' which were 
achieved or ascribed) held by individuals. Each of these statuses was 
associated with what was regarded as 'appropriate' behaviour, or a 
role. After speculating on the origins of social organization, Service 
used the ethnographic record to define four types of society, pre- 
sented in order of their evolution, from hunting and gathering 
bands, through agricultural tribes and chiefdoms to states. 

Band societies were defined on the basis of kinship, and particu- 
larly the nuclear family, which was the basic unit for any division of 
labour, and by the absence of any separate political, legal or religious 
groups: for example, the economy 'is not separately institutional- 
ised, but remains merely an aspect of kinship organisation' (Service 
1962: 108). The number of people in a band ranged from thirty to 
one hundred or more, with an average density of one person or fewer 
per square mile, although such densities would vary according to the 
seasonal availability of food. Service recognized some variation 
among band societies, such as his distinction between patrilocal and 
composite bands, and he speculated that the patrilocal band 



occurred earliest in human evolution, given that it had a simpler 
social structure. The exceptional nature of hunter-gatherer groups 
such as those on the north-west coast of America suggested to 
Service that the band level of social organization might not have 
been universal during the Palaeolithic. 

'A band is only an association, more or less residential, of nuclear 
families, ordinarily numbering 30—100 people, with affinal ties 
loosely allying it with one or a few other bands. A tribe is an associ- 
ation of a much larger number of kinship segments that are each 
composed of families. They are tied more firmly together than are 
the bands, which use mostly marriage ties alone . . . the few inter- 
marrying multifamily local groups that were the whole of band soci- 
ety are now only a part or aspect of tribal society' (Service 1962: 
111). Such larger population aggregations owed much to the adop- 
tion of an agricultural subsistence and increased sedentism, and in 
turn required more non-residential groups (e.g. clans, lineages, 
secret societies) to hold tribal societies together. Such groups made 
use of ancestry, ritual and mythology to achieve this goal. Egali- 
tarianism and the absence of political hierarchies, with situational 
leadership based on personal qualities, were characteristics shared 
with band societies. Residential groups were economically self- 
sufficient. Once again, Service recognized variation in the ethno- 
graphic record, and distinguished two 'highly generalised polar 
types of social structure', namely lineal and composite tribes (Service 
1962: 118). 

As with the relationship between bands and tribes, there was 
usually a further increase in population density between tribes and 
chiefdom societies. The size of the individual residence groups 
increased, and the greater density as a whole was underwritten by 
greater productivity. The chiefdom was, in Service's own words, a 
more 'complex' and 'organized' type of society, with economic, 
social and religious activities being centrally controlled. Regional or 
ecologically based specialization and redistribution of produce were 
both under central control and, according to Service, were 'selected 
for' by what he called the 'total environmental situation'. Central- 
ized control was in the hands of chiefs, with ascribed statuses, rules 
of succession and affiliation and sumptuary rules or taboos which 
gave them distinctive identities (e.g. through distinctive dress or 
ornaments, ritual positions, etc.). Chiefs were able to mobilize 
human labour for a variety of public works, such as monument con- 
struction, irrigation works, etc. Within the fabric of chiefdom soci- 
eties was an increase in hierarchy and inequality: 'when chieftainship 



becomes a permanent office in the structure of society, social 
inequality becomes characteristic of the society, followed finally by 
inequality in consumption' (Service 1962: 149). 

The final stage of social evolution was reached with the emergence 
of the state society, which was distinguished from the chiefdom by 
two essential characteristics: these were the use of legitimized force 
to establish and maintain the authority and power of the leadership 
('repressive controls based on physical force' Service 1975: xi), and 
the specialized, bureaucratic government which was present at the 
service of leaders. 

Given the title of his book, it is not surprising that Morton Fried 
(1967) placed emphasis on the role of political factors in the evolu- 
tion of society. His four-stage typology, like Service's, traced the 
evolutionary process from hunting and gathering to state societies, 
but he disagreed with Service over the intervening stages. Fried's 
first stage was that of egalitarian society, in which there was 'the 
social recognition of as many positions of valued status as there were 
individuals capable of filling them' (1967: 52). But whatever pres- 
tige individuals accrued as a result of their status, this did not result 
in the exercise of greater power. Leadership was based on authority 
rather than power, and was situational rather than fixed in particu- 
lar individuals. Division of labour was mainly by sex. Access to 
basic resources was communal. Population densities were low, and 
the basic units were nuclear families and bands of small numbers of 
such families. According to the ethnographic record, egalitarian 
societies tended to live in marginal areas, were often mobile, and 
included all the hunting and gathering societies that Service called 

The second stage in Fried's typology was that of ranked society, 
and made no distinction between Service's tribes and chiefdoms. For 
Fried, there was no need for a tribal stage. 'Such a stage explains 
nothing but does divert attention from more important questions: 
How does ranking begin and how does it undergo adaptive radi- 
ation? How does stratification get started and how does it catalyze 
societies? How does it reinforce itself, and what are its effects on 
other societies?'(1967: 173). Some tribal societies, as studied by Ser- 
vice, were the result of acculturation and not representative of a past 
stage in political evolution. In Fried's ranked society, 'positions of 
valued status are somehow limited so that not all those of sufficient 
talent to occupy such statuses actually achieve them' (1967: 109). 
One means by which such ranking could occur was according to the 
proximity of families to a common ancestor within a descent group. 



Such families could preserve or enhance their ranking by marriage 
alliances with other high-ranking families, and by strategies such as 
competitive feasting. 

While high-ranking families and individuals had 'regular and 
repetitive' authority (1967: 134), they had little ability to enforce 
the obedience of their followers. Whether high-ranking or not, all 
members of society had equal access to basic resources, and there 
was only limited evidence for lesser participation in subsistence 
activities by high-ranking families and individuals such as chiefs. 
The division of labour continued to be by age and sex and craft 
specialization was limited. Redistribution was administered by 
chiefs. Residential communities were of larger size. Population 
densities were larger than in egalitarian societies, and generally 
supported by an agricultural economy. Like Service, Fried specu- 
lated on the reasons for the transition between successive social 
types, including such factors as ecological diversity, redistribution, 
the problems to communication posed by population growth, and 
the organization of labour for activities such as irrigation. 

Fried's third stage was that of the stratified society, 'in which 
members of the same sex and equivalent status do not have equal 
access to the basic resources that sustain life' (1967: 186). Status 
differences are now grounded in economic differences. Such differ- 
ences provide the basis for increased warfare, as compared with 
ranked societies. But, like Service, Fried viewed the final stage, that 
of state society, as marking the ultimate exercise of power. 'A state is 
not simply a legislative, an executive body, a judiciary system, an 
administrative bureaucracy, or even a government ... a state is bet- 
ter viewed as the complex of institutions by means of which the 
power of the society is organised on a basis superior to kinship' 
(1967: 229). Thus state society was class society. The difference 
between stratified and state societies was somewhat blurred: Fried 
proposed that 'once stratification exists, the course of stateship is 
implicit and the actual formation of the state is begun' (1967: 185). 

Although Service and Fried disagreed about the intermediate 
types of society, they were united in many of the characteristics they 
attributed to hunters and gatherers and early agriculturalists, as well 
as to state societies, they arranged societies from simple to complex 
and they speculated on the causes of evolution from one type of 
society to another. They were not the only anthropologists to engage 
in this neo-evolutionism. Credit must be given to Oberg (1955) for 
introducing the term chiefdom, and to Sahlins for his studies of 
tribal societies (1968) and for his proposal that tribal societies 



evolved into chiefdoms, based on detailed knowledge of Melanesian 
'big man' and Polynesian chiefdom societies (1958): here two types 
defined for different parts of the Pacific region were viewed as epit- 
omizing successive social stages. 

Sahlins and Service (I960) also joined forces to edit a volume of 
essays on cultural evolution. They defined two forms of evolution. 
General evolution consisted of those processes of change towards 
greater capture of energy, higher levels of social integration and 
greater freedom from environmental constraints that are visible from 
the earliest societies to those of the present day. In contrast, specific 
evolution marks out the changes of individual cultures and regional 
cultural sequences, and, of special relevance here, from one stage of 
social evolution to another. They specified the processes of specific 
evolution (e.g. adaptation) as well as proposing laws which might 
govern the transition of societies from one evolutionary stage to the 
next (e.g. the law of evolutionary potential). Unwittingly, along 
with their fellow neo-evolutionists in anthropology, they had set an 
agenda for research that was to have a greater impact in archaeology 
than in their own discipline. Somewhat ironically Service (1967) had 
already accepted Fried's criticisms and discarded the terms bands and 
tribes (replaced by egalitarian societies), as well as chiefdoms (now 
hierarchical societies, including what he had previously called primi- 
tive states), before their use became widespread within archaeology. 

Neo-evolutionism: setting the archaeological 

The concern with general evolution in the work of Leslie White and 
the specific evolution of Sahlins, Service and Fried, along with 
White's belief in the adaptive basis of culture, were embraced by 
Lewis Binford in what became known as new/processual archae- 
ology. Binford (1968) argued that there were no inherent limitations 
on the potential for inference from the archaeological record. If we 
wanted to make inferences about past social organization, as well as 
technology and subsistence, then we just had to overcome our 
'methodological naivety' (Binford 1968: 23). Neo-evolutionism, 
with its types of societies, each with a set of specific characteristics, 
helped to put social inference back on the agenda of archaeological 
methodology (Drennan 1992: 59). After all, stage typologies had 
been part of archaeology since Thomsen's Three Age system in the 
early nineteenth century, and archaeologists were used to thinking 
in this evolutionary way. 



The archaeological agenda which was set by neo-evolutionism 
consisted of two main areas of activity: the identification and study 
of social organization and social types (known from ethnography) in 
the archaeological record, and the development of theoretical argu- 
ments to understand the process(es) of social evolution. The first of 
these involved archaeologists in addressing their 'methodological 
naivety', whether by the analysis of settlements (site hierarchies, 
intra-site patterning), mortuary contexts, or material culture (e.g. 
pottery styles). After the initial, innovative case studies (e.g. Binford 
and Binford 1968, in which ethnographic analogies were drawn 
from Sahlins 1958, and Fried offered comments) and cross-cultural 
analyses (e.g. Saxe 1970; Binford 1972), the inference of social type 
and social change became embedded within regional research pro- 
jects in both the Old and New Worlds. In the process, the original 
types of Service and, to a lesser extent, Fried, were refined or sub- 
divided. While Old World archaeologists, as we shall see, engaged 
in social inference from the archaeological record, they played less of 
a role in the development of neo-evolutionary theory. Taken as a 
whole, and whatever one thinks of it, the neo-evolutionary agenda 
has continued to be active in archaeology up to the present day. 

It was Colin Renfrew who grasped the nettle of archaeological 
inference, trying to identify chiefdoms in the archaeological record 
of western Europe. Using Service's definition of a chiefdom, Renfrew 
listed twenty characteristics of this type of society (e.g. redistribu- 
tion, ranking, central places, specialisation, public works, etc.) and 
tried to identify them in Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Wessex 
(1973a, 1974), Neolithic Malta (1973b, 1974) and the Early Bronze 
Age in the Aegean (1972, 1974). Renfrew's aims were quite clear: 
to focus attention on the neglected area of inference of social organ- 
ization in archaeological data, and to use a concept derived from 
ethnography to discern new patterns in that data, and to ask new 
questions of that data. The chiefdom, along with ethnographic 
analogy in general, was a conceptual tool to be used in archaeology. 

Apart from the impetus that his use of the chiefdom concept gave to 
the study of the archaeological records of Wessex, Malta and the 
Aegean, Renfrew used both the archaeological and the ethnographic 
records to identify two types of chiefdom. Group-oriented chiefdoms 
were ones in which 'personal wealth in terms of valuable possessions is 
not impressively documented . . . the solidarity of the social unit was 
expressed most effectively in communal or group activities' (1 974: 74). 
Examples were found in Polynesian ethnography and in Late Neolithic 
Malta and Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Wessex (Figure 3.1). In 



Major monument 
Large henge 
6 round barrows per km 2 
2 round barrows per km 2 

Figure 3-1 Group-oriented chiefdoms shown by the spatial concentrations 
of ritual monuments in Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age 
Wessex (adapted from Renfrew 1973a: figure 5). 



contrast, individualizing chiefdoms were 'societies where a marked 
disparity in personal possessions and in other material indications of 
prestige appears to document a salient personal ranking, yet often 
without evidence of large communal meetings or activities' ( 1 974: 74). 
Here examples were found in the archaeological record of Bronze and 
Iron Age Europe. In addition to identification of these types of chief- 
doms, Renfrew noted problems for future research on social change, 
whether in the ethnographic or archaeological records: for example, 
'why do competition and competitive display become so striking a 
feature in certain kinds of tribal or chiefdom society?'(1974: 84). 

I begin here with Renfrew's work on chiefdoms for the reasons 
that (1) it is clearly laid out and readily comprehensible and (2) it 
highlights trends in neo-evolutionism which were to remain on the 
archaeological agenda during the next two decades. The identifica- 
tion of social types, such as chiefdoms, in the archaeological record 
has continued in both the Old and New Worlds. Good examples are 
found in the work of Peebles and Kus (1977) or Creamer and Haas 
(1985). The definition of material correlates of chiefdoms, tribes, or 
states depended, of course, on what were perceived to be the defin- 
ing characteristics of these social types, as seen in the ethnographic 
record. At the same time, the process of trying to fit these social 
types to the archaeological record raised problems, or drew attention 
to variation that departed from the ideal type. All of these changes, 
and examples of archaeological practice, took place in a context of 
debate over the extent to which social types could be discerned in 
the present, let alone in the past. 

Rather than follow through the use of neo-evolutionism in 
archaeology on a chronological basis, I prefer to situate archaeo- 
logical practice within the context of changing ideas and critique. In 
the following sections, I attempt to do this by summarizing trends 
in the theory and practice of the study of past societies during the 
last three decades. In this way, the diversity of current theory and 
practice is made clear. 

True to type? 

It has been pointed out, on more than one occasion, that social types 
are ideals, or generalizations, through which some order is brought 
to the world of empirical reality. They are attempts to represent 
reality, rather than reality itself (Yengoyan 1991). According to this 
line of argument, the typologies are heuristic devices, or concepts for 
use, in the way defined above by Renfrew. A lot, then, depends on 



the criteria which are chosen to define individual types, and whether 
they vary continuously (that is, quantitatively) or dichotomously 
(that is, they are present or absent). 

The ethnographic record has revealed many examples of societies 
that do not fit Service's social typology. For example, the Iroquoians 
had hereditary chiefs in what was otherwise a basically egalitarian 
society: the political authority of such chiefs depended on their gen- 
erosity, wisdom and self-restraint, rather than on their ability to 
give orders (Trigger 1990). Big-man/tribal and chiefdom societies in 
Melanesia and Polynesia respectively are known to have traits typical 
of both these ideal types (Chowning 1979; Douglas 1979; Earle 
1987: 282). The range of variation within Melanesian societies has 
been extended since Sahlins's (1958) classic work, to include 'great 
men' as well as 'big men' societies, thus complicating any proposed 
evolutionary sequence in the direction of hereditary inequalities (see 
Lemonnier 1991; Liep 1991). Characteristics of Hawaiian societies 
at the time of European contact included a lack of the monopoly of 
force (i.e. chiefdoms), as well as large populations and kings (i.e. 
states) (Cordy 1981: 28). Such examples raised questions about the 
definition of, and differences between, these types, as well as the 
range of variation that is allowed within each type. 

One response to these problems is to create more types, to sub- 
divide existing types to take into account empirical variation. We 
have already seen one example of this in Renfrew's (1974) distinc- 
tion between group-oriented and individualizing chiefdoms. In the 
same year Ross Cordy (1974) published an analysis of the Hawaiian 
Islands, in which he defined two other types of chiefdom. Simple 
chiefdoms were 'societies with minimal rank, having one rank or 
status level and one chiefly redistributional level (the paramount)'. 
Populations numbered up to two thousand, and chiefs had little 
coercive power and were not yet removed from labour. Complex 
chiefdoms were 'stratified or incipiently stratified societies with 
two or more chiefly rank or status levels and two or more chiefly 
redistribution levels'. Populations were now much greater (up to one 
hundred thousand), chiefs had powers of coercion, there were more 
decision-making levels in society, and the chiefs were removed from 
subsistence labour. These chiefdoms were present in Hawaii at 

Ten years later, in an influential paper, Henry Wright (1984) 
defined the same types of chiefdom. More recently Nelson has pro- 
posed a division between collaborative and coercive chiefdoms 
(1995: 615). The prize for the most types of chiefdoms goes to 



Carneiro (1998: 37, note 1), who has defined them according to local 
environmental/demographic conditions (impacted, dispersed, ripar- 
ian and insular) and evolutionary stages (minimal, typical and 
maximal, as well as simple, compound and consolidated). 

Types of states are more extensive, and have a longer history, than 
types of chiefdoms. Cherry (1978: 413) listed nearly two dozen 
types, including pristine, secondary, archaic, feudal, tribal, seg- 
mentary, theocratic, secular, militaristic, pre-industrial and city 
states. Compared with chiefdoms and states, typologies of bands and 
tribes are almost non-existent. This is, perhaps, recognition of the 
increasingly marked variation in social and political complexity, and 
its material expression, in chiefdoms and states. A simple typology 
can no longer contain all the variation seen in the empirical records 
of ethnography, archaeology and history. 

Feinman and Neitzel (1984: 40—3) have shown how different 
traits have been used in the classification of human societies into 
types and sub-types, beginning with Lewis Henry Morgan's stages 
of savagery, barbarism and civilization, which were defined on the 
basis of their subsistence and subdivided on the basis of their tech- 
nologies. Alternative schemes to those of Service and Fried for 
'intermediate-level' societies have been devised on the basis of the 
ethnographic records of Polynesia, South and Central America, and 
sub-Saharan Africa. Feinman and Neitzel (1984: 42) drew attention 
to the classifications of Goldman and Sahlins for Polynesia. Whereas 
Sahlins used environment, redistribution and stratification to define 
four types (numbered 3, 2B, 2A and 1), Goldman used political 
authority and succession to define three types (traditional, open and 
stratified). However, as Feinman and Neitzel showed (1984: 43, 
table 2.2), there is no automatic correspondence between the societal 
types of Sahlins and Goldman when it comes to the analysis of 
individual Polynesian societies. 

Like any exercise in classification, we choose the traits, or attrib- 
utes, on which our typologies will be based. The choice of these 
traits, in turn, depends upon the problem(s) under study. Also we 
cannot assume that change in any one trait is sufficient to define the 
transition from one type to another, or be sufficient to identify the 
presence of a particular type. For example, Service placed great 
emphasis on the presence of redistribution in chiefdoms, arguing 
that such societies developed in response to ecological diversity: 
chiefs emerged to administer and integrate the specialized econ- 
omies of different regions, so that all the population had access to 
subsistence goods, in spite of localized differences in production. 



However, Earle's seminal study of Hawaiian chiefdoms (1978) 
showed the absence of such economic specialization and inter- 
dependence. Rather than integrate subsistence production, the 
chiefs pursued political strategies and competed to mobilize goods, 
support and labour. Altruism was not a trait of political leaders! 
This view of chiefs received support from elsewhere (e.g. Taylor 
1975 on Africa, Helms 1979 on Panama). Clearly redistribution 
cannot be assumed to identify a chiefdom, or provide a mechanism 
for the development of this type of society. 

The presence or absence of one trait that defines a type of society 
would be an example of a dichotomous variable. Critics of neo- 
evolutionism argue that the stage typologies of societies proposed by 
Service and Fried were examples of the use of dichotomous rather 
than continuous variables. The greatest support for this criticism 
came from the review of the ethnographic literature for North, 
Central and South America presented by Feinman and Neitzel 
(1984). Their focus was on 'middle-range' societies, omitting mobile 
hunters and gatherers and what they called 'bureaucratic' or 'petty' 
states (1984: 46), although they were not clear about the criteria by 
which state societies are defined. Four major attributes which have 
figured in ethnographic and archaeological studies of 'middle-range' 
societies were selected for study: the functions of leaders, social dif- 
ferentiation, the structure and complexity of political organization, 
and demography. The degree to which these attributes vary with 
each other was also studied. 

Economic functions were not the only functions of leaders; these 
functions varied in number in each major area, and redistribution 
was not their central function. Instead redistribution increased in 
importance among those leaders with a larger number of functions. 
Feinman and Neitzel distinguished between weak and strong lead- 
ers, on the basis of the number of their functions. It is the 'strong' 
leaders who undertake redistribution, which, along with external 
trade, gives them the means to increase their power (1984: 56). 

The ways in which status is marked in the ethnographic record 
(e.g. residence, dress, multiple wives, treatment at death, special 
food, servants/slaves) were shown to vary in such a continuous way 
that social types could not be identified and ranked and stratified 
societies (in the terms of Fried) could not be distinguished. There 
was some support for a correlation between status markings and 
the number of leadership functions, but this was not universal. 
Considerable variation was also found in patterns of succession to 
leadership positions. 



Variation was also seen in the numbers of administrative levels in 
the sample of pre-state societies, which were shown to have a strong 
correlation with the degree of status differentiation. Surprisingly, 
perhaps, the numbers of administrative (or decision-making) levels 
correlated only weakly with the functions of leaders. 

Lastly, Feinman and Neitzel studied demography by using 
figures for maximal community size in the Americas. A strong cor- 
relation was observed between these figures and the number of status 
markers of leaders, but this was not the case with the functions of 
leaders or the number of administrative levels. Once again, there are 
complex relationships between these variables, and one cannot be 
predicted from the others. Maximal community size was also con- 
tinuously distributed. The same observations were made for total 
population size, which varied continuously and correlated strongly 
with the number of administrative levels and weakly with the 
functions of leaders and status differentiation. 

The overall conclusion of Feinman and Neitzel was that the diver- 
sity of these four attributes of pre-state societies in the Americas 
'was continuous rather than discrete and no clear societal modes or 
subtypes were readily apparent' (1984: 77). Other scholars (e.g. 
Cordy 1981) had anticipated this conclusion. Subsequently Leonard 
and Jones (1987: 207—10) found no support in ethnographic analy- 
ses of variation in community organization, settlement pattern and 
class stratification to justify the definition of Service's societal types. 
In his examination of South-east Asian ethnography, Hutterer 
(1991) also pointed out that linguistic, ethnic and other variables in 
this region of the world do not correlate well with each other. 

These criticisms of neo-evolutionary stages of society, as well as 
their use, have spanned the last three decades. While the social types 
of Service, Fried and others were refined, subdivided or rejected, 
other North American archaeologists decided to rethink the theor- 
etical basis of societies and social change. Rather than identify traits 
of chiefdoms or states in the archaeological record, as was attempted 
by Renfrew, they turned their attention to the processes of social 
change. Theory was used to build a comparative approach to the 
study of society. 

Too much administration and not enough politics 

It has often been observed that the processual archaeology of the 
1960s was deeply rooted in cultural ecology. Both human and 
animal populations exchanged matter and energy with their 



environments. Culture, in Leslie White's famous words, was 'the 
extrasomatic means of adaptation' for human populations. Subsist- 
ence and the economy, mediated through technology, were the 
means by which cultures adapted to their environments. Following 
Julian Steward, social organization and ideology were relegated to 
the status of dependent variables in cultural change. 

In an influential paper Kent Flannery (1972) argued that a suc- 
cessful cultural ecology had to take into account a further exchange, 
that of information, between populations and their environments. 
While an emphasis on techno-environmental factors was being rea- 
sonably successful in the study of 'simpler' cultures, such as hunter- 
gatherer bands, they were less successful in the explanation of early 
state societies. Equally unsuccessful were what Flannery called 
'humanistic' studies of information exchange in such societies: 
these focused on art, religion, writing, and so on, but failed to con- 
sider exchanges of matter and energy (e.g. subsistence). If cultural 
ecology was to work, then it had to combine these approaches and 
examine all three kinds of exchanges with the natural and social 

But were exchanges of matter, energy and information of equal 
importance in the emergence of state societies? Flannery came to the 
following conclusions: 'the most striking differences between states 
and simpler societies lies in the realm of decision-making and its 
hierarchical organisation, rather than in matter and energy 
exchanges' (1972: 412). Human societies were one example of 'liv- 
ing systems' (cf. Gall and Saxe 1977), and therefore suitable for 
ecological analysis, but information processing assumed a greater 
role than in natural systems. States were political phenomena, with 
centralized governments, economic stratification, and professional 
ruling classes with a monopoly of force. Hence the study of states in 
these terms involved a focus on decision-making, and on the devel- 
opment of societies with complex structures, which were both 
centralized and subdivided into more parts. Decision-making hier- 
archies developed in response to the needs for greater information 
communication and regulation. 

This approach was developed by Henry Wright and Greg John- 
son, who defined a state as 'a society with specialized administrative 
activities' by which control was exercised (1975: 267). In this way 
politics were subsumed under administration and decision-making. 
Two forms of specialized decision-making/administrative activities 
are defined. 



First there is a hierarchy of control in which the highest 
level involves making decisions about other, lower-order 
decisions rather than about any particular condition or 
movement of material goods or people. Any society with 
three or more levels of decision-making hierarchy must 
necessarily involve such specialization because the lowest or 
first-order decision-making will be directly involved in pro- 
ductive and transfer activities and second-order decision- 
making will be coordinating these and correcting their 
material errors. However, third-order decision-making will 
be concerned with coordinating and correcting these 

(Wright and Johnson 1975: 267) 

In addition to this hierarchy of control, with its bureaucrats perched 
on top of local administrators and primary producers, the actual 
processing of information is also specialized: 'the effectiveness of 
such a hierarchy of control is facilitated by the complementary 
specialization of information-processing activities into observing, 
summarizing, message-carrying, data-storing, and actual decision- 
making' (1975: 267). Efficient control of information processing and 
decision-making became the basis of state societies. 

The use of information theory to formulate this decision-making 
approach to complex societies was further developed by Johnson 
(1978, 1982). He proposed a model for the development of more 
complex societies as a response to the needs to process more sources 
of information and to coordinate larger numbers of activities. Hori- 
zontal and vertical specialization in decision-making were organiza- 
tional responses to these needs. Following Flannery, he argued that, 
rather than a continuous model of social change, there were critical 
thresholds in the needs for information processing (cf Kosse 1990; 
Upham 1990a). These thresholds related to the scale of the social 
system, one measure of which was the population size of organiza- 
tional units. Characteristics of more complex societies were 'selected 
for' as responses to such problems of information processing. The 
development of hierarchical structures was argued to be an exercise 
in 'problem-solving' (Reynolds 1984: 188). 

One important threshold in social evolution was that between the 
chiefdom and the state. Thus chiefdoms were defined as having one 
level of decision-makers above the primary producers, while states, 
as we have seen, had two or more levels of such decision-makers. 
This distinction was somewhat complicated by the recognition 



that complex chiefdoms could have more than one level of decision- 
makers above the primary producers (Steponaitis 1978; Feinman 
and Neitzel 1984). In these societies there are higher- and 
lower-ranking chiefs, with political control based on tribute flows. 
For Wright (1977) there was a further, critical, distinction: while 
chiefdoms and states were both centralized decision-making 
organizations, chiefdoms lacked the internal administrative special- 
ization or bureaucracy, as well as the coercive control of, state 

How can decision-making/administrative levels be defined in the 
archaeological record? The most widely used measure has been the 
number of size levels (normally in hectares) in a settlement hierarchy 
(Figure 3.2). For example, Wright (1977) defined the states of Meso- 
america as having large centres dominating three or more levels of a 
settlement hierarchy. In this case there were three levels of decision- 
makers over the primary producers at the bottom of the hierarchy. 
In a subsequent, comparative study of early state societies, Wright 
(1986) proposed the existence of up to five levels in the settlement 






Middle Uruk 



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 910111213 area in hectares 



Early Uruk 

3.2 Three-level (Early Uruk) and four-level (Middle Uruk) decision- 
making hierarchies based on site areas in the Susiana Plain, 
Mesopotamia (adapted from Flannery 1999: figure 2.1). 



hierarchies of Mesopotamia and of the central Andes. For chiefdoms, 
Peebles and Kus (1977) identified three levels of decision-making 
for complex chiefdoms such as Moundville (cf. Earle 1987 for a 
general review of chiefdoms and Steponaitis 1978 for a study of the 
spatial patterning of settlement hierarchies). 

The sizes of settlements have often been related to the sizes of the 
populations inhabiting them. The relationship between the organ- 
izational complexity of a society and its size has also been the subject 
of debate, as population has been used as a measure of that size, and 
therefore become a contender for the prime mover in social evolu- 
tion. Johnson's caution in taking population size as the measure of 
the scale of a society (see above) would be seem to be justified, given 
the varied results of work by Feinman and Neitzel (1984) (see 
above), Drennan (1987) and Upham (1990a) (see below). 

This emphasis on decision-making enabled the redefinition of social 
types such as chiefdoms and states in terms of politico-administrative 
rather than economic features, emphasizing information processing 
rather than matter and energy exchanges. Organizational complexity 
was seen as a response to the problems posed by information pro- 
cessing in larger social units. Increasing levels of decision-making, 
efficient means of processing information and integrating social 
units, specialized bureaucracies were all 'selected for', in terms of 
their adaptive advantages. These examples of increased complexity 
solved problems. Political control was equated with administration, 
rather than with exploitation and repression. The emphasis on 
settlement hierarchies and the size and scale of social units found a 
ready field methodology in surface survey, and stimulated an inter- 
est in the role of population variables in social change. At the same 
time, it was difficult to identify decision-making hierarchies where 
there were dispersed settlement patterns (e.g. Polynesia-Cordy 
1981: 35). 

Given this change within neo-evolutionism, and the changing 
theory and practice of social inference in Anglo-American archae- 
ology by the mid-1980s, let us now look at four conference publica- 
tions from the period 1987—91. What do they tell us about changes 
in the archaeological analysis of past societies by this time? Were 
there mutually exclusive approaches to the study of society and 
social change? Did neo-evolutionism survive the weight of criticism 
within Anglo-American archaeology? 



Four conferences and a funeral? 

Taking the four conferences in order of evolutionary stages, we begin 
with Susan Gregg's Between Bands and States, an edited volume 
published in 1991 from a conference held at Southern Illinois 
University, Carbondale in 1988. The focus of the book was on 'sed- 
entary, small-scale, non-hierarchical societies' or tribes. One of the 
main aims of the book was to use archaeological data to evaluate 
Morton Fried's claim that modern tribes, as studied by anthropolo- 
gists, developed as a response to the impact of state societies. Thus 
the major period of tribal formation occurred during European colo- 
nialism and imperialism, in the last five centuries (see also Wolf 
1982). According to this argument, tribes could not have existed as 
an evolutionary stage in the past. Case studies encompassed seden- 
tary hunters and gatherers, as well as small-scale agriculturalists, in 
the Old and New Worlds. Rather than the result of acculturation, 
contributors argued that tribes were, in Gregg's words 'a stable and 
enduring sociopolitical form' (1991: xviii). Although the pressures 
of advancing European states did affect small-scale societies, it was 
argued that such similar resource and territorial pressures have 
occurred at other times in the past (e.g. Bentley 1991 on the Early 
Bronze Age in Jordan). 

In addition to the characteristics of tribal societies (e.g. decision- 
making by consensus, extensive social networks which transmit 
materials and information and counter environmental risks, see 
Braun and Plog 1982), a number of papers focused on the means by 
which egalitarianism is maintained through time in hunter-gatherer 
and agricultural societies. Keene's study of an Israeli kibbutz raised 
the issue of resistance to change, inequality and social evolution. As 
he noted, this concept seemed to be absent from archaeological 
debate: 'it might be worthwhile for archaeologists to think critically 
about how easily prehistoric subjects are allowed to slide into ranked 
or stratified social formations, adopting the "benefits" of domination 
with no muss, no fuss, and no struggle' (1991: 390). 

The theoretical focus of contributions to Gregg's book was very 
much based on cultural evolution and cultural ecology, with a lot of 
space devoted to relationships between human societies and their 
environments. The central importance of adaptation and selection- 
ism was firmly advocated by Braun (1991), while Keene (1991) 
presented the bases of an alternative perspective. 

Timothy Earle's edited book Chiefdoms: Power, Economy and Ideology 
(1991b) was the outcome of a School of American Research Seminar 



in Santa Fe in 1988. According to Earle, the aim of the seminar was 
'to understand the processes that underlie the origins and develop- 
ment of complex stateless societies', or chiefdoms (1991c: 1). Else- 
where Earle referred to chiefdoms as 'intermediate-level societies, 
providing an evolutionary bridge between acephalous societies and 
bureaucratic states' (1987: 279). Clearly the chiefdom was still 
regarded as a concept of value for studying social evolution. But its 
definition now focused on power and political strategies, rather than 
ecology and adaptation: a chiefdom was 'a polity that organizes cen- 
trally a regional population in the thousands . . . some degree of 
heritable social ranking and economic stratification is characteristic- 
ally associated' (Earle 1991c: 1). Chiefs engaged in competitive 
strategies to obtain and maintain power, rather than emerging to 
act for the benefit of followers in solving ecological or economic 
problems (as was proposed by Service). 

Earle proposed ten political strategies that he argued were used to 
create and maintain chiefdoms (1991c: 5). Strategies 1—2 focused on 
gaining economic power through giving, feasting and prestations, and 
improving the infrastructure of subsistence production. Strategies 3— 
6 combined internal force and external warfare to extend political 
power. Finally strategies 7—10 were ideological means of control, 
including appropriation of existing legitimacy principles or the cre- 
ation or appropriation of new ones, as well as the use of long-distance 
wealth exchange to access the exotic symbols by which chiefly identity 
is created. Examples of these strategies in action were cited from the 
contributors' case studies on long-term change in the archaeological 
records of Neolithic and Bronze Age Britain, Scandinavia and Iberia, 
Greece from the collapse of the Mycenaean state to the emergence 
of the city state, pre-contact Polynesia, the Mississippian period of 
the south-east of North America, and the pre-Columban record 
of Mesoamerica, Central America and northern South America. 

Differences of opinion were expressed between contributors as to 
the relative roles of these strategies in establishing differences of 
power. For example, the American pre-Columban record showed lit- 
tle evidence for the role of economic control (strategies 1—2). 
Regional polities seem to have been created, 'in part' by 'an ideology 
of religiously sanctioned centrality symbolized by the ceremonial 
constructions and exchanges in foreign objects of probable sacred 
significance' (Earle 1991c: 8). In contrast, Earle and Gilman argued 
in their papers that differences of power may be ideologically sanc- 
tioned but must have a materialist basis in 'the control over labour 
through control over subsistence' (Earle 1991c: 8). 



This led contributors to discuss the material conditions that were 
deemed important in the success or failure of chiefly political strat- 
egies. Nine such conditions were natural productivity and potential 
for intensification, regional population density, existence of external 
markets, natural circumscription, concentration of productive 
resources, proximity to needed non-food resources, proximity to 
avenues of trade and communication, social circumscription, and 
structured preconditions of hierarchy (Earle 1991c: 10). The main 
focus here was on the ability of chiefs to generate and extract a 
surplus, the restrictions on the options of producers and how this 
affects the ability to mobilize a surplus and direct it towards polit- 
ical centres. Environmental conditions were not independent of 
social systems, but interacted with them in a dynamic way. 

The contributors to the seminar stressed variation in chiefdoms. 
Differences existed, as we have seen, in the political strategies used 
to create and maintain regional polities, and in the material condi- 
tions in which such strategies were exercised. Differences in the 
types, forms, structures and evolution of chiefdoms were proposed. 
Earle (1991c: 3) followed Henry Wright, Vincas Steponaitis, Ross 
Cordy and others in distinguishing simple from complex chiefdoms, 
based on their regional population sizes (low thousands vs tens of 
thousands), levels of political hierarchy above the local community 
(one vs two), and the extent to which they had 'graduated ranking' 
as opposed to 'emergent stratification'. Feinman (1991: 230) fol- 
lowed Wright's definition of a chiefdom (see above), but argued that 
just because two societies share 'structurally similar political forms' 
need not imply similarity in economic organization, kinship, dem- 
ography or other variables. A chiefdom was 'a sociopolitical form' 
and not 'a type or class of societies which (by definition) all share the 
same specified set of societal attributes' (1991: 230). 

Kristiansen (1991: 17) subsumed chiefdoms under a more general 
category of tribal societies and argued that there was a major organ- 
izational difference between these as a whole and states. In tribal 
societies, 'economic and political processes are organized along kin- 
ship lines' and 'control, embedded in kinship, has not transformed 
social groups into classes' (1991: 21). Although hierarchy and 
exploitation may have existed (cf. Earle 1991c, Gilman 1991), this 
was part of a 'progression' towards their 'formalization' in state soci- 
eties. Thus the more complex chiefdoms were regarded as archaic 
states, as were all stratified societies: structural changes such as 
enforced tribute/taxation and economic exploitation meant that 
these societies only lacked the bureaucracies of fully state societies 



(1991: 18). Not only did Kristiansen differ from the other contribu- 
tors in this characterization of social evolution, but also his emphasis 
on structural change contrasted with that on the correlation (or 
lack of it) between variables such as population size and levels of 

Drennan (1991: 284) contrasted the political strategies of chief- 
doms in the Basin of Mexico/Oaxaca valley, where resources were 
mobilized for public monuments that served as communal ritual 
areas, and central Panama/ Alto Magdalena, where mobilization was 
focused on status competition between chiefs. He also noted differ- 
ences between areas in which the emergence of chiefdoms took the 
form predicted in a model of peer polity interaction, and those in 
which one political centre dominated. Steponaitis (1991) pointed 
out that Mississippian centralized chiefdoms of south-east North 
America ad 800—1700 had a range of different political forms, and 
differences in their scale and degree of centralization, as well as dif- 
ferent regional trajectories. Kirch (1991: 144—5) contrasted the evo- 
lutionary trajectories of chiefdoms in the Marquesas Islands of east 
Polynesia with those which developed towards what some have 
argued were archaic states in Hawaii, Tonga and Tahiti: the material 
conditions in the latter areas were markedly higher population 
densities and intensified subsistence production. Once again the 
boundary between chiefdom and state societies becomes blurred. 

Taken as a whole, the volume edited by Earle retained the concept 
of chiefdom, although stressing the variation in such societies in the 
ethnographic and archaeological records. Concepts such as chief- 
doms were used as tools for thought, concepts to enable comparative 
analysis. They were no longer defined in Service's terms. Such soci- 
eties were unstable and cyclical, they could centralize or fragment 
and they did not automatically evolve into states. Indeed the chief- 
dom/state boundary caused dissent in the real world. Chiefdoms 
were defined in terms of political strategies rather than ecology and 
adaptation, of chiefly exploitation rather than beneficial manage- 
ment. As Gilman put it, 'elites manage the social system in their 
own self-interest, not for the common good' (1991: 147). This was a 
world of conflict and control (either over staple production or wealth 
exchanges — see Earle 1987) rather than consensus. The use of ideo- 
logy as a strategy of political control was discussed in terms of the 
creation of sacred landscapes and the use of mortuary rituals to sym- 
bolize individual positions and warrior status (cf. Earle 1987: 298— 
300). Debate occurred over the materialist basis of power. The scale 
of analysis of power was generally at the regional level. 



One of the contributors to Earle's volume, Drennan, also co-edited 
a book on Chiefdoms in the Americas, the outcome of a symposium for 
the 45th International Congress of Americanists in Bogota in 1985 
(Drennan and Uribe 1987). The focus was on long-term sequences of 
change seen in the archaeological records of North, Central and 
South America. Several of the themes which were at the centre of 
Earle's book recurred here: these included the utility of the chiefdom 
concept, variability among societies called chiefdoms, the degree to 
which variation in human societies (especially in terms of increasing 
complexity) is continuous, the extent to which variables such as 
population density and organizational complexity are correlated, and 
the use of political strategies by chiefs. 

I want to focus attention on the issues raised by the four papers in 
the last part of this book, grouped together under the title of 'theor- 
etical considerations'. Drennan began by examining the relationship 
between population size and density on the one hand, and social, 
political and economic organization on the other (1987: 307—9). He 
came to the same conclusions as Feinman and Neitzel (1984), whose 
data he used, along with three archaeological sequences in Mexico 
and Guatemala: there was no 'tidy pattern of growing regional 
populations, steadily increasing population density, and greater con- 
centration into larger and larger centers that many scholars have 
come to expect to correspond to sequences of developing social com- 
plexity' (1987: 319). There was marked demographic variation 
between chiefdoms and this 'fails to correspond neatly to various 
aspects of variability in complexity of organization within the chief- 
dom class' (1987: 319). It was the archaeological record of long-term 
change which offered more potential than the ethnographic record 
in tracing the variation in, and evolution of, the social forms 
grouped together as chiefdoms. For Drennan, the chiefdom concept 
was still of use as a starting point for description and comparative 
analysis of archaeological data. 

Upham rejected the use of ideal types of society and followed 
Feinman and Neitzel (1984) in using the term middle-range society 
to refer to all the different forms of pre-state sedentary groups 
(1987: 347—9). Rather than defining traits, Upham's interest was in 
what he calls 'the processes involved in the development of organiza- 
tional complexity' (e.g. population growth and aggregation, organ- 
ization and management of labour, agricultural intensification, sur- 
plus production, development of productive specialization, etc.: 
1987: 347—8). This followed in the tradition of North American 
archaeology in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Like Drennan, he 



re-analysed Feinman and Neitzel's (1984) data on demographic vari- 
ables and their relationship to organizational complexity. However, 
he reached different conclusions to Drennan, arguing that 'the size 
of the total regional populations appears to be a determining factor 
in the organizational complexity of middle range societies' (1987: 
355). Using the example of 'tribal' societies presented by Braun and 
Plog (1982), Upham proposed that demographic processes and 
adaptation to environmental risk and uncertainty were two of the 
more important causes of the development of organizational com- 
plexity (1987: 362). In doing so, Upham followed North American 
cultural ecology and moved from correlation to explanation. 

In contrast to Upham, Spencer supported the use of terms like 
chiefdom, and argued for the cultural evolutionary sequence from 
bands to tribes, chiefdoms and states. One type did not evolve 
inevitably into the next (e.g. there are chiefdoms which do not 
evolve into states), but a given type evolved from its immediate 
predecessor (e.g. a state from a chiefdom). Such evolution was 
marked by a break, rather than by continuous development. The 
definition of a chiefdom itself has evolved from Service's focus on 
the economic to Wright's use of political and administrative criteria, 
generating specific observations (e.g. settlement hierarchies) to be 
searched for in the archaeological record. The key to Spencer's theor- 
etical perspective on social change lay in selection: 'successful repro- 
duction of the chiefly political order requires that it survive the 
operation of selection, which in turn demands that the elite pursue 
social, religious and economic strategies that are compatible with 
chiefly decision-making principles' (1987: 377). Such strategies 
included alliance formation, surplus mobilization, long-distance 
prestige good exchange, sanctification of authority, institutionalized 
social differences, etc. 

Spencer's cultural evolutionism, with its emphasis on selection as 
the means of social reproduction, found its direct opposite in the 
historical materialism of Zeidler, who presented a critique of Braun 
and Plog's (1982) influential paper on tribal societies: essentially 
they denied the potential for change generated within tribes (or any 
other societies) by individuals and groups engaged in social produc- 
tion. This focus on internal causes of change in specific historical 
contexts tied in with Marxist criticisms of the use of biological evo- 
lutionary theory and concepts in the analysis of human societies. 

The historical materialist concept of society, then, maintains 
a clear methodological distinction between the mechanisms 



of biological evolution and those of social evolution. It is 
argued that the complexity of human consciousness and the 
social learning process in human societies effectively set 
them apart from other biological organisms, such that their 
social systems do not necessarily evolve in accordance with 
strictly biological models. 

(Zeidler 1987: 330) 

Social transformation was argued to be qualitative and dis- 
continuous. Zeidler addressed the criticism that a Marxist perspec- 
tive cannot be operationalized in the study of past societies by 
proposing relevant analytical units and their material indicators (e.g. 
processes of production, distribution, exchange, and consumption; 
inferences on labour processes, the labour force, etc.) in the archaeo- 
logical record (1987: 333—6). As is clear from the sources cited by 
Zeidler, historical materialism was the basis for influential works on 
archaeological theory in Central and South America (see Chapter 2). 

Another School of American Research seminar, which took place 
in 1986, was edited for publication by Steadman Upham as The 
Evolution of Political Systems (1990b). The focus was on small-scale 
sedentary societies, defined by Haas as 'those societies in between 
the relatively simple band organisation characteristic of many 
known hunting and gathering societies and the centralised, hier- 
archical and bureaucratic state' (Upham 1990b: xvi). What Earle 
and others would call chiefdoms were subsumed within these so- 
called middle-range societies. Here we see the beginnings of polit- 
ical inequality when, as Hastorf (1990: 147) put it, 'certain people 
claim (a) power over others' decisions about labor, access to produc- 
tion, resources or circulation of certain goods, (b) influence on 
behaviors and communications between members of the group, or 
(c) authority over information and special knowledge.' Although 
such inequalities have been studied in both the archaeological and 
ethnographic records, the bias here was toward the time-depth 
offered by archaeology (cultural anthropologists are outnumbered 
8:2 by archaeologists). The range of theoretical positions was 
slightly broader than in the Earle volume, and Marxist perspectives 
were more explicitly recognized in a separate section of the book. 

As in the volume edited by Earle, the contributors agreed that a 
rigidly typological approach ignores and obscures the kinds of vari- 
ations seen in present and past societies. At the same time, the focus 
of the conference was on societies between the levels of one type, the 
band, and another type, the state. Following the example of 



Feinman and Neitzel (1984), some contributors tried to understand 
how individual variables interact with each other to define recurrent 
patterns and to suggest processes by which social change occurred. 
Upham focused on what he calls four 'axes of variability', namely 
demographic, economic, social and political (1990c), identifying 
population density thresholds which appear to be associated with 
major changes in the organization of societies, such as the emergence 
of more centralized political leadership. The search for such correl- 
ations between variables was also marked in Netting's contribution, 
which examined the relationships between population density, 
agricultural intensity and land tenure in the ethnographic record: 
while such relationships clearly exist (e.g. Netting 1990: 59—61), 
there is no automatic requirement for political centralization among 
societies practising intensive agriculture. 

A further similarity with the Earle volume lay in the emphasis on 
political strategies, on control and conflict, and on the critical ques- 
tion as to how the autonomy of local groups and villages was given 
up. The extent to which political power and inequality is grounded 
in economic control was once again debated. Hastorf argued 
strongly that political and economic inequality were not necessarily 
associated one with another. She cited examples of societies with 
clear differences of wealth, but no political stratification, and pro- 
posed the 'decoupling' of political and economic inequality, at least 
as far as the beginnings of such inequalities were concerned. 

At this stage, leaders are more concerned with symbols of 
power, opinion changing, and the negotiations of their social 
position (often giving out as much as they take in) rather 
than with control of economics. That is, they are engaged in 
appropriating social legitimation rather than material power. 

(Hastorf 1990: 148) 

People may, of course, resist the strategies of emerging, or even 
established, leaders, as was pointed out by both Trigger (1990) and 
Bender (1990). 

Evidence of theoretical cleavage was more marked in this volume 
than in those of the other three conferences discussed in this section. 
The perspectives of Marxism and neo-Marxism intruded more for- 
cibly, with more extensive citation of such literature in archaeology 
and anthropology, and even some anxiety to allay the possible fears of 
a North American audience over the use of the word 'communism' 
(Lee 1990)! This perspective formed the basis of papers by Trigger, 



Bender, Lee, and Saitta and Keene (1990), while it was acknow- 
ledged and criticized by Braun, who advocated a theoretical view 
based on adaptation and selectionism. It is interesting to note that 
advocates of theoretical positions as different as those of Plog and 
Netting, on the one hand, and Saitta and Keene on the other used the 
same analytical unit, the household, as the basis for study of inequal- 
ities in production and labour organization. Although one might 
imagine that a different theory would dictate the use of different 
analytical units, this does not appear to be the case in practice here. 

This observation is a good point at which to begin summing up 
these four conference volumes. Given that they were all conceived 
and published in North America, it is no surprise that cultural evo- 
lution and cultural ecology constituted the dominant theoretical 
approaches. Where historical materialism was introduced into the 
study of social evolution, it tended to be by Europeans or Latin 
Americans. Some archaeologists retained a belief in the existence of 
types of society, while recognizing variation and subdivisions within 
individual types, such as the chiefdom. Others rejected the existence 
of any social types as either useful or realistic, preferring more neu- 
tral and inclusive terms such as 'middle-range societies'. Whether 
evolutionists or not, there was widespread consensus that the study 
of such societies now had to focus on political strategies concerned 
with the creation and maintenance of power differences, with resist- 
ance, conflict and control, rather than simply ecological adap- 
tation. Major differences of opinion existed over the use of biological 
evolution as an analogy for social change. 

But, and this is a big BUT, the research on long-term change in 
the archaeological record, reported in these conference volumes, 
revealed the collection of data on variables relevant to different the- 
oretical perspectives. These variables included agricultural produc- 
tion and intensification, surplus production, the organization of 
labour, demography, exchange and settlement hierarchies. Ana- 
lytical units ranged from the small-scale, in the household, through 
the society or the social formation to the pan-regional world system. 
Neither the theoretical approaches nor the practice of archaeology 
could be argued to be completely exclusive, as individual archaeolo- 
gists have come to grips with criticisms of their positions, as well as 
the implications of the data produced by their research and that of 
others. As far as social evolution was concerned, the world of arch- 
aeological theory and practice in the late 1980s was most certainly 
different from the 1960s, when cultural evolution permeated Anglo- 
American archaeology. Cultural evolution was not dead in the late 



1980s, but the influence of historical materialism was becoming 
more prevalent. It is to this influence that we turn in the next 

By the left, quick march! 

Historical materialism has been a major intellectual and political 
force for the last one hundred and fifty years. Like other bodies of 
theory, its popularity has vacillated within the social sciences, as has 
the extent to which adherents to other theories have looked to it for 
inspiration. Good reviews of its practice and influence can be found 
for both anthropology (Bloch 1985) and archaeology (McGuire 
1992). While Marx's analysis of society began with capitalism, it 
was always historical in character, as he attempted to show that 
capitalism was a product of history. But the part played by analysis 
of prehistoric societies was minimal, given the state of knowledge 
of such societies in the mid- to late nineteenth century. This did 
not stop the application of Marxist analyses to prehistoric societies, 
as we saw in Chapter 2, but this was very restricted within the 
Anglo-American world until the last three decades. 

It is not my intention here to present a detailed exegesis of 
Marxist thought. The reader is best directed to any one of a series of 
commentaries or biographies (e.g. Berlin 1939; McLellan 1973, 
1975), as well as to key publications by Marx himself (1973), Marx 
and Engels (1970, 1998) and Engels (1972). While scholars disagree 
about the interpretation of specific passages and works, and about 
the evolution of Marx's thought, given the piecemeal and delayed 
record of its publication, there are central ideas which run through it 
and provide the basis for the subsequent tradition of historical 
materialism. These begin with a materialist philosophy and meth- 
odology, which assert that the production and reproduction of life 
are the foundations of historical and social analysis. This materialism 
was developed as a counter to the Hegelian idealism that permeated 
nineteenth-century German philosophy. It directed attention to the 
analysis of production and of the organization and exploitation of 
surplus labour, especially by control of the means of production (as 
seen in capitalism). Change was generated by processes internal to 
society, namely contradictions between the forces and relations of 
production. Such contradictions and internal conflicts were central 
to change, as opposed to system maintenance or adaptation, and 
class was the key social unit of analysis. The environment constrains 
but does not determine. Change occurs within specific historical 



contexts, while the interests of the ruling class are maintained not 
only by physical coercion, but also by an ideology that represents its 
interests as those of all classes within a particular society. 

With the notable exception of Gordon Childe, historical material- 
ism played a limited role in the study of social change in Anglo- 
American archaeology before the 1970s. While a handful of classical 
Marxists looked back to original texts (as they became available in 
translation), it was the work of what became known as neo, struc- 
tural or Western Marxist anthropologists in France which provided 
the decisive impetus (Bloch 1985; McGuire 1992, 1993; Trigger 
1993). Scholars such as Godelier, Meillassoux, Terray and Althusser 
wrestled with what they perceived as the limitations of Marx and 
Engels's analysis for precapitalist societies, and rejected the way in 
which a five-stage unilineal history of society (primitive, ancient/ 
slave, feudal, capitalist, communist) had been imposed upon Soviet 
anthropology and archaeology. At the same time they rejected the 
functionalist view of society used in British anthropology. For some, 
such as Terray and Althusser, the unit of analysis of precapitalist 
societies was the mode of production, more than one of which could 
be present in a society. For others, such as Rey, the concept of class 
was extended to apply to all societies, given the evidence for exploit- 
ation claimed to be present in non-capitalist and non-state societies 
(e.g. elders over juniors, men over women). The determination of the 
superstructure (e.g. ideology) by the economic base was also debated. 
Althusser gave greater weight to the social relations of production 
than to the forces of production, while Godelier rejected economic 
relations as the motor of change and argued the case for factors which 
would be placed in the superstructure by classical Marxists (e.g. 
religion, kinship, politics) as determinants of social change. 

This resurgence of Marxist and Marxist-inspired thought in 
anthropology was by no means the result of activity by a uniform 
school of thought. But it was the authors mentioned above, along 
with the German critical theorists such as Habermas, who inspired 
British archaeologists in the period from the mid-1970s until the 
mid-1980s to draw significantly upon historical materialism (for 
reviews, see McGuire 1992, 1993; Trigger 1993). The centres of this 
activity were in University College London and Cambridge, 
although it was only in UCL that the label 'Marxist archaeology' was 
justified. Seminal papers on the importance of social relations in the 
development of farming by Bender (e.g. 1978, 1985) and on the 
epigenetic, or prestige-goods, model of social evolution by Friedman 
and Rowlands (1978) were widely cited and stimulated further 



research. For example, Kristiansen (1982) focused on contradictions 
between social relations and economic production from the Neo- 
lithic until the Iron Age of northern Europe. Social change was 
discontinuous, rather than continuous, and followed a series of evo- 
lutionary and devolutionary cycles. The scale of social reproduction 
was at the regional, rather than the local level, tying in with a 
broader interest in world systems models. Friedman and Rowlands 
(1978) brought together structural Marxist and other anthropolo- 
gists and archaeologists for a seminar on the evolution of social sys- 
tems. The first edited book on Marxist archaeology was published in 
1984 (Spriggs 1984), and in the same year the themes of power and 
ideology were debated in another Cambridge volume (Miller and 
Tilley 1984). 

By the mid- 1980s ideas, concepts and models derived from histor- 
ical materialism were diffusing widely through Anglo-American 
archaeology. As has been pointed out by Trigger, not all the authors 
who embraced this tradition were Marxists, opinion among Marxists 
was divided, and some wanted to dissociate themselves from the 
political commitment of Marxism: it is in this context that Trigger 
refers to 'the disembedded and free-floating nature of Marxist ideas 
in Western society' (1993: 174). In addition to the explicitly Marx- 
ist contributions to the four conferences held between 1985 and 
1988 and discussed in the previous section, the spread of these ideas 
is seen in the focus on political strategies, on domination and resist- 
ance, on conflict, on ideology, and on prestige goods. If the 1970s 
was the decade of administrative models, the 1980s was one of 
political models. 

The concepts of power and ideology featured prominently in such 
models. Miller and Tilley (1984: 5) followed Foucault rather than 
Marx in making their distinction between two forms of power: 

By power to we refer to power as an integral and recursive 
element in all aspects of social life. Power over, by contrast, 
can be specifically related to forms of social control. While 
power to can be logically disconnected from coercion and 
asymmetrical forms of social domination and does not, 
therefore, imply power over, the latter sense of the noun 
power must always involve power to. 

Everyday relations were power relations: as Paynter and McGuire 
(1991: 13) put it, such power is 'the capacity to alter events'. This 
capacity may be exercised by coercion or persuasion. The principal 



method of persuasion discussed by theorists has been the use of 

The use of ideology for domination and legitimation, for hiding 
the real nature of social relations, has been discussed in historical 
materialism since Marx and Engels's (1970) introduction of the con- 
cept of 'false consciousness'. The interests of the ruling class, those 
who exercise power over, are represented as those of all members of 
society. This is known as the 'dominant ideology' theory and has 
been subject to criticism recently. Following Abercrombie et al. 
(1980), many now argue that multiple ideologies exist in societies, 
and that such ideologies provide a means of resistance as well as 

Much of this discussion relates to the function of ideology, rather 
than defining what exactly it is. As much as there is any consensus in 
the social sciences, most authors refer to ideology in terms of the 
aspects of culture which are concerned with the relations of power 
between groups within society. Such ideology may take the form of 
specific ideas, or what are called 'worldviews', which are associated 
with particular groups or classes. But what then matters is how 
these worldviews are expressed and symbolized in the material 
world, and become the object of human action. 

The extent to which these concepts of power and ideology have 
diffused through archaeological theory and practice may be seen by 
comparison of two recent books. Earle (1997) acknowledges his edu- 
cation in cultural ecology, and his early research would probably 
lead him to be classified as a processual archaeologist. But com- 
parison of his three major field research projects in Hawaii, Den- 
mark and Peru reveals a focus on power, including ideology. For 
Earle, ideology is 'a system of beliefs and ideas presented publicly in 
ceremonies and other occasions. It is created and manipulated stra- 
tegically by social segments, most importantly the ruling elite, to 
establish and maintain positions of social power' (1997: 149). Earle's 
specific interest is in how these ideas are 'materialised', that is how 
they are given physical expression (cf. DeMarrais et al. 1996). Given 
Foucault's emphasis on the built environment as a means to express 
and contextualize power, it is not surprising that Earle examines the 
materialization of ideology through public ceremonies, often associ- 
ated with sacred landscapes, and through artefacts symbolic of 
power, whether they be exotic, esoteric or coercive (i.e. weapons). 
Ideology is seen by Earle to have played a dominant role in the 
development of chiefdom societies in Denmark, whereas it was less 
important than physical coercion in his Peruvian study area and 



preceded investment in economic power in Hawaii. It is somewhat 
confusing for archaeological typologists (see Chapter 2) that an 
avowedly postprocessual book on the site of the Cahokia period soci- 
eties of the Mississippi valley, from the eleventh to the thirteenth 
centuries ad (Emerson 1997) cites exactly the same theoretical 
approach to power and ideology as Earle, along with Earle's means of 
giving ideology material expression. 

This should not, of course, suggest that all differences are merged 
in some kind of theoretical stew. For Hodder (1996a), the approach 
to ideology adopted by Earle and his co-workers (DeMarrais et al. 
1996) elevates control of materials over that of their meanings, 
which can be understood in different ways, as well as manipulated 
according to sectional interests. How are new systems of meaning, 
along with new power relations, adopted? Elsewhere Hodder (1986) 
criticized papers by Bender, Friedman and Rowlands and others for 
underplaying the role of ideology, neglecting the meaning of 
material culture in particular historical contexts, and failing to 
explain the emergence of new ideologies. For Hodder, materialist is 
clearly not a term of endearment! 

Debates also exist within Marxist anthropology and archaeology. 
Trigger (1993: 176—81) has grave anxieties about key tenets of neo- 
structural Marxism, proposing that areas of agreement between this 
and classical Marxism are fewer than areas of disagreement. He 
disputes what he sees as an overemphasis on social relations and 
non-economic factors in precapitalist societies, as well as the claim, 
propounded by Terray, that classes and exploitation exist(ed) in all 
societies (e.g. Saitta 1992). This runs counter to ethnographic obser- 
vations on the acquisition of prestige in small-scale societies through 
non-accumulative strategies such as giving and feasting. Gilman 
(1989, 1998) shares these concerns, especially about the idealism 
and relativism of some avowedly Marxist authors. Both he and Trig- 
ger see a greater kinship between classical Marxism and processual 
archaeology than between the former and neo-structural Marxism. 
Trigger (no friend of processual archaeology) is led to ask: 'When 
does the label Marxist cease to have meaning? I believe that idealist 
explanations, and therefore much (but not all) of what passes as 
neo-Marxism, forfeit the right to bear that name' (1993: 186). 

The final area of debate concerns the ability of historical material- 
ists to operationalize their key concepts in the archaeological record. 
This criticism from non-Marxists (e.g. Wenke 1981) was addressed 
by Zeidler (1987, see above) with regard to production, distribu- 
tion, exchange, the material forces of production (e.g. the objects of 



labour, the instruments of labour), etc. Other key concepts include 
class, exploitation (e.g. Mays 1988: 216), the organization of labour 
(e.g. Bernbeck 1995), and property (e.g. Hunt and Gilman 1998). 

Whether formally acknowledged or not, whether explicit or 
implicit, there is no doubt that historical materialism has helped to 
raise the profile of political strategies in studies of social change in 
the past. As we have seen, the roles of power and ideology were 
widely discussed. At the same time, the relative importance of, and 
interaction between, social relations and economic production were 
bones of contention, depending on one's theoretical position. 
Although reference was often made to the strategies pursued by 
'elites' and 'leaders', as well as to the physical and ideological resist- 
ance of followers, analysis was still very much at the level of groups 
within society. The main exception to this, as we have seen, was the 
recognition that one form of power, power to, existed within the 
context of everyday social relations. It is these kinds of relations, and 
the roles of individual agents within social change, that were the 
next objects of study by archaeologists in the 1980s. 

Practice makes perfect? 

A focus of social analysis on individual action and strategies, as 
opposed to social institutions and structure, the small scale of every- 
day activities as opposed to the large-scale processes which are 
beyond individual control, has been known in different guises as 
'action', 'practice' or 'structuration' theory in the Anglo-American 
world. An interest in factions, individuals, the pursuit of self- 
interest, and the manipulation of others, whether expressed symbol- 
ically or materially, as opposed to cultural norms and structures, was 
a minority concern within anthropology before the 1970s. Vincent 
(1978) traced the roots of this approach in the work of anthropolo- 
gists such as Mair, Leach and Firth, but it was only really developed, 
by Barth (1966), Cohen (1974), Boissevain (1964), Turner (1957) 
and others, within the context of what became known as political 
anthropology in the 1960s. Ortner (1984) provided a good synthesis 
of the subsequent development of this approach. However, the two 
scholars with whom a focus on individual action is most associated 
during the last two decades have been the French anthropologist 
Pierre Bourdieu (1977) and the British sociologist Anthony Giddens 
(1979). In what follows, I will focus attention on Giddens's theor- 
etical contribution, and its effect on archaeological analysis of social 



Giddens's structuration theory centres on the relationship 
between the actions of individuals and the larger-scale social struc- 
tures of which they are a part. It is argued that all social actors, or 
agents, are knowledgeable about the social and natural worlds in 
which they live. This knowledgeability is not unlimited, and indi- 
viduals are not necessarily able to produce the desired outcomes of 
their actions. There may also be unintended consequences of these 
actions. The character of knowledge takes different forms, depend- 
ing on the degree to which individuals conceive of their actions in 
terms of conscious thought. These actions are carried out in the 
context of the everyday lives of individuals, what Giddens refers to 
as social practices. These practices enjoy what is called a 'recursive' 
relationship with social structure: that is, neither is determined by 
the other (e.g. structure does not determine agency), but 'the struc- 
tural properties of social systems are both medium and outcome of 
the practices that constitute these systems' (1982: 36—7). The social 
system as a whole is produced and reproduced during the course of 
this active relationship between practice and structure. As Roscoe 
puts it, 'structure comprises a complex of rules and resources that 
shape but do not determine social action. Agents receive these rules 
and resources as "objective conditions", but rather than responding 
mechanically to them, they use them creatively to perform activities 
and achieve ends' (1993: 113). Social systems continue at the same 
time as they change. 

This relationship between individual actors, social practices and 
the social structure (or Bourdieu's 'habitus', learnt through the pro- 
cess of socialization in daily life) was seized upon initially by the 
proponents of postprocessual archaeology in Cambridge (e.g. Hod- 
der 1982a; Shanks and Tilley 1987a, 1987b; Johnson 1989; Yates 
1989), for which the work of Giddens and Bourdieu provided an 
essential theoretical plank. British archaeologists who also made use 
of this plank, although not necessarily styling themselves 'postpro- 
cessual', include, most notably, Barrett (1988), who made the study 
of social practices the object of archaeological analysis (cf. Shennan 

During the last decade the concepts of agency and structuration 
have diffused through the Anglo-American archaeological literature. 
Although widely cited, there is little consensus on the meaning of 
agency (Table 3.1), nor on the amount of change that individual 
action can cause in social institutions, nor on the extent to which the 
individual is a social product of the post-Enlightenment period. The 
focus on 'individual narratives of lived lives and events' (Hodder 



Table 3- 1 Ten meanings of 'agency' 

1 Replication of unconscious cognitive structures. 

2 Social reproduction of, and resistance to, system-wide power relations through 
cultural actions. 

3 Constitution of individual subjectivity through diffuse power relations. 

4 Constitution of the individual as a psychological entity. 

5 The experience of individual action in creating a 'life story'. 

6 The imposition of form on material via socially situated creative activity. 

7 Intersubjective engagement with the material and social world. 

8 The creation of formal and social distinctions through expressive activity. 

9 The successful deployment of discursive and non-discursive technological 
knowledge and skill. 

10 The strategic pursuit of intentional plans for purposive goals, especially with 
culturally constructed ideas of personhood, class or cosmos. 

Source: Adapted from Dobres and Robb 2000: 9 

2000: 22) would seem to be of limited use to archaeology, given the 
nature of its evidence. In some examples the works of Giddens and 
Bourdieu are cited, but they do not provide the basis for model 
building or analysis (e.g. Blanton et al. 1996). Discussions of emer- 
ging social complexity now include reference to practice theory, 
including the wider range of authors cited above, and focus on the 
internal generation of social change. For example, Arnold (1995: 89) 
advocates approaches based on power building, consultation, 
manipulation, calculation, negotiation and factional competition as 
recognition that the development of social inequality is an active, 
rather than a passive, process. But the opportunity to be active, to 
employ political strategies, occurs under conditions of external 
stress. In this case human agency is claimed to be central to the 
theoretical approach, but it is a long way from Giddens and 
Bourdieu (neither of whom are cited). 

In contrast Earle (1997) looks at the issues raised by practice 
theory for the study of social evolution among chiefdom societies. 
His study of ideology (see above) takes one of its starting points 
from Geertz's ideas about the creation and existence of culture 
through the enactment of public ritual. Using Bourdieu and others, 
Earle argues that 'cultural phenomena are not rules held in people's 
heads, but the daily actions of people habituated and instructed as 
they go about their routine lives' (1997: 148). Taking structuration 
theory on board, Earle enthuses that 'culture exists as a constantly 
moving objective world, experienced as it is created by its members' 
(1997: 149). At the same time, his approach to ideology is still 



developed from the perspective of the ruling elite, and practice 
theory and structuration do not direct his analysis of particular 
archaeological sequences. 

Clark and Blake (1994: 17) construct an influential model of the 
emergence of institutionalized inequality, based on 'self-interested 
competition among political actors vying for prestige or social 
esteem'. Following Giddens, they assume that social systems consist 
of 'regularized practices', which are not endowed with rationality or 
the ability to adapt. Social actors possess knowledge of the system and 
the constraints on it (e.g. past practices). The ambitious actors 'vying 
for prestige or social esteem' are males (itself a gendered bias — see 
Gero 2000) and known as 'aggrandizers', and their ability to promote 
themselves depends to a large extent on favourable environmental 
conditions and the long-term, unintended consequences of the cumu- 
lative actions. For Clark and Blake this approach shows social sys- 
tems, through these individuals, acting on, rather than reacting to, 
ecological variables. They open up consideration of long-term 
change, which does not figure in the work of either Giddens or 
Bourdieu, in their proposal that the transition to institutionalized 
inequality requires the introduction of new social practices before 
structural change. Such practices have to be maintained for a suf- 
ficient (but unspecified) length of time so that they become 'habitual'. 
This raises questions as to the continuous or discontinuous nature of 
change within the structuration model, and the degree to which the 
recursive relationship between practice and structure is equally bal- 
anced. Criticism has also been made of such 'individualist' models, 
since 'the action of any one individual can have no historical con- 
sequence unless others participate in the moments of interaction' 
(Pauketat 2000: 1 17). According to this view, we should focus on the 
social practices of the many rather than the few. 

This does, of course, raise the question as to how far in general 
practice theory, which has been developed within the context 
of synchronic studies, can be applied unchanged to the study of 
long-term change, using the particular kinds of data available to 
archaeology. Structuration theory has been criticized within the 
social sciences, and that critique, both positive and negative, has 
extended into archaeology (e.g. Last 1995; Meskell 1999). 

There have also been attempts to build intellectual bridges 
between practice theory as a whole and both evolutionary and histor- 
ical materialist approaches to the past. Shennan (1989, 1991) noted 
the criticism that structuration theory undervalues the constraints 
exercised by social structure upon social action, and that it fails to 



account for the development of social institutions. But his main 
point was that the theory fails to account for cultural transmission, 
the persistence of human societies through space and time. For this, 
Shennan sought to establish a rapprochement between structuration 
theory and neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory, arguing that they are 
complementary rather than antagonistic approaches to social change. 

Earle (1991a) also pursued the same aim, focusing on individual 
choice and the transmission and transformation of human behaviour 
between generations. Choice has been viewed in terms of economic, 
evolutionary or cultural rationality, and Earle proposed a synthesis 
between these which took into account the arguments that (a) there 
is a biological basis to cultural transmission (cf. Shennan) and (b) 
individual choice is constrained by group association. Other authors 
have also tried to distinguish between short-term, human agency 
and strategies, and the long-term evolutionary mechanisms which 
select for the persistence of particular strategies over generations 
(e.g. Plog and Braun 1984; Spencer 1997: 230). 

Construction of different bridges has been proposed between 
practice theory and historical materialism, given that the work of 
Marx provided one of the roots for practice theory. McGuire argued 
that 'we should seek our explanations for history in the real dialect- 
ical interplay of nature, structure, culture and agency in the specific 
cases we study' (1992: 143—4), but that this should be done at the 
level of the group rather than the individual (1992: 134), given the 
Marxist maxim that 'humans make history as social beings'. There is 
no room for methodological individualism (which focuses on the 
actions of individuals as the determinant of social change) in classical 
Marxism, although it has resurfaced recently in what has become 
known as analytical Marxism. However, Callinicos has provided an 
excellent critique of the primacy of individual action in this school 
of thought and a reaffirmation of the classical Marxist position: 'his- 
torical materialism specifies the structural capacities possessed by 
agents by virtue of their position in productive relations i.e. their 
class position' and 'it claims that these capacities, and also the class 
interests which agents share, have primacy in explaining their actual 
behaviour' (1987: 94). 


Views of society and social change have clearly taken several forms 
during the last four decades. Neo-evolutionism, with its focus on 
social structure, institutions, statuses and roles, attempted to bring 



order to the ethnographic record of non-capitalist societies. Pro- 
ponents defined and redefined types of society, which were placed in 
an evolutionary sequence (with due allowance for debate over the 
originality of tribal societies). Processual archaeologists used these 
types to structure their study of past social systems. At the same 
time, the use of societal typologies was subjected to rigorous criti- 
cism, from both processual and non-processual camps. Within 
North American archaeology in the 1970s, the focus on ecology and 
adaptation in neo-evolutionary thinking gave way (although it did 
not disappear) to one on administration, as a theory of social evolu- 
tion (especially towards state society) based on information process- 
ing and decision-making hierarchies was developed. Homo economicus 
had been replaced by Homo bureauratkus\ 

By the mid-1980s, and in spite of continued criticism, the soci- 
etal types of neo-evolutionism were still embedded in archaeology. 
But now talk of chiefdoms, hierarchies, inequalities and social com- 
plexity was viewed in terms of power and political strategies, con- 
flict, control and exploitation. Politics was no longer subsumed 
under administration. Within this tradition, opinion was divided as 
to the kinds of political strategies used by leaders and elites, as well 
as the material conditions of their existence, the processes by which 
complexity evolved, and the utility of neo-evolutionary concepts. 
Opinion was also divided as to the role of ideological, as opposed to 
material, factors in social evolution. This reflected the permeation of 
historical materialist thinking, mainly in the form of neo-Marxism, 
into Anglo-American archaeology. Some explored regional and even 
world systems of social reproduction, and the existence was recog- 
nized of both evolutionary and devolutionary cycles of social change. 
Debate ensued as to the role of non-economic factors in social 
change, as well as the existence (or not) of classes in precapitalist 
societies, and the degree to which essential concepts of historical 
materialism could be operationalized in the archaeological record. 

Opposed to both neo-evolutionist and historical materialist 
approaches to society and social change, practice theory also 'hit' 
archaeology in the mid-1980s. Proponents focused on individual 
agency, rather than groups, classes and institutions, and advocated a 
non-deterministic relationship between agency and social structure. 
Continuity and change were no longer opposed to each other. 

This history of different approaches to society and social change is 
important both in itself and as an example of the complexity of 
disciplinary change. Rather than a simple, linear sequence of 
approaches we see ongoing traditions of thought. Debate occurred 



within and between these traditions. While they appeared initially 
to be mutually exclusive (as probably intended by their proponents 
as part of the process of self-definition), ideas and concepts were 
adopted in spite of the tradition boundaries. Paradigms were seen to 
be permeable rather than incommensurable. This permeation 
occurred when what may be regarded each time as the 'mainstream' 
came under attack from new approaches. Whether the result of 
internal variation, productive tensions, or the desire to explore new 
approaches as the productivity of existing approaches succumbs to 
the law of diminishing returns, the boundaries between traditions 
have been crossed by intellectual bridges. The agents of such engin- 
eering projects are individual archaeologists. The bridges they build 
may provide theoretical links (e.g. structuration and neo- 
Darwinism) and practical ones (e.g. operationalizing concepts such 
as property and exploitation in the archaeological record, and using 
common units of analysis, such as the household) between different 
traditions of thought. For some archaeologists (those in the main- 
stream?) this process is to be expected, as we look to develop the 
intellectual tools to study the past. There is no monopoly on wis- 
dom. For others, this may amount to a process of homogenization, 
with the loss of distinct theoretical identities. 

These ideas and scenarios need to be explored in greater detail 
within archaeology, to move us away from simplistic ideas of para- 
digm replacement. For now I want to move on from looking at 
approaches to the study of society and social change to scrutiny of 
key concepts such as 'egalitarian', 'inequality', 'hierarchy' and 'com- 
plexity'. In the next chapter I look at their definition, especially as 
dichotomies, and their use in the study of contemporary and past 




Back to basics 

In Chapter 1, I argued that the world in which we live is both 
complex and full of inequalities. Trends towards such complexity 
(which subsume inequalities of wealth, gender, etc.) have been the 
focus of interest among scholars since the eighteenth century, before 
the social sciences came into existence. Evolutionary sequences of 
society and culture have been proposed since then, whether based on 
living or past societies. Since the 1960s archaeologists have wrestled 
with concepts of society and social evolution (although some prefer 
the, to them, less loaded word 'change'), as we have seen in Chapter 
3. Disagreements in Anglo-American archaeology are clearly visible 
in definitions of society, in the motors of social change, in the form 
such change takes and in the scales of analysis which are required to 
study that change. At the same time, there are various terms that are 
used widely in the literature, and which have been mentioned in 
Chapter 3, but which have yet to be defined. In this chapter I will 
focus on the definition of such terms, and on their use in the study of 
both contemporary and past societies. I hope this will enable the 
reader to negotiate his/her way through a potential terminological 
minefield and to understand the obsession with the dichotomous 
thinking that pervades social thought. According to this, societies 
are either egalitarian or not, hierarchical or not, and simple or com- 
plex. I will begin with concepts of equality and inequality, egalitar- 
ian and stratified, hierarchical and heterarchical, before considering 
the concept of complexity. 

Egalitarian relations and egalitarian societies? 

If our world is complex and unequal, then it is no surprise to find 
speculation that the societies of our earliest ancestors were 'simple' 
and egalitarian. In other words, there was some 'original state of 



man', a baseline from which social evolution sprang. Whether this 
'original state' was to be envied and admired or regarded as inferior 
to later stages of evolution became a matter of opinion. For some 
scholars, our earliest ancestors were 'noble savages', endowed with 
dignity in their simple state, while for others their hunter-gatherer 
descendants represented an 'original affluent society' (to quote Sahl- 
ins 1972), well off in the basic necessities of life, even if they lived 
on the margins of modern states and lacked their technologies. 

This belief in the dichotomy between equality and egalitarian 
societies on the one side, and inequality and complex societies on the 
other, has a long ancestry in the social sciences. It was emphasized in 
an influential study of African political systems by Fortes and Evans- 
Pritchard (1940). The authors defined three types of political organ- 
ization among indigenous African societies. While hunter-gatherer 
groups, with their ties of kinship, were defined as one of these types, 
it was the opposition between the other two types, those of states 
and stateless societies, which has proved so influential. As Flanagan 
(1989: 245—6) has pointed out, stateless societies were defined by 
negative traits: they lacked the centralized authority and insti- 
tutionalized hereditary inequality of state societies. Where positive 
traits were stressed, they focused on the segmentary lineages and 
situational leadership of African stateless societies. The key point is 
that the terms equality and egalitarian were not defined in them- 
selves, but as the opposites of inequality and stratification. Analysis 
began with a dichotomy, and worked back from states to stateless 

But what do we mean by egalitarian, or equality? We could mean 
equality of opportunity, by which all members of society are born 
with the same opportunities to earn social position and wealth dur- 
ing the course of their lives. This, of course, is the ideological basis 
of North American society, in which the farm boy can rise to be 
president or earn a vast fortune, and all are equal before God and the 
law. Such a triumph for democracy may be due to unequal abilities, 
whether these are intelligence, hard work and effort, entrepreneurial 
flair or sheer deviousness and dishonesty. Not for nothing have two 
modern presidents of the United States of America been nicknamed 
'Tricky Dicky' and 'Slick Willy'! 

But individual abilities do not tell the whole story and must be 
placed in their social context. Although North America, along with 
other Western democracies, adheres to this equality of opportunity, 
and aspiring leaders advocate wider access to the benefits of educa- 
tion and health, it is clear that this definition of equality is an ideal 



that fails to find support in practice. We are a long way from equal- 
ity of opportunity for immigrants and ethnic minorities, for the 
homeless (what has become known as the 'underclass'), for women, 
and so on. The degree of equality in the conditions of life counts for 
more than any ideology of equality of opportunity. Democracy and 
universal suffrage allows regular opportunities to exercise one's vote, 
but this does not necessarily result in any change in the conditions 
of life. The right to vote may also be prevented or impeded, as was 
seen in the case of ethnic minorities in Florida during the last US 
presidential election. 

In ethnographic contexts equality of opportunity and outcome 
may or may not coincide. While the !Kung Bushmen and New 
Guinea highlanders share equality of opportunity, this does not 
apply to outcome: the equality of outcome seen among the !Kung is 
less visible in the New Guinea highlands, where political and eco- 
nomic inequality may be achieved during individual lifetimes 
(Flanagan 1988: 166). It is important here to specify how equality or 
inequality are measured: Western scholars tend to use economic cri- 
teria, but social scientists have reminded us of other criteria valued in 
ethnographic contexts such as differential knowledge, access to the 
supernatural or the exotic, and different skills and abilities. 

These issues show that distinctions need to be made between 
egalitarian social relations and practices, egalitarian societies (see 
Chapter 3) and egalitarian ideologies (i.e. egalitarianism). Flanagan 
(1989: 248) located inequalities and hierarchies of inequalities 
between individuals in the realm of everyday, interpersonal rela- 
tions, or social organization, in contrast to stratification (the division 
of society into ranked, institutionalized categories of people such as 
classes and castes), which he argues is part of social structure. 
According to this argument, individual social systems can have 
elements of hierarchy and equality, depending on the criteria used 
and the daily practices of social life. 'There are no egalitarian soci- 
eties', but 'there are egalitarian contexts, or scenes, or situations' 
(Flanagan 1989: 261). 

What we may classify as non-egalitarian, or hierarchical, social 
systems may show egalitarian social relations, while so-called egali- 
tarian societies exhibit different kinds of inequalities. There are 
degrees of equality and hierarchy. Even capitalist societies include 
egalitarian relations. These may be expressed and practised at differ- 
ent levels of society. They may often occur at local levels such as 
industrial or workers' co-operatives and communes of various kinds 
(e.g. Greenwood 1988 on the Basque region of Spain). Egalitarian 



relations may be practised on the margins of state societies, in both 
the spatial and the social sense of the word. Salzman (1999) argues 
that there are differences in the degrees of equality and inequality in 
the social relations of pastoralist tribes, depending on the extent to 
which they are integrated into state societies. Such relations do not, 
of course, change the dominant, economic relations that structure 
capitalist society. As Donner (1988: 158) wrote, 'subsystems that 
are based upon egalitarian relationships may be valued by people 
who simultaneously participate in larger social systems that are 
based upon hierarchical and stratified social interactions.' Perhaps 
the best examples of this are the kibbutz communes of Israel, which 
are based upon the communal mode of production (Keene 1991). 
Some 3 per cent of the population of Israel live on kibbutzim, but 
they produce around 50 per cent of the country's agricultural pro- 
duce, as well as 75 per cent of its industrial output. This is by no 
means a marginal activity. And yet, while being fully integrated 
into the capitalist world system, egalitarian social relations are 
practised within kibbutzim. 

We return to the classification of societies (as we may count the 
kibbutzim for purposes of analysis) as either equal or unequal. In 
these cases there is clearly variation in degrees of egalitarian relations 
and practices in daily life, in spite of integration into, and subordin- 
ation to, dominant, unequal economic relations. This variation and 
the problems posed by dichotomous thinking have been raised in 
other ethnographic and archaeological contexts. Plog (1995) notes 
the coexistence of egalitarian and hierarchical dimensions in the 
ethnographic records of Pueblo societies in the American South- 
west. An egalitarian ideology stressed social integration through 
sodalities, while hierarchical relations were witnessed in differential 
control of scarce resources (especially prime agricultural land) and 
knowledge of ritual. Tensions and conflicts were just as much a part 
of Pueblo life as was integration. 

McGuire and Saitta also argue that the ethnographic and archaeo- 
logical records of Pueblo societies show them as being 'complex, 
communal societies' (1996: 201) which 'embodied both consensual 
and hierarchical social relations' (1996: 198). While the means of 
production were held in common, and surplus was collectively 
appropriated, individual Pueblo groups did not necessarily have 
equal access to property and resources, the labour of some groups 
was appropriated by others, and there were inequalities (including 
the exercise of power to and over) within and between groups. Rather 
than continue the search for unequivocal traits that allow us to 



classify Pueblo societies as either egalitarian or hierarchical, we 
should recognize the complexity of real-life situations in which 
equal and unequal relations and practices are present. Each may also 
become dominant social relations in turn, as can be seen in the 
oscillations between predominantly egalitarian and hierarchical 
society among the Kachin (Friedman 1975), and in parts of sub- 
Saharan Africa (Keech Mcintosh 1999a). The ethnographic record of 
the Americas has also been used to support the argument that short- 
term political unification of autonomous villages under the leader- 
ship of chieftains can occur in contexts such as increasing levels of 
warfare (Redmond 1998). The emergence of such leaders by no 
means implies that their position will become permanent and 
hereditary, nor that it will impose on all aspects of daily life. 

In some contexts, as we have seen in Chapter 3, relations and 
practices of inequality are concealed behind an ideology of egali- 
tarianism (defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as 'that which 
asserts equality'). For example, Mars (1988) showed how the emer- 
gence of elites in some Israeli kibbutzim since their creation in 
1948 has been concealed by the predominant ideology of egali- 
tarianism. Gerlach and Gerlach (1988) argued that the assertion of 
egalitarianism among the Digo tribe of Kenya was a means of 
concealing and coping with their history of hierarchical and 
stratified society (including the practice of slavery) under colonial 

Where they exist, egalitarian social relations do not define some 
idyllic state of innocence and happiness that requires no effort. As 
Rayner (1988) argued, there is no dichotomy between the rules and 
constraints of stratification on the one hand, and a kind of 
unconstrained, rule-less freedom of egalitarian relations on the other 

Egalitarian relationships are not simply non-hierarchical, 
but are achieved and maintained by the social and symbolic 
manipulation of often complex rule systems governing 
decision-making. Hence egalitarian systems of social organ- 
isation place costly demands upon their members for 
participation and vigilance. 

(Flanagan and Rayner 1988: 2—3) 

According to Rayner (1988: 21) the most frequent combination 
of such rules is between 'homogenizing' rules (e.g. communal 
ownership, rules of poverty), which promote strict equality, and 



'equal-opportunity' rules (e.g. allowing uneven accumulation of per- 
sonal property, but not inherited wealth), which promote equity. 

Ideologies of generosity, reciprocity and sharing among small- 
scale, non-capitalist societies counter tendencies to the individual 
accumulation that might accentuate inequalities. Richard Lee 
(1982) has documented the variety of levelling devices used in 
everyday social relations among the !Kung Bushmen: these include 
joking, teasing, accusations of stinginess, praise for generosity, play- 
ing down the size of kills or the value of gifts, all within the context 
of social practices carried out in the open and not concealed from 
public view. 

Circulating information to all members of a group, or an organ- 
ization, so that decision-making can take place by consensus, is also 
costly in terms of time, resources and money. Great energy goes into 
the prevention of internal schisms by such circulation and com- 
munal decision-making, as Rayner (1988) shows in a study of the 
International Marxist Group in the 1970s. The costs of decision- 
making in relation to information communication have already been 
discussed in Chapter 3, with special regard to the emergence of 
social hierarchies when what are called critical thresholds of infor- 
mation processing are reached. That such an emergence of hierarch- 
ies is not an automatic consequence of scalar stress (as proposed 
by Johnson 1982) is supported by Keene's observation that such 
stress has not removed communal ownership of production and 
appropriation of surplus from kibbutzim (1991: 384). 

It is important, then, to make distinctions between egalitarian 
relations, societies and ideologies, and to recognize that all societies 
may exhibit tensions between egalitarian and hierarchical relations. 
This is particularly important for our understanding of what Fortes 
and Evans-Pritchard (see above) called 'stateless' societies, which 
have always included a wide variety of social forms in which such 
tensions were present and acted out daily. Once this observation is 
accepted, the task of archaeological analysis becomes both more 
challenging and more realistic. 

Inequalities and hierarchies 

Inequalities are now recognized in all societies, from hunters and 
gatherers to states. They take different forms and are expressed in 
different ways. In spite of ideologies of egalitarianism among hunt- 
ers and gatherers, there are inequalities in practices as basic as the 
sharing of food. This is often regarded as a means to ensure the 



prevention of inequalities in access to nutrition, and as a means of 
pooling risk during periods of shortage. However, Speth (1990) 
showed how differences in access to nutrition can result from the 
sharing out of different parts of animal carcasses: the best hunters 
may have preferential access to the parts of animals with the best fat 
values at kill sites, while the same parts of their carcasses may vary 
in nutritional value according to seasonal variation in fat depletion. 
Taboos may prevent both children and women from access to proper 
nutrition during critical periods of their life cycles. Women may be 
kept undernourished as part of male strategies to maintain gender 
inequality. Such nutritional differences are also noted between dif- 
ferent groups of hunter-gatherers: there are no common levels of 
stature, body weight, mortality, etc. There is even evidence among 
the N.Ache of Paraguay that supports the hypothesis that hunting 
ability leads to greater reproductive success (Kaplan and Hill 1985). 

In such societies, along with small-scale agriculturalists, which 
have been broadly classified as egalitarian, band or tribal societies 
(see Chapter 3), inequalities centre on personal attributes, as well as 
age and sex, as males control the labour of females, or elders are 
superior to juniors. Among the !Kung there appear to be equal roles 
for men and women (e.g. the women participate in decision-making 
and have a predominant role in production), but the position of 
women in other hunter and gatherer societies varies (Lee 1990). 

Godelier's (1982) study of the Baruya of highland New Guinea 
serves as a good example of inequalities and social hierarchies in 
agricultural societies. Godelier began by listing the personal attrib- 
utes, or 'talents', which distinguish, and are used by, 'big men': 
these include magical powers, oratory, strength and courage dis- 
played in warfare and ability and energy expended in agricultural 
production. Then he examined inequalities of gender. Males control 
the means of both production and destruction: women take no part 
in the ownership of land, tools for forest clearance, and weapons, nor 
in the manufacture of salt (for exchange), the pursuit of trading 
expeditions, and the possession and use of sacred objects. As Gode- 
lier said, 'Baruya women are thus subordinate to men materially, 
politically and symbolically' (1982: 11). Symbolic differences are 
also marked in the initiation ceremonies for males and females: male 
initiation may take up to ten years, whereas ceremonies for females 
only last a few weeks, and the latter include both instruction in, and 
representation of, female submission to men. Thus 'the role of male 
and female initiations is to produce, and at the same time legitim- 
ate, the general domination of men, of all men, whatever may be 



their personal attributes, over women, all women, whoever they are' 
(1982: 15). 

Other social hierarchies are also present among the Baruya. 
Selected males prepare and direct the initiation ceremonies. The 
males of particular lineages inherit the knowledge required by tribal 
tradition for these ceremonies. Inequalities are also evident in the 
ability to become warriors, shamen or cassowary hunters: in the case 
of warriors and hunters, the inequalities are between males and 
females, who are not allowed to participate, while women can be 
shamen, but of lesser status than male shamen (Godelier 1982: 23). 
Lastly, for both males and females, seniors enjoy superiority over 
juniors: for example the initiates are superior to non-initiates, and 
those in the later stages of initiation enjoy the respect of those 
beginning their initiation. At the same time, it should be noted that 
a boy who has been initiated then becomes senior to all of his elder 
sisters. The big men, great men and great women who receive the 
greatest attention in accounts of inequalities in highland New 
Guinea societies are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to assessing 
the full range of their social hierarchies. 

In another highland New Guinea society, that of the Duna 
(Modjeska 1982), elder brothers possess secret knowledge and carry 
out rituals which are accepted as necessary for the reproduction of 
the fertility of a lineage's land, its wild and domesticated animals 
(especially its pigs) and its people. The magical powers associated 
with this knowledge and ritual practice, along with the myths 
through which these powers are affirmed, are the ultimate sources of 
the superiority of elder over younger brothers. Juniors are dependent 
on elder brothers for the reproduction of life, and give them their 
labour when required. While the latter are responsible for gardening 
and family life, the elder brothers engage in hunting. Such superior- 
ity of age and kinship is frequently cited in African ethnographies, 
in which, for example, the superiority of elders over juniors is based 
on the control of bridewealth in return for labour. 

Inequalities and gender relations have been studied for other areas 
of Melanesia (e.g. Strathern 1987). For example, in Kwaio society 
there are inequalities between males and females in the control of 
resources such as pigs and valuables, in magical knowledge, in 
access to public ceremonies, in the control over weapons, and so 
forth (Keesing 1987). Elsewhere debate has taken place on the 
extent to which gender hierarchies and lower status for women 
occur, or occurred, in all societies. In particular the degree to which 
women's status changed with the emergence of the state (taking up a 



tradition of thought initiated by Engels) has been the focus of recent 
differences of opinion (Silverblatt 1988). Current thinking is against 
excessive generalization. Leacock (1983) cited examples of stratified 
West African societies in which women hold positions of public 
authority. Nelson (1998) argues against any universal subordination 
of women to men in state societies: she notes the examples of ruling 
women in a variety of early state societies, from the European Celts 
to early Sumer, Japan and Korea. The Silla state of the first to sev- 
enth centuries ad in Korea is notable, among other things, for the 
fact that the largest and most distinguished of the royal tombs was 
constructed for a woman. Gender inequality as a whole appears to 
have been absent. 

Social inequalities, then, can occur in all societies and are nego- 
tiated and contested within the context of everyday interpersonal 
relations and practices. They are also resisted, as we have seen in 
Chapter 3, although this capacity varies according to, among other 
things, the effectiveness of physical and ideological coercion. 
Inequalities take different forms, and the presence of one form (e.g. 
economic inequality) need not necessarily imply the presence of 
another (e.g. political inequality). This reminds us of Hastorfs 
'decoupling' concept, which was mentioned in Chapter 3. Whatever 
their form, such inequalities occur, somewhat confusingly, within 
what are usually described as egalitarian societies. 

More than anything else, this distinction of egalitarian as opposed 
to stratified society highlights the ways in which inequalities are 
organized (Berreman 1981). In so-called egalitarian societies 
inequalities are unranked, status is based upon criteria such as age, 
gender and personal characteristics, and reciprocity and generosity 
are valued more highly than selfish accumulation of wealth and 
resources. In stratified societies inequalities are institutionalized: 
they occur 'as a result of rules that act effectively to bar part of 
the population from social, economic, or political resources' (Jones 
1981: 151). Such rules divide society into non-kin-based classes, 
which can be further divided into the exploiters and the ex- 
ploited. Persuasion has now given way to coercion. Such stratified 
societies can still include egalitarian social relations and practices, 
albeit under the control of the dominant economic relations. One of 
the challenges for archaeology is to trace changes in the forms of 
social inequality, and the extent to which these forms coexisted 
in the same societies, while at the same time analysing major 
transformations in social structure. 



Hierarchy and heterarchy 

The integration of hierarchy into the structure of society, as pro- 
posed for stratified as opposed to egalitarian societies, was central to 
the study of early states by Henry Wright and Greg Johnson, which 
was discussed in Chapter 3. They argued that the problems posed by 
greater information communication and regulation in larger-scale 
societies required the emergence of centralized and specialized 
administrators and decision-makers. 'Decision-making hierarchies 
essentially allow the co-ordination of a large number of activities 
and/or integration of a larger number of organizational units than 
would be possible in the absence of such hierarchies' (Johnson 1978: 
87). Societies were divided vertically into different administrative 
levels, with higher levels integrating, co-ordinating and regulating 
the activities of lower levels, and horizontally into different adminis- 
trators responsible for different activities. These hierarchies of deci- 
sion-makers were now integrated into the structure of society, rather 
than simply pursuing interpersonal relationships. For Wright and 
Johnson, these decision-making hierarchies were most clearly iden- 
tified in the archaeological record in hierarchies of settlement 
area sizes, which served as a proxy measure of population size. 
All political and economic activities were centralized within such 

Johnson (1982) also made a terminological distinction between 
the hierarchies present in these stratified societies and those that 
existed in the interpersonal relations of non-stratified societies. 
Simultaneous hierarchies 

are hierarchies of the familiar sort in which system inte- 
gration is achieved through the exercise of control and 
regulatory functions by a relatively small proportion of the 
population. Such functions may be exercised simultaneously 
at a number of hierarchically structured levels of control. As 
such, the entire control hierarchy 'exists' at any given time. 

(Johnson 1982: 396) 

In contrast, the decision-makers in sequential hierarchies are not 
specialized, and different leaders emerge in different contexts (e.g. 
resolving disputes, leading warfare, organizing exchange, etc.). Con- 
sensus may be negotiated initially within nuclear families, then 
extended families, the village, and so on. The development 
from sequential to simultaneous hierarchies was a central focus of 



Johnson's research, and has subsequently been pursued by other 
scholars (e.g. Paynter 1989: 382; Aldenderfer 1993; Spencer 1993). 
But need all stratified societies be centrally organized, such that 
a single, regional, decision-making and settlement hierarchy co- 
ordinates and integrates all aspects of political and economic 
activity? This is the question raised by a different concept, that of 
heterarchy, which was introduced into archaeology by Carole Crumley 
(1979), who queried the automatic correlation of social and spatial 
hierarchies. Her definition of heterarchy was 'the relation of elements 
to one another when they are unranked . . . when they possess the 
potential for being ranked in a number of different ways' (1979: 144). 
Crumley used the example of an automobile company which 

may be seen as hierarchically organized in terms of corporate 
decision-making, and heterarchically organized in terms of 
the production of an automobile: into the final product goes 
the expertise of administrative, research and design, 
assembly and sales departments. If the unit of study is the 
automobile, all aspects are equally important. If the study 
has as its focus departmental efficiency or an interdepart- 
mental Softball tournament, however, the departments 
might be variously ranked. 

(1979: 144) 

According to this perspective, aspects of hierarchy and heterarchy 
may be present in the same society, while political centralization 
need not be as pervasive as is implied in the decision-making model 
outlined above. Multiple, parallel hierarchies can exist within the 
same society: for example, there were lay, Church and craft hierarch- 
ies within early medieval Ireland (Wailes 1995). Among the low- 
land Maya there were hierarchical settlement and ceremonial centres 
(e.g. Tikal, Palenque, etc.), but economic and craft production were 
not automatically subject to central control: whereas politically and 
ritually valuable items were probably under central control, com- 
munity specialization near to the key resources accounted for mass- 
produced pottery and lithics (Potter and King 1995). A stratified 
political system coexisted with a horizontally structured economic 

Levy (1995) argues for the existence of chiefdom society in Bronze 
Age Denmark, most conspicuously visible in the hierarchical burial 
treatment. In contrast, there is only what Levy describes as a 
'limited and flat' settlement hierarchy. She argues that the basis of 


the chiefs' power was not one of economic control: for example, the 
evidence for metalworking on almost all Later Bronze Age settle- 
ments argues against the existence of attached specialists. There was 
no centralized control of the main subsistence and productive 
resources. The basis of chiefly power, according to Levy, was in the 
control of ritual and esoteric knowledge. 

Similar issues are raised for early states in South-east Asia by 
White (1995), who argues that control over commodity production 
and distribution was not the main basis of the political power of 
regional elites. Craft specialization and long-distance exchange were 
decentralized. Metallurgy was based on household production, and 
there was community specialization in the types of metal artefacts 
produced. In the absence of centralized control, ritual activities may 
have served to solve occasional inter-community conflict. There was 
even evidence for decentralized rice production and irrigation sys- 
tems. As White points out, such heterarchical structures occurred in 
state societies in which there are examples of non-hierarchical factors 
such as age and 'virtue' being used to decide on succession to 
office. White argues that hierarchical and heterarchical relations 
belong on a continuum within complex societies, and that an aware- 
ness of heterarchy allows us to bring into our analysis of specific 
cases the possibility of flexibility in social status, gender relations, 
political relationships and rules for individual behaviour, as well as 
decentralized economies and multiple ideologies (1995: figure 9.2). 

This perspective on hierarchy and heterarchy, coupled with the 
earlier discussion of equality and inequality, allows us to pursue 
more subtle analyses of social systems than those based on societal 
typologies. It also has implications for our conception of the term 
complexity, to which I now turn. 

A complex issue? 

Price (1995: 140) is of the opinion that 'there seem to be as many 
definitions of complexity as there are archaeologists interested in the 
subject.' While there are clearly divisions as to the degree of com- 
plexity shown by particular societies (e.g. whether they should be 
regarded as chiefdoms or states), there is some unanimity among 
Anglo-American archaeologists as to how complexity is defined and 
measured. Price's preference for the dictionary definition — 'things 
complex have more parts and more connections between parts' 
(1995: 140)— has much in common with how complexity has been 
studied during the last three decades. It is also in accord with the 



wider usage of the term 'complex' within archaeology: we refer to 
simple/complex house and settlement plans, architecture, pottery 
designs and forms, technologies, rituals, artistic motifs on rock art, 
and so forth. 

Flannery (1972) initiated this tradition of thought. For him state 
societies were complex systems (in line with his cultural ecology 
approach, see Chapter 3), and complexity was measured in terms of 
two variables. Segregation was defined as the degree of differentiation 
and specialization within an individual system ('more parts'), while 
centralization referred to the degree to which the internal parts of a 
system were linked to each other ('connections') and to different 
levels of social control. These variables became the basis of sub- 
sequent analyses of decision-making hierarchies in early state soci- 
eties (see Chapter 3). Later authors used Flannery's definition as the 
basis for the distinction between horizontal and vertical dimensions 
of complexity: the former focused on the individual parts of a system 
and the degree to which they were functionally specialized, while 
the latter was concerned with ranked differences between the indi- 
vidual parts. Perhaps the clearest example of this distinction is seen 
in Blanton et al.'s (1981) study of the development of the early state 
in Mesoamerica. 

McGuire (1983) followed this line of thinking in arguing that 
complexity must be divided into its component variables before 
being subject to archaeological analysis. He distinguished two major 
variables, namely heterogeneity ('the distribution of populations 
between social groups') and inequality ('differential access to 
material and social resources within a society'). Inequality is further 
divided into absolute, proportional and relative forms (McGuire 
1983: 102), and the difference between the two variables is 
expressed as follows: 'whereas heterogeneity indicates how many 
individuals have comparable access to resources, inequality measures 
how much difference there is between comparable levels of access' 
(McGuire 1983: 102). The key point of McGuire's argument is that 
these two variables are not positively correlated, so that an increase 
in heterogeneity accompanies an equivalent increase in inequality. 
He uses the example of Predynastic and Dynastic Egypt to propose 
that the construction of the pyramids marked the development 
of a relatively high degree of inequality, but a lower degree of 

The argument that complexity must be broken down into its 
constituent variables, so that different forms of complex society 
can be distinguished, and different degrees of complexity can be 



measured, is widely held in Anglo-American archaeology. Recently, 
for example, Nelson (1995) has listed a number of characteristics of 
complexity, including large populations, horizontal and vertical 
social differentiation, hereditary ranking, and elite appropriation 
of production, which need not all be present in all examples of 
complex society. He focuses attention on two variables, scale and 
hierarchy, and argues that these need not be positively correlated 
with each other: for example, the pueblos of Chaco Canyon, in the 
American South-west, show larger scale, in terms of population and 
spatial size, while the monumental centre at La Quemada, in north- 
ern Mexico, shows evidence of a more hierarchical structure. For 
Nelson these differences are those of different types of chiefdoms 
(collaborative vs coercive). 

In all of these studies a distinction is made between the 'surface' 
traits (e.g. hereditary ranking) and the 'deep' variables (e.g. differen- 
tiation, integration) which archaeologists use to identify more com- 
plex societies in the past. Some authors (e.g. Minnegal and Dwyer 
1998) have criticized the focus on these traits and variables at the 
expense of a clear statement as to what complexity actually is. For 
Flannery, as we have seen, the focus was on early states as examples 
of complex systems. This followed the divide between state and 
stateless societies initiated by Fortes and Evans Pritchard (see above, 
page 72). Archaeologists and anthropologists have raised two major 
problems with this dichotomy during the last three decades. The 
first problem concerns the status of hunters and gatherers as the 
'simple' baseline from which all human societies evolved. The sec- 
ond problem focuses attention directly on the state— stateless divide 
and the definition of the state. 

Hunters and gatherers: the 'simple' baseline? 

Lee and Devore (1968: 11) set our image of hunter and gatherer 
societies in the much-cited observation that '(1) they live in small 
groups and (2) they move around a lot.' This emphasis on the small- 
scale and mobile aspects of hunters and gatherers was emphasized 
within the neo-evolutionist concept of band societies (see Chapter 
3). Although exceptions such as the North-west coast Indians were 
recognized, the sub-Saharan African and Australian hegemony of 
hunter-gatherer studies in the 1960s only allowed neo-evolutionists 
to speculate that band societies may not have been universal in the 

Anthropological research in the 1970s posed problems for this 


model of 'simple' hunters and gatherers. The extent to which 
hunters and gatherers practised a traditional lifestyle, fossilized and 
isolated from more 'complex' societies, was subjected to radical 
criticism. Their coexistence with agriculturalists and pastoralists 
(often in close proximity and marked by exchange relations) was 
shown through historical and ethnohistorical analyses (e.g. Head- 
land and Reid 1989). Even the Kalahari San Bushmen, the arche- 
typal isolated, mobile, small-scale hunters and gatherers, have a 
history of herding and planting activities (Schrire 1984). As we have 
seen already, inequalities in such basic aspects of life as food sharing 
were also documented among the 'simplest' hunters and gatherers. 

The biggest challenge to the African/ Australian model of hunters 
and gatherers came from ethnographic and ethnohistoric research 
along the Pacific coast of North America. The north-west coast 
groups such as the Haida, Tlingit and Tsimshian have long been 
characterized as having hereditary social ranking, sedentary villages 
and dense populations, part-time craft specialization, intensive war- 
fare, ownership of productive resources (whether individual or pri- 
vate), wealth differences and even slavery (Maschner 1991; Lightfoot 
1993). The presence of such characteristics of complex societies 
among non-agricultural groups made the north-west coast Indians 
very much an anomaly. However, the publication of ethnographies of 
Californian Indians in the 1970s showed that a wider pattern of 
behaviour could be seen along the length of the Pacific coast. Evi- 
dence was cited of intensified subsistence strategies (including 
management of nuts and seeds), sedentary villages and dense popu- 
lations, craft specialization, long-distance exchange (including 
prestige goods), regional alliances, hereditary chiefs and (more 
rarely) social classes (for references, see Lightfoot 1993). 

These temperate hunters and gatherers were very different from 
those in sub-Saharan Africa and Australia. They exhibited character- 
istics normally associated with tribal rather than band societies, and 
provided a challenge for neo-evolutionary typologies (see Chapter 3). 
The implications for archaeology were clear: more 'complex' hunters 
and gatherers may not have been such an anomaly in the past, espe- 
cially in the kinds of temperate environments in which hunting and 
gathering was more widely practised before the advent of agri- 
culture. The case studies published in Price and Brown (1985) high- 
lighted these kinds of societies, in which complexity was expressed 
in terms of their increased scale, size and organization. Demo- 
graphic, environmental and social causes were sought for the emer- 
gence of such societies. In the majority of cases these societies were 



dated to the Holocene and included famous examples from the 
American Mid-west (Late Archaic and Early Woodland), southern 
Scandinavia (Erteb0lle), the Near East (Natufian) and Japan 
(J onion). Bender (1989) looked for the roots of social inequalities 
(especially in the access to ritual knowledge) in the Upper Palaeo- 
lithic, while Soffer (1985) inferred the existence of 'nascent' hier- 
archies and some specialized production before 18,000 bp and 
intensified procurement and storage, limited residential mobility, 
increased population aggregation and hierarchical social and 
economic relations after that date. 

Of course it could be (and was) objected that the American 
Pacific ethnographic record, which stimulated the growth of arch- 
aeological research on 'complex' hunters and gatherers in other 
parts of the world, was the outcome of European contact: 'complex' 
hunters and gatherers were a modern creation. The answer to this 
challenge lay in archaeological research in the Pacific region itself. 
Lightfoot (1993: 177—85) summarizes the evidence for changes in 
variables such as subsistence intensification, long-distance 
exchange, population aggregation, social ranking and warfare in 
different regions of the Pacific coast of North America. For the 
north-west coast, for example, there are claims for the existence of 
social ranking by 500 BC (Maschner 1991). Along the length of the 
Pacific coast, the time lag between the earliest hunters and gather- 
ers and those that are called 'complex' varies from r.5000 to r.9500 
years. What is more, the different aspects of complexity listed 
above do not develop together within this time span (Lightfoot 
1993: 182). 

Arnold has placed her research on the archaeological sequence in 
southern coastal California within the broader context of the whole 
coastal region. She defines complexity in terms of 'chiefdom like 
organisation', which she argues had three basic characteristics: 
hereditary inequality, hierarchical organization (including some 
multi-community political authority) and the ability of elites to 
manipulate domestic labour (Arnold 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996a, 
1996b). Arnold centres her attention on the third of these character- 
istics: 'the separation of household labor or products from head-of- 
household management — where individuals outside family units 
begin to manipulate these resources — represents a significant 
restructuring process' (1992: 62). This control of labour was used to 
mobilize surpluses that were then invested in social strategies of 
competition through such means as feasting and exchange. Com- 
parative analysis shows that variation existed in such factors as the 



extent of elite authority, the means by which labour was appropri- 
ated, wealth disparities and societal scale (Arnold 1996b: 79). 

The archaeological record of the Pacific coast challenges neo- 
evolutionist thought (hunter-gatherer chiefdoms?), while at the 
same time maintaining it and using one of its basic concepts. How- 
ever, before we get carried away with the complexity of American 
Pacific coast hunters and gatherers, it is worth noting that their 
spatial scales and degree of hierarchization do not approach those 
visible in the archaeological and ethnographic records of the agri- 
cultural societies in the American South-west, South-east and 
Mid-west. Regional political units here were organized on a larger 
scale, with settlement hierarchies and public monuments. The larger 
population densities of the Pacific coast at the time of European 
contact did not translate into the kinds of polities seen in these 
regions. As Lightfoot argues (1993: 183—5), the labour control and 
surplus mobilization strategies used by Pacific hunter-gatherer elites 
were unable indefinitely to support the kind of social intensification 
which was open to agriculturally based economies. The Pacific 
'complex' societies 'represent the upper range of socio-political 
development supported by hunter-gatherer economies' (Lightfoot 
1993: 185). 

These ethnographic and archaeological examples show us that the 
description of hunter-gatherer societies as 'simple' fails to do justice 
to empirical variation. In the archaeological cases it is now recog- 
nized that arguments for complexity proposed in the 1970s were 
overstated: recent analyses of Natufian mortuary practices, for 
example, reject the inference of hereditary social inequalities and 
chiefdom-like society (Byrd and Monahan 1995) and focus on the 
use of communal rituals to promote social integration (Kuijt 1996). 
While we now hear reference to more 'complex' hunters and gather- 
ers, their forms and structures are light years away from those of 
state societies. Indeed the dichotomy between states and stateless 
societies, as proposed by Fortes and Evans Pritchard, emphasized the 
scale of such differences, defining stateless societies, as we have seen, 
by the characteristics of state societies that they lacked. This implies 
a clear grasp of what states actually are, and an assumption that the 
emergence of the state was the major structural change in cultural 
evolution. Thus the state should be different from all other forms of 



States and the Great Divide 

There is no one definition of the state on which all scholars agree 
(Claessen and Skalnik 1978: 3), whether they are historians, anthro- 
pologists, sociologists (Abrams 1988: 59) or archaeologists. This 
observation should not surprise us, given the different theoretical 
perspectives that scholars bring to bear on the different kinds of 
data they study. But problems of definition do not exist only 
between disciplines. Within archaeology there have been major dif- 
ferences of opinion as to whether particular societies were, or were 
not, states. If such disagreements stem from a desire to fit a given 
society into one or other of a series of evolutionary stages, as part of 
a typological exercise, then they can become what Kohl (1984: 128) 
has called 'tiresome disquisitions', which emphasize the description 
of societies and the simplification of reality. But the definitions and 
concepts we use determine our ability to undertake comparative 
research: if societies A and B are defined as states, then we can 
compare and contrast their forms and structures, learning more 
about such societies in the process. The concepts we use initiate, 
rather than conclude, analysis. 

Let us look at three examples of disagreement between archaeolo- 
gists as to the existence of state societies. The first concerns the 
monumental centre of Cahokia (Figure 4.1), where more than a 
hundred earthen mounds are known within an area of lOsq km of the 
floodplain of the Mississippi River, just outside the city of St Louis 
(Milner 1998). During the eleventh century ad there was rapid 
population nucleation at this site, with the most recent calculations 
proposing that a maximum of some 10,000 people lived here during 
the next two centuries (Pauketat and Lopinot 1997). Other calcula- 
tions of the population have reached as low as 500 and as high as 
50,000 people. It is these calculations, along with the population 
nucleation, the construction of the impressive monumental archi- 
tecture (the central focus of Monks Mound, seen in Figure 4.2, with 
its surrounding palisade and plazas, each of which was surrounded 
by smaller mounds), the settlement hierarchy and layout, the evi- 
dence for social hierarchy, centralized economic control and regional 
trade which have led some scholars to argue that Cahokia was the 
'urban center of a theocratic state' (see Emerson 1997 for a discus- 
sion and critique of this proposal). Critics of this view disparage it 
somewhat as the 'little Teotihuacan-on-the-Mississippi' model 
(Pauketat and Emerson 1997: 3). 

In spite of the characteristics listed above, as well as the symbol- 



o CO o 

o ^-Motmj^r 

o ^ 

p" ^ marsh 

=□ - 

o o 1 

□ ■* ^ 


central plaza i i i i i — i 


Figure 4- 1 The central mounds and plazas of Cahokia in the eleventh 
century ad (adapted from Pauketat 1998: figure 3). 

izing of coercive force in the central burials (and the far from 
symbolic evidence for violent deaths and dismembering in Mound 
72), the use of such force to direct population nucleation at Cahokia, 
and evidence for the appropriation of labour in both monument 



Figure 4-2 Monks Mound, Cahokia. (Photo by the author.) 

construction and craft production (Pauketat and Emerson 1997: 47), 
most scholars now argue that Cahokia was a complex/paramount 
chiefdom. For example, Emerson (1997) uses Wright's definition of a 
complex chiefdom (see Chapter 3) to propose that Cahokia evolved 
from a simple to a 'sacral paramount chiefdom, perhaps on the verge 
of becoming a state' (1997: 251). The inference of 'specialized ritual 
and political functionaries', which Emerson interprets as 'the insti- 
tutionalization of non-kin forms of leadership and power over , leads 
him to make the following suggestion: 'at its height, Cahokia may 
have had some characteristics of an incipient state that died "aborn- 
ing" '(1997: 251; cf. Hall 1991: 33 on 'a city-state in process of 
formation' and Kehoe 1998: 171 on Cahokia as a 'secondary state of 
Early Post-Classic Mesoamerica'). Even proponents of the complex 
chiefdom model for Cahokia accept that, in social evolutionary 
terms, it was only just 'this side' of a state. 

The influence of Wright's complex chiefdom model, and of 
Wright and Johnson's information-theory approach to early states 
(see Chapter 3), is also evident in another debate over the existence, 
or not, of state society. In this case it concerns the Huari polity of 
the Middle Horizon period (ad 550—950) in the central Andes. 
Isbell and Schreiber (1978: 372) began by stating what they called 
'agreed' criteria for state definition. 



First, the state exercises a monopoly upon the right to use 
force in the execution of decisions and in the maintenance of 
order. Second, the state defends a territory against 
encroachment upon its sovereignty. Third, a state adminis- 
ters public affairs within its territory through a hierarchy of 
officials. Additional special interests may also appear, such 
as private property, control of foreign trade or formalization 
of law. Such criteria are often difficult to identify from the 
archaeological record. 

The last sentence is critical. As we saw in Chapter 3, Wright and 
Johnson's model of decision-making hierarchies in early states finds 
its main archaeological application in the analysis of site size hier- 
archies. These are based on data from excavations and surface survey, 
and are analysed for the Ayacucho valley, providing the main sup- 
port for the inference of statehood (Figure 4.3). 

The attribution of statehood to pre-Hispanic societies more 
widely in the Andean region has also been the subject of disagree- 
ment. For example, was Nasca society on the south coast of Peru in 
the first seven centuries ad a state or a complex chiefdom? Car- 
michael (1995) uses mortuary analysis, the absence of full-time craft 
specialization and commitment to monumental architecture, and the 
evidence of settlement patterns to argue that the best description of 
Nasca society would be that of a simple chiefdom. This recognizes 
the 'tremendous range of social formations' (1995: 181) which can be 
included under the title of chiefdom. But just when these chiefdoms, 
of whatever level of complexity, gave way to states in the Andes 
depends on how one defines the state. The studies contained in Haas 
et al.'s (1987) edited volume used different criteria (e.g. site hierarch- 
ies, labour control, monument size) to place the appearance of the 
state anywhere between r.2500 bc and ad 500 (Bawden 1989). 

Third, there is the example of the Olmec culture of the Gulf coast 
of Mexico r.1150— 300 bc. For some, the Olmec, with their cere- 
monial centres, public monuments, colossal carved stone heads, 
mobilization of public labour, and evidence for craftsmen, were Meso- 
america's first state society, its 'mother culture' (see sources cited in 
Grove 1997). Clark cites the existence of social stratification, an 
upper class of kings, nobility and priests, as well as craftsmen and 
traders, the upward mobility of tribute and labour to legitimize 
elites by the construction of public monuments, to propose the 
existence of a 'kingdom', which could be either a complex chiefdom 
or a state in the ethnographic record (1997: 215). Elsewhere he 



Figure 43 Four-level settlement hierarchy based on site size in the Middle 
Horizon period in the Ayacucho valley, Peru (adapted from 
Isbell and Schreiber 1978: figure 3). 



suggests that future research will produce evidence of more than one 
state within the Olmec heartland (Clark 1993: 167). However, 
Flannery and Marcus (2000) argue strongly that the Olmec are to be 
classified within the range of chiefdoms known from ethnographic 
and archaeological records: 'they built mounds and plazas like Ton- 
gan chiefdoms, carved jades and wooden statues like the Maori, 
erected colossal heads like Easter Island, and concentrated thousands 
of farmers, warriors and artisans in sprawling settlements as the 
chiefs of Cahokia did' (2000: 6). The Olmec do not compare, in 
terms of complexity, with the urban and primate political centres of 
the Monte Alban and Teotihuacan states. Instead of being the 
'mother culture', they argue, the Olmec were just one of the regional 
chiefdoms of Mesoamerica prior to the emergence of the state. 

These examples, as well as the history of neo-evolutionary studies 
(see Chapter 3), could suggest that the categories chiefdom and state 
have become so inclusive as to be 'catch-all' social types. Marcus and 
Feinman (1999: 5) acknowledge the heterogeneity of societies classi- 
fied as chiefdoms and states, but how much of this heterogeneity is 
necessary before new types need to be created? Rather like the term 
'postprocessual archaeology' (see Chapter 2), it has been argued that 
there is more variation between what are called state societies than 
exists between states and other types of human societies (McGuire 
1983: 115; cf. Keech Mcintosh 1999a: 2, on the variation in societies 
defined as states by Fortes and Evans Pritchard). And if the criteria 
for defining states keep changing, then it is no surprise that archae- 
ologists differ about the distribution of such societies in the past. For 
some the focus is on the emergence of legitimized force and bureau- 
cracy (e.g. Service 1962, 1975), and there is a sharp divide from 
chiefdoms. For others the development of stratification marks the 
beginning of state formation, even though that may not happen for 
some time (e.g. Fried 1967: 185; cf. Wright's view that class forma- 
tion preceded state formation in Mesoamerica and Mesopotamia, 
1984: 69; Claessen and Skalnik 1978: 20). A further source of differ- 
ence lies in the view that what some call complex chiefdoms should 
in fact be regarded as archaic states, with social stratification and 
economic exploitation, but lacking the bureaucratic structure of 
'full' states (Kristiansen 1991: 18). These examples also highlight 
divisions over the extent to which state formation is a result of con- 
tinuous evolution or a major structural change: as further examples 
of the latter, Gledhill (1988: 10) refers to a 'rather substantial jump' 
from complex chiefdom to state, and Kohl (1987: 29) uses the con- 
cept of punctuated equilibrium in relation to state formation. For the 



majority of scholars, early state formation, however defined and how- 
ever rapidly it occurred, was a rarity in social evolution. 

This exclusive club, which resists the addition of further mem- 
bers (e.g. Cahokia and the Olmec), has its membership defined 
mainly in two ways. First, there is the presence of decision-making 
hierarchies (see Chapter 3), through which political and economic 
activities are centralized and specialized. These are expressed in 
regional settlement hierarchies. More than three levels in such 
hierarchies are required before a state can be recognized (most 
recently, see Marcus and Feinman 1999: 6—7). However, it has been 
argued that decision-making hierarchies are not always expressed in 
settlement hierarchies (e.g. Cordy 1981; Brumfiel 1995), and that 
centralization of economic activities is not necessarily associated 
with political hierarchies: rather than a regional hierarchy, there can 
be multiple heterarchies (see above). Stein (1998: 26) has argued 
recently that the concept of centralization has been unduly stressed 
in the definition of the state, and that the extent of such centraliza- 
tion is the outcome of conflict between the interests and power of 
ruling elites and the resistance of other social groups. As Stein 
writes, 'the resulting view of society is a "fuzzy model", grounded in 
culturally unique configurations of conflict and contingency, rather 
than the clean lines of monolithic hierarchy that we might see on a 
corporate table of organization' (1998: 27). 

Second, the use of decision-making hierarchies, with the meas- 
urement of regional settlement hierarchies, has been developed in 
the study of the so-called 'primary' or 'pristine' states of Mesopota- 
mia and Mesoamerica. These have long been called the world's first 
'civilizations' in Anglo-American archaeology, and the comparative, 
processual approach to their study as state societies was initiated in 
Flannery's classic paper (1972). Given their physically impressive 
monuments, labour mobilization and large-scale population aggre- 
gation, it is no surprise that social evolution seems to be based on 
the view from the top of the plazas and pyramids of Monte Alban 
and Teotihuacan or the ziggurat of Ur. This is, literally, a 'top down' 
view of past societies! When it comes to such characteristics as cen- 
tralization, stratification, specialization, public works, and so on (all 
in Flannery's 1972 definition of a state), these sites (as well as those 
of the Inka Empire and China) are without comparison. If they char- 
acterize early states, then it is no surprise that the Olmec and Caho- 
kia are viewed as chiefdoms. When it comes to criteria of size and 
scale, they just do not cut the mustard; neither does Mycenaean 
Greek society (described by Renfrew 1972: 369 as 'something more 



than chiefdoms, something less than states'), nor the Harappan civil- 
ization of the Indus valley (Possehl 1999). 

It is interesting to observe the ways in which regional ethno- 
graphic or archaeological records have set the agenda for compara- 
tive research on social change. The ethnography of sub-Saharan 
Africa and Australia gave momentum to the study of band societies 
until the publication of the North American Pacific coast record of 
complex hunters and gatherers in the 1970s (see above, p. 85). State 
societies have been viewed from the perspective of the biggest and 
most impressive. For chiefdoms and the development of social 
stratification, there has been what Keech Mcintosh calls an 'Oceanic 
hegemony' (1999a: 4), with political and social systems being 
viewed in the light of the ethnographic records of Polynesia and 
Melanesia. This has raised doubts as to the extent to which concepts 
like chiefdom and state are applicable to African societies. 

The distinctive nature of the African ethnographic and archaeo- 
logical records has been stressed recently (Keech Mcintosh 1999b). 
Of particular interest is the evidence for less economic stratification 
in agricultural societies (given abundant land and the practice of 
shifting agriculture), the absence of correlation between population 
densities and political centralization (Goody 1977), the absence of 
centralized organization and vertical control hierarchies in favour of 
heterarchies in some regions, and the presence of only some of the 
characteristics that are normally used to define more complex soci- 
eties. For example, the city of Jenne-jeno, in the inland Niger delta 
(Mali), shows rapid population growth and settlement nucleation, 
but no evidence for subsistence intensification, impressive public 
monuments, marked social ranking or stratification (Keech Mcin- 
tosh 1999c). As with hunter-gatherer studies, comparative research 
has to take into account such regional variation and not subsume it 
in over-generalized models. 

Alternative states? 

Clearly differences of opinion exist as to the definition of, and the 
transition to, statehood, as well as its material recognition. Most 
scholars in the Anglo-American world agree that early states were a 
rarity, usually associated with what are called the world's earliest 
'civilizations'. Cherry went as far as to describe the state as 'a par- 
ticular, highly successful, form of organizational adaptation' (1978: 
413). And yet, the state also brings with it success for the few, 
and oppression, exploitation and coercion for the many. There is a 



downside to states! To focus on 'organizational adaptation' is to neg- 
lect these relations of inequality. States do not behave adaptively to 
solve problems; they create problems for population numbers, health, 
the environment, stability of political units, and so forth. Such prob- 
lems are recognized within the tradition of historical materialism 
discussed in Chapter 3, along with the need to focus social analysis on 
class, conflict, contradiction, physical and ideological coercion and 
exploitation. We have seen already the effect that historical material- 
ism had on Anglo-American archaeology in the 1980s. Now it is 
time to examine the approaches to the study of the state, both within 
and outside Anglo-American archaeology, which this theoretical 
tradition has stimulated in recent years. As was stated in Chapter 3, 
there is a diversity of approaches within this tradition. A book 
would be needed to cover them all in sufficient detail. What follows 
is selective, but offers a challenge to mainstream thought. 
Let us begin with the concept of class. 

Class implies a relationship of permanently or consistently 
unequal control over the goods, resources and labor that 
ensure the continuity of the social group. In class relations, 
there is always a power relationship: at least one group is 
permanently removed from direct production and extracts 
goods and services from other groups in the society. 

(Gailey and Patterson 1987: 7) 

Class-based societies are different from kinship-based societies in the 
exploitation of this power relationship, which is exercised through 
coercion. This exploitation is not only that of the producing classes 
as a whole, but, it is often argued, increasingly that of the product- 
ive and reproductive capacity of women (e.g. Gailey 1987), although 
this is by no means universal (see above, p. 79). 

For historical materialists class relations are the basis of state soci- 
eties, and, following Engels (1972, originally published in 1884) 
and Lenin (1969, originally published in 1917), the state is 
developed to preserve class society: state formation is 'the emergence 
of institutions that mediate between the dependent but dominant 
class(es) and the producing class(es), while orchestrating the extrac- 
tion of goods and labor used to support the continuation of class 
relations' (Gailey 1987: ix). The institutions of the state serve to 
guarantee the interests of the dominant class: as Lull and Risch put 
it, 'the class which is economically dominant also becomes the class 
which is politically dominant' (1995: 99). Social coercion, whether 



physical or ideological, is the basis of the institutionalized and legit- 
imized power of the state. They follow Gramsci's view that the state 
is hegemony protected by coercion. State formation follows the 
emergence of class relations, although by what length of time is a 
matter for debate. In this respect there is agreement with the neo- 
evolutionist tradition (e.g. Wright 1984: 69). The critical question 
here is how long a class system, and particularly the interests of the 
dominant class, the non-producers and exploiters, could survive 
without the institutions of the state. 

The main interest that the state is intended to guarantee is that of 
the private property of the dominant class. Private property is, fol- 
lowing Marx, 'the most direct expression of the unequal appropri- 
ation of human labour and its resulting product, and therefore the 
cause of the existence of workers and non-workers, or put another 
way, the cause of the development of a class society' (Lull and Risch 
1995: 100). It is argued that property relations are best studied in 
the archaeological record through analysis of differential production 
and the generation of surplus (Lull and Risch 1995: 100). In this 
context surplus is not defined as simply production in excess of need, 
but as when such excess is appropriated by others than those who 
have produced it. Surplus is the product of a relationship of exploit- 
ation. Property itself may take the form of natural resources such as 
land (as in the case of feudalism), human labour (e.g. slavery), the 
means of production (as in capitalism), or the products themselves 
(for a theory of production and products, see Castro et al. 1998a). 

The association of class and state societies is not without its prob- 
lems. Neo-Marxist anthropologists such as Rey and Terray have 
argued that relations of dominance and exploitation (e.g. by age and 
gender), namely class relations, exist in all societies. Saitta has 
defined class in terms of how surplus labour is produced and distrib- 
uted in society, rather than using property, wealth or power rela- 
tions (1988, 1992: 889). As a result he argues that 'all societies are 
class societies, in that every society requires the production and dis- 
tribution of surplus labour' (1992: 889). At the same time Saitta 
admits that not all societies are what he calls class-divided, that is 
with relations of exploitation between producers and appropriators 
of surplus labour, and thus leaves intact the major structural bound- 
ary of class and pre-class societies. Bloch (1985: 83—4) cited some 
nineteenth-century African states as examples of what he calls class- 
less states, although, as he said, the neo-Marxist argument for class 
relations not being restricted to state societies reduces the impact of 
these ethnographic 'spoilers'. On the same pages, Bloch also cited 



the example of the Tuareg of North Africa as one of a stateless 
society with classes. 

In spite of these definitional differences and debates over the 
ethnographic record, it is clear that the historical materialist per- 
spective on states directs our attention to concepts that are not 
widely discussed in the Anglo-American world. A clear distinction 
is also made between the structural relations by which the state is 
defined and the material form it may take in individual cases. 

a state structure does not consist of the visible forms of 
power, pomp and circumstance (e.g. palaces, writing and 
exotic wealth items), but the systems of exploitation, extor- 
tion and physical and ideological coercion which in each 
case can take distinct forms, given the possibilities of social 
development which are dialectically related to the needs of 
the dominant class. 

(Lull and Risch 1995: 108) 

This distinction between structural relations and material form 
marks a distinction that is not usually made within the Anglo- 
American tradition; for example, Flannery (1999) focuses on the 
recognition of a state in the archaeological record (settlement hier- 
archies, monumental palaces, temples, priests' residences, royal 
tombs, etc.) without defining what exactly a state is. As we shall see 
in Chapters 5 and 7, the distinction between structure and form 
leads to claims for the existence of state societies in prehistoric 
Europe which would be strongly disputed by those looking for the 
usual neo-evolutionary criteria. 

The historical materialist perspective focuses not only on the 
structure of the state, but also on the structural change(s) which 
took place between kin- and class-based societies. Rather than quan- 
titative changes in the degree of specialization, centralization and 
the number of levels in an administrative hierarchy, emphasis is 
placed on qualitative differences in the emergence of classes, changes 
in property relations (e.g. communal/private), the allocation and 
exploitation of labour and so on (e.g. Gailey 1987; Kristiansen 
1991). In this sense we are dealing with a structural evolution. 

For example, the Chilean archaeologist Bate (1998: 83—94) dis- 
tinguishes what he calls initial class societies in the following way: 
they are divided into exploiting and exploited classes (with the for- 
mer removed from physical production and appropriating the sur- 
plus of the latter), have distinct property forms and relations in 



different societies, and have institutions of ideological and physical 
coercion (cf. Bate 1984; Lumbreras 1994). The initial states that 
supported these class relations were based on upward tribute in 
return for downward services, and were inherently unstable, as the 
costs of maintaining the state led to increased tribute demands and 
conflict (e.g. through expansion of the state) and collapse, before the 
emergence of more 'military' states. Like Lull and Risch, Bate 
attempts to reformulate classic Marxist thought in developing his 
model of class and state. In the Anglo-American world, Gailey and 
Patterson (1988) share his focus on tribute from producers to non- 
producers as a distinctive factor in early states: civil production for 
the state is superimposed on subsistence production for the local 
communities. These tribute-based states vary in strength according 
to the level of resistance from these primary producers. Where such 
resistance increases, the state relies increasingly on appropriating a 
labour force of captives or slaves, whereas in stronger tribute-based 
states, it is the products of labour which are appropriated. 

Not only does the historical materialist approach define the state 
differently, using different concepts as well as a notion of structural 
discontinuity, but it also departs from the 'top down' view of early 
states mentioned earlier in this chapter. Although it uses concepts 
such as the state, as opposed to, for example, tribal societies, and can 
have the same difficulties in dealing with periods of structural 
change (e.g. Kristiansen 1991 on stratified societies as 'an archaic 
form of state organisation'), it challenges us to look at our familiar 
categories of thought and practice in a new light. 


The main aim of this chapter has been to introduce the reader to the 
usage of a range of concepts by archaeologists in social analysis. I 
emphasize the word 'introduce', as I do not claim the coverage to 
have been comprehensive. The archaeological literature is full of 
words like egalitarian, inequality, hierarchy and complexity, and it 
is important that we understand how they are being used, and the 
theories that lie behind them. 

Many of the examples in this chapter illustrate the need to be wary 
of dichotomous thinking in social analysis. There are inequalities in 
egalitarian societies, which exhibit tensions between egalitarian and 
inegalitarian social relations. Hierarchical and heterarchical relations 
can exist within the same society. Societies cannot be classified into 
either 'simple' or 'complex'. And yet we need to use concepts in 



order to structure thought and analysis. For many in the Anglo- 
American world, these concepts are neo-evolutionary and derived 
from cross-cultural comparison of the ethnographic record. In other 
areas, such as the Mediterranean and Latin America, the concepts of 
historical materialism lead us to different representations of the past: 
for example, what might be classified as a complex chiefdom in one 
tradition may be viewed as a structurally different state in the other. 
This may seem like a trivial, semantic argument, but it has very real 
implications for the kind of history we construct, our ability to 
compare historical sequences between different regions of the world, 
and our understanding of the ways in which structural change 
is given material expression. It is important for contemporary 
archaeology that we go outside our own, regional traditions of 
thought and see how others view the past. How far are the different 
representations of the past mutually exclusive? 

In the following two chapters, I want to look at a case study in 
what has been called 'emerging complexity' in south-east Spain, to 
see how concepts are used, and what kind of past is constructed; and 
then to consider examples of social analysis and the use (consistent 
or not) of concepts such as complexity in other parts of Iberia and 
the Mediterranean basin. What do these studies tell us about social 
change in this region and the way it is being studied? 




Representing the prehistoric past of 
south-east Spain 

In Chapter 2, I drew attention to the theory and practice of archae- 
ology outside the Anglo-American world. The greatest space was 
devoted to the critical, challenging materialism that is being 
developed within the Spanish-speaking world. This focuses on the 
material conditions of life as the basis of society and social change, 
and uses the analysis of production and relations of production in 
the study of the archaeological record. Concepts such as exploitation 
and property play more central roles in this work, and lead to differ- 
ent representations of social change in the past. 

In this chapter I present a case study of such representations, 
using the sequence of social change seen in the archaeological record 
of south-east Spain r.5000/4500 to 1550 cal. bc. This gives me the 
opportunity to examine the relationship of theory and practice with 
regard to an area that has been widely cited in publications on the 
emergence of social complexity in prehistoric Europe. How have 
different models been evaluated against the empirical record? How 
far have research projects been structured to contribute to this evalu- 
ation? What evidence is there for structural changes in these pre- 
historic societies? How far do the representations of these societies 
agree with, or differ from, those based on models of social complex- 
ity used in the Anglo-American world? And how does this record of 
theory and practice, as well as the representations it produces, help 
me to evaluate my own earlier work on this topic? 

I begin with an introduction to south-east Spain and to the his- 
tory of research in the area, with a central focus on the relationship 
between theory and practice. Then I define, and highlight problems 
in, the current chronological and spatial scales of analysis. This pro- 
vides the context for an outline of the evidence for production 
and social change in successive periods from Neolithic agricultural 



colonization to the end of the Early Bronze Age. The representations 
of change in palaeoecology, production and social inequality are 
then drawn together as a challenge to existing models of change and 
to those current in Anglo-American archaeology. 

Theory and practice 

South-east Spain is broadly defined in terms of the modern provinces 
of Almerfa, Granada and Murcia, with a 'core' area in lowland Alm- 
erfa, and a more 'peripheral' area extending north into Murcia and 
west into the uplands of eastern Granada (Figures 5.1—5.2 show the 
region and the main sites mentioned in this chapter). The core area 
is now the driest in Europe and exemplifies processes of both short- 
and long-term desertification (Figure 5.3). In a previous publication 
(Chapman 1990) I have given a more detailed account of the 
contemporary environment, the archaeological record and its study. 
What interests me here is the historical relationship between the- 
ory and practice. To assess this relationship, I have divided the his- 
tory of archaeological research in south-east Spain into three periods: 
1880-1975, 1976-84 and 1985 to the present. 


The year 1880 is taken as a starting point, as it marks the beginning 
of systematic archaeological fieldwork by Louis and Henri Siret. 
While their excavations were to cover a range of sites from the 
Middle Palaeolithic to the Classical period, and from lowland Almerfa 
to southern Murcia and eastern Granada, it was those belonging to 
later prehistory that attracted the greatest attention. In a major pub- 
lication (Siret and Siret 1887) and subsequent syntheses (e.g. Siret 
1913), the later prehistoric sites and materials were divided into a 
succession of cultural assemblages that were argued to represent 
ethnic groups known from literary sources. The materials found in 
mainly megalithic tombs and a few, poorly defined, settlements of 
the Neolithic were identified with the Iberians. The more complex 
communal tombs and enclosed settlements (e.g. Los Millares) of the 
Copper Age/Eneolithic were equated with the Phoenicians. Succeed- 
ing them were the Celts, who constructed hilltop Bronze Age 
settlements (e.g. El Argar, Fuente Alamo, Gatas) with intramural, 
individual burial, intensified metallurgical production and the use of 
metal and other items to mark out social distinctions among the 




v c 






























! ) 

























i H 

















-C -o 

8 : §> 

60 'O 

CU si 

^ U 

'5 \o 

3 — J 

o c 

i-l o 

cd cS 52 c3 

^ M M 

d \o 

■H^ o 

S <§ (2 

us M h^ 

.2 W 

U U-N 

o '"' 

^ as 


> C 


_« M^S O 




"O a; 

ft o 
.o, a 


< U 

o u 


















































Figure 5.2 Map of the Vera basin, south-east Spain, showing the main sites 
mentioned in this chapter. Contours mark land above 200m and 
400m altitude. 1 Gatas. 2 Las Pilas. 3 Cuartillas. 4 El Argar. 5 El 
Garcel. 6 Lugarico Viejo. 7 Cabecicos Negros. 8 Almizaraque. 
9 Cerro Virtud. 10 Zajara. 11 Campos. 12 El Oficio. 13 Fuente 
Alamo. 14 Santa Barbara. 

The archaeological sequence of south-east Spain and its inter- 
pretation in terms of culture, ethnicity and diffusion was in keeping 
with the theory and practice of late nineteenth- and early twentieth- 
century archaeology in Europe. It also set the agenda for fieldwork 
and interpretation until the end of the 1960s (e.g. Chapman 1990: 
24—30). Fieldwork was sporadic and unevenly published. The re- 
excavation of Los Millares in the mid-1950s (Almagro and Arribas 
1963) recovered new data on the plan of the settlement and its 
defences, as well as the layout and contents of the adjacent cemetery 
of megalithic tombs, and the first two carbon-14 dates for south-east 
Spain; but the culture historical framework of interpretation was 
unchanged. During the 1960s and early 1970s, excavations on the 
periphery of the south-east recovered, for the first time, stratified 
data on Neolithic (the caves of Nerja, Carigiiela de Pinar, Los 
Murcielagos and the settlement at Las Penas de los Gitanos, Monte- 
frio), Copper Age (Cerro de la Virgen) and Bronze Age (Cerro de la 



Figure 5.3 The eroded landscape of the middle and lower Aguas valley in 
the Vera basin, looking east from the foothills of the Sierra 
Cabrera towards the Mediterranean. (Photo by the author.) 

Virgen, Cerro del Real, Cerro de la Encina at Monachil and Cuesta 
del Negro at Purullena) occupations, as well as more samples for 
carbon- 14 dating. The main focus was on the greater continuity seen 
in the material assemblages from these sites. With the exception of 
the Copper Age settlements of Almizaraque, Terrera Ventura and 
Tarajal/El Barranquete, no comparable stratified excavations took 
place in the lowland core area of Almeria. 

The fieldwork of the 1960s and early 1970s began to raise ques- 
tions about the extent of cultural and population discontinuity in 
later prehistory. The growing number of radiocarbon dates raised 
challenges for existing absolute chronologies. Local debate was min- 
imal, but south-east Spain was included within broader critiques of 
diffusionism, based on radiocarbon dating, in later prehistoric 
Europe (e.g. Renfrew 1973b). These critiques followed an earlier 
attack on diffusionism and the supposed cultural links between 
south-east Spain and the eastern Mediterranean (Renfrew 1967). An 
even broader critique of culture historical approaches and diffusion- 
ism was taking place in Anglo-American archaeology at this time 
(e.g. Binford and Binford 1968), but the basic sources were not yet 
translated into Spanish. 




The proposal of alternative models to culture history and diffusion- 
ism in south-east Spain came in the second period, from 1976 to 
1984. These models have been discussed in detail elsewhere (e.g. 
Chapman etal. 1987: 95-106; Chapman 1990: 141-9, 211-19) and 
will only be summarized here. In all cases the focus was on local 
processes of social and economic change, although none of the 
models covered the entire sequence from agricultural colonization to 
stratified Bronze Age societies. 

Three models were based on the argument that the climate of 
south-east Spain from the fourth to the second millennia BC was as 
arid as it is today. I proposed that water control was required by 
local populations for successful adaptation to this environment 
and for the intensification of production required by population 
aggregation around the best water sources. This aggregation posed 
problems for access to land and water, as well as for social control and 
inheritance, leading to the emergence of higher-order settlements 
such as Los Millares during the Copper Age. Larger numbers of 
cohabiting people also favoured the development of craft specializa- 
tion, which in the case of copper metallurgy provided desirable 
wealth and status items (Chapman 1978, 1982). The focus through- 
out was based on systems theory and adaptation. 

Mathers (1984a, 1984b) adopted a similar theoretical perspective 
and was concerned with the risks posed for cereal agriculture in arid, 
lowland Almerfa, even if some form of water control were practised. 
Agricultural production had to be stabilized to ensure adequate 
yields, and this required local leadership and the development and 
maintenance of extensive networks of kinship and alliance. Such 
networks provided the means by which crop shortages and failures 
could be offset by food obtained through exchange. In essence this 
was the social storage model of Halstead and O'Shea (1982). 

A different perspective was adopted by Gilman (1976, 1981), 
who rejected the role of adaptation in social change and focused on 
the means by which hereditary leadership emerges and supports the 
interests of the few rather than the many. As in the previous two 
models, water control was regarded as essential for successful agri- 
cultural production in south-east Spain and, along with polyculture, 
acted to tie people to particular areas of land and capital investment 
(e.g. terraces, ditches, olives and vines) and, by extension, to each 
other. Such areas of capital investment also required defence. The 
egalitarian society of early agriculturalists would have been strained 



by the limits on group fission and the increased potential for social 
conflict. The changes seen in the archaeological record from the 
Copper to Bronze Ages, with increased social inequalities, reflected 
the outcome of contradictions between the forces of production and 
the social relations of production. Historical materialism was the 
avowed basis of this model. 

The remaining two models depended on the reconstruction of 
more humid climates and less denuded landscapes during later pre- 
history in south-east Spain. The model of Lull (1983, 1984) was 
concerned with the earlier part of the Bronze Age (the Argaric), 
when increased metal production acted against local self-sufficiency 
and led to complementary production within the south-east (i.e. 
between metal-producing and non-metal-producing areas). The 
division of labour required for this production, and for the transport 
of raw materials and goods, implied the development of a social 
hierarchy, removed from direct production. Early Argaric chiefdoms 
evolved into a class society. At the same time population growth led 
to intensified agricultural production in the lowlands, as in the Vera 
basin. The combination of intensified metallurgical and agricultural 
production led to widespread deforestation, land exhaustion and the 
collapse of the Argaric system. Lull's emphasis on systems of pro- 
duction and reproduction was also based on historical materialism. 
Ramos (1981, although it was actually published after Lull's model) 
focused only on the Copper Age and argued that population growth 
stimulated both settlement expansion and intensified agricultural 
production (including irrigation), as well as the social competition 
that led to the emergence of 'Big Men' by the later Copper Age and 
chiefdoms by the Bronze Age. Ramos also claimed his intellectual 
ancestry in historical materialism. 

The first point to note about all these models is that they made 
substantial use of archaeological materials that had been collected, 
since the time of the Siret brothers, with other questions in mind. 
Thus Lull assembled and re-analysed data on Argaric sites and 
materials and I examined Copper Age tombs and grave goods. We 
both produced interpretations of social process to replace those of 
cultural history and diffusionism. Both of us were led to question 
existing chronologies based on typologies of artefacts and tombs. At 
the same time new data were collected with different questions in 
mind. Thus Lull carried out a morphometric analysis of pottery and 
metal artefacts to determine the extent of standardized production 
during the Argaric; I studied site locations in relation to the poten- 
tial for irrigation; while Mathers undertook systematic survey in the 



Guadalentfn valley in southern Murcia to determine changes in 
settlement patterns from the Copper to Bronze Ages. 

Taken together, and whatever their theoretical differences (essen- 
tially functionalist/adaptationist vs shades of historical materialist), 
the models highlighted the need for the collection of controlled data 
on local palaeoenvironments, climatic change, the availability of 
water and the nature of past subsistence strategies, the degree of 
agricultural intensification, the amount and timing of population 
growth, and so forth. It was also clear that existing chronologies 
were, at best, open to question and, at worst, totally inadequate. 

All the models also focused on the regional scale, at the level of 
'cultures' (e.g. Millaran, Argaric), and periods such as the Copper 
Age or the Argaric Bronze Age, even though it was already clear 
that each of these spanned hundreds of years. Discussion of changes 
in subsistence potential and intensification did make a distinction 
between the coastal lowlands and the interior uplands, but further 
differences in scale (e.g. regarding demographic change) were not 
much in evidence. Data on such variations of scale were pretty 
scanty at that time and were not of importance within predomin- 
antly culture-based models of the past. 

The excavations that were undertaken during the period from 
1976 to 1984 existed in a parallel universe to the models and were 
of two main types. In the interior uplands of Granada, excavations 
continued to establish relative and absolute chronologies on strati- 
fied sites, as, for example, on the Copper Age settlements of El 
Malagon, Las Angosturas and Cerro de los Castellones (Laborcillas). 
The same aims were shared with fieldwork projects in the coastal 
lowlands, but here the emphasis was on the re-excavation of sites 
that had been the original subject of study by the Siret brothers 
during the last two decades of the nineteenth century. Excavations 
(in some cases long term) began at Los Millares, Campos, Almi- 
zaraque and Cabezo de la Cueva del Plomo (Copper Age) and 
Fuente Alamo (Bronze Age) and some interim results were pub- 
lished (e.g. Arribas et al. 1979, 1981; Schubart and Arteaga 1978, 
1980). These were combined with the published and unpublished 
records and materials of the Sirets (and any subsequent excavators) 
to reinterpret occupational sequences and to develop knowledge of 
site plans. For example, the post-Argaric, Later Bronze Age occupa- 
tion suggested at Fuente Alamo by a handful of sherds published by 
the Sirets (Siret and Siret 1887) was confirmed by the stratigraphic 



1985— present 

During the period from 1985 to the present some additions to, and 
expansions of, the models appeared. Mathers ( 1 994) published data on 
settlement patterns from his survey in the Guadalentfn valley, as well 
as from existing sources on the Vera basin and the Andarax valley. Lull 
proposed the possibility of an Argaric state society, in the Marxist 
sense of the term, on the basis of analyses of Argaric intramural burials 
(Lull and Estevez 1986). Gilman argued that intensive study, using 
site catchment analyses, of the location of later prehistoric settlements 
in relation to agricultural and irrigable potential strengthened his 
argument that capital intensive technologies were practised (Gilman 
and Thornes 1985). He also turned to historical and ethnographic 
analogies to buttress his model (e.g. 1987a, 1995), and contrasted the 
sequence of the south-east with other areas of Iberia (using Earle's 
concept of 'wealth' vs 'staple' finance — Gilman 1987b) and the 
Aegean (1991). In a book on the south-east, I presented the maximum 
evidence for water control in south-east Spain, as well as trying to give 
a balanced treatment of all the models (Chapman 1990). Others 
attempted to develop arguments about the responses of later pre- 
historic communities to the need to live and reproduce in 'risky' 
environments (Hernando 1987, 1997). The models were now widely 
cited in the Spanish literature (e.g. Martinez Navarrete 1989) and 
occasionally subjected to detailed critique (e.g. Mico 1991). 

Fieldwork projects were marked by substantial continuity of 
excavations and of research teams. The excavations of Los Millares 
have continued, with interim publications of their results (e.g. 
Arribas et al. 1985; Molina 1989; Molina and Arribas 1993), while 
the first monograph of the excavations at Fuente Alamo in 1977—91 
has just appeared (Schubart et al. 2001). Following on from the 
Campos excavations further Copper Age sites (e.g. Zajara, Santa 
Barbara, Cabecicos Negros, and Las Pilas) were located and sampled 
in the Vera basin (for details and synthesis, see Camalich and Martin 
Socas 1999) and important rescue excavations took place at the 
stratified (mainly Final Neolithic— Copper Age) settlement of Cia- 
vieja (El Ejido, see Carrilero and Suarez 1989—90). For the Bronze 
Age a small-scale excavation took place at Lugarico Viejo (Ruiz 
Galvez et al. 1987) while geophysical survey and small-scale excav- 
ation were carried out at El Argar (Schubart 1993). On the periphery 
of the south-east a major programme of excavations was carried out 
on the Bronze Age settlement of Penalosa (Contreras 2000 and other 
references contained therein). 



Extensive and intensive survey projects developed out of these 
projects, in the Almanzora valley and in the Vera basin (e.g. Camal- 
ich et al. 1987, 1990; Delibes et al. 1996). Collaboration between 
excavation and survey teams resulted in an European Union-funded 
programme of archaeo-ecological survey, called Archaeomedes, in 
1992—4 (Castro et al. 1994). Further field survey and more intensive 
study of palaeo-environments took place in the south of the Vera 
basin in the Aguas project, also funded by the EU in 1994—6 (Castro 
et al. 1998b). Given the intensity of this survey, it is argued that the 
further discovery of major prehistoric settlements is improbable in 
the Vera basin (Delibes et al. 1996: 163). Field surveys have been 
carried out throughout the south-east, in the uplands as well as the 
lowlands, usually arising out of excavation projects on major sites 
such as Los Millares (e.g. Cara and Rodriguez 1986). Survey inten- 
sity, methods and publication details have varied, making difficult 
the evaluation of site distributions in terms of changing settlement 
patterns and population densities. 

This fieldwork has clearly produced a massive amount of new data 
on different periods of the later prehistoric occupation of south-east 
Spain, as we shall see later. The publication record of this fieldwork 
is uneven and makes definitive evaluation difficult. Interim reports 
and interpretive publications outnumber definitive monographs, 
while specialist reports (e.g. on animal bones and plant remains) are 
the subject of PhD theses, or published in instalments, relating to 
excavation campaigns, or in scattered articles without detailed con- 
textual archaeological evidence. However, it is clear that none of 
these projects was initiated with the explicit aim of testing the 
strengths and weaknesses of the different models outlined above. 
Occasionally they refer to one or two aspects of the models, as they 
relate to data recovered from the projects, but there is no sense in 
which the models have guided or structured the practice of field 
archaeology in the region. There has been no explicitly theoretical 
context in which practice has been designed and pursued. 

The one exception to this generalization is the Gatas project, 
which was set up in 1985 with the specific aim of testing the differ- 
ent models, although it did recognize, from the very beginning, that 
the kind of regional project that this required, with common meth- 
odologies, was impossible in the existing scientific and political con- 
text (Chapman et al. 1987: i). As elsewhere in Andalucfa, fieldwork 
projects have been mainly site-based, with individual methodolo- 
gies. The disjunction between theory and practice has been matched 
by that between individual examples of practice. If the Gatas project 



was to contribute to any testing of the models, then it would have to 
begin from the evidence (with all its strengths and weaknesses) of a 
single site. It is fair to point out that there was no discussion of the 
methodological procedures by which the models might be tested, or 
one preferred to the others, apart from the recognition that we were 
dealing with speculative 'prototype' models (Chapman et al. 1987: 
221) based on inadequately contextualized data. 

The Gatas project was designed to be both dynamic and flexible, 
with three phases of fieldwork: initial synthesis of current archaeo- 
ecological data in the south-east and physical survey of Gatas and its 
immediate environment at the present day (Figure 5.4); sondage 
excavations to test the preservation and nature of deposits at Gatas 
and sample its archaeo-ecological sequence; and finally extensive, 
area excavations (Figure 5.5). The results of each phase were inte- 
grated into the planning of the following phase. The fieldwork for 
phase 1 took place in 1985 (Chapman et al. 1987), followed by the 
phase 2 sondages in 1986—7 (Castro et al. 1999a) and the area excav- 
ations in 1987, 1989, 1991 and 1995 (Castro et al. 1991, 1993, in 
press; Buikstra et al. 1995). The controlled data on successive 
occupations of the site, their absolute chronology, the evidence for 
productive activities (e.g. Risch 1995 on lithics), stratified human 
burials and environmental change have been augmented by, and 

Figure 5.4 The hill of Gatas (centre) in the foothills of the Sierra Cabrera, 
viewed from the modern farm to the north of the site. (Photo by 
the author.) 



Figure 5.5 Vertical view of an area excavation of an Argaric house with 

internal burials at Gatas. A cist burial is visible to the right of 
centre at the bottom of the photograph. (Photo by Vicente Lull.) 

placed in the context of, other excavation and survey projects within 
the Vera basin and further afield, including the Archaeomedes and 
Aguas projects (e.g. Castro et al. 1993/94, 1998b, 1999a, 1999b, 
2000). As we shall see later, all of these data have contributed to our 
evaluation of the models outlined above. 

At the same time, internal debate has led to the development of 
theoretical perspectives by individual and collective members of the 
project since 1985 (e.g. Lull 1988; Castro et al. 1996a; Castro et al. 
1998a). Some of these have already been discussed in Chapter 2. 
Note that here, rather than theory just 'determining' practice, as in 
some kind of linear sequence, both are transformed in a dialectical 
relationship. The internal dynamic of research projects, with con- 
flicting views on theory and practice, is often overlooked in studies 
of the creation of knowledge, perhaps because of the hierarchical, 
rather than democratic, structure of research teams. 

This history of the theory and practice of later prehistoric archae- 
ology in south-east Spain is not intended to be exhaustive, but 
illustrative of the points I have made. It is now time to move on to 
archaeological evidence as it stands at present. I begin with the 
organization of this evidence in time and space. 

Space, time and scale 

The organization of archaeological data in time and space has 
important implications for the scale of research. Finer-grained 
chronologies permit analysis of shorter-term activities and practices, 
while spatial differences in sites and materials help us to articulate 



local and regional systems of production and reproduction. During 
the first two periods of research in south-east Spain, the sites and 
materials were organized by the Three-Age system, with subdivi- 
sions by relative position (Early-middle-late) or letters of the alpha- 
bet (A— B), and by archaeological cultures. This approach to space 
and time was based on the assumptions that regional cultures 
reflected the existence of past 'peoples', in the Childean sense, and 
that prehistory was marked by long periods of stability and short 
periods of change. Change in material culture was a marker of all 
change in past societies. 

The excavations of the last three decades, together with pro- 
grammes of radiocarbon dating, are now the bases of finer-grained 
chronologies, although not necessarily for all periods of later prehis- 
tory or for all areas of south-east Spain. Many scholars retain the use of 
the term 'culture', while some prefer to use the term 'group' and reject 
the notions of 'peoples', with their common traditions, ideas, subsist- 
ence practices, and so on (Gonzalez Marcen et al. 1992: 24—5). 

Castro et al. (1996b) present and discuss the absolute dates for the 
Copper and Bronze Ages of south-east Spain within their Iberian 
context. This is the fundamental source for the organization of the 
archaeological data of these broad periods in space and time. In what 
follows, I draw on this source, as well as sources relevant to indi- 
vidual periods. The reader is directed to these sources for more 
detailed information. My purpose here is to present the general 
sequence of archaeological materials in time and space for the Neo- 
lithic, Copper Age, and Argaric Bronze Age. The Postargaric 
periods are mentioned more briefly, and will be referred to in this 
chapter as and when they are relevant to its themes. 

What are the implications of the periodization for the scale of 
research in the region? The focus is mainly on the lowlands of south- 
east Spain, as the sequence here has been the object of explanation 
for the models mentioned above. Within this area, the Vera basin 
has seen the most intense research for the entire sequence of occupa- 
tion in later prehistory. The more detailed discussion that follows in 
this chapter will centre on the Vera basin but will also include men- 
tion of other parts of south-east Spain where relevant. 

Secure evidence for the changes associated with the Neolithic (e.g. 
pottery production, plant and animal domestication) in Iberia 
appears at f.5500 cal. bc, from Valencia and Cataluna in the east, 
through the intermontane basins and sierras of western Granada to 
central and southern Portugal (e.g. Zilhao 2000). Stratified deposits 
of this Early Neolithic period are lacking in south-east Spain, apart 



from on its western fringes. Open-air settlements and cave sites con- 
taining what have been called Middle and Late Neolithic materials 
have been recognized and studied since the 1880s (Chapman 1990: 
59—69). In lowland Almeria these materials are poorly contextual - 
ized and lack significant numbers of reliable absolute dates (Roman 
Diaz and Martinez Padilla 1998). Fernandez-Miranda et al. (1993) 
focus on the ephemeral traces of small sites such as Cuartillas and 
date them, by analogy to materials in Granada (cf. Camalich and 
Martin Socas 1999), to the fourth millennium bc. Circular, stone- 
built communal tombs have also been assigned to the Neolithic, but 
lack absolute dates. 

However, a collective burial in a pit (which in turn cuts through 
an earlier occupation level) at the site of Cerro Virtud, in the north 
of the Vera basin, has now been dated consistently to c.4900— 
4620 cal. bc (Montero and Ruiz Taboada 1996; Montero et al. 1999). 
This now extends the chronology of Neolithic activity in the Vera 
basin by a millennium, stretching out the known record from a few 
hundred to some fifteen hundred years. 

The archaeological record of the Copper Age is more clearly 
defined than the Neolithic. Both sondage and area excavations on 
stratified settlements have yielded a greater number of radiocarbon 
dates. Open and enclosed settlements, along with collective dry-stone 
tombs with passages and corbelled vaults, are known from both low- 
land Almeria and the uplands of eastern Granada (Chapman 1990: 
69—84). Excavations of stratified deposits have allowed inferences to 
be made about sub-phases of the Copper Age, most notably at Los 
Millares (Arribas et al. 1985), but these have yet to be supported by 
definitive publication. Mico has questioned the extent to which a 
unified culture or horizon can be recognized on settlements in the 
south-east during this period, pointing out that the only settlement 
that has all of the defining characteristics of the Millaran culture is 
the type site itself (Mico 1991). In the absence of more detailed stud- 
ies (e.g. pottery morphometry), it is difficult to lump together all the 
known sites within the same regional unit of analysis. 

Using the radiocarbon dates, Castro et al. (1996b) distinguish 
three broad periods, r.3000-2800/2700 cal. bc (although possibly 
beginning in the late fourth millennium cal. bc), f.2800/2700— 
2500 cal. bc and r.2500-2250 cal. bc. The last of these periods con- 
tains Beaker materials. The overall timescale of the Copper Age is at 
least eight hundred years, and possibly a millennium. 

The sites and materials of the Argaric group (equivalent to Early 
Bronze Age groups elsewhere in Europe) show marked changes from 



the preceding Copper Age. Hilltop, naturally defended settlements 
appear all over the south-east; intra-mural, individual burial replaces 
the collective disposal of the dead in megalithic tombs; metallurgy 
increases in frequency, diversity and composition; and both metal 
and ceramic artefacts become subject to clearly defined norms in 
their production (Lull 1983). Argaric materials are found all over 
the south-east, extending west to Granada and Malaga, north-west 
to Jaen and north to Murcia, covering an area of nearly 50,000sq km 
and showing the same homogeneity. 

Programmes of radiocarbon dating on the Argaric have been 
undertaken on individual sites and as part of a regional programme 
on the dating of tombs and grave goods. Castro et al. (1993—4) cite 
116 dates for the Argaric, with the majority from Almeria and from 
two sites, Gatas and Fuente Alamo. The dating of the beginning of 
the Argaric is still controversial. Although the earliest dates go back 
to r.2500 cal. bc, they are few in number and Castro et al. (1996b: 
121) begin the Argaric at f.2250 cal. bc. This agrees with the earliest 
dating of Gatas. In fact the latest Copper Age dates in the Vera 
basin, from sites at Almizaraque and Las Pilas, overlap with the 
earliest dates for the Argaric in the same area, at Fuente Alamo and 
Gatas, posing an interesting question as to the nature of cultural 
change at this time. The end of the Argaric is dated to c. 15 50 cal. bc. 
The current dates from Gatas and other sites suggest that there are 
three Argaric phases, 2250-2000 cal. bc, 2000-1750 cal. bc (the 
phase marked initially by the expansion of the Argaric inland from 
the lowlands of Almeria and Murcia to the uplands of Granada and 
the upper Guadalquivir valley), and 1750-1550 cal. bc. 

This phasing of the Argaric, based upon stratigraphies and radio- 
carbon dating, removes the need for a division into periods A and B, 
based on typologies and associations of tombs and grave goods. For 
example, there is substantial chronological overlap between types of 
tomb containers, such as artificial caves and stone cists on the one 
hand (previously included in Argar A) and pottery urns (included in 
Argar B) (Castro et al. 1993—4). These are now seen as the material 
reflection of contemporary, rather than successive, social practices 
within Argaric society in south-east Spain. In other words, we can 
begin to separate chronological from social variation in the disposal 
of the dead. Schubart et al. (2001) argue that the stratigraphy of 
Fuente Alamo supports the division of the Argaric into periods Al— 
2 and Bl— 2. However, it should be noted that the radiocarbon dates 
from this site are widely dispersed within the first three occupa- 
tion 'horizons', as well as overlapping between all of the Argaric 



horizons, and 36 out of 40 dates are from both individual and pooled 
charcoal samples in domestic contexts. Direct dating of skeletal 
materials from the intra-site tombs at Fuente Alamo is needed to 
test the absolute chronology of the settlement. 

The Postargaric period has been divided into various groups and 
phases (see Castro et al. 1996b: 168—70), and is broadly dated 
c. 15 50-900 cal. bc. The first part of this time period, f.1550- 
1350 cal. BC, shows marked continuity in settlement layout and 
occupation, as well as pottery traditions (although lacking large urns 
and cups) from the Argaric, but now lacks intra-mural burial and the 
concentrations of metal objects associated with them. Conspicuous 
consumption of such items now occurs on the fringes of the south- 
east in gold and silver hoards. More marked changes in settlement 
layout and material culture appear c. 1350— 900 cal. BC, alongside the 
appearance of extra-mural cemeteries of urned cremations. 

For most authors, the sequence from Neolithic to Copper and 
Argaric Bronze Age societies in south-east Spain is one of increasing 
complexity. It should also be clear that it is one of increasingly finer- 
grained chronologies. If we include more detailed analyses of cultural 
materials, we would also expect to be able to focus more attention on 
changing productive activities. When we compare these through 
time, we are not comparing like with like, as far as detail and 
chronological resolution are concerned. The detail of the long-term 
record of human activities and social practices in the Vera basin (e.g. 
Castro et al. 2000) also exerts a spatial bias on our knowledge of 
south-east Spain as a whole. Taking these problems of scale into 
account, the next three sections will focus on production, inequality 
and social change from the fifth to the mid-second millennia cal. BC. 

Production, inequality and social change: 
the Neolithic 

A common feature of the models proposed to explain the changes 
seen in the sequence from Neolithic to Bronze Age societies in 
south-east Spain is their focus on matters of production. For 
example, was it domestic or specialized, self-sufficient or comple- 
mentary, risky or not? As we have seen in Chapter 2, production also 
lies at the heart of a materialist analysis of social change. The discus- 
sion of alternative views of state societies in Chapter 4 looks at the 
development of economic into political domination and the emer- 
gence of exploitation and property in terms of the appropriation of 
social production. What is the evidence for production and social 



inequality in south-east Spain? How does it change through time? Is 
there evidence for exploitation and property? 

Rather than present a full-scale materialist analysis (see Castro et 
al. 1998a), I will focus on the production of food and material cul- 
ture, and the social changes seen through time. Dichotomies such as 
simple/complex or egalitarian/unequal societies will be avoided, for 
the reasons stated in Chapter 4. Inequalities appear to be present in 
all societies, as well as tensions between egalitarian and hierarchical 
relations in everyday social practices. Such tensions may, of course, 
be difficult to see, given the resolution of the data at our disposal. 

Knowledge of Neolithic societies in south-east Spain is still poor. 
The low density of sites and, by inference, population (at best in the 
low hundreds, see Castro et al. 2000) shown in the Vera basin is even 
more marked when the absolute chronology is taken into account 
(see above, p. 114). Small sites were located either in the lower parts 
of river valleys, close to the sea, where there was potential for both 
dry and wet farming, or over 5km inland in the foothills of the 
mountains, where access to dry farmland was combined with the 
exploitation of the sierras (Castro et al. 1994: 94—6). Sites occurred 
only up to 150m in altitude and were less than lha in size. Excav- 
ations at Cuartillas (Fernandez-Miranda et al. 1993) in the lower 
Aguas valley revealed a single-phase occupation of mainly perishable 
structures (of no clear form) and pits. Similarly, ephemeral circular 
structures on artificial terraces and storage pits were excavated at 
Almizaraque (e.g. Delibes et al. 1996), where they were dated to the 
late fourth and early third millennia cal. BC. At Cerro Virtud, small- 
scale excavations on a site heavily disturbed by modern mining 
exposed two phases of Neolithic occupation; the first phase contained 
pits excavated in the rock and a later hearth, both pre-dating the 
collective burials of c.4900— 4620 cal. bc; the second phase post-dated 
these burials (Ruiz Taboada and Montero 1999a: 208-10). 

Outside the Vera basin, the main clusters of Neolithic sites are 
found in the upper Almanzora valley, the Andarax valley and the 
coastal region to the west of Almeria, and in eastern Granada (see 
Roman Diaz and Martinez Padilla 1998: figure 1). The known site 
density amounts to about 1 site per l65sq km. If we exclude the 
communal, stone-built cists and 'round graves', then the density of 
caves and open-air sites is even lower. Coupled with their ephemeral 
nature and small size, this density has supported the inference of 
non-sedentary populations (e.g. Molina 1983; Fernandez-Miranda et 
al. 1993; Castro et al. 1994). Such mobility is not incompatible with 
production based on domesticated plants and animals, as has been 



pointed out by Roman Diaz and Martinez Padilla (1998). Direct 
evidence of this production is rare. Systematic sampling of Neolithic 
deposits through flotation is rare right across Andalucia: even the 
systematically collected evidence for cultivation of wheat, barley and 
legumes from fifth-millennium cal. BC occupation of the Cueva de Los 
Murcielagos (Zuheros, Cordoba) was based on small samples of plant 
remains from non-habitation contexts (Pena-Chocarro 1999). In the 
Vera basin, bones of domesticated sheep/goat, cattle and pig, as well 
as red deer and rabbit, were found at Cuartillas (Castanos, in Fern- 
andez-Miranda et al. 1993: 82—3), while grinding stones and storage 
vessels were found at Cuartillas and Cerro Virtud, and storage pits are 
known especially outside structures at Almizaraque (e.g. Delibes et 
al. 1996). Storage pits in Neolithic levels are also known to pre-date 
Copper Age occupations elsewhere in the lowlands, as at Terrera Ven- 
tura (Gusi and Olaria 1991) and Ciavieja (Carrilero and Suarez 1989— 
90). The locations of sites in the Vera basin mentioned above, coupled 
with the results of pollen and charcoal analyses (see below), also 
support the potential for animal grazing and cereal cultivation. 

The materials found in these Neolithic sites are mainly clay, 
stone, flint, bone and shell. Absolute, and even relative, dating is 
poor for all categories of sites; there are few studies of production, 
and insufficiently large-scale excavations to provide contextual data 
on the processes and social contexts of production. Studies of stone 
tool production in Granada (Carrion and Gomez 1983) and Valencia 
(Orozco-Kohler 2000), to the west and north of our main study area, 
show the predominance of local (within 10km) rock used for pol- 
ished stone axes in the Early and Middle Neolithic. Sources of silli- 
manite and schist, used respectively for axe and bracelet production 
in Valencia, are located up to 350km away in south-east Spain. The 
exchange relations that linked these regions were probably small in 
scale: the percentages of analysed Valencian stone axes made from 
south-eastern rocks in the Neolithic (Harrison and Orozco-Kohler 
2001: 118) work out at an average supply rate of one every two 
hundred years. Within the Vera basin, the site of Cabecicos Negros 
shows little typological diversity in its lithic tools and little evi- 
dence of the use of such tools for cereal cultivation, while the flint 
used to make blade tools is argued to have come from the Velez 
region of upland Almeria, some 50km to the north (Camalich and 
Martin Socas 1999: 244). This observation could also support the 
inference of mobility among Neolithic populations in this region. 

A recent study of bone artefacts suggests that the earlier examples 
were few in number and poor in quality, requiring little techno- 



logical skill or investment of effort, while later examples increased 
in frequency (especially in funerary contexts), numbers of types and 
investment of labour (Maicas Ramos 1999)- Exploitation of local 
clay and temper sources is proposed for pottery production at Cuar- 
tillas (Fernandez-Miranda et al. 1993: 64), as in Granada (Navarrete 
et al. 1991)- The evidence for metal production, both from the fifth 
millennium BC site of Cerro Virtud (Ruiz Taboada and Montero 
Ruiz 1999b) and from the later third millennium phase 1 occupa- 
tion at Almizaraque (Delibes et al. 1996: 157) is confined to 'vase- 
ovens' with slag adhesions and fragments of partially reduced ore. 
The earlier evidence from Cerro Virtud is particularly difficult to 
interpret in terms of the organization of production. Even if we 
accept the hypothesis that 'knowledge of metallurgy at Neolithic 
Cerro Virtud cannot have been an isolated phenomenon' (Ruiz 
Taboada and Montero Ruiz 1999b: 902), more controlled data are 
needed to evaluate any suggestion of either domestic or specialized 

The best evidence for on-site Neolithic productive activities 
comes from two sites. The Cueva de los Toyos in southern Murcia 
(Siret and Siret 1887: 17—20) yielded a three-handled globular pot 
containing sea shells at different stages of working in the production 
of small beads. More recent evidence of the production of stone and 
shell ornaments comes from the settlement of Cabecicos Negros, 
near the mouth of the river Antas in the Vera basin (Goni Quinteiro 
et al. 1999). In addition to the evidence for different stages of pro- 
duction of objects such as shell beads and stone 'bracelets' and the 
lithic technology that was used for this production, there is contrast- 
ing evidence for the labour investment required for the making of 
the shell beads as opposed to the more time-consuming bracelets. 
The authors conclude that the scale of production of shell and stone 
ornaments at Cabecicos Negros exceeded normal domestic require- 
ments; such a surplus was used for purposes of exchange among 
semi-nomadic populations. While this is a plausible hypothesis, and 
these kinds of objects are known from other Neolithic sites in the 
Vera basin, there is no calculation as to what 'normal domestic 
requirements' would have been and no published contextual 
information on the productive activities. 

This limited evidence of daily social practices in Neolithic 
settlements, especially in the south-eastern lowlands, supports the 
inference of small-scale, mobile communities; these lived off 
domesticated and wild animals and plants; engaged in domestic 
production and perhaps even production beyond domestic need, 



particularly of artefacts used to mark out social distinctions based on 
age, gender, or group affiliation; and exchanged raw materials and/or 
finished products during the course of annual cycles of movement 
(cf Sanchez Romero 2000 for a model of mobility between open-air 
sites and caves in Granada during the Early and Middle Neolithic). 
Evidence for the disposal of the dead is also difficult to interpret in 
this context. Communal burials are found in caves (mostly on the 
peripheries of the south-east), stone cists (mostly in the southern 
lowlands) and circular stone tombs, or 'round graves' (Leisner and 
Leisner 1943). Cists are c.\— 2sq m and 'round graves' are 3— 9sq m in 
size, and both may contain one to ten individuals. Examples of 
larger 'round graves' with up to eighty individuals are attributed to 
the Copper Age on typological grounds. The patchy nature of the 
data and the lack of absolute dates for the tombs make difficult a 
more detailed interpretation than that of the disposal of family or 
kinship groups within these tombs. 

The burial pit at Cerro Virtud was of similar size (llsq m) and 
contained a minimum number of eleven individuals, all but one 
being adults (Montero et al. 1999). The oldest male, over 50 years of 
age, was clearly differentiated from the remaining burials by the 
presence of five pots, one of which was the largest vessel found in the 
pit. Was this the senior member of the kinship group, the first one 
interred after the construction of the burial pit? As in other areas of 
western Europe, such collective burials could have provided the 
focus for mobile communities, a material embodiment of social 
identity. Any inequalities do not seem to have been based on lasting 
control of productive activities. 

Production, inequality and social change: 
the Copper Age 

There is a marked increase in the number of known sites for the 
Copper Age throughout south-east Spain, as well as in numbers of 
radiocarbon dates and both stratigraphic and area excavations. In the 
Vera basin, survey in the lower Almanzora valley shows that the six 
sites dated to the Neolithic increased to sixteen in the Copper 
Age (Delibes et al. 1996: 165). In only three cases (including Cerro 
Virtud and Almizaraque) did occupation continue on the same site, 
and settlement aggregated as well as expanding into new areas. In 
the lower Aguas valley, in the south of the basin, discontinuity of 
site occupation through local relocation and aggregation has also 
been proposed (Fernandez-Miranda et al. 1993: 81). In addition to 



settlement evidence, artefact typologies have been used to argue for 
continued mortuary rituals in some communal 'round graves' from 
the Neolithic to the Copper Age. When we move to the Vera basin 
as a whole, 90 per cent of the Copper Age sites are newly founded at 
this time (Castro et al. 1994). 

Data on site areas have been used to propose an overall population 
of r.1300— 1600 in the Vera basin at this time (Figure 5.6), about 
one person per sq km, more or less evenly divided between the north 
and south (Castro et al. 1998b: 71). Differences in site areas also 
suggest that population was not evenly divided between settle- 
ments. Within the lower Almanzora valley, the largest sites are 
Almizaraque (0.5ha) and Zajara (0.3ha), but seven other sites are less 
than O.lha in size (Delibes et al. 1996: 165). The largest settlement 
in the whole basin is at Las Pilas (at least 5ha), in the lower Aguas 
valley. This pattern of a small number of sites over lha in size, and a 
much larger number under lha, is broadly repeated over the entire 
lowlands and uplands of south-east Spain (e.g. Chapman 1990: 152). 
The depth of deposits, together with the radiocarbon dates, from 
larger sites such as Almizaraque and Las Pilas, support the inference 
of occupancy of such sites over longer periods of time, although such 




§ 20,000 

g- 15,000 



Minimum estimate 
Maximum estimate 
Historical records 

3000 2000 1000 1000 2000 


Figure 5.6 Population change in the Vera basin from c.4000 bc to the 

present day. The maximum and minimum estimates are based 
on site surface areas. Estimates based on historical records are 
added from the sixteenth century ad (adapted from Castro et al. 
1998b: figure 17). 



occupancy may not necessarily have been continuous (e.g. Almi- 
zaraque — Delibes et al. 1996). 

Whereas Neolithic sites were mostly ephemeral in nature, labour 
investment in domestic structures (now circular with stone founda- 
tions and timber superstructures), enclosing stone walls (e.g. Los 
Millares, Las Pilas, Campos, El Malagon, Cerro de la Virgen) and 
accompanying communal tombs increased markedly in the Copper 
Age (for details, see Chapman 1990: 69—83). This investment varied 
within regions (Roman Diaz and Martinez Padilla 1998). 

This evidence from site types, sizes and numbers, as well as their 
degree of labour investment, has led to the hypothesis that there was 
a distinction between a small number of larger, longer-lived and 
more densely populated settlements and a larger number of smaller, 
short-lived and thinly populated settlements (Castro et al. 1998a). A 
degree of mobility was still visible among these smaller settlements. 

As in the Neolithic, analysis of site locations suggests the poten- 
tial for cereal production and animal grazing (e.g. Gilman and 
Thornes 1985; Castro et al. 1994). For the Vera basin, it was again 
noted that there were two main groups of sites: those suitable for dry 
farming in the main basin and close to the sea and other sources of 
water; and those inland sites in the foothills of the sierras, which had 
access to cultivable land and to the resources of the mountains (Cas- 
tro et al. 1994: 102). This distinction between lowland, riverine sites 
and those at the junction of the valleys/basins and the foothills of the 
sierras is repeated in the Guadalentin valley in southern Murcia 
(Mathers 1984a). 

Direct evidence for subsistence activities is of variable quality and 
states of publication. The presence of domesticated species of wheat, 
barley and legumes was recorded by the Siret brothers (e.g. from 
Almizaraque, see Martinez Santa Olalla 1946; Tellez and Ciferri 
1954) and has been confirmed by modern excavations (e.g. Delibes et 
al. 1986). The same species, along with a range of wild plants, have 
been recovered from Las Pilas (Rovira 2000) and Campos in the Vera 
basin, as well as at Los Millares, El Malagon and Cerro de la Virgen 
(Buxo 1997). There are publications of fauna from Terrera Ventura 
(Driesch and Morales 1977), Los Millares (Peters and Driesch 1990) 
in the lowlands and Cerro de la Virgen (Driesch 1972) in the 
uplands. Together they show the dominance of bovids and ovic- 
aprids, followed by pigs, as well as the exploitation of horses and red 
deer. Species were used for both primary and secondary products 
(e.g. Chapman 1990: 136). 

Where and how was this food production carried out? The 



locations of both Neolithic and Copper Age sites in the lowlands 
suggest the potential for both dry and wet farming. The extent to 
which these were practised depends upon the scale of production, 
the water and nutritional requirements of different species of plants 
and animals, and any constraints on cultivation and grazing posed 
by local climate. The current evidence for environmental change 
will be presented later in this chapter. As for the succeeding Bronze 
Age I argue that (1) dry farming would have been a sustainable 
strategy for cereal cultivation; (2) the fallow regime would have 
depended on the intensity of production, soil types and annual rain- 
fall; (3) livestock could have been maintained by grazing on stubble 
and on valley bottom and river mouth pastures and stabled within 
settlements, as at Campos (Camalich and Martin Socas 1999: 322); 
(4) soils with greater humidity and higher water tables, along with 
more continuous flowing water and the potential for natural irriga- 
tion, would have existed in the valley bottoms; and (5) the water 
requirements of legumes would have led to their cultivation in these 
naturally humid soils (see Castro et al. 1999b). Such production does 
not appear to have been capital intensive, nor as 'risky' as some have 
argued. There is also no evidence to suggest that there was unequal 
access to production between Copper Age communities. 

Within settlements, evidence of production takes the form of the 
basic instruments of production (e.g. grinding stones, stone axes and 
adzes, flint artefacts), as well as storage in pits and pots. Pits have 
been found in most Neolithic and Copper Age settlements, 
although it is the ones with the narrower mouths, such as over 300 
examples found at El Garcel (Gosse 1941), that have been most 
often identified as used for purposes of storage. Roman Diaz (1999) 
summarizes the storage data from sites in the lowlands of south-east 
Spain. Evidence varies for the numbers of pits found, their contents 
(e.g. carbonized cereals at El Garcel, refuse), and their locations 
(inside/outside structures). The presence of impermeable linings has 
suggested that some pits were used for water storage, but they could 
just as easily have been used for grain storage, as is shown by pit 1 at 
Campos, which contained an assemblage of threshed cereals, of 
which 98 per cent were seeds of barley (Camalich and Martin Socas 
1999: 296). Areas devoted to pits outside any domestic structures 
(e.g. Almizaraque) have led some authors to propose that these were 
for communal access for the community as a whole (e.g. Chapman 
1990: 157). Allowing for the reliability of data from old, limited or 
unpublished excavations, it should be pointed out that pits also 
occur within structures, storage vessels are found within structures, 



and pits dug into bedrock go out of use after the later Neolithic and 
early Copper Age occupations of these sites (e.g. Almizaraque, Cia- 
vieja). The proposal (Roman Diaz 1999: 204) that storage vessels 
contained grain for consumption, while sealed storage pits kept 
grain for sowing or special purposes (feasting?) would apply only to 
the earliest phases of occupation on such sites. 

Mico (1990) has suggested that the change in internal/external 
storage from the later Neolithic through the Copper Age was one 
from community or lineage group to individual household control. 
Open access for all gave way to inter-household differences based on 
hidden stores and possible increasing inequalities in access to pro- 
ductive activities and consumption. Given the variation in evidence 
for storage between sites, such a model may only apply to certain 
areas and sites. What would, then, be of interest would be differences 
in storage capacity between houses, as well as evidence for greater 
access to instruments of production such as grinding stones. The 
only evidence for this to date is from Fort 1 at Los Millares, where the 
quantity of grinding stones and storage vessels exceeds those neces- 
sary for the food production of its inhabitants (Molina et al. 1986). 

What is known about the sources and production of implements 
of various kinds, whether used as the means of production or not? 
Taking lithic materials as a whole, Risch (1995) calculates that an 
average of only 10—20 per cent were of non-local origin; these 
include rocks for grinding stones, building materials, axes and 
adzes, as well as flint (see below). For grinding stones the figures can 
be much lower on individual sites: at Almizaraque and Los Millares, 
for example, only 5—6 per cent were on non-local andesite. A poten- 
tial source for this rock type, along with evidence claimed for all 
stages of the production process, has been found at Borronar (Cabo 
de Gata, Carrion et al. 1993: 304) although Risch (1995: 129) was 
unable to locate these quarries and found the only blocks of a suit- 
able size for grinding stones in local riverbeds. Along with other 
volcanic rocks, andesite was used for small amounts of lithics at sites 
like Los Millares and Terrera Ventura, that is within a distance of 
c. 40— 55 km from the source. However, the majority of rocks used on 
Copper Age sites were selected from secondary sources in local river- 
beds and little effort was put into producing a standardized product 
(Risch 1995). A predominance of local sources of hard rock is also 
noted in Murcia (Barrera Morate et al. 1987), Valencia (Orozco- 
Kohler 2000) and Granada (Carrion and Gomez 1983), although 
materials or finished products could still move over distances of 
100— 200km. In all areas lithic production and the use of 'exotic' 



lithologies increased in the Late Neolithic/Copper Age, that is, the 
fourth and third millennia cal. BC. South-eastern rock types such as 
sillimanites and amphibolites provided 41 per cent of the analysed 
Copper Age stone axes in Valencia (Harrison and Orozco-Kohler 
2001: 118), roughly one axe every six years. 

Flint sources were more unevenly distributed in south-east Spain. 
The inhabitants of Campos and Zajara, in the northern Vera basin, 
used secondary flint nodules from the bed of the Almanzora river for 
flake production, and non-local flints for the production of prismatic 
blades, while opal was introduced from an unknown source to pro- 
duce large denticulates at Las Pilas, in the south of the same basin 
(Camalich and Martin Socas 1999: 244-5.). The best data on flint 
sources come from the survey and excavations at La Venta, some 
20km to the north of the settlement of El Malagon (Ramos 1998). 
Twenty mines, each with a diameter of cAm and a depth of 2m— 3m, 
have been found within an area of lha. There was no evidence of 
permanent occupation, but flintworking did take place on site. La 
Venta was the principal source of flint for El Malagon, and smaller 
quantities came from locally available superficial nodules. 

More localized sources have been proposed for copper ores, based 
principally on two arguments. First, copper ores were so widely 
available in Almeria that it has been calculated that 66 per cent of a 
sample of sixty-eight Copper Age settlements and tombs were 
located within r.3. 5km— 10km and 8 per cent were within 3.5km of 
such sources (Suarez et al. 1986: 205). Allowing for variation 
between sites, copper ores would have been available within one to 
two hours' walk. Second, the copper sources of the Vera basin have 
been surveyed and sampled for trace element analysis, leading 
Montero (1993, 1994) to propose that individual settlements 
exploited their nearest sources throughout their occupation. Such 
exploitation was small scale, with no evidence for mining. 

Few studies have been published on pottery sources during the 
Copper Age. The most extensive analyses now come from Campos: 
mineralogical study supports the use of multiple clay sources, 
including local sources for coarse wares used for storage and other 
sources used for a range of forms, possibly from at least 50km away 
in the Andarax valley, the Sierra de las Estancias or the Baza- 
Huescar plateau (Camalich and Martin Socas 1999: 174—221). 
Schiile (1980: 55) cited coarse sherds from Cerro de la Virgen which 
have micaceous inclusions that must have come from a distance of 
20— 30km. Of other raw materials used in the third millennium BC, 
ivory and ostrich-eggshell were from North African sources; the 



nearest source of jet was in the Sierra Morena in southern Spain; the 
nearest amber source was in Murcia; and although a source of callais 
has been cited at Adra, to the west of Almeria, this is now known to 
be chlorite, leaving the nearest potential sources in south-west, 
north-east or north-west Spain (Harrison and Orozco-Kohler 2001: 

The best evidence of productive activity on Copper Age settle- 
ments relates to flint and metal artefacts. Evidence of flint 'work- 
shops' has been found at a number of sites, including Almizaraque 
(Siret 1948), Campos (Siret and Siret 1887), Cerro de las Canteras 
(de Motos 1918), and Fort 1 at Los Millares (Ramos 1998) (Figure 
5.8), and flint production is also known from other sites. The prin- 
cipal products were flakes, blades, arrowheads and sickle teeth. 
Ramos (1998) proposes a model of surplus production of arrow- 
heads, with the pressure-flaking requiring greater skill and possibly 
specialized production, in contrast to domestic production of the 
other artefacts. However, the evidence from their consumption, 
especially in tombs, does not imply that flint products were not 
widely available within Copper Age communities. 

Evidence of copper working has also been found within settle- 
ments. At Los Millares (Figure 5.7) metalworking took place in two 
of the bastions in the outer defensive wall, in a rectangular structure 
inside the third wall and in one of the bastions of the outer wall of 
Fort 1 (Figure 5.8) (Arribas etal. 1979, 1981, 1985). All these were 
peripheral areas, suitable because metallurgy presented (a) a poten- 
tial fire hazard and (b) the danger of arsenic poisoning. In contrast, 
at Almizaraque, where evidence of copper working was present in all 
phases of the Copper Age occupation, it is claimed that there were 
no spatial, and hence social, restrictions on production (e.g. Delibes 
et al. 1986, 1989). According to this Almizaraque model', copper 
working was small scale, based on local sources, non-specialized, 
with no major division of labour and no complementary production 
between sites and regions (Montero 1993). The majority of copper 
objects were instruments of production: axes, knives/daggers, saws, 
chisels and awls (the latter constituting just over 50 per cent of the 
known copper artefacts) (Table 5.1). An awl was associated with the 
production of pressure-flaked flint arrowheads in Fort 1 at Los Mil- 
lares (Ramos 1998) and saws were probably used in making ivory 
objects (Pascual-Benito 1995: 27). Castro et al. (1998a) propose that 
the attraction of copper artefacts lay not in any supposed advantages 
over stone or bone, but in their ability to be recycled; although the 
production cycle was longer and labour investment greater, less time 




Figure 5. 7 Location of metalworking evidence (1—3) at Los Millares 
(adapted from Arribas et al. 1985: figure 2). 




Figure 5.8 Location of metalworking and lithic production areas in Fort 1, 
Los Millares (adapted from Arribas et al. 1985: figure 9). 
External ditches stippled. 

and energy were devoted to obtaining the raw materials. This is an 
important point, since, when added to the other evidence of imple- 
ments, it suggests that any changes in production overall during the 
Copper Age were not based on improvements in the means of 

While it can be argued that there was neither major capital 
investment in production (see below for discussion of the irrigation 
hypothesis), nor major changes in the means of production, the case 


Table 5.1 Frequencies of Copper Age and Argaric metal work in south-east Spain 

Copper Age 

















































































Source: Data from Montero 1994: 213 

for greater inequalities in access to production is more debatable. A 
growing population was divided into, at best, a two-level settlement 
hierarchy (Chapman 1990; for a proposal of a three-level hierarchy, 
see Martin Socas et al. 1992—3), as settlement expanded and aggre- 
gated. But larger settlements, at least in the Vera basin, did not have 
access to correspondingly larger amounts of cultivable soils. Fort 1 
at Los Millares is the best evidence so far for concentration of the 
means of production above the amount necessary to cater for 
domestic consumption, but this has still to be understood within 
the context of the larger complex of Los Millares and its surrounding 
forts and settlements before any relations of tribute or exploitation 
could be proposed. 

Mainly local sources and domestic production have been proposed 
for hard rock and metals, while some stone lithologies and flint, 
some pottery and various exotica support the inference of inter- 
regional exchange relations. Specialized surplus production is pro- 
posed only for flint arrowheads. Although production areas have 
been identified within settlements, some may be determined by the 
needs or dangers of the craft being practised (as in the case of copper 
metallurgy), and the extent to which they were carried out within 
distinct households (which may comprise more than one structure) 



is not clear. For example, food production, flint arrowhead pro- 
duction and metallurgy were all carried out within Fort 1 at Los 
Millares (Figure 5.8). 

There is also evidence for increasing social tensions. Site locations 
were dictated not only by cultivable potential, but also by the need 
for visual control of territory, as at Las Pilas (Martin Socas et al. 
1992—3). In addition to greater labour investment in food produc- 
tion (to support the growing population, as well as increasing 
inequalities in access to food production, see above), and in the pro- 
duction of flint and metal implements, surplus labour was invested 
in the construction of fortifications and larger and more elaborate 
communal tombs (for initial calculations, see Monks 1997). Castro et 
al. (1998a) suggest that social tensions and physical conflict intensi- 
fied in the later Copper Age, as shown by the record of fortification 
construction at sites such as Los Millares, Campos and El Malagon, 
and destruction or burning levels at sites such as Campos, El 
Malagon and Cerro de la Virgen. 

Taking all these inferences together, there is some evidence for 
hierarchical relations and inequalities within Copper Age societies 
in south-east Spain. But both equal and unequal social relations 
appear to co-exist. The settlement evidence has also been used to 
infer the existence of some differences in consumption: for example, 
Ramos uses the concentration of flint products in the large structure 
G at El Malagon to infer the existence of a chief (1998: 33). Such 
village chieftains owed their position to manipulation of production 
and exchange relations in a tribal political economy and developed 
out of Neolithic 'Big Men' (see Ramos 1999). 

The funerary evidence also changes at this time. Communal 
stone tombs with entrance passages, side-chambers and false corbel- 
ling over the main chamber are constructed. Whereas the ephem- 
eral nature of Neolithic settlements made their contemporary 
tombs the focal expression of community identity, this role was 
largely taken over by the fortified settlements of the Copper Age. 
The association between such settlements and groups or cemeteries 
of communal tombs is taken as a defining feature of this period, 
but the cemeteries associated with sites such as Los Millares and El 
Barranquete are the exception (Mico 1991). Within such cemeter- 
ies, differences in the labour expended in the construction of tombs 
and in the consumption of grave goods have led to inferences of 
social differences within these communities. Chapman (1990: 178— 
95) proposed that differences in access to prestige goods dis- 
tinguished the tombs of higher-ranked kinship or descent groups, 



which were able to locate their dead closer to the settlement at Los 
Millares. The critical question is whether such groups controlled 
the production of these goods; the fact that they occurred in other 
tombs besides those in which they were concentrated may suggest 
otherwise, but this emphasizes the need for better data from 
settlement contexts. 

Mico (1993) has extended the study of funerary monuments by 
undertaking a principal components analysis of tombs of both Los 
Millares and El Barranquete. His main observation is that the size of 
the tombs is correlated not only with the number of interred indi- 
viduals, but also with the wealth of objects deposited. From this he 
infers that the larger kinship groups (lineages?), because of the size 
of their labour force, were able to build the larger tombs and 
accumulate, through more extensive exchange networks, the great- 
est amounts of wealth items for consumption in their tombs. An 
association has also been observed between the size of settlements 
and the presence (Delibes et al. 1996: 166) or numbers (Castro et al. 
1998a: 53) of collective tombs in the Vera basin. The size of the 
community, as well as individual lineages, appears to have been of 
critical importance in the ability to invest surplus labour in both 
conspicuous consumption in funerary contexts and the production of 
food and desirable social objects. The eight hundred or more years of 
the Copper Age in south-east Spain saw increased tensions within 
and between communities, and between egalitarian and hierarchical 
social relations. These tensions were given material form (and not 
hidden, as argued by both Mathers 1984a and Gilman and Thornes 
1985) and based firmly on productive relations. The society that was 
being reproduced was one of increasing inequalities, but apart pos- 
sibly from gender relations (Castro et al. 1998a: 70) these had yet to 
amount to exploitation. 

Production, inequality and social change: 
the Argaric 

From r.2250— 1550cal. bc the distinctive settlements, burials, 
material culture and society of the Argaric Bronze Age occupied an 
area of nearly 50,000sq m, stretching from the 'heartland' of the 
Vera basin north to southern Murcia and Alicante, west to Granada 
and north-west to Jaen (Lull 1983). Within the coastal lowlands of 
Almeria and southern Murcia, there were marked disjunctions of 
settlement location and architecture. In the Vera basin, for example, 
the major Copper Age settlements of the plains (e.g. Almizaraque, 



Campos, Zajara, Las Pilas) were all abandoned. Although small 
Argaric sites have been found in the valley bottoms, it is the larger 
settlements in the peripheral foothills (e.g. Gatas, Fuente Alamo, 
Lugarico Viejo, El Oficio), with their artificial terraces on which 
rectilinear structures were built (Figure 5.9), that became the focus 
of Bronze Age society. Many of these sites were intervisible (in con- 
trast to settlements in southern Murcia, see Risch and Ruiz 1994: 
80—1), as well as having extensive views of the sites in the valley 
bottoms. Although there were fewer sites, more were in the 1— 4ha 
range in this period than in the Copper Age, suggesting a process of 
population nucleation (Castro et al. 1994). Where the foothill sites 
had been occupied during the Copper Age (e.g. Gatas, Fuente 
Alamo), they were now so extensively remodelled that all traces of 
previous structures and settlement layout were removed. Calcula- 
tions of population size in the Vera basin suggest that there was an 
increase from the 1,300—1,600 range in the Copper Age to c. 1,700— 
3,400 people in the Argaric (Castro et al. 1994) (Figure 5.6). These 
calculations are based not only on surface areas, but also on the cereal 

< i 

Figure 5.9 Argaric settlement at El Oficio, showing the plan of the 

settlement excavated by the Siret brothers (above), as well as 
sections through and more detailed plans of domestic structures 
and burials (below) (Siret and Siret 1887: plate 18). 



production inferred from the frequency of grinding stones present at 
sites such as Gatas (Risch 1995). The population increase marks 
what Castro et al. (1998a) call intensification in basic production. 

As in the preceding periods, studies of site locations show the 
potential for dry and wet farming within walking distances of 
settlements (Gilman and Thornes 1985; Castro et al. 1994; Risch 
and Ruiz 1994). However, the larger settlements in the Vera basin 
were not supported by greater amounts of cultivable land; in fact 
there is an inverse relationship between site size and available prod- 
uctivity (Figure 5.10), suggesting unequal access to, and participa- 
tion in, primary food production. I will return to the significance of 
this observation a little later. 

More direct evidence of food production comes from animal bones 
and plant remains, as well as the instruments of production found 
within settlements. The principal (published) collections of animal 
bones are from Gatas and Fuente Alamo (Table 5.2) in the lowlands, 
and Cerro de la Virgen, Cerro de la Encina and Cuesta del Negro in 
the uplands (see discussion and sources in Chapman 1990: 116—18, 
131—8; Castro et al. 1999a: 186—93). Publication of plant remains is 
restricted to Fuente Alamo (Stika 1988, 2001), Gatas (Clapham et 
al. 1999) and El Argar (Stika and Jurich 1998). Comparison of fau- 
nal reports suggests the exploitation of primary and secondary prod- 
ucts, with a shared emphasis on ovicaprids and bovids in the early 
Argaric and a division between upland (increased emphasis on horses 
and bovids) and lowland (increasing emphasis on ovicaprids and 
suids at the expense of bovids) sites (Castro et al. 1999a: 191). 

The sequence at Gatas (supported by the data from Fuente Alamo) 
provides the basis for a model of agricultural production in the 

Table 5.2 Animal bone weights (% of total) at Gatas and Fuente Alamo 


Fuente Alamo 




I + II 

7/7 + IV 































Sources: Data from Castro et al. 1999a and Schubart et al. 2001 

Note: The absence of coherent absolute dating for the occupation phases at Fuente Alamo makes 

it difficult to compare their animal bone weights with specific phases at Gatas 








100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 

100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 

Figure 5.10 Relation of size of site (vertical axis) to ateas (horizontal axis) in 
hectares of dry (above) and wet (below) farming within 2km of 
Argaric sites in the Vera basin (adapted from Lull and Risch 
1995: figure 4). 



lowlands (see Castro et al. 1999b, with all relevant references). 
Throughout the three phases of the Argaric occupation, and what- 
ever the sample size, cereals dominate over leguminous species in 
the plant remains, and barley dominates wheat among the cereals. 
The frequencies (per volume of excavated deposit) of cereals and 
legumes, together with those of grinding stones and other macro- 
lithic tools (Figure 5.11) are used as indicators of an increase in 
agricultural production from Gatas phases 2 (c.2250— 1950 cal. bc) to 
3 (f.1950-1700 cal. bc) and 4 (c.1700-1550 cal. bc). By phase 4, 
barley monoculture was being practised. The increase of agricultural 
production during the Argaric is even more marked at Fuente 
Alamo (Stika 1988). 

Barley is the main crop cultivated today in the Vera basin and was 
also the dominant cereal in historic periods. This is because of its 
greater adaptability to arid and semi-arid conditions, its early 
maturity and greater resistance to parasites. It is grown extensively 
under a regime of dry farming with varying periods of fallow. Leg- 
umes have greater water requirements than barley: peas and vetch 
are sensitive to lack of water during growth, while the quality of 
beans declines under annual rainfall regimes of less than 400— 
500mm. Another cultivated species, flax, is also sensitive to water 
conditions (especially near the surface) and temperatures. While bar- 
ley could have been grown under extensive, dry-farming conditions 
(a proposal supported by the observation of smaller seeds at Fuente 
Alamo and El Argar — Hopf 1991; Stika 1988), with one to two years 
fallow, the legumes and flax required cultivation under conditions of 
water enhancement, near river courses and/or in areas with higher 
water tables or seasonal inundation. This model is supported by 
what is known of habitats of weeds of cultivation found at Gatas, by 
soil micromorphology at the southern foot of the hill (Courty and 
Fedoroff 1999) and by the sheer dominance of cereals over legumes, 
which argues against a model of cereal— legume rotation. Castro et al. 
(1994) also note that the only Argaric settlements with higher fre- 
quencies of legumes are located in the low-lying areas with humid 
soils of southern Murcia. 

Finally there is an independent source of evidence that supports 
this model for Argaric agricultural production. Carbon isotope dis- 
crimination analyses on seeds are a measure of their water status 
during growth. Analyses of Copper and Bronze Age seeds from both 
lowland and upland sites in south-east Spain show no support for 
the cultivation of wheat and barley under conditions of natural or 
artificial water enhancement, while the slightly higher delta carbon 














Figure 5.11 Agricultural production at Gatas during occupation phases 
1—6: frequency of (a) cereals (white) and legumes (black), (b) 
grinding stones and (c) lithics, per volume of excavated deposit 
(vertical axis) (Castro et al. 1999a: figures 168, 178 and 174). 



values for beans could support the inference of growth in such con- 
ditions (Araus et al. 1997a, 1997b). 

The practice of barley monoculture, and the increase in agri- 
cultural production, would have had major implications for human 
labour, given the greater time taken to get to and from fields, the 
costs of cereal processing, the organization of livestock grazing (and 
manuring) on stubble and the provision of animal traction. The evi- 
dence of charcoals and pollen from Gatas also suggests greater clear- 
ance of woodland at this time. The cultivation of legumes under 
conditions of water enhancement also implies increased labour costs 
for weeding, hoeing and so on, as well as the benefits of an important 
source of protein. Further protein was gained from animal meat, and 
it is worth noting that meat consumption increased markedly in 
Gatas phase 4, at the same time as the practice of barley monoculture. 

How was Argaric production organized? According to the evi- 
dence of site locations in the Vera basin (see above) there was an 
inverse relationship between site size (and by inference population) 
and available land for dry and wet farming. This leads to the 
hypothesis that there was some unequal access to basic agricultural 
production from the late third to the mid-second millennia cal. BC. 
This hypothesis is strengthened by two observations. First, the cer- 
eal crop found so far at Gatas is a clean one, suggesting that primary 
processing took place (a) somewhere else within the settlement, (b) 
immediately outside the settlement associated with local cultiva- 
tion, or (c) in the bottom of the Vera basin, associated with the 
smaller settlements and the larger areas of cultivable land. The fact 
that sondage and area excavations have taken place across and below 
the settlement of Gatas makes (a) unlikely. This leaves (b) and (c) as 
possibilities, while the latter would imply the existence of tribute 
from smaller to larger settlements. 

Second, excavations of the foothill and larger Argaric settlements 
from the 1880s up to the present day have revealed evidence for 
(Lull 1983) and inferences of (Schubart and Pingel 1995) the storage 
of grain, as well as of instruments of production such as grinding 
stones and flint sickle blades. For example, in Ifre house C there 
were ten grinding stones piled up next to an oven (Siret and Siret 
1887: 89), in Fuente Alamo one occupation floor of 10.5sq m in 
trench 39 contained twenty-two complete or partially broken grind- 
ing stones in various piles, and in area C of Gatas there were separate 
areas for cereal processing, using grinding stones, and for cereal stor- 
age in large vessels. Trench 39 at Fuente Alamo also produced a 
deposit of nearly fifty sickle teeth, many of which had no signs of use 



(Risch 1998: 137). The important point to note is that such concentra- 
tions, especially of grinding stones, far exceeded the subsistence needs 
of the populations in the low hundreds that lived on these sites. Risch 
(1998: 144) calculates that three hours' grinding per day could have 
produced flour for more than six times the population of Fuente Alamo 
during phase 3 of its occupation (r.1900— 1780 cal. bc). The grain 
would have been brought in to hilltop settlements such as Fuente 
Alamo after primary processing in the valley-bottom settlements for 
transformation into flour (by the same people?) using the grinding 
stones that had been concentrated there. Even the harvesting may have 
been done with the flint sickle teeth produced in the hilltop sites. 
There is scant evidence for grinding stones from the valley-bottom 
sites, where they would be expected to be visible on the surface. This is 
all the more surprising because of the availability of secondary sources 
for these grinding stones in the riverbeds of the Vera basin closer to 
areas of greater cultivable potential (Risch 1995, 1998). What we 
appear to be seeing is a regional, political system in which the instru- 
ments of production, and hence the processing of cereals (primarly 
barley) into food, were under the control of the larger, hilltop settle- 
ments in the Vera basin. The same control may also have been exercised 
over linen production: the flax on which it was based came from low- 
lying areas along river courses, while textile production in hilltop 
settlements is indicated by the frequency of loom weights (Castro et al. 
1998a). Risch (1998: 148) calls this a 'system of vertical production', 
in which surplus production is geared to local political and economic 
factors rather than extensive exchange networks. 

What about the production of implements and other social 
objects during the Argaric? The emphasis on the use of local, sec- 
ondary, lithic sources that was seen in the Vera basin during the 
Copper Age was accentuated during the Argaric Bronze Age. For 
Gatas 60 per cent of the raw materials came from within a distance 
of 3— 5km of the site, with 26 per cent within 1km; only 2 per cent 
came from more than 10km (Castro et al. 1999a). A similar pattern 
of use of local sources was seen at Fuente Alamo (Risch 1998) and in 
the contemporary settlements of southern Murcia (Risch and Ruiz 
1994: 81—4). Rocks were selected from riverbeds according to their 
size, shape and potential for use without extensive working, except 
for the more standardized main working surfaces, which were pre- 
pared by percussion within the hilltop settlements. In addition, 
experimental studies on the rock types used at Fuente Alamo show 
that 70 per cent of the grinding stones were of a form of mica schist 
best suited for cereal processing (Risch 1998: 132—3). These also had 



the most standardized sizes of all the grinding stones at this site. As 
has already been mentioned, the frequency of grinding stones 
increased to a peak in Gatas phases 3—4, coinciding with widespread 
barley monoculture. The production costs of lithics in general were 
reduced (note the disappearance of pressure-flaked flint artefacts). 
Although flint was still used for making sickle teeth, its overall use 
declined, to be superseded by metal. 

In addition to lithics, there was also intensification in the produc- 
tion of metal objects during the Argaric, with nearly five times as 
many artefacts as in the Copper Age (Table 5.3). However, this 
increase is the product of both a local and a regional trend: while 
frequencies increased in Granada and Murcia, 71 per cent of the 
known objects in south-east Spain come from the Vera basin, and 
some 72 per cent of these are from El Argar (Montero 1992: 199, 
1993: 54). The conspicuous consumption of ornaments and weapons 
in burials distinguishes this period (the former comprising 53 per 
cent of the known artefacts, see Table 5.2), although this should not 
be used as an argument against the importance of metal in product- 
ive activities. Tools and weapons together contribute just over 44 per 
cent of the known metal objects and nearly 75 per cent of the total 
weight of metal consumed in known Argaric artefacts (Table 5.2 and 
Montero 1992: table 13). Copper awls, chisels, saws, axes and knives 
far outnumber the lithic and bone tools that could be used for cut- 
ting and perforating tasks. Use wear analysis of flint sickle teeth from 
Gatas supports the inference that they were important for tasks such 
as harvesting and threshing (Clemente et al. 1999). The cut marks 
seen on animal bone, shells and hard rock were more likely to have 
been made by metal tools (Castro et al. 1998a). 

Table 53 Frequencies of Copper Age and Argaric metal work in south-east Spain 

Copper Age 









Vera basin 







Rest of Almeria 




























Source: Data from Montero 1994: 210 



For these reasons it can be argued that those who claim a purely 
symbolic, or 'prestige' value for copper objects (e.g. Gilman 1976; 
Montero 1999) have underestimated the role of metal in productive 
activities. Such a 'social-functional' dichotomy overlooks the evi- 
dence for the use of metal in productive activities in both the Cop- 
per Age (see above) and the Argaric, as well as the likely use of 
different categories of metal objects. It also fails to take into account 
the critical question of who controlled the exploitation, production 
and distribution of metal. 

As in the Copper Age, there is no basis for arguing that proximity 
to copper sources was the major factor determining settlement loca- 
tion, especially in the Vera basin, where ore deposits are widely 
distributed. Montero (1993) proposes the same model of independ- 
ent, local source exploitation and domestic production as for the 
Copper Age (the Almizaraque model'). Three major problems exist 
for this model. First, Montero (1993: 51—2) argues that 'there was 
no separation or specialisation in activities between settlements', but 
his data from twenty-one sites scattered throughout the south-east 
show that only nine of these have evidence for both smelting and 
casting activities (Table 5.4). Montero's data are qualitative, record- 
ing the presence/absence of such activities, and include sites with 
varying degrees of excavation and publication, as well as multi- 
period occupations which include evidence for metal production 
from Postargaric periods (Risch, personal communication). 

Second, a pilot programme of lead isotope analyses on artefacts 
from Gatas and other lowland sites fails to match them to ores from 
the Vera basin, southern Murcia and south-east Almeria (Stos-Gale 
et al. 1999; Stos-Gale 2000). A possible match is suggested for the 
Linares area of Jaen, or possibly further afield in the Huelva-Seville 
region. This finding is counter-intuitive, given the widespread pres- 
ence of ore deposits in south-east Spain, and suggests an alternative 
model of exploitation of 'exotic' metal sources through long-distance 
exchange, perhaps controlled by the dominant classes of society (see 
below). If small Argaric villages on the plain of the Vera basin only 
had limited access to locally available rocks for grinding stones (see 
above), then could not the same also be true of the equally widely 
available metal sources? If it was, then how did this situation come 
about? Were local metal sources exploited initially in the Copper 
Age? A larger-scale programme of sampling of ore deposits, as well 
as analysis of ores and artefacts from Copper Age sites such as Almi- 
zaraque itself, is clearly needed to help resolve this contradiction of 
lead isotope and trace element analyses. While Montero himself 



Table 5-4 Evidence of different stages of metal working on Argaric settlements 

Smelting Casting 

Barranco Cera X 

Cerro de la Encina X X 

Cerro de las Vinas X X 

Cerro del Fuerte X 

Cerro de la Campana X 

Cuesta del Negro X X 

ElArgar X X 

El Oficio X X 

El Picacho X 

El Puntarron Chico X 

Fuente Alamo X X 

Gatas X X 

La Alqueria X 

La Bastida de Totana X X 

La Finca de Felix X 

Las Anchuras X X 

Lugarico Viejo X 

Pago Al-Rutan X 

Penicas Santomera X 

Rincon Almendricos X 

Terrera del Reloj X 

Source: Data from Montero 1993: 52 

Note: The evidence for smelting includes copper ores, slags and adherences on the vessels in 
which smelting was carried out, while the evidence for casting comprises crucibles and moulds. 
In seven cases, the only evidence cited for smelting is the presence of copper ore. If the presence 
of slags and adherences is regarded as the necessary (as opposed to likely) evidence for smelting, 
then the number of sites with evidence for both smelting and casting is reduced in number 
from nine to five. 

(1999: 350) accepts that some of the trace element analyses can be 
interpreted as showing the existence of metal exchange over longer 
distances, he clearly regards this as an occasional activity between 

Third, it should also be noted that the lead isotope analyses 
showed that the different sources provided copper for artefacts taken 
from the same sites (e.g. Gatas, Fuente Alamo and El Argar). This is 
exactly the opposite of what would be predicted by Montero's 
model, with its emphasis on individual settlements exploiting the 
nearest available metal sources. With such widely distributed ores, 
each settlement had no need of metal from other sources. Montero's 
acceptance of some degree of metal exchange in the Argaric is 
matched for the preceding Copper Age (1999: 339), so his position 
is not incompatible with the lead isotope evidence. However, the 



small numbers of metal artefacts analysed for each Argaric site 
makes it impossible to evaluate the degree of exchange that was 
taking place. 

Until the issues of source use and exchange are resolved, it will be 
difficult to evaluate the arguments for and against the social control 
of metals in the Argaric. Evidence of restricted areas for metal pro- 
duction within Argaric settlements comes from lowland Almerfa 
and Murcia, at sites such as El Oficio, El Argar and La Bastida de 
Totana: at the last of these, two adjoining rooms provided all the 
evidence for metalworking in areas of 3,400sq km excavated in the 
1940s (Lull 1983: 318—19). These sites support the arguments for 
non-domestic production, in contrast to Penalosa, on the north- 
western margins of the Argaric territory, where evidence of metal 
production was more widely distributed (Contreras 2000) (see Chap- 
ter 6 below). While this can be used to support the Montero model 
of domestic production, it could also indicate the existence of com- 
munity specialization, as proposed by Lull (1983). 

What are the implications of this production evidence for the 
changing nature of Argaric society? We have already seen that social 
tensions and inequalities were visible during the Copper Age, using 
the investment of surplus labour in fortifications and mortuary rit- 
uals as their clearest expression. Destruction and burning levels on 
fortified sites suggest increased conflict in the later Copper Age. 
Then at r.2250 cal. bc, there is a marked break in the archaeological 
record of settlements, architecture, material culture and mortuary 
rituals in the lowlands of south-east Spain, although there is no 
evidence for population change (Kunter 1990). The processes by 
which these changes took place are not understood, although active 
political strategies pursued in a context of social conflict are clearly 
worth more detailed study. During the next seven hundred years, 
major changes occurred in production and its organization. There is 
evidence for an increase in basic production, that is, of population 
itself, as well as population nucleation. Agricultural production 
increased, as did the costs of the labour on which it was based. 
Primary agricultural production in the Vera basin took place in the 
low-lying areas, while processing into food and its distribution were 
organized from hilltop settlements, where surplus production is 
attested. Production costs for implements were further reduced, as 
can be seen also in the standardization of pottery. All these changes 
support the inference that social inequalities, coercion and exploit- 
ation appeared or increased markedly during the Argaric. 

The organization of agricultural production proposed for the Vera 



basin is one in which human labour was increased to support the 
appropriation of surplus. Agricultural surpluses may have been pro- 
duced before, but now they were socially appropriated. There is an 
increasing disparity between the labour invested in cereal agri- 
culture and the product available to individuals and interest groups. 
Social inequalities here were based upon differential access to land 
and to the means of production. The extent of political control 
increased during the Argaric, culminating in the period f.1750— 
1550 cal. BC, when barley monoculture was imposed across the Vera 
basin: surplus production was pursued at the expense of labour costs, 
woodland cover and the need for a balanced diet. The accumulation 
and distribution of surplus production in the form of flour may have 
been aided by the use of pottery with a graded series of volumes 
(Castro etal. 1998a: 65). 

The standardization of pottery, metals and burials (Lull 1983) 
right across the territory of the Argaric is seen to be an ideological 
means by which power was legitimated and accepted in everyday life 
(Risch and Ruiz 1994: 86). Homogeneity is stressed at the expense 
of difference. So, for example, the decreasing use of decoration on 
pottery reduces its capacity as a vehicle for the expression of local 
group identity. This does not mean that local groups were not 
attempting to express such identities (the variation in pottery types, 
locally produced, suggests that difference was being materialized in 
this way), but that their ability to do so was limited by widely 
shared constraints on action. 

Within this widely shared network of cultural homogeneity and 
political control, Argaric communities exploited essentially local 
resources for everyday production. Only a small amount of lithics 
(e.g. flint, andesite) were obtained from more than a day's walking 
distance. The extent of exchange of metals is debated (see above), 
but there is agreement that any such exchange was in the context 
of elite, or dominant class, activity (as was the obtaining of ivory, 
Harrison and Gilman 1977). 

Metric analysis on Argaric populations in the south-eastern low- 
lands (Buikstra and Hoshower unpublished) has shown that males 
were five times more heterogeneous than females and, by inference, 
more mobile in residence after marriage. A lack of homogeneity 
among males and greater homogeneity among females has also 
been noted for the burial population excavated at Fuente Alamo 
(Kunter 2001). If matrilocality were practised in the Argaric, then 
some important conclusions may follow. Cross-cultural studies show 
that matrilocal societies have 'significantly' larger dwellings than 



patrilocal societies, in order to accommodate families of related 
women and their 'imported' husbands (see Peregrine 2001: 38). This 
may be one factor in the change in domestic architecture from the 
Copper Age to the Argaric in south-east Spain. Ethnographic 
examples of matrilocality also show that it allows the absence of 
males engaged in such activities as raiding and trading, while 
females form the basic economic units in the settlement (Peregrine 
2001: 38). Although this is hypothetical at present, it could imply 
clear divisions of labour in different areas of production, in addition 
to the contribution of women in 'basic production', which, as we 
have seen, increased during the Argaric. 

Social distinctions have been recognized in Argaric burials since 
the initial excavations of the Siret brothers in the 1880s. Such dis- 
tinctions related primarily to individuals interred with a conspicu- 
ous number of wealth items, as in the case of the famous grave 9 at 
Fuente Alamo (Figure 5.12). Lull (1983) examined the associations 
of grave containers, grave goods and the age and sex of the deceased, 
along with any evidence for location of intra- mural burial in relation 
to productive activities such as metalworking. On this basis he pro- 
posed the existence of a series of ranked social groups, with evidence 
for ascribed status in the form of wealthy child burials, that sug- 
gested the existence of a chiefdom society. Lull and Estevez (1986) 
used a principal components analysis to distinguish five levels of 
Argaric society, the top two of which included grave goods of the 
highest social value (e.g. halberds, swords, gold, silver diadems). 
Instead of a chiefdom, they proposed that the top two levels were the 
dominant class of a state society (cf. Schubart and Arteaga 1986). 

Problems for analyses of Argaric mortuary practices are caused by 
the available samples of burials from both old and more recent 
excavations, the location of such excavations within settlement areas, 
and the likelihood that only certain sections of the population were 
selected for intra-mural burial at any one time (Chapman 1990: 200— 
1; Castro et al. 1994). The distribution of aged and sexed burials in 
settlements across the Vera basin also suggests that not all adult 
males may have been buried in the communities in which they lived 
(Mico 1993; see also Kunter 2001 on the low numbers of males aged 
21—40 years buried at Fuente Alamo). 

Making allowance for these problems, systematic programmes of 
radiocarbon dating on dead individuals (see p. 115) now allow us to 
begin to separate out social from chronological causes of variation in 
grave good deposition, age and sex representation, use of different 
grave containers, and so forth (Castro et al. 1994). For example, 



Figure 5.12 Grave goods in tomb 9 at Fuente Alamo, including a sword, 
two daggers, a silver diadem (top), silver rings (below the 
diadem) and segmented faience beads (centre, to the left of the 
sword) (Siret and Siret 1887: plate 68). 



although artificial caves have the earliest dates of all Argaric burial 
containers, they were in use alongside pits, cists and urns during the 
period r.2000— 1700 cal. bc. This contradicts earlier schemes based 
on typology and grave associations alone. Double burials of a female 
and male, both adults (Figure 5.13), have been dated from four sites 
in Almeria and Murcia: rather than being contemporary and repre- 
senting married couples, the two individuals were normally interred 
at least two generations apart (Castro et al. 1994; Lull 2000). Rather 
than being married couples, the double burials reflect relations of 
kinship within family groups. 

Evidence for inequalities is shown in the burial record of the 
Argaric in differences of wealth and gender. Exclusive associations of 
metal objects occur with males or females: for example, weapons 
such as swords, axes and halberds occur only with male burials, 
while the association of the dagger and awl is restricted to females of 
Lull and Estevez's (1986) third level of Argaric society. The weapon 
associations mark out a small number of adult males, compared with 
the total male population, and are argued to symbolize the coercive 
powers of this dominant group. Females in this group are marked 
out by items such as silver diadems (Figure 5.14). Further differ- 
ences in the symbolism of social position occur through time. Hal- 
berds (Figure 5.15) only occur within the period f.2000— 1800 cal. 
BC, after which swords are the main symbol of dominant male 
coercion, while adult males of lesser social position are associated 
with axes. While these changes are taking place for males, the 
association of the dagger and awl remains with females of the third 
level throughout the Argaric. Clearly there are very different 'mes- 
sages' being conveyed by the associations of these exclusively male 
(coercive?) and female (productive?) grave goods, while other objects 
occur with both male and female burials (Castro et al. 1994). In 
contrast to the communal burials of the Copper Age, where social 
identity was represented by descent, inequalities can now be seen 
between individuals, as members of different interest groups, in 
their grave good associations, and between males and females. The 
inequalities seen in everyday production and the control of women 
are matched in the burial record and suggest the existence of a class 
society, if not a state (Lull and Risch 1995; Arteaga 1992). 

Evaluating ideas, creating knowledge 

This account of some 3,500 years of changing production and 
inequality is essentially interpretive. I have chosen to highlight 



Figure 5.13 Double burial in tomb 37 at Gatas. (Photo by Vicente Lull.) 



Figure 5.14 Silver diadem associated with an adult female from El Argar 
(Siret and Siret 1887: plate 45). 

those facts that are relevant to my interest in these two themes. In 
assembling these facts I have used the reported outcomes of a wide 
range of archaeological projects undertaken by different archaeolo- 
gists and other specialists. These projects include small- and large- 
scale excavations, rescue and systematic fieldwork, surveys, syntheses 
of existing data, scientific analyses of dating and provenance, and 
collection of plant and animal remains. An overall account of this 
record of practice is given earlier in this chapter, as is a summary of 



Figure 5.15 Argaric halberds (Siret and Siret 1887: plate 33). 



the main models proposed in the period c.1976— 84 to explain the 
then known archaeological sequence of Copper and Bronze Age soci- 
eties in south-east Spain. What are the implications of recent 
research for these models? Does the current interpretive account, 
given above, of changing production and inequality have any wider 
implications? In the remainder of this chapter I will consider these 
two questions. I make the realist assumption, as discussed in 
Chapter 2, that there is a 'real' world of experience out there, against 
which we can evaluate ideas. I freely extract five principles, as fol- 
lows, from the extensive publications of Alison Wylie (e.g. 1982, 
1989, 1992, 2000): 

(1) One criterion by which to evaluate our ideas about the past is 
their internal coherence (e.g. how does the general theory tie in 
with the operational concepts and methods of analysis? How 
precise is the idea?). 

(2) In addition our ideas must be 'sensitive' to the empirical world, 
which can challenge and force us to revise our ideas. 

(3) Claims to knowledge may be decisively strengthened or weak- 
ened when evaluated against a wider range of empirical evidence 
and different kinds of such evidence. 

(4) The archaeological data that we use as evidence are given 
meaning by 'linking' principles (e.g. an axe mould indicates the 
presence of metal casting). 

(5) At one time there is a body of evidence that is accepted by 
different practitioners as being the record we are trying to 
understand, and for which we propose competing ideas. 

Earlier in this chapter I pointed out that the models published in 
1976—84 were attempts to explain the body of evidence accepted at 
that time, with its regional scale and period chronology, as well as to 
collect new, relevant, data. They were proposed as alternatives to 
existing interpretations based on culture history and diffusionism. 
The models differed in relation to their theories used (e.g. historical 
materialism, adaptationism), determinants of change (e.g. dialectical 
relationships, population pressure, human desires and innate charac- 
teristics), the meaning given to particular data (e.g. the palaeoenvi- 
ronmental interpretation of animal bones and pollen, the inference 
of intensification of production through water control and polycul- 
ture, the degree of social inequality in different periods) and the 
relationship proposed between the inferences based on the evidence 
(e.g. between intensification, population change, metallurgy, etc.). 



Following the first principle outlined above, we could criticize 
the internal coherence and theoretical assumptions on which indi- 
vidual models were based. For example, my own model can be criti- 
cized as being environmentally determinist and there was an 
internal contradiction between the small-scale water control needed 
to adapt to an arid environment and the aggregation of population 
that was proposed around the best water sources. Ideas such as those 
of Ramos, based on population pressure arguments, have to explain 
rather than assume the existence of population growth. However my 
intention in what follows is to focus on principles 2—4, on the 
exposure of ideas to evidence. As I argued earlier in this chapter, this 
exposure to evidence has come about in spite of the rarity of explicit 
evaluation of ideas through archaeological practice in south-east 
Spain. Elsewhere I have pointed out inconsistencies between ideas 
and evidence across the study area (e.g. in population trends, in the 
relationship between agricultural intensification and increased 
inequality) that weaken some of the models (Chapman 1990). In 
what follows I focus on the evidence for the palaeoenvironment, for 
the nature of agricultural production and specifically the irrigation 
hypothesis, and for social inequality and especially the existence of 
the state. In the last case we need to expand our horizons and com- 
pare the definition of the state with that commonly adopted in the 
Anglo-American world. 

Palaeoenvironment s 

The environment of south-east Spain during the last 500 years has 
been marked by the removal of vegetation cover, increased sedimen- 
tation and erosion rates (comparable to the whole of the Holocene in 
their effects), increased flooding and lowering of water tables. It is 
one of the key areas of Mediterranean Europe where resources are 
being devoted to the study of desertification processes (for refer- 
ences, see Castro et al. 2000), especially given the need to devise 
policies of environmental management to cope with global warm- 
ing. For archaeologists interested in the record of prehistoric soci- 
eties, the key questions are whether these 'badland' landscapes are a 
recent phenomenon, whether the area has always been marked by 
aridity, and to what extent human social, political and economic 
practices have contributed to landscape formation. How 'risky' for 
agricultural practices was this region and how necessary for these 
practices was water control/irrigation? 

There has been a marked expansion in the range and quality of 



evidence on palaeoenvironments in south-east Spain during the 
last decade (especially compared with the evidence summarized in 
Chapman 1990). This is the outcome of both excavation and 
regional survey projects, but the coverage in time and space is 
still uneven. For this reason I will focus on the Vera basin, as it 
has the densest coverage for the third and second millennia cal. 
BC, and make reference to evidence from other regions when 
available and relevant. Eight lines of palaeoenvironmental evi- 
dence are given in Table 5.5, some of which have already been 
mentioned above. The linking principles (see above) are from the 
natural and biological sciences. Do these lines of evidence con- 
verge on any particular interpretation? Do they strengthen or 
weaken the models that invoke the need for cultural responses to 
'risky' environments? 

Let us begin with the evidence for sedimentation and erosion (e.g. 
Hoffmann 1988; French et al. 1998). The record for the Vera basin 
suggests wetter conditions at the beginning of the Holocene, with 
increased aridity from f.4000 cal. BC. Soils appear to have been of 
limited formation even before the first agricultural settlement of the 
basin. Phases of soil erosion are documented in the lower Aguas 
valley before the Copper Age, when the low population density and 
higher mobility make an anthropogenic cause unlikely. Two further 
erosional episodes in the lower Aguas are dated between the late 
Copper Age and the Roman period, while the erosion of Neogene 
marls took place further up the Aguas valley before the Roman 
occupation of Cadimar. The extent to which such episodes are the 
results of anthropogenic activity is not clear on the basis of geo- 
morphological evidence alone. Much higher sedimentation rates are 
documented for the last 500 or 600 years, with the formation of two 
of the four Holocene terraces in the Aguas, and the infill of the lower 
Almanzora, Antas and Aguas rivers and the deposition of deltaic 

Table 5.5 Lines of palaeoenvironmental evidence for south-east Spain 

1 Sedimentation and erosion 

2 Pollen analysis 

3 Charcoal analysis 

4 Habitat requirements of plant species 

5 Habitat requirements of animal species 

6 Carbon isotope discrimination on plant seeds 

7 Oxygen isotope analysis of sea shells 

8 Isotopic analysis of secondary carbonates 



Although soils may have been of limited development, they had 
greater vegetation cover than at the present day, as is shown by the 
pollen and charcoal records (e.g. Rodriguez Ariza and Stevenson 
1998). In addition to the mattoral vegetation, dominated by wild 
olives and suggesting high temperatures and almost frost-free win- 
ters, deciduous species such as ash, willow and elm would have 
required more humid conditions and higher water tables or greater 
water flow in riverine areas. The degradation of these species is 
documented in the lower Almanzora valley by r.2300 cal. BC and in 
the middle Aguas by r.1300 cal. BC (Rodriguez Ariza 2000). 
Exploitation of wood species increased markedly during the Argaric 
in the Aguas, supporting the argument for large-scale clearance 
associated with extensive barley monoculture (see above, pp. 133—7). 
High temperatures and low rainfall are inferred, along with 
increased salinization in some areas. Outside the Vera basin condi- 
tions of aridity, but greater local humidity with greater water flow, 
are indicated by the presence of similar species, including the 
deciduous ones in riverine areas (e.g. Los Millares — Rodriguez Ariza 
and Vernet 1991), while charcoal analyses on the Copper and Bronze 
Age settlements of the Baza-Huescar plateau have documented simi- 
lar evidence for greater local humidity, permanent water courses and 
vegetation degradation (Rodriguez Ariza and Ruiz Sanchez 1995). 

This inference of greater vegetation cover and increased local 
humidity is supported by the habitat requirements of plant species 
such as legumes and flax (see above, p. 135 and Castro et al. 1999b) 
and animal species such as pig, red deer, roe deer, as well as the 
beaver, otter, water turtle and aquatic birds known from Copper and 
Bronze Age sites in the upland basins of eastern Granada (Lull 
1983). But it is the isotopic studies that provide the key, independ- 
ent measures of climatic change. The carbon isotope discrimination 
analyses of seeds not only suggest the possibility of bean cultivation 
under higher water conditions during growth, but seeds from the 
inland Baza and Guadix basins indicate a wetter climate than today 
in the third and second millennia BC, along with subsequent 
decreases in precipitation (Araus et al. 1997a, 1997b). The oxygen 
isotope analyses on sea shells from Gatas (Figure 5.16) show that the 
mean annual sea water temperature c. 1900— 1 600 cal. BC was close 
to, or even slightly higher than, its present level (Patzold et al. 
1998). Seasonal differences in temperature may have been less and 
winter temperatures milder than today. There is then a decrease in 
this temperature by 2.5°C in the period r.1550-1200/1100 cal. bc 
and seasonal differences may have decreased even further. The 



£ 26 

5 24 


£ 22 



^ 18 

. _ -• Max 

.__--□ Mean 




2000 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 Present 

Chronology BC 

5.16 Maximum, mean and minimum sea water temperatures for 
the Almeria coast, based on isotopic analysis of Glycimeris 
shells from stratified contexts at Gatas (adapted from Castro 
etal. 1998b: figure 8). 

isotopic analyses of secondary carbonates, also from stratified con- 
texts at Gatas, converge with this pattern, showing maximum tem- 
peratures and/or aridity at r.l600 cal. BC and then a constant 
decrease until c.1000 cal. bc (Dever 1998). 

There is a strong degree of convergence between these different 
lines of evidence. Although soil formations were poorly developed, 
they had maquia and mattoral vegetation cover with greater amounts 
of more continuous flowing water than at the present day. Mean 
annual temperatures were comparable to the present day, if not 
slightly higher, at the beginning of the second millennium cal. BC, 
but then declined. Unfortunately the isotopic data are mainly 
restricted to the second millennium cal. BC, but there were climatic 
fluctuations through time, even though the general climate may be 
described as arid. This is further supported by the (albeit limited) 
sample of barium/strontium ratios on human remains from Gatas. 
The decrease in vegetation cover during the Argaric, when temper- 
atures remained broadly the same, was most probably the result of 
anthropogenic activity. 

Agricultural production 

The eight lines of palaeoenvironmental evidence converge upon an 
interpretation of an arid climate coupled with greater local humidity 
and vegetation cover during the third and second millennia cal. BC. 



The impact of human activity, especially cultivation systems, can be 
seen on this environment during this period of time. The evidence of 
plant remains and their water requirements matches the palaeoenvi- 
ronmental evidence in supporting the inference of dry farming based 
primarily on barley, alongside the cultivation of legumes and flax in 
small horticultural plots in the Copper and Bronze Ages (see above). 
The water requirements of the legumes and flax could have been met 
from riverine areas with more continuously flowing water and/or 
higher water tables than at the present day. When added to the 
evidence for barley cultivation under dry farming conditions right 
up to modern times, even in the arid lowlands, this negates the 
premise that 'dry farming is not a viable subsistence strategy in the 
arid lowlands' (Gilman and Thornes 1985: 183). Both Gilman and I 
argued that simple forms of water control were necessary in order to 
permit agricultural colonization of the lowlands. But the consistent 
fifth millennium cal. BC dates for Neolithic occupation at Cerro 
Virtud in the Vera basin (see above) now remove the evidence for a 
marked difference in agricultural colonization between the interior 
uplands and the coastal lowlands. Water control was not the 'key' to 
coping with an arid and 'risky' environment. 

Two other lines of evidence in support of water control are the 
archaeological structures for conservation and diversion and the loca- 
tions of archaeological sites (see Chapman 1990: 125—8 for sources). 
The evidence for water conservation occurs most famously in hilltop 
Argaric settlements such as El Oficio and Fuente Alamo, as well as 
in the insecurely dated 'cisterns' at the eastern foot of the Gatas hill 
(the latter may be of Arab construction and use in the early second 
millennium ad). Lined pits at the earlier Copper Age sites of Los 
Millares and Terrera Ventura could have been used for water storage. 
Ditches filled with waterlain sediments were found at the Copper 
Age settlements of Cerro de la Virgen (in the interior uplands) and 
Ciavieja (on the southern coast to the west of Almerfa). At the latter 
the two ditches were only used in the earliest, Final Neolithic, occu- 
pation phases (Carrilero and Suarez 1989—90), and, if they were used 
for irrigation, they cannot be argued to have been the basis of a 
continued and successful adaptation to a risky, arid environment. 
The cistern at Fuente Alamo is now dated to the very end of the 
Argaric and the immediate Postargaric period (Schubart et al. 2001), 
so again cannot be used to support the existence of a continuing 
need for water conservation through the occupation of the site. Even 
allowing for difficulties of dating and the linking principles by 
which some structures become evidence for water control, there is 



little evidence here to suggest that it was central to agricultural 
production strategies. 

The study of the location of later prehistoric settlements in south- 
east Spain directs our attention to the potential for irrigation within 
site territories of two hours' walking distance. Settlements such as 
Los Millares and Gatas have a potential for wet farming, while others 
such as Fuente Alamo and El Oficio are classified as dry farming 
locations. The potential for different cultivation systems is one 
thing, but the extent to which that potential is fulfilled is dependent 
upon social and political factors. In the cases of Gatas and Fuente 
Alamo (Figure 5.17), they have different potentials for dry /wet farm- 
ing, but the archaeological evidence supports the inference of com- 
parable, predominantly dry farming, agricultural regimes at both 
sites (see above). It could be argued (Castro et al. 1999b: 854) that a 
small area of potentially irrigable land close to Fuente Alamo was 
sufficient for the cultivation of legumes and flax, while the irrigable 
potential of Gatas was underexploited in the Argaric. The study of 
such potential is not without value, especially when compared with 
what is known of cultivation practices from contextual evidence on 
each site. But the decisions as to how to exploit that potential are 
taken within social and political contexts, and not necessarily in the 
interests of the entire population. 

Given this argument, I would now disown completely the model 
I put forward in 1978. There are also critical, if not terminal, impli- 
cations for Gilman's model, based heavily as it is on site location 
potential and the argument that 'irrigation . . . transformed the 
social relations of production' (1976: 314). The absence of clear evi- 
dence for irrigation systems as capital investments removes one basis 
for his model of contradictions between the forces and relations of 
production leading to the emergence of social stratification. His 
other source of capital investment, the cultivation of vines and olives 
alongside cereals, also lacks irrefutable empirical support. While 
wild olives (as we have seen above) and wild grapes were part of the 
vegetational cover of south-east Spain in the Holocene, and 
examples of stones and grape pips have been recovered from Copper 
and Bronze Age sites, they are small in number and suggest only 
incidental consumption. At Gatas there is an increase in evidence for 
exploitation of both vines and olives only at the end of the Argaric 
and in the Postargaric, which is after the full development of social 
stratification. Claims for the cultivation of olives at Los Millares 
(Rodriguez Ariza and Vernet 1991) depend upon differences in the 
size of growth rings in wood charcoal samples and observations of 



Fuente Alamo 

^> y p 



I o , r :-:< / •> li ■> 

L-A -.x' \ ,>■*■ ;■:■:■ (•:•:•://./ 


^®--~-i:ll ^'y' 



Site * 
Spring • 

Irrigated | 

Flood-water farming 


Secano (dry arable) 

Monte (non-arable) 

Figure 5.11 Site territories within 12, 30 and 60 minutes' walking distance 
from the Argaric sites of Fuente Alamo and Gatas (adapted 
from Gilman and Thornes 1985: figures 5.11 and 5.14). 



such differences in modern olive wood from Valencia and Montpel- 
lier. Even if cultivation were practised, that still does not tell us the 
purpose and scale of cultivation. Terral (1996, 2000) infers some 
cultivation in Valencia going back to the Early Neolithic for fuel 
and food, with pruning used to support fruit production in the 
Bronze Age. But there is no evidence for the production and con- 
sumption of either olive oil or wine from any settlement in the time- 
span of this study. 

Models based on ideas of adaptation through irrigation, or capital 
investment technologies, have been decisively weakened by their 
encounter with empirical evidence, apart from any other criticisms 
of their internal coherence. The 'risky' or 'marginal' nature of the 
palaeoenvironment has been over-stressed and assumed undue 
importance in creating models of social change. They fail to place 
agricultural practices where they belong, within a social and polit- 
ical context. It is to that context that I turn next. 

Inequality and the state of the state 

Conceptions of society and social change mark one of the clearest 
divisions between the approaches of historical materialism and 
Anglo-American neo-evolutionism to the study of the past. One of 
the interesting aspects of the archaeology of south-east Spain is that 
conceptions from both traditions (e.g. 'ranked societies', 'chiefdoms', 
'Big Men' and 'the state') have been, and are, used by both foreign 
and indigenous archaeologists. How are these conceptions used? 
And what are we to make of different uses of the same term, 'the 
state? I will begin by taking an interpretive look at what we have 
learnt about Neolithic, Copper Age and Argaric societies, before 
confronting different meanings of 'the state'. 

The Neolithic societies of south-east Spain appear to have con- 
sisted of low density, mobile populations using both ephemeral, 
open-air settlements and cave sites. The archaeological record of 
these societies is still thin and patchy for the lowlands, given the 
period of around fifteen hundred years that they occupied the area. 
They used predominantly local resources in everyday life and there is 
no conclusive evidence for surplus or specialized production, or the 
appropriation of the labour or production of others, or the existence 
of groups removed from productive activities. Social distinctions 
appear to have been based on age, gender and group affiliation. 

Copper Age societies were made up of larger, more seden- 
tary populations who invested greater labour in their domestic 



structures, the fortifications that enclosed them and the communal 
tombs that accompanied them (although this association was not 
universal). There were no major capital investments in production, 
nor major changes in the means of production. Through time there 
is evidence for increased social tensions and physical conflict. The 
reasons for this are not yet clear. The location of productive activities 
within settlement spaces provides some evidence for specialization 
and surplus production (e.g. flint arrowheads, copper metallurgy), 
but mainly domestic production. Storage may have become more 
household- than lineage-based, although this would be in contradic- 
tion with the treatment of the dead, which now suggests inequal- 
ities in access to wealth and exotic items between lineages. Overall 
there appear to have been relations of equality and inequality, 
although clear evidence of exploitation is lacking. 

This all changes in the Argaric, when there is a major and abrupt 
disjunction in settlement, burial and material culture, with popula- 
tion nucleation (imposed as part of a political strategy?), an increase 
in population size (basic production), more extensive dry farming 
and increasing agricultural production. Once again it was human 
labour rather than improvements in the means of production that 
supported this increased production. Unequal access to the products 
of agricultural labour, as well as the inequalities seen in burials, 
supports the inference of social classes and the appropriation of sur- 
plus production. Women were important both for their basic pro- 
duction and for their labour. Cultural standardization indicates 
attempts to suppress local identity and exercise coercion both phys- 
ically and ideologically. 

Within the Anglo-American tradition, this sequence might 
suggest change from Neolithic egalitarian, to Copper Age ranked 
societies or simple, group-oriented or collaborative chiefdoms, to 
Argaric stratified societies or complex or coercive chiefdoms. I used 
the term ranked society when first looking at the Copper Age burials 
of Los Millares (Chapman 1981), but no longer find this term useful, 
preferring to focus on the evidence for both equal and unequal social 
relations seen in domestic and burial contexts. The existence of, and 
tensions between, such social relations are submerged within societal 
typologies (see Chapters 3—4). Ramos (1981, 1998) has also used the 
analogy of 'Big Men' for the leaders of Copper Age communities 
such as El Malagon. This poses two major problems: first, the high- 
land New Guinea societies that are used as an analogy were in fact 
the products of colonialism and the collapse of inherited social pos- 
ition, rather than a 'stepping stone' in social evolution (Gosden 



1999: 103); second, the 'Big Man"s social position was based on the 
disposal of wealth, rather than its accumulation and investment 
in domestic architecture and material culture, thus making him 
difficult to 'see' in the archaeological record (White 1985). 

But it is the use of the term 'state' to refer to Argaric society that 
is causing the greatest controversy. The historical materialist defin- 
ition of the state by Lull and Risch (1995) was given in Chapter 4. 
According to this, state societies are based on class differences, by 
which surplus is appropriated and society is divided into producers 
and non-producers; the latter exploit the former. The class that is 
economically dominant is also politically dominant. Such domin- 
ance may be seen in unequal access to labour, natural resources or the 
means of production. The state consists of institutions designed to 
guarantee the private property of the non-producing classes and uses 
both physical and ideological coercion to accomplish this. 

As we have seen in Chapter 3, the dominant tradition in Anglo- 
American archaeology uses information theory to define a state in 
terms of its centralized and hierarchical levels of decision-making 
and administration, as well as the specialization of information- 
processing activities (bureaucracy). Levels of decision-making are 
measured archaeologically in terms of the number of site levels in a 
settlement hierarchy: thus early Mesoamerican states had large 
centres such as Tikal dominating three or more levels of a settlement 
hierarchy, including the primary producers at the bottom. Given the 
relationship between site size and population size, it is not surpris- 
ing that the latter also became an index of the state, especially when 
looking at the tens and hundreds of thousands of people who were 
members of early state societies in Mesoamerica and Mesopotamia. 
Given these criteria, the at best two-level hierarchy represented by 
Argaric settlements (Chapman 1990), with its lack of centralization 
and the populations of settlements in their low hundreds, along 
with the lack of palaces, temples, etc., cannot possibly represent a 
state society. For example, Gilman (1997) admits the existence of a 
class society in the Argaric, but not of a state. 

I have already commented in Chapters 3 and 4 on the way in 
which early states are members of an exclusive club that is not 
regarded as open to an increase in size. Cahokia does not seem able 
to gain admission, opinion is strongly divided over the Olmec, con- 
tact-period Hawaiian societies, along with Tonga and Tahiti, lurk on 
the doorstep, while pre-Columbian Peruvian societies seem to get 
in at different times according to whether they are thought to 
have fulfilled different admission criteria! But is this emphasis on 



specialized bureaucracy (along with legitimized force, a criterion 
going back to Service), levels of decision-making and centralization, 
tried and tested on the early 'civilizations', not too restricting? Are 
the assumptions behind it unproblematic? 

The root of the difference between this approach and that of his- 
torical materialism lies in the weight given to what Flannery (1972) 
called exchanges of information rather than just matter and energy. 
In these terms, concern with exploitation and property focuses very 
firmly on matter and energy rather than information. Following this 
criterion, the removal of leaders from subsistence labour, while they 
may thus enjoy powers of physical and ideological coercion over 
producers, will get a society admitted to only the 'complex chief- 
dom' club, but not the states. Until they can process more informa- 
tion, they are out on the doorstep denied admission! And yet, as we 
have seen in the discussion of heterarchies in Chapter 4, political and 
economic activities are not always centralized in stratified or state 
societies, and multiple hierarchies do occur. The absence of central- 
ized organization and vertical control hierarchies in sub-Saharan 
Africa (see Chapter 4) has raised doubts as to the imposition of social 
types defined from other regions of the world. Centralization may 
also have been over-emphasized, depending as it does on the nature 
of the power relationship between the exploiters and the exploited, 
between domination and resistance (Stein 1998: 26). And decision- 
making hierarchies are difficult to identify in contexts where there is 
dispersed settlement (Brumfiel 1995): the absence of settlement 
hierarchies does not necessarily imply the absence of decision- 
making hierarchies (see Chapter 3). 

As explained in Chapter 3, the decision-making hierarchies of the 
Wright-Johnson model emerge in response to the need to process 
more sources of information and to co-ordinate larger numbers of 
activities. They solve problems and have adaptive advantages. Crit- 
ical thresholds are argued to exist in the needs for information pro- 
cessing and these are thought to be related to the scale of the social 
system. One measure used of this system scale is the size of the 
population. This in turn allows settlement sizes to be used to define 
levels in decision-making hierarchies and regional population sizes 
to be one criterion of the distinction between, for example, simple 
chiefdoms (low thousands, according to Earle 1991b), complex 
chiefdoms (tens of thousands, again according to Earle 1991b) and 
state societies. 

But opinion is divided as to the relationship between demo- 
graphic factors and levels of social complexity (e.g. compare Drennan 



1987 and Upham 1987). Feinman (1998) doubts the existence of 
some universal demographic threshold between chiefdoms and 
states, citing examples from the archaeological literature of early 
state populations as low as c. 2, 000— 3,000 and as high as the Inka 
case of 14 million people. He also gives examples of the population 
overlap between chiefdoms and states and goes on to argue that 'the 
ways in which ancient states were integrated and interconnected 
often varied markedly over space, and differences in organisation and 
integration have profound implications on state size' (1998: 132). 

So even within the Anglo-American tradition, there is a recog- 
nition of problems with some of the basic assumptions of the 
definition of state societies in terms of decision-making hierarchies: 
centralization varies in its extent and strength; not all political and 
economic activities are carried out under one decision-making hier- 
archy; such a hierarchy would be difficult to identify from site size 
data when populations are dispersed; and states occur in a range of 
sizes. In this context it is interesting to note that the Argaric popu- 
lation in the Vera basin is estimated in the range 1,700—3,400, but 
that number would at least double with the addition of Argaric 
settlements in southern Murcia and southern Almeria, let alone in 
the rest of the area in which Argaric materials occur: this area is 
estimated at nearly 50,000sq m, or over three times the size of 
Renfrew's (1975) Early State Module. 

On the basis of these problems alone, I would argue that we need 
to reconsider the dominant use of the 'early civilizations' model of 
the state. There is a case for admitting more of the transitional or 
disputed examples mentioned in Chapter 4 to the state club. 
Another way to open up discussion of early states is to consider the 
perspective of the alternative states of historical materialism. As well 
as focusing on matter and energy, rather than information (to use 
Flannery's ecological approach), there is a very different political 
view of the state, one of exploitation rather than management. 
Anglo-American archaeologists conceive of the exploitation of 
plants and animals, but not of human beings! As we saw in Chapter 
3, this concept, along with those of class and property, is being 
addressed by archaeologists whose research ought to serve as a denial 
of the scepticism of those such as Wenke (1981), who doubt whether 
such concepts can be 'seen' in our data. Within south-east Spain, the 
existence of non-producing classes is being addressed by comparison 
of the treatment of the dead, especially wealth disposal, with evi- 
dence of physical activity during life. At the Argaric settlement of 
Cerro de la Encina, in the Granadan uplands, an inverse correlation 



has been claimed between wealth and muscular development and 
degenerative pathologies, although the sample is currently small 
(Jimenez Brobeil and Garcia Sanchez 1989—90). At the contempor- 
ary site of Cuesta del Negro, in the same region, the wealthiest 
individuals were also marked out by the deposition of finer pottery 
intended exclusively for such funerary contexts (Contreras et al. 

Depending on your viewpoint, the state of the early state is either 
healthy and clearly focused on a limited range of case studies, or 
challenged by a theoretical perspective that highlights the kinds of 
inequalities and exploitation that comprise one of the major struc- 
tural changes in human history. Such changes were not restricted to 
the 'early civilizations' and did not necessarily receive the same 
material expression. In both cases, however, they marked out soci- 
eties with inherent instabilities, as human exploitation was met by 
resistance and conflict. The dialectical relationship between domin- 
ation and resistance, along with the potential for, and costs of, the 
control of increasing production, were key determinants of the 
length of time that such early states could survive. 

Looking forward 

This account of a 1,500-year record of change in production, 
inequality and social change in south-east Spain gives us an example 
of the relationship between theory and practice, including the evalu- 
ation of ideas against an empirical record, as well as a rather different 
perspective on the most complex of all social types, the state. This 
perspective deserves wider discussion, in the light of the theoretical 
assumptions behind it, as well as the concepts it employs to study 
the archaeological record. For those of us in the Anglo-American 
world, this challenge to our thinking demands a positive response. 

In the next chapter I will try to develop this response by examin- 
ing a wider range of case studies from the later prehistory of the 
Mediterranean. Given the space available, this coverage is of neces- 
sity selective. What interests me is how archaeologists have used 
concepts like 'complexity', 'inequality' and 'hierarchy'; how they 
conceive of societies (including chiefdoms and states); and how they 
study social change. 



Prehistoric societies in the west 

In Chapter 1 , I argued that the development of more complex and 
unequal societies has been one of the key topics occupying the 
thoughts of archaeologists and social scientists since the Enlighten- 
ment. In the last four decades, neo-evolutionary thinking has dom- 
inated these thoughts in the Anglo-American world, although it has 
been subjected to criticism from both Marxism and practice theory, 
as shown in Chapter 3. The use of social typologies guided us 
through a sequence of more complex societies, while our study of 
past societies, using dichotomous terms such as equal/unequal, sim- 
ple/complex or state/non-state, was criticized in Chapter 4. The case 
study presented in Chapter 5 attempted to avoid such dichotomous 
thinking and see how a historical materialist approach helps us to 
represent a sequence of social change in south-east Spain that is 
widely conceived as one towards increasing complexity. And yet the 
word 'complexity' was largely omitted from the discussion. I will 
now examine and criticize its use, not only for this region, but also 
for other selected areas of Iberia and the west Mediterranean in the 
same period of time. How is the term defined and used? Is this use 
clear and consistent? And which theoretical approaches are adopted 
in the study of society and social change? Throughout the discussion 
the approach adopted to the study of production and inequalities in 
south-east Spain will provide the guiding light. 

'Complex' societies in Iberia? 

The honest scientist, whether natural or social, should always be 
willing to begin criticism with self-criticism! Over ten years ago I 
published a book on 'emerging complexity', mainly based on south- 
east Spain, but also taking into account other regions of the west 
Mediterranean (Chapman 1990). The approach was strongly influ- 



enced by the kinds of decision-making and neo-evolutionary 
approaches cited in Chapter 3 and conceived of different 'levels' of 
complexity of regional cultures. The Argaric was the most complex 
in Iberia, while the contemporary Bronze Age of La Mancha showed 
'a cultural complexity more closely comparable to the Argaric cul- 
ture than any other region of Iberia during the second millennium 
bc' (1990: 242). In other regions, such as southern Portugal, I 
referred to only 'some measure of increased complexity' (1990: 237). 
In all cases I tried to relate such 'levels' of complexity to the 
colonization of agriculturally marginal or problematic areas. 

Looking back, I can understand the criticism of functionalism 
(the worst insult in the lexicon of the social sciences) that was lev- 
elled against such arguments. The definition of complexity followed 
Blanton et al. (1981: 21) as 'the extent to which there is functional 
differentiation among societal units', dividing such differentiation 
into 'horizontal' (e.g. specialization of production) and 'vertical' (e.g. 
ranking, stratification) kinds. Different cultures were then placed 
somewhere on the ladder of increased complexity, according to a 
largely unspecified linkage between the horizontal and vertical kinds 
of differentiation. By merging these two kinds of complexity into 
one overall measure, important differences in the historical 
sequences of each region were already being omitted from the inter- 
pretation. From rereading the book I get the sense of a classification 
of west Mediterranean societies into ones which were a little bit 
more complex, or others which were a little bit less complex, as 
being the aim of the study, rather than an attempt to analyse 
changes in production and inequalities, to recognize the existence of 
social tensions as well as social integration, and to isolate major, 
structural changes in the organization of prehistoric societies. Given 
these arguments presented in Chapters 3—4, it is not surprising that 
the representation of the period r.5000/4500— 1550 cal. bc in south- 
east Spain in Chapter 5 is rather different from that given in my 
previous book. There has also been a fundamental change in the data 
upon which interpretation is now based. 

Other authors have also used the term 'complexity' in Iberia. 
Mathers (1994: 21) writes of 'a considerable measure of social and 
economic complexity' in south-east Spain in the third and second 
millennia BC, although he offers no definition of these terms, while 
Hernando (1987) compared cultural differences between third mil- 
lennium cal. BC settlements in the lowland 'arid' and upland 
'humid' zones of south-east Spain, thereby relating differences in 
complexity to differences in environment. For the same period of 



time, Delibes et al. (1995: 46) refer to 'incipient complexity' on the 
northern Meseta of Spain, an area which was 'not very different, 
either in socioeconomic complexity or in material culture, from the 
same period in the "cosmopolitan" areas of the south-east and the 
Tagus estuary' (1995: 44). Complexity is undefined as a concept, 
although the text makes it clear that the presence of a settlement 
hierarchy including fortified settlements, specialist production of 
metal and flint, and wealth differences in the disposal of the dead all 
provide evidence of developing stratification and individual leader- 
ship, perhaps even an 'elite class' (1995: 52). Kunst (1995) refers to 
the existence of 'social complexity', also without definition, during 
the third millennium BC in southern Portugal, but uses similar 
archaeological criteria to Delibes et al. to support such an inference. 
Forenbaher (1998: 3) notes that the same evidence has supported 
interpretations of 'full-blown "complex society" complete with her- 
editary chiefs, political and religious hierarchy, social divisions of 
labor and elementary forms of private property', or 'hierarchical 
societies' (chiefdoms), or 'ranked' societies, and he himself refers to a 
'relatively high level of socio-economic complexity' by the Late 
Copper Age of this region. These societies cannot be classified into 
an evolutionary type. And for northern Portugal at the same time it 
is stated, without definition again, that 'tendentially hierarchical 
societies took steps towards a quite significant level of social 
complexity' (Oliveira Jorge and Jorge 1997: 128). 

Dfaz-Andreu (1995) points out that complex societies have tradi- 
tionally been claimed for only south-east Spain and southern Portu- 
gal (Portuguese Estremadura) during the Copper Age in the third 
millennium cal. BC. She proposes to expand the second of these areas 
to include all the south-west of the Peninsula and add the lower 
Duero basin in the north of Portugal as a third area. Once again 
there is no definition of 'complex societies'. Dfaz-Andreu argues that 
there were increases in social inequality elsewhere in the Peninsula 
(1995: 27), but these were clearly not of a sufficient degree to 
amount to 'complexity'. This would seem to consist of an increase in 
inequality beyond a certain 'cut-off point, but this is not specified. 
Later in the article she refers to 'the lesser degree of social differen- 
tiation, i.e. complexity' shown in areas peripheral to those in which 
such complex societies emerged. There appears to be a contradiction 
here between the assertion that there are such things as 'complex 
societies' and the proposal that there are 'degrees' of complexity, 
whether between societies described as 'complex' (1995: 30: south- 
east = most complex, south-west = less complex, lower Duero basin 



= even less complex, but still complex!) or between them and the 
other Peninsula societies. 

How are these undefined 'complex societies' recognized in the 
archaeological record? Like the other authors mentioned above, 
Diaz-Andreu relies heavily on the existence of fortified settlements, 
differences of size between settlements, differences in the disposal of 
the dead and the presence of 'prestige' items (1995: 28, 30, 32). But 
once again there is no clear statement of exactly which criteria 
enable us to identify 'complex societies', other than an intuitive feel 
for the largest settlements, biggest defences and richest burials. 
Elsewhere Diaz-Andreu (1993: 246) cites 'stable urban structures', 
the materialization of political power seen in the construction of 
defensive walls, the unequal distribution of 'luxury objects' and spe- 
cialized production, but these are very much taken for granted rather 
than discussed in detail. In both papers Diaz-Andreu follows the 
arguments of Gilman on south-east Spain, stressing its 'risks' for 
agriculture and the opportunities for leaders to seize power over 
long-term 'investments' such as irrigation and polyculture, as well 
as the use of material culture to distinguish more clearly these lead- 
ers from other individuals at the transition to the Argaric Bronze 
Age. In contrast, south-west Iberia had a less unpredictable climate 
and did not necessitate the long-term agricultural investments 
that would have provided the basis of elite power. Long-distance 
maritime trade provides the alternative basis for such power. 

These examples suggest that the terms 'complexity' or 'complex 
societies' in Iberia are so widely understood that their definition, 
along with their material correlates, is thought to be unnecessary. 
Their recognition becomes an end in itself, along with a ranking of 
societies along a scale of increasing complexity. But this typological 
exercise tells us little about the specific historical contexts of the 
societies that we study. What kinds of social, economic or political 
inequalities developed in the different regions? What kinds of ten- 
sions were there between equal and unequal social relations at par- 
ticular times? What were the material, productive bases of such 
inequalities? And at what time did these inequalities make the 
structural change from being kinship- to class-based? These are the 
kinds of questions that are now being asked in south-east Spain, as 
we have seen in Chapter 5, and it is fair to say that the quality of 
data on production and the material basis of inequalities in that area 
is unmatched in many other parts of the Peninsula. But that should 
be an incentive for research rather than a deterrent. 

The material correlates claimed for 'complexity' in Iberia are not 



without problems. Let us take the example of Copper Age fortified 
settlements. Thirty years ago these were known almost exclusively 
from two regions of the Peninsula, south-east Spain and the Tagus 
estuary in southern Portugal (Figure 6.1). Indeed the names of the 
two 'cultures' in these regions were derived from fortified sites at Los 
Millares and Vila Nova de Sao Pedro. Then more examples were 
found extending further south into Portugal and as far north as the 
Duero valley. A recent survey by Oliveira Jorge provided a catalogue 
of sixty-nine such sites: according to her map, one group is isolated 
in the south-east, while the rest extend the length of Portugal and 
western Spain from the Algarve to north of the Duero (1994: figure 
1). It is now clear that fortified sites are even more frequent in 
the south-east, in both the lowlands of Almeria and the uplands of 

Figure 6. 1 Map of Copper Age fortified settlements in Iberia. Larger 

dots represent concentrations of sites, smaller dots represent 
individual sites. The open lozenges show the sites known in 
the mid-1960s (from Savory 1968: figure 44), while the current 
distribution is drawn from Oliveira Jorge (1994: figure 1). The 
map excludes monumental enclosures. 



eastern Granada, and they extend west into the upper Guadalquivir 
valley and areas such as the Ronda basin (Perez Bareas and Camara 
1995; Nocete 2001). There are also examples of 'monumental 
enclosures' surrounded by a combination of concentric ditches and 
walls, rather than just dry-stone walls, which are known from the 
upper and lower Guadalquivir valley, south-west Spain and southern 
Portugal (Oliveira Jorge 2000: 74—6). Inclusion of these enclosures 
would raise the number of 'fortified' enclosures to somewhere nearer 
the 90—100 mark. Not only are they more common than previously 
thought, but they are not restricted to the areas of so-called 'com- 
plex societies'. 

The sites included under the heading of 'fortified' also exhibit 
wide differences in their form, size, degree of monumentality, 
energy investment, duration of occupation and use. These differ- 
ences are summarized by Oliveira Jorge for the stone-walled fortified 
sites, which are nearly all less than 2ha in size, but which embody a 
wide range of labour investment in their construction. Monks 
(1997: 19—22) has calculated the construction costs of fourteen sites 
in Spain and Portugal: ten cost less than 20,000 work days, while 
one cost twice that amount and three (Los Millares, Cerro de la 
Virgen and Zambujal) cost over 100,000 work days. The choice of 
sites for such calculations is heavily restricted by the extent of excav- 
ations. The length of their occupation varied from f.200 to 800 
years, and the sites with the largest labour investment were in the 
upper half of this range. The small size of some of the sites suggests 
something in the order of a fortified farmstead rather than a village 
or town. Variations are also noted in architectural form, including 
the number of enclosing walls (Oliveira Jorge 1994: 468—9). It is 
also worth reminding ourselves that definition of a class of sites 
according to one characteristic, the presence of fortifications, risks 
merging together sites that had different functions, productive 
activities and positions within regional settlement and political 
hierarchies (see below). 

The sites known as monumental enclosures are currently less fre- 
quent in number but often conspicuously larger in size. La Pijotilla 
(Figure 6.2) is located on either side of a tributary of the Guadiana 
River in an area of high agricultural productivity. It covers an area of 
r.80ha and is surrounded by a lkm-long ditch, as shown by aerial 
photography (Hurtado 1997), and seems to have been in use for over 
500 years. An inner enclosure appears to contain most of the evi- 
dence for domestic structures, while tombs are located in the area 
between the inner and outer enclosure. It is proposed that the 











^^^^^^ ~~ ^ 


1 / 




■*~ "~-^ \ 


1 « 




/ / 






i it 









\ -"- 

^, ""' 


~~ — — — 










6.2 Copper Age monumental enclosures at (a) La Pijotilla (double 
lines show the inner and outer enclosures, black dots show the 
location of burials) (adapted from Hurtado 1997: figure 6.3) and 
(b) Marroqufes Bajos (continuous black lines show excavated 
parts of the enclosures (adapted from Zafra de la Torre et al. 
1999: figure 3). 



enclosure defines an area of cultivated land as well as domestic and 
ritual areas. At this, and other sites in the region, the high frequency 
of storage pits, including smaller ones within structures and clusters 
of larger examples in the open air, has suggested intensified and 
surplus production, perhaps under the control of particular groups 
(appropriated?) within the community (Hurtado 1997: 108). 

Rescue excavations over the last three decades have revealed the 
existence of a comparable site at Valencina de la Concepcion, just 
over 5km to the west of Seville in the lower Guadalquivir valley. It 
would appear that the site complex extends over an area of some 
300ha, including a cemetery of megalithic tombs (among which are 
the famous tombs of Matarrubilla and La Pastora). A more restricted 
area of settlement (20ha?), mostly covered by the modern dormitory 
town of Valencina, has yielded evidence of circular domestic struc- 
tures, wells and storage pits, as well as stretches of V- and U-shaped 
ditches 4m wide and up to 5m in depth (Ruiz Mata 1983). More 
recent excavations have confirmed the existence of clusters of storage 
pits (1.8— 2.5m basal diameter by perhaps more than 2m in depth) 
in the area between the main settlement and the cemetery, and a 
ditch 7m wide and 4m deep marking the limit of this area. Cruz- 
Aunon and Arteaga (1995) suggest that this ditch joined up with 
traces of ditches from earlier excavations to form a large enclosure 
delimiting the settlement and storage pit areas and extended up to 
the cemetery. They argue that this supports the inference of one, 
rather than several, settlement complexes, and that its inhabitants 
appropriated agricultural production within the lower Guadalquivir 
valley. The absence of overall plans of the site, or of systematic 
excavations and extensive series of radiocarbon dates makes evalu- 
ation of this interpretation difficult at present. 

Oliveira Jorge (2000: 75—6) cites further examples of monu- 
mental enclosures in the neighbouring Alentejo region of southern 
Portugal. The largest, at Perdigoes, covers around l6ha, with vari- 
ous concentric ditches and earthworks, may also have walls and 
includes an area devoted to mortuary practices. It dates to the second 
half of the third millennium cal. BC. Another site at Monte da Ponte 
has six multi-phase concentric enclosures comprised of stone and 
mudbrick walls (one with bastions) and ditches (Kalb and Hock 

But the most impressive of all such enclosures is in the upper 
Guadalquivir valley at Marroquies Bajos (Figure 6.2), an area of 
urban development on the north side of the city of Jaen (Zafra 
de la Torre et al. 1999). During the period r.2450-2125 cal. bc a 



settlement complex consisting of at least five concentric enclosures 
and covering an area of 113ha succeeded earlier, less well-defined 
and perhaps seasonal, occupation phases. The enclosures consisted of 
V- and U-shaped ditches 1— 1.5m deep and 4— 22m wide, and stone 
and mudbrick walls. The inner enclosure was 100— 140m wide and 
had at least two bastions and an internal palisade. The second 
enclosure was 280— 300m wide and, like the other enclosures, had a 
ditch of varying dimensions. The third enclosure was 400— 420m 
wide and had the widest stretches of ditch. The fourth enclosure was 
660— 720m wide and had a 2m-wide and 3m-high mudbrick and 
stone wall with semicircular bastions on its exterior. This wall was 
2km long and incorporated 12,000cu m of mudbrick and stone. In 
one stretch there was a mudbrick wall on the interior of the ditch as 
well. This marked the exterior of the settlement area, some 34ha in 
all. Beyond this a l,200m-wide enclosure ditch enclosed a further 
79ha of cultivable land. In the following occupation phase, f.2125— 
1975 cal. BC, this outer ditch may have been abandoned and after 
that the population appears to have dispersed. 

Although dependent upon individual rescue excavations, this is a 
remarkable picture of rapid population aggregation and labour 
mobilization during the second half of the third millennium cal. BC. 
Inferences about productive activities and inequalities are still being 
developed. Within the main settlement area there are no clear archi- 
tectural or functional differences between the enclosed areas. There 
are some examples of larger and better-made domestic structures 
that are still under study. Domestic complexes are argued to have 
been self-sufficient in the subsistence and other production needs of 
everyday life. In the later occupation phase low stone walls 
delimited these complexes, with streets between them. Some differ- 
ences in the location of textile production and metallurgy have been 

There are three competing interpretations of the concentric 
ditches at all of these 'monumental enclosures': drainage, defence 
and agricultural intensification through irrigation. The ditches at 
sites like Marroquies Bajos and Valencina de la Concepcion appear to 
be far too large to be simply for drainage purposes, while the associ- 
ation with walls, bastions and palisades argues more for a defensive 
function. The presence of such features would also argue against, 
although not necessarily rule out, the irrigation argument. This is 
where the use of carbon isotope analyses on seeds could be decisive, 
as in the lowlands of the south-east (see Chapter 5). Cruz-Aunon and 
Arteaga (1995) and Nocete (2001) place the monumental enclosures 



within a regional context of 'initial class societies' (see Chapter 4) in 
the Guadalquivir valley during the third millennium cal. BC. For 
example, Valencina de la Concepcion, La Pijotilla and Ferreira do 
Alentejo (a large, but not definitely enclosed settlement in southern 
Portugal) are interpreted as 'primate' centres dominating smaller 
unfortified and (often peripheral) fortified sites throughout the 
south-west of the Iberian Peninsula (Nocete 2001: 136—7). This area 
is viewed as on the periphery of the early state society of the upper 
Guadalquivir valley. For this region Nocete (1994) proposes a model 
of a small number of heavily fortified centres (e.g. Albalete, Alcores) 
located at the centre of a territory of agricultural production, with 
smaller defensive sites placed for their visual and physical control, 
especially on the southern and eastern (political) frontier. 

Clearly some very provocative interpretations are being proposed 
for these monumental enclosures and their surrounding lands and 
settlements in southern Iberia. If we include these enclosures within 
the category of 'fortified sites', it is clear that one of the key traits 
used to identify the presence of 'complex' societies in Iberia is more 
widely distributed than those societies. It is also clear that we are 
dealing with a heterogeneous category of sites, the function(s) and 
importance of which need to be studied locally. Rather than pursue 
fruitless and undefined classifications of regions of Iberia as being 
'complex' in some degree, it would be better to focus research on 
the study of production and inequality, and on the evidence for 
structural changes in the organization of prehistoric societies. 

Following the example of south-east Spain in Chapter 5, we need 
to focus on evidence for class divisions (producers and non- 
producers), for the appropriation of surplus and the identification of 
property. A start has been made on this, but there are significant 
gaps in evidence and argument. For example, inferences are made of 
the appropriation of surplus production from a hinterland at 
Valencina de la Concepcion, given the large numbers of storage 
pits found there (Cruz-Aunon and Arteaga 1995). But how are these 
pits distributed through time (given that there are examples of pits 
intercutting each other)? What would they represent in terms of 
annual cereal production and storage (for consumption or seed)? 
Did this exceed the needs of the population living at the site(s)? 
How did the agricultural productivity of contemporary sites in the 
lower Guadalquivir valley compare with that of the area immedi- 
ately around Valencina? Was there unequal access to the means of 
production between domestic complexes? Can we identify producers 
and non-producers from skeletal evidence? How centralized were 



other forms of production? Some answers to the questions are 
already being published (e.g. Nocete 2001: 111—23 on social asym- 
metries in metal production and consumption, as well as the absence 
of local agricultural production at Cabezo Jure, and the evidence for 
the environmental effects of over 500 years of metallurgy along the 
Rio Tinto in the third millennium cal. bc). Until we can document 
these local relations of production and consumption more reliably 
in the empirical record, it is premature to construct large-scale 
models of political systems within the Guadalquivir valley and 
south-western Iberia. 

In some regions a start is being made to research on these ques- 
tions. For southern and central Portugal, there is still only limited 
evidence for agricultural production based on large, systematic col- 
lections of animal and plant remains (Chapman 1990: 229). For the 
same region, Copper Age lithic production has been studied by 
Forenbaher (1998), who argues that craft specialization was limited 
to large bifacial points, while arrowheads were highly variable and 
the outcome of dispersed production. Amphibolite was used for the 
production of most groundstone tools and had advantages of hard- 
ness and easier working over other locally available lithologies 
(Lillios 1993, 1997). Its nearest sources were at a distance of 
c. 15 0km to the east and south-east and it appears at Copper Age 
fortified sites in the Tagus estuary region as used and broken tools, as 
well as tools that were being produced locally. The high concentra- 
tion of finds in this region argues against a 'down-the-line' model of 
distribution from the interior to the coast. Lillios proposes a model 
of two spheres of exchange, reciprocal and competitive, to account 
for this distribution and the use and deposition contexts of amphibo- 
lite tools. This implies that competitive feasting played a major role 
in the emergence of fortified sites such as Zambujal and Vila Nova 
de Sao Pedro. However, there are still huge gaps in our knowledge 
of all kinds of production at individual sites, as well as of the 
consumption of this production. 

An important Bronze Age settlement with evidence for both pro- 
duction and consumption has been excavated at Penalosa in the 
upper Guadalquivir valley. The excavators (Contreras 2000) argue 
that this evidence supports the inference of a strongly hierarchical, 
class society. This society was supported by tribute from other, agri- 
cultural villages and based on the control of local mineral sources 
and production. The evidence for metal production is distributed 
throughout the settlement, as is metal consumption in domestic and 
funerary contexts, but not all stages in the production process occur 



in all production areas and there does not appear to have been equal 
access to products (e.g. silver). The evidence in support of the receipt 
of agricultural produce from other settlements is not unambiguous: 
Pena Chocarro (1999: 135) argues that the case for local production 
is strengthened by soil potential and the presence of chaff remains 
and weed seeds. The inference of social classes is also problematical, 
given the poor state of preservation of burial remains and the small 
size of the available sample (twenty-four individuals from eighteen 
tombs). From this sample the excavators distinguish three classes, 
namely the 'nobility', 'warriors/peasants' and 'slaves', with members 
of the first and third categories being buried in the same areas of the 
settlement (Contreras 2000; Contreras et al. 1995). However, these 
social distinctions are not matched by clear distinctions in daily 
access to production and consumption. In addition to the metal- 
lurgical evidence, food storage and consumption was practised in 
nearly all structures. There is no evidence for asymmetries in access 
to grinding stones, as in the Vera basin (see Chapter 5). The major 
asymmetry is between the fortified area on the summit, where horse 
remains (from communal feasting?) were concentrated (cf. the con- 
temporary settlement of Cerro de la Encina in Granada, Aranda 
Jimenez 2001), and the rest of the settlement. Given these prob- 
lems, the available data from Penalosa are being asked to support a 
heavy interpretative load. 

For the Sierra de Huelva in south-west Spain, a programme of 
regional survey and excavation has focused on the successive Copper 
and Bronze Age occupations (Garcia Sanjuan 1999). It is argued that 
population increase and nucleation occurred between these periods, 
as well as a major change in the distribution pattern between areas 
within the region. The choice of more easily defendable site loca- 
tions, with their potential for greater visual control of territory, was 
accompanied by investment in defensive walls at sites such as La 
Papua and El Trastejon. Arable potential became less important in 
the choice of settlement location. At El Trastejon the clean wheat 
grains suggest that processed grain was introduced ready for con- 
sumption. This evidence, coupled with the poverty of cereal from 
pollen diagrams, suggests that cereal production could have been of 
small scale, or that communities were dependent on inter-regional 
exchange, or that there was some functional specialization between 
settlements. What is not yet clear is the extent to which relations of 
inequality structured this movement of agricultural produce, nor 
the extent to which its consumption was appropriated. Differences 
of wealth are visible in the burial evidence, but unlike south-east 



Spain, these are less marked and the poor conditions of preservation 
prevent the same kinds of study of osteological materials. It is 
argued that differences of class do not appear until nearly a millen- 
nium later, with 'moderate' rather than 'complex' inequalities. 
However, the marked differences in the quality of the empirical 
record of the Sierra de Huelva compared to the south-east need to be 
taken into account in evaluating this interpretation. 

Space does not allow me to go into greater detail, or to expand on 
the study of production and inequalities, as well as the quality of the 
empirical record for studying these topics, in other parts of the Ibe- 
rian Peninsula. Until such studies are pursued in more depth, then 
comparisons with the sequence of south-east Spain, as presented in 
Chapter 5, can only be tentative. To compare such regions in terms 
of rankings or levels of complexity is also a rather meaningless pur- 
suit, leading us away from the kinds of research we ought to be 
undertaking. How far is this preoccupation with 'complexity' also 
characteristic of other regions of the west Mediterranean? The next 
section will answer this question. 

'Complexity' in the west Mediterranean? 

As in Iberia, the term 'complexity' is widely used and little defined 
for Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age societies elsewhere in the 
west Mediterranean. Skeates (1999: 30) suggests that coastal hunter- 
gatherers in east-central Italy may have developed 'a degree of social 
complexity', although generally these societies were 'basically egali- 
tarian'. For the later sixth to the first half of the fifth millennia cal. 
BC Tusa has recently inferred 'the existence of a fairly complex soci- 
ety' (1996: 54). No formal definition of what a 'fairly' complex 
society or even a 'complex' society is given, but the inference appears 
to have two bases. First, there is a widespread distribution of ditched 
enclosures in southern Italy and Sicily (here with the addition of 
stone walls), with comparable interpretations to those of sites such 
as Valencina de la Concepcion in southern Spain, including water 
storage, drainage and defence. A recent example of such a settlement 
at Stretto-Partanna has evidence of a narrow 13m-deep ditch, one of 
a series, for which cult or water storage uses are the preferred inter- 
pretations. Second, the 'full' adoption of agriculture supposedly 
enabled surplus production, which, Tusa argues, supported the con- 
struction of ditched enclosures and exchange of materials such as 
obsidian. As in Iberia we are presented with the equation of 
'enclosed' or 'fortified' sites with more 'complex' kinds of society. 



No distinction appears to be made between the production and 
appropriation of surplus, between production and consumption, and 
hence of the existence, or not, of institutionalized social inequal- 
ities. The exchange of materials such as obsidian may have required 
surplus production, but not the appropriation of that surplus, 
in order to support the creation and maintenance of social 

For the Bronze Age in the Mediterranean as a whole, Mathers and 
Stoddart (1994) refer to 'greater social complexity' and 'cycles of 
socio-political complexity', or periods of 'development' alternating 
with ones of 'decline'. Different regions of the Mediterranean from 
Iberia to the Levant show between one and five phases of such com- 
plexity (1994: 17). Such 'complexity' appears to be related to strati- 
fication rather than state formation (which the authors restrict to the 
east Mediterranean), and even here they argue that stratification is a 
'misplaced' term, given that 'the elite did not retain the power to 
enforce unequal access to resources over long periods of time' (1994: 
16). In contrast Mathers and Stoddart prefer the concept of 'fluid 
and competitive ranking rather than fixed hereditary succession to 
status' (1994:16). A neo-evolutionary basis to this thinking is vis- 
ible in the definition of concepts, but even within this terminology 
there is nothing incompatible between the existence and periodicity 
of such 'stratification': the physical and ideological means of 
coercion necessary to support such societies may only have been 
weakly developed at this time, making them prone to collapse. 

For the Bronze Age in central Italy, Barker and Stoddart (1994: 
145) suggest some kind of inevitability in social change, with a 
'slow momentum towards social complexity at the beginning of the 
second millennium' and then a rapid change to statehood with the 
Etruscans. Malone et al. (1994: 188) infer 'a modest degree of com- 
plexity' during the same period of time in southern Italy, Sicily and 
Malta, as if this were some kind of virtue by means of restraint! 
Again the term is not defined explicitly, although there are refer- 
ences to 'socio-political' and 'socio-economic complexity'. Before 
f.1300 BC the authors infer limited centralization and a society that 
was short of the chiefdom level, given the absence, among other 
things, of any solid evidence for redistribution (although see 
Cazzella and Moscoloni 1999: 207 for the inference of 'a certain 
complexity in social structure' on the basis of a 5m-thick stone wall 
surrounding the Early Bronze Age settlement at Coppa Nevigata in 
Apulia). Once again there is a strong neo-evolutionary basis to this 
argument. After f.1300 BC 'elites' are inferred from wealthy grave 



goods and there is evidence for more settlements (including 
defended ones), craft specialization, a possible increase in settlement 
hierarchy, but Malone et al. still regard this as 'no remarkably high 
level of complexity' (1994: 192). By the Late Bronze Age, they state 
that Sicily was only 'on the brink of quite complex, chiefly societies' 
(1994: 192). Whatever 'complexity' is, it is clearly conceived in 
relative terms or 'levels', as we have seen in Iberia. 

But once again key questions are not being asked: What was the 
relationship between production and consumption, was surplus pro- 
duction being appropriated by non-producers, and when did classes 
emerge, for however short a period of time? If classes did not exist, 
how was production organized and what were the tensions existing 
in everyday social practices? Although Malone et al. state that there 
is 'no clear evidence of agricultural intensification during the course 
of the Bronze Age' (1994: 179), the growth of the nucleated, 'semi/ 
proto urban' Middle Bronze Age coastal settlement of Thapsos on 
Sicily raises questions as to how its population was supported, the 
extent to which it comprised producers and non-producers and what 
the nature of the settlement's political relations were with its hinter- 
land and comparable coastal settlements. In turn this is part of a 
broader series of questions affecting the nature of social change in 
the central Mediterranean regions of southern Italy, Sicily and 
Sardinia at the time of Mycenaean trading contacts. 

Such questions can only be addressed by focusing research, as we 
have done in south-east Spain, on the ways in which production and 
the relations of production are organized in different periods. It is 
one thing to know that particular species of plants and animals were 
exploited, but another to infer how production was organized and 
who had access to, and control over, it. There is also a fundamental 
difference between inferences of 'intensification of production' and 
an understanding of its scale and extent (Chapman 1990: 148—9), its 
mobilization (by whom? for whom?) and its social/political/ 
economic purpose. The failure to make clear this difference accounts 
for the poverty of systems models that take 'intensification of pro- 
duction' as one variable alongside 'social organization' or 'inter- 
action'. Such variables are usually defined in relation to 'cultures', 
which in turn are equated with 'societies', and the collection of 
subsistence production evidence is still structured around these 
large-scale units in blocks of time. 

Even then, the presence of modern, representative samples of 
animal bones and plant remains is still remarkably patchy in most 
areas of the west Mediterranean, especially on the islands. This is 



especially true of the second millennium cal. BC, more or less 
synonymous with the Bronze Age, and continues into the first mil- 
lennium cal. BC. In the Balearic Islands, there are still only four 
published faunal reports from modern excavations: one of these is for 
the open-air settlement of Son Ferrandell Oleza, the exact dating of 
which is debated by the excavator (Waldren 2001) and Lull et al. 
(1999) between the late third and early second millennium bc, and 
three are for sites with stone monuments known as talayots at Son 
Ferrandell Oleza, Son Fornes and S'lllot (for discussion of all reports, 
see Chapman and Grant 1997). In Sardinia detailed evidence of sub- 
sistence practices associated with Nuragic monuments and settle- 
ments of the second and first millennia cal. BC has only recently 
started to be collected systematically from sites such as Toscono and 
Urpes on the Marghine plateau (Webster and Michels 1986). This is 
in contrast to the emphasis that has been placed on the collection of 
animal bone assemblages from the early phases of human coloniza- 
tion of both Sardinia and Corsica (e.g. Vigne 1988). On the island of 
Malta, any traces of domestic activity are rare for all periods of occu- 
pation from the sixth to the second millennia cal. BC, given the 
effects of thin soils, soil erosion and landscape remodelling in mod- 
ern times. Recent fieldwork on Gozo has produced surface traces of 
settlements, as well as the excavation of two structures where occu- 
pation began in the late fourth millennium cal. BC (Malone et al. 
1988), but the focus of research remains on ritual and the dead in 
the temples and rock-cut tombs of the Maltese islands, whether in 
terms of cult activity (e.g. Stoddart et al. 1993) or of the creation of 
identity (Robb 2001). 

It is the emphasis on monumental architecture, changes in its 
form and dimensions through time, and its spatial patterning on 
Malta, Sardinia, Corsica, Mallorca and Menorca, that has provided 
the basis for interpretations of Bronze Age society on west Mediter- 
ranean islands. In the case of Sardinia, there are also differences 
of interpretation between foreign and indigenous archaeologists. 
Webster (1990, 1991a, 1991b, 1996) uses an essentially neo- 
evolutionary approach to trace the emergence of more complex types 
of society during the local Bronze Age. This relies on the use of 
terms such as 'petty chiefdoms' and ethnographic analogies drawn 
specifically from the African sub-continent, as well as a theoretical 
framework that makes insular social change an adaptive response to 
population density and environmental circumscription (1996: 108). 
The size and form of monumental architecture provides the basis of 
inferences on the existence of settlement hierarchy, which is taken to 



be a key indicator of social evolution. Let us follow through 
Webster's interpretation of the archaeological sequence and then 
consider the problems it raises. 

Webster begins by looking back at social change on Sardinia in 
the fourth and third millennia cal. BC. During the Late Neolithic 
there is evidence for increasing settlement numbers and densities, 
mostly small and unenclosed villages, but with a suggestion of 
'regional level ritual integration' (1996: 52) from the site of Monte 
d'Accodi, with its lOm-high truncated pyramid. Settlement nucle- 
ation and enclosure/fortification is seen in the succeeding Copper 
Age, indicating 'some level of socio-political hierarchisation, prob- 
ably on a regional level' (1996: 60) and 'societies similar perhaps to 
those referred to as chiefdoms' (1996: 62). Webster notes that the 
production evidence does not support earlier interpretations of a 
stratified society at this time. 

Webster divides the period f.2300— 500 cal. bc into four cultural 
phases. Nuragic 1/Proto-Nuragic (r.2300— 1800 cal. bc) sees the 
abandonment of all the enclosed/fortified sites, population disper- 
sion in small settlements which were now moving away from the 
lowland plains, and the construction of 'proto' or 'corridor' nuraghi 
(the proposed antecedents of the stone towers, or 'nuraghi' of the 
following periods). For Webster this suggests 'a reduction in organ- 
izational scale and complexity from regional to local levels' (1990: 
62): the absence of a settlement hierarchy supports the inference of 
some kind of 'non-hierarchical' or 'tribal' society 'towards the lower 
end of the continuum of so-called 'middle-range societies' (1996: 
81). Some examples of mortuary practices support the inference of 
'Big Men' (1996: 82). Nuragic II (1800-1300 cal. bc) sees the 
emergence of proper nuraghi. The clusters of these stone towers, 
along with the absence of any evidence for a settlement hierarchy, 
suggests the existence of 'more or less autonomous, territorially 
distinct, sub-regional level socio-political units on the order of 
localized descent groups or clans' (1996: 99). The following period, 
Nuragic III (c. 1300-900 cal. bc), sees the construction of more com- 
plex nuraghi, with multiple towers and, in a smaller number of 
cases, the kinds of outer walls and towers that have provoked com- 
parison with medieval European castles, as well as a substantial 
population increase. Webster uses the sizes and forms of nuraghi, 
as well as the existence of non-tower, open settlements, to infer a 
two-level hierarchy ('petty/simple' chiefdoms) over large areas of 
Sardinia, with a three-level hierarchy ('ranked/complex' chiefdoms 
dominating r.200sq km territories) in the south-west of the island 



(Webster 1996: 130—3). Full social stratification, including social 
classes, emerged in Nuragic IV (r.900— 500 cal. bc) in a context of 
intensified competition and warfare. 

Webster's periodization and social interpretation, while well 
known in the Anglo-American world, are not necessarily accepted in 
Sardinian archaeology. For example, Perra (1997) divides the Bronze 
Age into Early, Middle and Late periods, with numbered subdivi- 
sions, following the central European model. He argues that nuraghi 
were initially constructed by 'chieftains', even by 'dominant classes 
who control production and redistribution of subsistence and luxury 
goods' (1997: 58). The collective rituals seen in contemporary tombs 
were an expression of ideological resistance to these dominant 
classes. Perra also proposes that complex nuraghi were originally 
more widespread and that their builders consolidated the centralized 
control over production, with a lower class offering tribute to this 
elite. This interpretation of more progressive social evolution, from 
tribal society in the Pre-Nuragic to chiefdoms in the Nuragic, con- 
trasts with Webster's initial devolution and the lack of chiefdoms 
until the construction of complex nuraghi. 

This use of Sardinian nuraghi to make inferences about settle- 
ment, and therefore social, hierarchies has been prevalent since the 
late nineteenth century (Webster 1996: 17). But the supposed evo- 
lution from 'simple' to 'complex' nuraghi, along with the division of 
the Nuragic into four periods, still requires testing by more exten- 
sive excavations and by independent dating. We have already seen 
the advantages of independent dating as a test of Bronze Age periods 
in south-east Spain (see Chapter 5). Elsewhere carbon-14 dating 
has been used to show that supposedly sequential megalithic 
tomb types, in this case the dolmens and passage graves of southern 
Scandinavia, were actually constructed and used at the same time 
(Persson and Sjogren 1995). Webster and others (e.g. Tykot 1994) 
acknowledge the poverty of reliable carbon- 14 dating on nuraghi, as 
well as on other settlements and burials, and we should not assume 
that sites and materials are as exclusively associated with the four 
Nuragic periods. For example, Webster notes that burial and tomb 
types overlap between these periods (1996: 22), while Perra (1997: 
54) argues that the most imposing nuraghi were not all constructed 
during the same period of time. Any such refinement of chronology, 
as in south-east Spain, will have implications for inferences about 
Bronze Age society and social change. 

The question also arises as to how useful the concepts of tribal and 
chiefdom societies have been for the social interpretation of Bronze 



Age Sardinia. Given all the criticisms of neo-evolutionary theory 
presented in Chapter 3, to claim tribal or chiefdom status for Nur- 
agic society now seems, at best, to be using a very loose analogy. 
Decision-making hierarchies are not always expressed in settlement 
hierarchies and may occur in the context of dispersed settlement 
patterns (see Chapter 3). Economic centralization does not occur 
automatically with political centralization (see the examples from 
South-east Asia and Africa in the discussion of heterarchies in Chap- 
ter 4), and the degree of that centralization may vary. The extent of 
such hierarchies and centralization, as well as that of all inequalities, 
needs to be studied in each particular context. For these reasons, it 
seems to me that the use of terms like tribe and chiefdom (both 
petty/simple and complex) has limited rather than enhanced our 
understanding of social change in later prehistoric Sardinia. 

Confusions also arise. In spite of their different interpretations, 
both Webster and Perra use concepts like tribe and chiefdom, albeit 
somewhat inconsistently: for example, Perra includes the class 
structure in his Nuragic chiefdoms, with centralized control over 
production and relations of tribute, and yet he does not discuss why 
this does not make the nuraghi builders members of a stratified 
society. How early did stratification really appear in Sardinia? 
While Webster focuses his attention upon the presence or absence 
of settlement hierarchies, it is surely the evidence of control over 
production and consumption, of producers and non-producers, and 
of the appropriation of surplus, which will determine the answer to 
this question. 

Webster (1996) recognizes the poverty of reliable evidence on 
production and consumption in Nuragic societies and their immedi- 
ate predecessors. Indeed, one of the main aims of his fieldwork on 
the Borore plateau has been the collection of precisely this kind of 
evidence (e.g. Michels and Webster 1987; Webster 1991a), in the 
context of inferences about the function of nuraghi. He infers tribute 
of food to elites in Nuragic III (from non-monumental sites? — see 
Perra 1997) from c. 1300cal. BC, with larger corralling and storage 
facilities in complex nuraghi, but there was no evidence for central- 
ized production of metallurgy. In Nuragic IV he refers to household 
specialists, with examples of metal production on most sites, 
although production and storage seems to have been greater on the 
larger, more complex nuraghi. The evidence for centralized produc- 
tion of metal objects is still not clear, but as was mentioned above, 
this is not incompatible with social stratification. Further work is 
clearly needed on the relation between all forms of production and 



consumption to see if the inference of stratification is justified, and 
at what date. 

There are also important observations which are made without 
comment. For example, in the Nuragic II period, he notes (1996: 
95) the find of 28 grinding stones and 122 pestles in the Nuraghe 
Trobas, but does not discuss the possible implications for the 
organization of agricultural production (see Chapter 5 on the Arga- 
ric settlements of south-east Spain). In the succeeding Nuragic III 
period he fails to find evidence for control over the means of produc- 
tion, but notes that the 'size and presumably socio-political ranking 
of individual settlements cannot be so clearly related to the agri- 
cultural quality of their immediate catchment area when measured 
in hectares' (1996: 150). The possibility that this could support the 
inference of large-scale tribute of agricultural produce is not dis- 
cussed. This is an interesting observation, in the light of what has 
already been proposed for the organization of production in the 
Argaric Bronze Age of south-east Spain. Also of interest is Webster's 
point (1996: 83) that there is no clear evidence for plough-based 
agriculture until the Nuragic III period, which is long after the use 
of such capital investment could have played a major role in the 
development of major social inequalities on Sardinia. We have 
already seen in Chapter 5 how such capital investment models based 
on irrigation and polyculture lack empirical support in south-east 

In addition to monuments and burials, evidence for cult activity 
and the representations of rock art have been used in recent studies 
of later prehistoric societies in the central Mediterranean, only this 
time emphasizing gender, ideology and human agency. Both Robb 
(e.g. 1999, 2001) and Skeates (1999) have rightly emphasized the 
different kinds and bases of inequalities that exist in non-stratified 
societies (see Chapter 4). Both focus on the roles of competitive 
alliances, exchange, feasting, rituals and access to the ancestors as 
means by which inequalities emerged in kin-based Neolithic soci- 
eties in this region. Robb (1994) has traced gender ideologies from 
the Neolithic to the Iron Age in Italy. His social interpretation for 
the Middle/Late Neolithic and Copper Ages, broadly speaking the 
fourth and third millennia cal. BC, focuses on the absence of settle- 
ment hierarchies, marked wealth differences in burials, craft special- 
ization, etc., to infer the existence of tribal societies (1999). He 
turns to Oceania to adopt the analogy of 'Great Men' societies in the 
Early and Middle Neolithic changing into 'Big Men' societies in the 
Late Neolithic/Copper Age. It is in the latter societies that we see an 



emphasis on a male gender ideology (e.g. representations of male 
hunting, weapons deposited with males in burials). This appears to 
be a strange mixture of standard neo-evolutionism and more post- 
processual concerns with ideology and agency. While Robb denies 
the existence of 'a single evolutionary pathway' (1999: 114) and 
recognizes that Great and Big Men are known ethnographically 
from the same societies, he attributes them to successive periods of 
the Italian Neolithic and refers to more stratified societies as the 
result of 'escape trajectories out of tribes' (1999: 119). The extent to 
which the New Guinea societal types of Great and Big Men were the 
outcome of post-colonial processes is not discussed, nor the 'visibil- 
ity' of such types in the archaeological record (see Chapter 5). 

Skeates nails his theoretical colours much more explicitly to the 
postprocessual mast, especially in his approach to mortuary rituals 
(1995) and to the symbolic construction of gender differences in 
Neolithic society (1994). Most recently (2000) he has turned his 
attention to the ditched enclosures of the Tavoliere in Apulia, argu- 
ing against their individual construction as being the outcome of a 
coherent and intended plan. Instead their depositional fills suggest 
to Skeates that they were more in a perpetual state of becoming. 
Further than this, the very acts of excavation and deposition are 
seen as the products of human agency and integral to the creation, 
maintenance and transformation of social relations. Such actions are 
physical as well as symbolic. 

The attempts of both Robb and Skeates to tackle matters of gen- 
der, ideology and ritual are commendable. They help us to push 
away at the frontiers of inference on Neolithic and Bronze Age soci- 
eties in the central Mediterranean. But they are no substitute for a 
systematic study of production and productive relations in these 
societies. Without such a study, the ideological representations are 
hanging in mid-air, and we lack a clear understanding of the 
material basis of inequalities, whether institutionalized or not. This 
must now be seen as a major challenge for this, and other, areas of 
the west Mediterranean. 

For example, Skeates (1995, 1999) uses the remains of mortuary 
rituals as one of the bases of his reconstruction of social relations in 
the Neolithic of east— central Italy. He follows the argument that 
such rituals idealize, rather than reflect, social relations. The poverty 
of palaeoenvironmental and palaeoeconomic evidence from this 
region means that other ways of 'seeing' those relations, especially as 
they are based in productive practices, are currently beyond the 
archaeologist. We have no way of comparing idealized and actual 



social relations. The existence of ideologies at this time is not in 
question, but their role in forming and transforming social relations 
remains an assumption based on partial preservation of archaeo- 
logical evidence. 

Similarly, the ritual activities associated with the Neolithic 
temples and rock-cut tombs of Malta have provided both the basic 
evidence and the dynamic for changing social relations. The infer- 
ence of a centrally organized, chiefdom society (Renfrew 1973b), 
based on population pressure in an isolated, island environment, has 
been criticized in recent years. With the notable exception of excav- 
ation and fieldwork on Gozo (e.g. Stoddart et al. 1993), changes in 
theoretical approach have played a greater role than new archaeo- 
logical evidence in this critique. The architecture, scale and accessi- 
bility of the temples, coupled with the materials found inside them, 
have led to inferences of elites, ritual specialists, shamen, priests and 
competing factions (e.g. Bonanno et al. 1990; Stoddart et al. 1993). 
It was the ritual activities that led to the emergence of these social 
inequalities, whether through intra-island competition (Bonanno et 
al. 1990) or the creation of common identity (Robb 2001). But we 
still do not know the extent to which there was equal or unequal 
access to the means of production, both before and during the 
temple-building period f.3600— 2500cal. bc. Was production cen- 
tralized? Were the elites/priests, etc. removed from basic production? 
Although such 'individual agents' have been the focus of recent 
interpretations (e.g. Robb 2001), their study is currently divorced 
from an understanding of their place in the productive relations of 
Neolithic Maltese society. As elsewhere, we lack a materialist under- 
standing of society and social change on these islands. 

Concluding observations 

Conceptions of society and particularly of the emergence of stratifi- 
cation and the state that are used in the Mediterranean are firmly 
rooted in neo-evolutionary concepts. For many this is no problem 
whatsoever! There is an established body of research, stretching back 
to the 1970s (see Chapter 3), with clear indicators in the archaeo- 
logical record and an unproblematic 'Great Divide' between the 
early states of the east Mediterranean and Near East on the one 
side, and the stratified societies that emerged in some regions of 
the central and west Mediterranean during the Bronze Age. Mathers 
and Stoddart (1994) emphasize this contrast, especially with regard 
to features such as writing, institutionalized bureaucracy, elite 



iconography, professional standing armies, etc. In the same volume 
Mathers (1994: 57) states that the east Mediterranean showed an 
'accelerated cultural development many orders of magnitude beyond 
contemporary Bronze Age societies in the west'. As was argued in 
Chapter 4, such a view of the state looks down from the first 'civil- 
izations', which show all of these characteristics. It makes the iden- 
tification of the state unproblematic. We know where all the early 
states were! All that there is left to do is rank the rest of the societies 
into a scale of more or less 'complex' societies, as we have seen for 
Iberia and the west Mediterranean in this chapter. However, this 
ranking is inconsistent, mostly undefined and lacking clear state- 
ments of the material evidence that would enable us to recognize 
such societies at different points along the evolutionary scale of 
complexity. This has become a rather fruitless and ambiguous exer- 
cise in classification. 

The approach taken to social inequality in south-east Spain, as 
shown in Chapter 5, challenges us to rethink our approach to the 
study of social change in the west Mediterranean. While recent 
approaches to issues of gender, ideology and cultural identity take us 
in interesting directions, they are not yet 'rooted' in the material 
factors that determine social life. There are still large gaps in our 
basic knowledge of production and consumption in everyday social 
practices in just about every area of the west Mediterranean. There 
are also implications for our study of social change in other areas of 
Europe and the Mediterranean, as I will argue in the next chapter. 






It is now time to draw together the arguments proposed in this 
book. What are the main points and where do we go from here? 
What have we learnt about archaeology, archaeologists and the 
archaeology of what are called complex societies? I will begin by 
summarizing the argument chapter by chapter. Then I will make 
some further comments about archaeological theory and practice, 
the early state, and the pervasive nature of evolutionary thought in 
everyday Western discourse. 

The argument 

In Chapter 1, I began in the world in which we live, a world in 
which neo-liberal economics and globalization have driven the more 
marked development of social and economic inequalities within and 
between the First and Third Worlds. Politics and economics now 
operate at the global scale. This situation is neither inevitable nor 
natural, but a product of the past, whether over the last three dec- 
ades or the last two million years of human history. Without the 
past we cannot understand the present. Within the social and histor- 
ical sciences, this past has been studied since the eighteenth century 
through the use of the concept of social evolution, of change from 
simple to complex, whether this is of technologies, economies, art, 
ritual practices or entire societies. Archaeology owed its emergence 
as a discipline to the need to trace this social evolution in the West- 
ern world. It was a product of social evolutionary thought and 
became an essential source of evidence for the evolution of human 
societies. While speculation about the past permeates Western soci- 
ety, it is archaeology that has the conceptual and practical means to 
propose and evaluate such ideas with empirical evidence, thereby 



creating our current knowledge and understanding of how we came 
to be what we are. 

However, modern archaeology is by no means unified in its theory 
and practice, as I have discussed in Chapter 2. The often bewildered 
student is presented with an array of different archaeologies, 
whether schools or 'isms', within the Anglo-American world. For 
some these different archaeologies are mutually exclusive: I was told 
recently of a colleague in another British university who announced 
to students at his first lecture on archaeological theory that they had 
to decide immediately whether they were processual or postproces- 
sual archaeologists! For others there are areas of overlap, interaction, 
compatibility and knowledge of the past shared between the differ- 
ent archaeologies. Whether successful or not, there are attempts to 
build theoretical bridges between these approaches. Individual 
archaeologists do not get enough credit, as individual agents, for 
their creative input into the creation of archaeological knowledge, 
rather than being the passive absorbers of a limited number of 
theories as members of a small number of schools. 

These different archaeologies are also viewed in evolutionary 
terms, from the simple, traditional archaeology to the more complex 
and more recent processual and postprocessual archaeologies. At the 
simpler end of the scale are the archaeologies of the non-English- 
speaking and non-Anglo-American worlds. And yet these archae- 
ologies have vibrant, independent traditions of thought and are not 
waiting passively to absorb, and be integrated into, the more com- 
plex archaeologies. In spite of the best efforts of organizations such 
as the Association of European Archaeologists and the World Arch- 
aeological Congress, there remain structures of inequality between 
the archaeologies inside and outside the English-speaking world. 
These inequalities include, for example, access to published sources 
and translation into English, as well as lack of citation: one recent 
textbook on archaeological theory includes only minimal mention of 
any sources and thought outside the English-speaking world, and 
even then focuses almost exclusively on the typology of archaeolo- 
gies given above (Johnson 1999). The critical question here is: 
What can we, with our structure of archaeological endogamy, learn 
from our colleagues in non-English-speaking countries? Using the 
example of such colleagues in Spain, I stressed the need for a materi- 
alist rather than idealist archaeology, a clearer focus on the relation- 
ship between theory and practice, and a shift of attention to issues of 
class, surplus, property, exploitation, production and consumption 
when studying inequalities in past societies. 



In Chapter 3, I returned to the Anglo-American world and pre- 
sented the main theoretical approaches used by archaeologists to 
think about society and social change. Essentially these are various 
shades of neo-evolutionism, historical materialism and practice the- 
ory. To what extent are they mutually exclusive? Are they successive 
bodies of thought? How have they been used? None of them can be 
argued to be unified bodies of thought and all are ongoing tradi- 
tions. Neo-evolutionary approaches range from trait list studies 
based on comparative ethnography to the search for levels of deci- 
sion-making as seen in settlement hierarchies and vary in their 
emphasis on political strategies or management theory, conflict or 
consensus, and resistance or control in social change. In all cases a 
limited number of social types or forms are arranged in a sequence 
from simple to complex, with clear theoretical and archaeological 
criteria marking out the change from one type/form to another. 
Concepts of power and ideology have been absorbed from historical 
materialism, mainly from continental neo-Marxist anthropology 
rather than classical Marxism, and the sources of these approaches 
are sometimes overt and sometimes hidden. This permeation, or 
suffusion, of historical materialism can be argued to have diluted its 
theoretical essence, especially when it is absorbed into idealist 
arguments, or when the concept of class is applied to all societies 
rather than just stratified ones. Practice theory can also be seen as an 
ongoing tradition, this time from the late 1950s, with an impact 
on archaeology over two decades later and differences of opinion over 
the meaning of concepts such as agency and the extent to which 
individual action can directly determine history. Once again there 
are examples of direct applications of this approach to archaeological 
data, as well as adoption without citation or any resulting analysis. 

The examples cited in Chapter 3 show how these theoretical 
approaches have permeated archaeology, with neo-evolutionism 
dominating the literature. While each of the approaches has its pur- 
ists, other archaeologists try to build theoretical bridges between 
them, although not always in an overt way. It is also apparent that 
the different theoretical approaches to society and social change do 
not necessarily lead to the use of different analytical units in archaeo- 
logical practice (a criticism made by some Spanish archaeologists). 
Indeed the practice of archaeology can be seen here to be much more 
diverse and complicated than is normally assumed. 

In addition to these theoretical approaches, there is a whole ter- 
minology of the study of past societies that is often used ambigu- 
ously, inconsistently or without definition, as was demonstrated in 



Chapter 4. The classification of societies into opposites, such as 
equal/unequal, simple/complex, or egalitarian/stratified, ignores the 
subtlety of real situations: for example, there are so-called 'egalitar- 
ian' societies with unequal social relations in some aspects of every- 
day life, 'stratified' societies with egalitarian social relations in some 
areas or groups, and there may be egalitarian ideologies concealing 
inequalities. Hunter-gatherer societies with chiefs and other features 
of non-egalitarian societies are well known in the North American 
ethnographic literature and have been claimed (not always con- 
vincingly) for archaeological contexts. Not all stratified societies are 
centrally organized with a single decision-making hierarchy, as 
required by the information-processing model of neo-evolutionism, 
and may be organized as heterarchies, with, for example, centralized 
political power and decentralized economic production. 

One of the biggest problems concerns the definition of the state 
and its recognition in the archaeological record. The 'top down' view 
from the Near East and Mesoamerica, based on information- 
processing and decision-making hierarchies, imposes clear, 
unambiguous criteria, but there is also heterogeneity in chiefdom 
and state societies, different kinds of state are defined (with the early 
bureaucratic state being but one example), and there is a tradition of 
thought that sees stratification as the beginning of state formation. 
While the ethnographic record of the Pacific defines chiefdoms, the 
archaeological record of the so-called 'early civilizations' defines 
states. Regional records, such as that of the African sub-continent, 
are still fitted into these guiding models based on other regions. 
Historical materialism has an alternative view of the state, based 
on qualitative change to class society, with producers and non- 
producers, the exploitation of the former by the latter and the 
appropriation of surplus production by the non-producers. It is these 
structural relations that are the important criteria in state definition, 
not the material form (e.g. pyramids, palaces, ziggurats) taken by 
individual states. This view of the state stems from a different body 
of theory and from the non-English-speaking world. 

In Chapter 5, I used a materialist approach to social change and 
tried to avoid social dichotomies in a case study on the Vera basin 
and south-east Spain from the fifth to the second millennia cal. BC. 
This was based on individual and collective research on the period 
between the adoption of agriculture and the emergence of social 
stratification. Neolithic societies were small-scale, mobile com- 
munities, with domestic production, social distinctions based on 
age, gender and group affiliation and no permanent inequalities 



based on the control of production. During the Copper Age there 
was greater sedentism, increased population, a smaller number of 
larger settlements and possibly household rather than lineage con- 
trol over production (in contrast to the ideological investment in 
lineages seen in collective tombs). Contrary to some arguments, 
there were no major capital investments in production or major 
changes in the means of production. There is evidence for social 
tensions, conflict and warfare. Further structural changes took place 
in the Argaric Bronze Age. A major disjunction in settlement 
marked the emergence of a regional political system with increased 
production based on monoculture and control over the instruments 
of production and surplus production. Political factors are proposed 
for all of these changes (for example, there is no evidence that the 
disjunction in settlement was caused by environmental factors). 
Coupled with the burial evidence, it is proposed that Argaric society 
was characterized by marked inequalities in access to production, by 
a class system and by exploitation. The homogeneity seen in 
material culture and the treatment of the dead across the region is 
argued to represent the imposition of a common ideological system. 
There were major costs to this system in terms of labour (hence the 
need for an increase in basic production, i.e. population), environ- 
mental stability and possibly diet. Once again the new evidence does 
not support the existence of capital intensification at this time. 
From a historical materialist perspective, the period of the Argaric, 
especially c. 1700— 1550cal. BC, was one of an early state system. 

The use of terminology was criticized further in Chapter 6, this 
time in relation to the concept of social complexity. In both Iberia 
and the rest of the west Mediterranean archaeologists propose that 
there are relative levels of such complexity, often without defining 
what they mean by this concept or how it can be studied with 
material evidence. The kinds of evidence used, such as fortifications, 
are present in areas of different levels of complexity. As such, this 
concept has no analytical use and does not enable any kind of com- 
parative study across the west Mediterranean basin. Following the 
approach adopted for south-east Spain, I argued that any such study 
should begin with factors of production and consumption to deter- 
mine the nature of inequality and the existence or not of social 
classes. In areas such as the Guadalquivir valley and south-west 
Spain, this approach is under way, although subject to criticism, but 
it is poorly developed in large areas of the west Mediterranean (e.g. 
the Balearic Islands, Sardinia, Malta). Production and consumption 
are currently receiving less attention than ideological and agency 



approaches in areas such as the central Mediterranean. The potential 
for a more materialist approach is stressed throughout the region. 

These case studies complete the argument presented in this 
book. They also highlight three issues that deserve further com- 
ment, as we look forward to further research and debate. I begin 
with archaeological theory and practice. 

A more complex archaeology? 

When archaeologists in the 1960s and 1970s wanted to learn about 
the processes by which knowledge, in this case of the past, was 
created, they turned to the philosophy of science for guidance. They 
were looking for models taken from other disciplines. While the 
search for such guidance remains a useful exercise, critical observa- 
tion of our own practice also has enormous capacity for instruction. 
In this book I argue that the ideology of successive, mutually 
exclusive paradigms, or types, of archaeology conceals a more com- 
plicated reality. The division into three archaeologies, namely trad- 
itional, processual and postprocessual, has been perpetuated as the 
only typology of theory and practice in our discipline. But critical 
study of the history of Anglo-American archaeology since the 1960s 
reveals a more complicated picture of permeable boundaries between 
these archaeologies, internal dissension and debate, attempts to 
build bridges between different theories, arguments about the com- 
patibility of different approaches and recognition that there is more 
than one typology of archaeology and archaeologists. We tend to 
forget that these typologies are historically situated and defined, and 
that archaeological practice plays a large part in determining their 
success in building knowledge of the past. This practice is the action 
of individual archaeologists, and we would do well to study this 
practice in relation to individual aims. Which theories are used, 
what are the key concepts, how far do these theories and concepts 
determine the units of analysis, and to what extent is the archaeo- 
logical practice distinctive from that pursued by individuals from 
different archaeologies? There is greater potential for an understand- 
ing of how archaeology 'works' in pursuing such questions than in a 
retreat to the tired, old, simplistic typologies that have characterized 
archaeological debate in the late twentieth century. 

We should also recognize that the world of archaeology is now 
one of world archaeology. Claims for a postprocessual 'era' are 
strictly limited to areas of the Anglo-American world. Rather than 
thinking of these 'other' archaeologies as being less 'developed', or 



'not up to our level' (the simple— complex dichotomy we have seen 
applied to social evolution), we would do well to be more critical of 
what amounts to intellectual globalization. Rather than imposing 
our debates and our theoretical approaches on 'other' archaeologies, 
we should be asking what we might learn from them, especially if it 
is we who are conducting our research in their countries. We would 
also do well to instil into our students both knowledge and critical 
respect for these 'other' archaeologies and bring them in from the 
margins of archaeological visibility. Let us have more balanced 
debates with them and publication opportunities for them, given 
that the political and economic contexts of many countries make 
support of these activities difficult for their archaeologists. This 
requires a shift to a world archaeology characterized in both theory 
and practice by greater intellectual exogamy and less endogamy. 
One theme worthy of wider debate concerns the state, its definition 
and its recognition in the archaeological record. 

Early states 

It is an interesting observation that while the social sciences cannot 
agree on the definition of the state, archaeologists in the Anglo- 
American world have no such problem. As I have discussed in 
Chapters 3 and 4, they focus on characteristics such as legitimized 
force, bureaucratic government and centralized decision-making, 
with the key archaeological indicator being the presence of three or 
more levels of a settlement hierarchy. And yet there has been a 
strand of thought since Fried (1967) that has worried about the 
boundary between the chiefdom and the state, between non-class 
and class society, or between stratified societies and the state, 
depending on the terminology that is used. The model of 'state as 
manager' has been criticized in the context of Mesopotamian archae- 
ology, where more emphasis is now being placed on inequality and 
exploitation, and on the relationship between production and con- 
sumption, a more 'bottom up' than 'top down' approach (Pollock 
1992; Stein 1994). There is greater emphasis on social, economic 
and political heterogeneity than on centralization. Stein argues that 
such early states were 'organizations operating within a social 
environment that, for a variety of reasons, they only partially con- 
trol' (1994: 13) and that the degree of centralization depended on 
the outcome of a struggle between the centripetal and centrifugal 
forces operating in these societies (the former being, more or less, 
the elites and the latter the producers). Even though the population 



was centralized in city states such as Uruk and Warka (for reasons of 
labour control and defence against raiding), the sizeable rural 
population enjoyed considerable autonomy in everyday life (Stein 
1994: 15). 

This shift from the 'state as manager' model, from the 'successes' 
of organization and management to oppression, exploitation, 
coercion and resistance, has not, however, led to any fundamental 
critique of the definition of the state and the archaeological criteria 
used to identify past states. Such a critique has come from historical 
materialism, which focuses attention on the change in structure 
from relations of kinship to those of class and emphasizes the role of 
the state in preserving class society. Non-producing classes may 
appropriate the land, labour or products of others, as well as the 
means of production. This focus on structure is distinct from that on 
material form (e.g. settlement hierarchies, bureaucracies) and recog- 
nizes that the early state may have many different forms. 

Within the Mediterranean basin and temperate Europe, the 
orthodox view of the development of early states favours societies 
and regions that have a similar material form to that of the Near 
Eastern bureaucratic states. Cretan palace society of the third mil- 
lennium cal. BC is closest both geographically and formally, with its 
evidence for centralized control of production, administrative con- 
trol, theocratic government and craftsmen, followed by second mil- 
lennium BC Mycenaean society and then the Etruscan society from 
r.700 BC in central Italy. The last has examples of princely tombs, 
monumental sculpture, a three-level settlement hierarchy, compet- 
ing cities inhabited by up to 35,000 people, temples, craft produc- 
tion and planned settlement (Barker and Rasmussen 1998). As with 
the contemporary Greek city states, it is argued that these city states 
emerged out of competing chiefdoms during a period of a few gener- 
ations. Using these formal criteria, it is argued that the early Euro- 
pean state was an east and central Mediterranean development, until 
the Roman city expanded into empire across both the Mediterranean 
and temperate Europe. 

However, if we adopt the historical materialist approach, a rather 
different scenario can be presented. In Chapter 5 the case was pro- 
posed for an early state society in south-east Spain during the Arga- 
ric Bronze Age. Using the same historical materialist approach, 
Gonzalez Marcen et al. (1992: 141—5) have argued that state organ- 
ization emerged in the Carpathian/North Pontic region during the 
early second millennium cal. BC, centred on cultural groups such as 
the Otomani and Madarovce. They cite examples of population 



nucleation in heavily fortified settlements with evidence for differ- 
ences in access to production. For example, at the Otomani settlement 
of Spissky Stvrtok in Slovakia there were marked spatial distinctions 
between the population engaged in agricultural labour outside the 
fortifications, the area of craft production inside the fortifications 
and the acropolis area with larger and better constructed houses and 
hoards of gold and bronze ornaments on stands or in stone containers 
buried under the houses. The investment of labour in metal objects 
throughout the Otomani and its contemporary groups included 
weapons such as swords, daggers and axes. Although there was no 
evidence for centralized accumulation and storage of food, nor of any 
major long-distance trade relations, as occurs in the Cretan palaces, 
the authors argue that the evidence supports the inference of a social 
class exercising control over both craft and agricultural production, 
as well as the centralized accumulation of metal goods, and that 
these fortified centres dominated a landscape of smaller, unfortified 
and undifferentiated agricultural settlements. According to this 
argument, we are seeing the emergence of small-scale, inherently 
unstable, state societies that lasted only a few hundred years (most 
of the fortified settlements were destroyed or abandoned by r.l600 
cal. bc). These societies had a different material form to those of the 
early Near Eastern and east Mediterranean states, and indeed to the 
later Etruscan and Roman states. 

Elsewhere Kristiansen (1991, 1998) has argued for a major dis- 
junction between kin-based and class societies and merges together 
what others would call stratified societies and the more complex 
chiefdoms as 'archaic states', which may be centralized or decentral- 
ized. He makes a distinction between these archaic states and the 
kinds of bureaucratic state societies that are seen in the Near East, 
the east Mediterranean and the central Italy of Etruria and Rome. 
For Europe north of the Alps, Kristiansen proposes the existence of 
decentralized archaic states from the Late Hallstatt period (1998: 
250) and looks to extend them back to the Later Bronze Age Urn- 
field societies (1998: 122). 

Now one reaction to these proposals for early state societies in 
south-east Spain, the Carpathians/north Pontic region and central 
Europe is completely predictable: in no way are they comparable in 
scale with the world's earliest 'civilizations' in areas such as Meso- 
america and Mesopotamia, so they cannot be described as states. Such 
a dismissal would go hand in hand with criticism of any claim to 
statehood for the Olmec and Cahokia, as was discussed in Chapter 4. 
These are all at best just complex chiefdoms. I have two problems 



with this criticism. The first is that it still confuses a structural 
model of the state with the various material forms it might take. 
Even the early city states of Mesopotamia were not as centralized as 
we once thought and current thinning considers centralization to be 
a variable characteristic of state societies. The degrees of bureau- 
cracy, population nucleation and coercion seen in these states were 
not known from all early state societies. Second, there is the very 
real danger that we are trying to 'fit' our archaeological research 
on past societies into existing evolutionary typologies, rather than 
find out how far past social forms were similar or different from 
those known in the ethnographic record. I have already noted the 
distinctive nature of contemporary and past African societies and 
how they do not fit neatly into typologies of chiefdoms and states 
derived from the Pacific, the Near East and Mesoamerica. If nothing 
else, the historical materialist approach directs our attention to the 
kinds of data on production and consumption that are needed to 
evaluate the extent of social inequalities in different regions of the 
world at different times. How those inequalities were materialized 
is a matter for research, not assumption. This is not a question of 
changing the definition of the state so that we can all have early 
states! Rather, the separation of structural change from material 
representation enables us to look for 'other' kinds of society in the 
past. It is the search for the 'other' that is one of archaeology's 
greatest challenges. 

Embedded thought 

Notions of social evolution, of simple and complex societies and of 
levels of social complexity have been present in the social sciences 
since the Enlightenment and they are used throughout the Anglo- 
American world. Their use is not restricted to so-called processual or 
neo-evolutionary archaeologists: for example, Hodder claims that the 
archaeological evidence from (Jatalhoyiik, the testing ground for a 
postprocessual methodology, supports the inference of an 'appar- 
ently low degree of social complexity' (1996b: 363). This raises the 
question as to how far such notions of social evolution are embedded 
in everyday thought and action in Western society. I have noted in 
first year essays how often students use value judgements such as 
'more advanced', 'more sophisticated' and 'more civilized' to 
describe past societies and they always seem keen to point out evi- 
dence of 'progress' in these societies. They want the archaeological 
evidence to document human achievement and interestingly it is the 



world's first civilizations that show them the best evidence of this. 
These are the past societies that are more like 'us', with their cities, 
their bureaucracies, their religions, their writing and their heredi- 
tary rulers. In this context it is interesting to note that one of 
George W. Bush's first responses to the events of 1 1 September 2001 
was to condemn them as a 'barbarous' attack on 'civilization'; then 
others in the American administration distinguished 'civilized' as 
opposed to 'barbaric' societies. The intellectual legacy of Lewis 
Henry Morgan is clearly alive, well and embedded in Western 

And yet such dichotomies as equal/unequal or egalitarian/ 
stratified societies are simplifications of reality. Value judgements of 
progress and advance are of no use in our study of the past and our 
attempts to understand ourselves through history. Civilization, at 
the apex of complex societies, is one of the worst used and most 
abused of these value judgements, especially when it is opposed to 
'uncivilized' or 'barbarous' societies. Terms such as these are of no 
analytical value in historical study and they too often embody ideal- 
ist approaches, in which values or states of mind such as 'civility' or 
urbanism shape human action and operate at the level of whole 
societies. This is akin to notions of the 'personality' of cultures, and 
yet in this case the values of civilization have somehow survived for 
over 5,000 years and unite the West against the rest of the world 
(even though some early centres of 'civilization' were clearly present 
in Latin America, the Near East and the Far East!). Within the 
Western world these values are most often expressed in art, archi- 
tecture and culture, as well as the ideology of democracy. But as any 
social or economic analysis shows us, there are gross inequalities and 
examples of exploitation that are conveniently overlooked by the 
leaders of Western democracies. The ideology does not necessarily 
conform to material reality. 

Archaeology has made a major contribution to our knowledge of 
the history of human species during the last two centuries. As I 
argued in Chapter 1, we can develop our understanding of this his- 
tory, as well as of our current situation, by the study of topics such 
as inequality, exploitation and ethnicity. We can show that they are 
not part of some 'natural order', that they have not simply evolved in 
some preordained manner, and that thinking in terms of dichoto- 
mies such as equal/unequal, simple/complex and civilized/ 
uncivilized societies fails to do justice to the complexities of history, 
let alone the world order of the present day. However, it is also clear 
that we have much to do to change the embedded nature of Western 



thought on progress, social evolution, advancement and civilization. 
In facing up to this challenge, as well as to the issues of theory and 
practice that have been discussed in this book, the discipline of 
archaeology now has a full agenda for the twenty-first century. 



Abercrombie, N., Hill, S. and Turner, B. (1980) The Dominant Ideology Thesis, Lon- 
don: Allen & Unwin. 

Abrams, P. (1988) 'Notes on the difficulty of studying the state' , Journal of Historical 
Sociology, 1: 58-89. 

Alcina Franch, J. (1989) Arqueologia Antropologica, Madrid: Akal. 

Aldenderfer, M. (1993) 'Ritual, hierarchy and change in foraging societies' , Journal 
of Anthropological Archaeology, 12: 1-40. 

Almagro, M. and Arribas, A. (1963) El poblado y la necropolis megaliticos de Los 
Millares (Santa Fe de Mondujar, Almeria), Madrid: Bibliotheca Praehistorica 
Hispana 3. 

Andah, B. W. (1995) 'European encumbrances to the development of relevant the- 
ory in African archaeology', in P. J. Ucko (ed.) Theory in Archaeology: A World 
Perspective, London: Routledge, 96-109- 

Aranda Jimenez, G. (2001) El andlisis de la relacion forma-contenido de los conjuntos 
cerdmicos del yacimiento arqueologico del Cerro de la Encina (Granada, Espana), 
Oxford: British Archaeological Reports International Series 927. 

Araus, J. L., Buxo, R., Febrero, A., Camalich, M. D., Martin, D., Molina, F., Rod- 
riguez Ariza, Ma. O. and Voltas, J. (1997a) 'Identification of ancient irrigation 
practices based on the carbon isotope discrimination of plant seeds: a case 
study from the south-east Iberian peninsula', Journal of Archaeological Science, 24: 

Araus, J. L., Febrero, A., Buxo, R., Camalich, M. D., Martin, D., Molina, F, Rod- 
riguez Ariza, Ma. O. and Romagosa, I. (1997b) 'Changes in carbon isotope dis- 
crimination in cereal plants from different regions of the western Mediterranean 
Basin during the past seven millennia: palaeoenvironmental evidence of a differ- 
ential change in aridity', Global Change Biology, 3: 107—18. 

Arnold, J. E. (1992) 'Complex hunter-gatherer-fishers of prehistoric California: 
chiefs, specialists and maritime adaptations of the Channel Islands', American 
Antiquity, 57: 60-84. 

(1993) 'Labor and the rise of complex hunter-gatherers', Journal of Anthropo- 
logical Archaeology, 12: 75-119- 

(1995) 'Social inequality, marginalization and economic process', in T. D. 



Price and G. M. Feinman (eds) Foundations of Social Inequality, New York: 
Plenum, 87-103. 
(1996a) 'Organisational transformations: power and labor among complex 

hunter-gatherers and other intermediate societies', in J. E. Arnold (ed.) Emergent 
Complexity: The Evolution of Intermediate Societies, Ann Arbor, Mich.: International 
Monographs in Prehistory, 59—73. 

(1996b) 'The archaeology of complex hunter-gatherers', Journal of Archaeo- 
logical Method and Theory, 3: 77-126. 

(ed.) (1996c) Emergent Complexity: The Evolution of Intermediate Societies, Ann 

Arbor, Mich.: International Monographs in Prehistory. 

Arribas, A., Molina, F., Saez, L., de la Torre, F., Aguayo, P. and Najera, T (1979) 
'Excavaciones en Los Millares (Santa Fe, Almeria). Campanas de 1978 y 1979', 
Cuadernos de Prehistoria de la Universidad de Granada, 4: 61-1 10. 

Arribas, A., Molina, F, Saez, L., de la Torre, F., Aguayo, P. and Najera, T (1981) 
'Excavaciones en Los Millares (Santa Fe de Mondujar, Almeria): campana de 
1981', Cuadernos de Prehistoria de la Universidad de Granada, 6: 91-121. 

Arribas, A., Molina, F, Carrion, E, Contreras, F., Martinez, G, Ramos, A., Saez, L., 
de la Torre, F., Blanco, I. and Martinez, J. (1985) 'Informe preliminar de los 
resultados obtenidos durante la VI campana de excavaciones en la poblado de 
Los Millares (Santa Fe de Mondujar, Almeria) 1985', Anuario Arqueologico de 
Andalucia 1985: 245-62. 

Arteaga, O. (1992) 'Tribalizacion, jerarquizacion y estado en el territorio de El 
Argar', Spal, 1: 179-208. 

Audouze, E (1999) 'New advances in French prehistory', Antiquity, 73: 167—75. 

Barker, G. and Rasmussen, T (1998) The Etruscans, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. 

Barker, G. and Stoddart, S. (1994) 'The Bronze Age of Central Italy: c.2000-900 
bc', in C. Mathers and S. Stoddart (eds) Development and Decline in the Mediter- 
ranean Bronze Age, Sheffield: J. R. Collis Publications, 145—65. 

Barrera Morate, J. L., Martinez Navarrete, Ma. I., San Nicolas, M. and Vicent, J. M. 
(1987) 'El instrumental litico pulimentado calcolitico de la comarca noroeste de 
Murcia: algunas implicaciones socio-economicas del estudio de su petrologia y 
morfologia', Trabajos de Prehistoria, 44: 87—146. 

Barrett, J. C. (1988) 'Fields of discourse: reconstituting a social archaeology', 
Critique of Anthropology, 7: 5-16. 

Barth, F (1966) Models of Social Organisation, London: Royal Anthropological 
Institute Occasional Papers 23. 

Bate, L. F (1977) Arqueologia y materialismo historico, Mexico: Ediciones de Cultura 

(1978) Sociedad, formacion economico-social y cultura, Mexico: Ediciones de 

Cultura Popular. 

(1984) 'Hipotesis sobre la sociedad clasista inicial', Boletin de Antropologia 

Americana, 9: 47-86. 
(1998) El Proceso de Investigacion en arqueologia, Barcelona: Critica. 

Bawden, G. (1989) 'The Andean state as a state of mind', Journal of Anthropological 
Research, 45: 327-32. 



Bender, B. (1978) 'Gatherer-hunter to farmer: a social perspective', World Archae- 
ology, 10: 204-22. 

(1985) 'Prehistoric developments in the American midcontinent and in 

Brittany, northwest France', in T. D. Price and J. A. Brown (eds) Prehistoric 
Hunter-Gatherers , Orlando, Fla.: Academic Press, 21—57. 

(1989) 'The roots of inequality', in D. Miller, M. Rowlands and C. Tilley (eds) 

Domination and Resistance, London: Allen & Unwin, 83—95. 
(1990) 'The dynamics of nonhierarchical societies', in S. Upham (ed.) The 

Evolution of Political Systems: Sociopolitics in Small-scale Sedentary Societies, 
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 247—63. 

Bentley, G. R. (1991) A bioarchaeological reconstruction of the social and kinship 
systems at Early Bronze Age Bab edh-Dhra', Jordan', in S. A. Gregg (ed.) 
Between Bands and States, Carbondale: Center for Archaeological Investigations, 
Southern Illinois University, 5—34. 

Berlin, I. (1939) Karl Marx: His Life and Environment, Oxford: Oxford University 

Bernbeck, R. (1995) 'Lasting alliances and economic competition: economic devel- 
opments in early Mesopotamia', Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 14: 1—25. 

Berreman, G. D. (1981) 'Social inequality: a cross-cultural analysis', in G. D. 
Berreman (ed.) Social Inequality: Comparative and Developmental Approaches, New 
York: Academic Press, 3—40. 

Binford, L. R. (1968) 'Archeological perspectives', in L. R. Binford and S. R. Bin- 
ford (eds) New Perspectives in Archeology, New York and Chicago: Aldine, 5—32. 

(1972) An Archaeological Perspective, New York: Academic Press. 

(1977) 'General Introduction', in L. R. Binford (ed.) For Theory Building in 

Archaeology , New York: Academic Press, 1—10. 

(1981) 'Behavioral archaeology and the "Pompeii Premise'", Journal of 

Anthropological Research, 37(3): 195-208. 
(1989) Debating Archaeology , New York: Academic Press. 

Binford, L. R. and Binford, S. R. (eds) (1968) New Perspectives in Archaeology, 

Chicago: Aldine. 
Blanton, R. E., Feinman, G M., Kowalewski, S. A. and Peregrine, P. N. (1996) A 

dual-processual theory for the evolution of Mesoamerican civilization', Current 

Anthropology , 37: 1—14. 
Blanton, R.E., Kowalewski, S. A., Feinman, G. and Appel, J. (1981) Ancient 

Mesoamerica, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 
Bloch, M. (1985) Marxism and Anthropology, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
Boissevain, J. (1964) 'Factions, parties and politics in a Maltese village', American 

Anthropologist, 66: 1275-87. 
Bonanno, A., Gouder, T, Malone, C. and Stoddart, S. (1990) 'Monuments in an 

island society: the Maltese context', World Archaeology , 22: 190—205. 
Boone, J. L. and Alden Smith, E. (1998) 'Is it evolution yet? A critique of 

evolutionary archaeology', Current Anthropology, 39, Supplement: 141—73. 
Bourdieu, P. (1977) Outline of a Theory of Practice, Cambridge: Cambridge 

University Press. 



Braun, D. P. (1991) Are there cross-cultural regularities in tribal social prac- 
tices?', in S. A. Gregg (ed.) Between Bands and States, Carbondale: Centre for 
Archaeological Investigations, Southern Illinois University, 423—44. 

Braun, D. P. and Plog, S. (1982) 'Evolution of "tribal" social networks: theory and 
prehistoric North American evidence', American Antiquity, 47: 504—25. 

Brumfiel, E. (1995) 'Heterarchy and the analysis of complex societies: comments', in 
R. M. Ehrenreich, C. L. Crumley and J. E. Levy (eds) Heterarchy and the Analysis 
of Complex Societies, Arlington, Va.: American Anthropological Association, Arch- 
aeological Papers no. 6, 125—31. 

Buchli, V. (1995) 'Interpreting material culture: the trouble with text', in I. 
Hodder, M. Shanks, A. Alexandri, V. Buchli, J. Carmen, J. Last and G. Lucas 
(eds) Interpreting Archaeology ; London: Routledge, 181-93. 

Buikstra, J. and Hoshower, L. (unpublished) Analisis de los restos humanos de la 
necropolis de Gatas'. 

Buikstra, J. E., Castro, P. V., Chapman, R. W., Gonzalez Marcen, P., Hoshower, 
L. M., Lull, V., Picazo, M., Risch, R. and Sanahuja, Ma. E. (1995) Approaches to 
class inequalities in the later prehistory of south-east Iberia: the Gatas project', in 
K. Lillios (ed.) The Origins of Complex Societies in hate Prehistoric Iberia, Ann Arbor, 
Mich.: International Monographs in Prehistory, 153—86. 

Bunge, M. (1996) Finding Philosophy in Social Science, New Haven and London: Yale 
University Press. 

Burrow, J. W. (1968) Evolution and Society: A Study in Victorian Social Theory, 
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Buxo, R. (1997) Arqueologia de Las Plantas, Barcelona: Critica. 

Byrd, B. and Monahan, C. M. (1995) 'Death, mortuary ritual and Natufian social 
structure' , Journal of 'Anthropological Archaeology, 14: 251-87. 

Callinicos, A. (1987) Making History: Agency, Structure and Change in Social Theory, 
Cambridge: Polity Press. 

(2000) Equality, Cambridge: Polity Press. 

Camalich, M. D. and Martin Socas, D. (1999) El territorio almeriense desde los inicios 
de la production hasta fines de la antiguedad. Un modelo: la depresion de Vera y Cuenca del 
rio Almanzora, Seville: Junta de Andalucia. 

Camalich, M. D., Martin Socas, D., Gonzalez Quintero, P. and Mederos, A. (1987) 
'Prospeccion arqueologica superficial en la cuenca del bajo Almanzora (Almeria): 
informe provisional', Anuario Arqueologico de Andalucia 1986: 54—61. 

Camalich, M. D., Martin Socas, D., Gonzalez Quintero, P., Mederos, A. and Men- 
eses, M. D. (1990) 'Prospeccion arqueologica superficial en la cuenca del bajo 
Almanzora (Almeria): informe provisional de la campana de 1987', Anuario 
Arqueologico de Andalucia 1987: 33-6. 

Cara, L. and Rodriguez, J. M. (1986) 'Prospeccion arqueologica superficial del Valle 
Medio del Rio Andarax (Almeria)', Anuario Arqueologico de Andalucia 1986: 

Carmichael, P. H. (1995) 'Nasca burial patterns: social structure and mortuary 
ideology', in T. Dillehay (ed.) Tombs For The Living: Andean Mortuary Practices, 
Washington DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 161—87. 



Carneiro, R. L. (1998) 'What happened at the flashpoint? Conjectures on chiefdom 
formation at the very moment of conception', in E. M. Redmond (ed.) Chiefdoms 
and Chieftaincy in the Americas, Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 18—42. 

Carrilero, M. and Suarez, A. (1989—90) 'Ciavieja (El Ejido, Almeria): resultados 
obtenidos en las campanas de 1985 y 1986. El poblado de la Edad del Cobre', 
Cuadernos de Prehistoria de la Universidad de Granada, 14-15: 109-36. 

Carrion, F. and Gomez, M. T. (1983) Analisis petroarqueologico de los artefactos de 
piedra trabajada durante la prehistoria reciente en la provincia de Granada', 
Cuadernos de Prehistoria de la Universidad de Granada, 8: 447-77. 

Carrion, F., Alonso, J. M., Rull, E., Castilla, J., Ceprian, B., Martinez, J. L., Haro, 
M. and Manzano, A. (1993) 'Los recursos abioticos y los sistemas de aprovision- 
amiento de rocas por las comunidades prehistoricas del S.E. de la peninsula 
iberica durante la prehistoria reciente', in Investigaciones Arqueologicas en Andalucia 
1985-92: Proyectos: Huelva: Junta de Andalucia, 295-309, 

Castro, P. V., Chapman, R. W., Gonzalez Marcen, P., Lull, V., Mico, R., Picazo, M., 
Risch, R. and Sanahuja, Ma. E. (1991) 'Informe preliminar de la tercera campana 
de excavaciones en el yacimiento de Gatas (Turre, Almeria), Septiembre 1989', 
Anuario Arqueologico de Andalucia 1989: 219-26. 

Castro, P. V., Chapman, R. W., Gonzalez Marcen, P., Lull, V., Mico, R., Picazo, M., 
Risch, R. and Sanahuja, Ma. E. (1993) '4 a campana de excavaciones en el 
yacimiento de Gatas (Turre, Almeria). Septiembre 1991', Anuario Arqueologico de 
Andalucia 1991: 17-23. 

Castro, P. V., Lull, V. and Mico, R. (1993) Arqueologia: algo mas que tafonomia', 
Arqueologia Espacial , 16-17: 19-28. 

Castro, P. V., Chapman, R. W., Gili, S., Lull, V., Mico, R., Rihuete, C, Risch, R. 
and Sanahuja, Ma. E. (1993—4) "Tiempos sociales de los contextos funerarios 
argaricos', Anales de Prehistoria de la Universidad de Murcia, 9-10: 77—107. 

Castro, P. V., Colomer, E., Courty, M. A., Federoff, N., Gili, S., Gonzalez Marcen, 
P.Jones, M. K., Lull, V., McGlade, J., Mico, R., Monton, S., Rihuete, C, Risch, 
R., Ruiz Parra, M., Sanahuja Yll, Ma. E. and Tenas, M. (eds) (1994) Temporalities 
and Desertification in the Vera Basin, South-east Spain, Brussels: Archaeomedes 
Project vol. 2. 

Castro, P. V., Chapman, R. W., Gili, S., Lull, V., Mico, R., Rihuete, C, Risch, R. 
and Sanahuja, Ma. E. (1996a) 'Teoria de las practicas sociales', Complutum, Extra 
6, Vol II. Homenaje al Profesor Manuel Fernandez-Miranda, 35—48. 

Castro, P. V., Lull, V. and Mico, R. (1996b) Cronologia de la prehistoria reciente de la 
peninsula iberica y Baleares (c. 2800— 900 cal a.n.e), Oxford: BAR International 
Series 652. 

Castro, P. V., Gili, S., Lull, V., Mico, R., Rihuete, C, Risch, R. and Sanahuja Yll, 
Ma. E. (1998a) 'Teoria de la produccion de la vida social: Mecanismos de 
explotacion en el sudeste iberico', Boletin de Antropologia Americana, 33: 25-77. 

Castro, P. V., Chapman, R. W., Gili, S., Lull, V., Mico, R., Rihuete, C, Risch, R. 
and Sanahuja, Ma. E. (1998b) Aguas Project: Palaeoclimatic Reconstruction and the 
Dynamics of Human Settlement and Land Use in the Area of the Middle Aguas (Alm- 
eria) in the South-east of the Iberian Peninsula, Luxembourg: European Commission. 



Castro, P. V., Chapman, R. W., Gili, S., Lull, V., Mico, R., Rihuete, C, Risch, R. 
and Sanahuja, Ma. E. (1999a) Proyecto Gatas 2: la dindmica arqueoecologica de la 
ocupacion prehistorica , Seville: Junta de Andalucia. 

Castro, P. V., Chapman, R. W., Gili, S., Lull, V, Mico, R., Rihuete, C, Risch, R. 
and Sanahuja, Ma. E. (1999b) 'Agricultural production and social change in the 
Bronze Age of south-east Spain: the Gatas Project', Antiquity, 73: 846—56. 

Castro, P. V., Chapman, R. W., Gili, S., Lull, V., Mico, R., Rihuete, C, Risch, R. 
and Sanahuja, Ma. E. (2000) Archaeology and desertification in the Vera Basin 
(Almerfa, South-east Spain)', European J ournal of Archaeology , 3(2): 147—66. 

Castro, P. V., Chapman, R. W., Gili, S., Lull, V., Mico, R., Rihuete, C, Risch, R. 
and Sanahuja, Ma. E. (in press) '5 a campana de excavaciones en el yacimiento de 
Gatas (Turre, Almeria) 1995', Anuario ArqueoUgico de Andalucia. 

Cazzella, A. and Moscoloni, M. (1999) 'The walled Bronze Age settlement of Coppa 
Nevigata, Manfredonia and the development of craft specialisation in south- 
eastern Italy', in R. H. Tykot, J. Morter and J. E. Robb (eds) Social Dynamics of 
the Prehistoric Central Mediterranean, London: Accordia Specialist Studies on the 
Mediterranean 3, 205—16. 

Chapman, R. (1978) 'The evidence for prehistoric water control in south-east 
Spain' , J 'ournal of Arid 'Environments, 1: 261—74. 

(1981) Archaeological theory and communal burial in prehistoric Europe', in 

I. Hodder, G. Isaac and N. Hammond (eds) Pattern of the Past: Studies in Honour of 
David Clarke, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 387-411. 

(1982) Autonomy, ranking and resources in Iberian prehistory', in C. Ren- 

frew and S. Shennan (eds) Ranking, Resource and Exchange, Cambridge: Cambridge 
University Press, 46—51. 

(1990) Emerging Complexity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Chapman, R. and Grant, A. (1997) 'Prehistoric subsistence and monuments in 
Mallorca', in M. S. Balmuth, A. Gilman and L. Prados-Torreira (eds) Encounters 
and Transformations: The Archaeology of Iberia in Transition, Sheffield: Sheffield 
Academic Press, 69-87. 

Chapman, R., Lull, V., Picazo, M. and Sanahuja, Ma. E. (eds) (1987) Proyecto Gatas: 
sociedad y economia en el sudeste de Espana c. 2500-800 a.n.e. 1. La prospeccion arque- 
oecologica, Oxford: British Archaeological Report International Series 348. 

Cherry, J. F. (1978) 'Generalization and the archaeology of the state', in M. Green, 
C. Haselgrove and M. Spriggs (eds) Social Organisation and Settlement, Oxford: 
British Archaeological Reports 47, 411—37. 

Childe, V. G. (1936) Man Makes Himself, London: Watts. 

(1942) What Happened in History, Harmondsworth: Penguin. 

(1951) Social Evolution, London: Fontana. 

Chowning, A. (1979) 'Leadership in Melanesia' , Journal of Pacific History, 14: 66-84. 

Claessen, H. J. M. and Skalnik, P. (eds) (1978) The Early State, The Hague: Mouton. 

Clapham, A. J., Jones, M. K., Reed, J. and Tenas, M. (1999) Analisis carpologico 
del proyecto Gatas', in P. V. Castro, R. W. Chapman, S. Gili, V. Lull, R. Mico, C. 
Rihuete, R. Risch and Ma. E. Sanahuja, Proyecto Gatas 2: la dindmica arque- 
oecologica de la ocupacion prehistorica, Seville: Junta de Andalucia, 311-19. 



Clark, J. E. (1993) 'Una reevaluacion de la entitad politica olmeca: imperio, estado 

o cacicazgo', Segundo y Tercer Foro de Arqueologia de Chiapas: 159-69, Chiapas: 

Instituto Chiapaneco de Cultura. 
(1997) 'The arts of government in early Mesoamerica', Annual Review of 

Anthropology, 26: 211—34. 
Clark, J. E. and Blake, M. (1994) 'The power of prestige: competitive generosity 

and the emergence of rank societies in lowland Mesoamerica', in E. M. Brumfiel 

and J.W.Fox (eds) Factional Competition and Political Development in the New World, 

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 17—30. 
Clarke, D. L. (1968) Analytical Archaeology, London: Methuen. 

(ed.) (1972) Models in Archaeology , London: Methuen. 

(1973) 'Archaeology: the loss of innocence', Antiquity, 47: 6-18. 

Clemente, I., Gibaja, J. F. and Vila, A. (1999) 'Analisis funcional de la industria 

litica tallada procedente de los sondeos de Gatas', in P. V. Castro et al., Proyecto 

Gatas 2: la dindmica arqueoecologica de la ocupacion prehistorica, Seville: Junta de 

Andalucia, 341-47. 
Cohen, A. P. (1974) Two-Dimensional Man: An Essay on the Anthropology of Power and 

Symbolism in Complex Societies, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. 
Contreras, F. (2000) Proyecto Peiialosa: analisis historico de las comunidades de la Fdad 

del Bronce del piedemonte meridional de Sierra Morena y depresion Linares-Bailen, 

Seville: Junta de Andalucia. 
Contreras, F., Capel, J., Esquivel, J. A., Molina, F. and de la Torre, F. (1987—8) 'Las 

ajuares ceramicas de la necropolis argarica de la Cuesta del Negro (Purullena, 

Granada): avance al estudio analitica y estadistico', Cuadernos de Prehistoria de la 

Universidad de Granada, 12-13: 135-55. 
Contreras, F., Camara, J. A., Lizcano, R., Perez, C, Robledo, B. and Trancho, G. 

(1995) 'Enterramientos y diferenciacion social 1: El registro funerario del 

yacimiento de la Edad del Bronce de Penalosa (Banos de la Encina, Jaen)', Traba- 

jos de Prehistoria, 52(1): 87-108. 
Cordy, R. H. (1974) 'Complex rank cultural systems in the Hawaiian Islands: 

suggested explanations for their origins', Archaeology and Physical Anthropology in 

Oceania, 10: 89-109- 
(1981) A Study of Prehistoric Social Change: The Development of Complex Societies 

in the Hawaiian Islands, New York: Academic Press. 
Coudart, A. (1999) 'Is post-processualism bound to happen everywhere? The 

French case', Antiquity, 73: 161-7. 
Courty, M. A. and Fedoroff, N. (1999) 'Analisis de micromorfologia de suelos del 

yacimiento de Gatas (Espana): resultados preliminares', in P. V. Castro et al., 

Proyecto Gatas 2: la dindmica arqueoecologica de la ocupacion prehistorica, Seville: 

Junta de Andalucia, 291—6. 
Creamer, W. and Haas, J. (1985) 'Tribe versus chiefdom in lower central America', 

American Antiquity , 50: 738-54. 
Crumley, C. L. (1979) 'Three locational models: an epistemological assessment for 

anthropology and archaeology', in M. B. Schiffer (ed.) Advances in Archaeological 

Method and Theory, 2, New York: Academic Press, 141—73. 



Cruz-Aunon, R. and Arteaga, O. (1995) Acerca de un campo de silos y un foso de 
cierre prehistoricos ubicados en "La Estacada Larga" (Valencina de la Concepcion, 
Sevilla): excavacion de urgencia de 1995', Anuario ArqueoUgico de Andalucia 1995: 

Delibes, G., Fernandez-Miranda, M., Fernandez-Posse, Ma. D. and Martin Morales, 
C. (1986) 'El poblado de Almizaraque', in Homenaje a Luis Siret 1934—84, Seville: 
Junta de Andalucia, 165—77. 

Delibes, G, Fernandez-Miranda, M., Fernandez-Posse, Ma. D., Martin, C, Rovira, 
S. and Sanz, M. (1989) Almizaraque (Almeria): mineria y metalurgia calcoliticas 
en el sureste de la peninsula iberica', in Mineria y Metalurgia en las Antiguas 
Civilizaaones Mediterraneas y Europeas, 1: 81-94. 

Delibes, G., Herran Martinez, J. I., Santiago Pardo, J. de and Val Recio, J. del 
(1995) 'Evidence for social complexity in the Copper Age of the Northern 
Meseta', in K. T. Lillios (ed.) The Origins of Complex Societies in Late Prehistoric 
Iberia, Ann Arbor, Mich.: International Monographs in Prehistory, 44—63. 

Delibes, G., Diaz-Andreu, M., Fernandez-Posse, Ma. D. Martin, C, Montero, I., 
Munoz, I. and Ruiz, A. (1996) 'Poblamiento y desarrollo cultural en la cuenca de 
Vera durante la prehistoria reciente', in Homenaje al Profesor Manuel Fernandez- 
Miranda Vol. I. Complutum Extra: 153-70. 

DeMarrais, E., Castillo, L. J. and Earle, T. (1996) 'Ideology, materialization and 
power strategies', Current Anthropology , 37: 15-32. 

Dever, L. (1998) 'Isotopic studies of secondary carbonates', in P. V. Castro et al., 
Aguas Project: P alaeoclimatic Reconstruction and the Dynamics of Human Settlement and 
Land-use in the Area of the Middle Aguas (Almeria), in the south-east of the Iberian 
Peninsula, Luxembourg: European Commission, 42—3. 

Diaz-Andreu, M. (1993) 'Las sociedades complejas del Calcolitico y Edad del 
Bronce en la peninsula iberica', / Congresso de Arqueologia Peninsular: Actas 1: 

(1995) 'Complex societies in Copper and Bronze Age Iberia: a reappraisal', 

Oxford Journal of Archaeology, 14: 23-39- 

Dobres, M-A. and Robb, J. E. (2000) Agency in Archaeology , London: Routledge. 

Dolukhanov, P. M. (1995) Archaeology in Russia and its impact on archaeological 
theory', in P. J. Ucko (ed.) Theory in Archaeology: A World Perspective, London: 
Routledge, 327-42. 

Donner, W. (1988) 'Context and community: equality and social change in a Poly- 
nesian outlier', in J. G. Flanagan and S. Rayner (eds) Pules, Decisions and Inequal- 
ity in Egalitarian Societies, Aldershot: Avebury, 145-63. 

Douglas, B. (1979) 'Rank, power and authority: a reassessment of traditional 
leadership in South Pacific societies' ', Journal of Pacific History, 14: 2-27. 

Drennan, R. D. (1987) 'Regional demography in chiefdoms', in R. D. Drennan and 
C. Uribe (eds) Chiefdoms in the Americas, Lanham, Md: University Press of Amer- 
ica, 307-23. 

(1991) 'Pre-Hispanic chiefdom trajectories in Mesoamerica, Central America 

and northern South America', in T. Earle (ed.) Chiefdoms: Power, Economy and 
Ideology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 263-87. 



(1992) 'What is the archaeology of chiefdoms about?', in L. Embree (ed.) 

Metaarchaeology , Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 53-74. 
Drennan, R. D. and Uribe, C. (eds) (1987) Chiefdoms in the Americas, Lanham, Md: 

University Press of America. 
Driesch, A. voadea(l972)Osteoarchd'ologischeUntersuchungenaufderIberischenHalbinsel, 

Munich: Studien iiber friihe Tierknochenfunde von der Iberischen Halbinsel 3. 
Driesch, A. von den and Morales, A. (1977) 'Los restos animales del yacimiento de 

Terrera Ventura (Tabernas, Almeria)', Cuadernos de Prehistoria y Arqueologia de la 

U niversidad Autonoma de Madrid, 4: 15-34. 
Dunnell, R. C. (1980) 'Evolutionary theory and archaeology', Advances in Archaeo- 
logical Method and Theory, 3: 35-99- 
Earle, T. (1978) Economic and Social Organization of a Complex Chief dom: The Haleka 

District, Kaua'I, Hawaii, Anthropological Papers of the Museum of Anthropology 

63. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan. 
(1987) 'Chiefdoms in archaeological and ethnohistorical perspective', Annual 

Review of Anthropology , 16: 279-308. 
(1991a) 'Toward a behavioral archaeology', in R. W. Preucel (ed.) Processual 

and Postprocessual Archaeologies: Multiple Ways of Knowing the Past, Carbondale: 

Southern Illinois University, 83- 95. 
(ed.) (1991b) Chiefdoms: Power, Economy and Ideology, Cambridge: Cambridge 

University Press. 
(1991c) 'The evolution of chiefdoms', in T Earle (ed.) Chiefdoms: Power, Econ- 
omy and Ideology , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1-15. 
(1997) How Chiefs Came to Power: The Political Economy in Prehistory, Stanford: 

Stanford University Press. 

Emerson, T E. (1997) Cahokia and the Archaeology of Power, Tuscaloosa: University of 
Alabama Press. 

Engels, F. (1972) The Origins of the Family, Private Property and the State, London: 
Lawrence & Wishart. 

Estevez, J., Gasull, P., Lull, V., Sanahuja, Ma. E. and Vila, A. (1984) Arqueologia 
como arqueologia. Propuesta para una terminologia operativa', in Primeras Jorna- 
das de Metodologia de Investigation Prehistorica, Soria 1981, Madrid: Ministerio de 
Cultura, 21-8. 

Feinman, G. M. (1991) 'Demography, surplus and inequality: early political forma- 
tions in highland Mesoamerica', in T Earle (ed.) Chiefdoms: Power, Economy and 
Ideology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 229—62. 

(1998) 'Scale and social organization: perspectives on the Archaic State', in 

G M. Feinman and J. Marcus (eds) Archaic States, Santa Fe, NM: School of 
American Research Press, 95—133. 

Feinman, G M. and Neitzel, J. (1984) 'Too many types: an overview of seden- 
tary prestate societies in the Americas', Advances in Archaeological Method and 
Theory, 7: 39-102. 

Fernandez-Miranda, M., Fernandez-Posse, Ma. D., Gilman, A. and Martin, C. 
(1993) 'El sustrato neolitico en la cuenca de Vera (Almeria)', Trabajos de Prehisto- 
ria, 50: 57-85. 



Flanagan, J. G. (1988) 'The cultural construction of equality in the New Guinea 

Highlands', in J. G. Flanagan and S. Rayner (eds) Rules, Decisions and Inequality in 

Egalitarian Societies, Aldershot: Avebury, 164-80. 
(1989) 'Hierarchy in simple "egalitarian" societies', Annual Review of 

Anthropology, 18: 245-66. 
Flanagan, J. G. and Rayner, S. (1988)' Introduction', in J. G. Flanagan and S. 

Rayner (eds) Rules, Decisions and Inequality in Egalitarian Societies, Aldershot: 

Avebury, 1-19 
Flannery, K. V. (1972) 'The cultural evolution of civilisations', Annual Review of 

Ecology and Systematics, 3: 339-426. 
(1973) Archaeology with a capital "S"', in C. L. Redman (ed.) Research and 

Theory in Current Archaeology , New York: John Wiley & Sons, 47—53. 
(1999) 'The ground plans of archaic states', in G. M. Feinman and J. Marcus 

(eds) Archaic States , Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press, 15—57. 
Flannery, K. V. and Marcus, J. (2000) 'Formative Mexican chiefdoms and the myth 

of the "Mother Culture" ', Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 19: 1-37. 
Forenbaher, S. (1998) 'Production and exchange during the Portuguese Chalco- 

lithic: the case of bifacial flaked stone industries', Trabajos de Prehistoria, 55(2): 

Fortes, M. and Evans-Pritchard, E. E. (eds) (1940) African Political Systems, London: 

Oxford University Press. 
French, C, Passmore, D. and Schiilte, L. (1998) Geomorphological, erosion and 

edaphic processes', In P. V. Castro et al., Aguas Project: Palaeoclimatic Reconstruction 

and the Dynamics of Human Settlement and Land-use in the Area of the Middle Aguas 

(Almeria), in the south-east of the Iberian Peninsula, Luxembourg: European 

Commission, 45—52. 
Fried, M. H. (1967) The Evolution of Political Society, New York: Random House. 
Friedman, J. (1975) 'Tribes, states and transformations', in M. Bloch (ed.) Marxist 

Analyses and Social Anthropology, London: Malaby Press, 161—202. 
Friedman, J. and Rowlands, M. J. (1978) 'Notes towards an epigenetic model of 

the evolution of "civilisation"', in J. Friedman and M. J. Rowlands (eds) The 

Evolution of Social Systems, London: Duckworth, 201-76. 
Funari, P. P. A. (1995) 'Mixed features of archaeological theory in Brazil', in P. J. 

Ucko (ed.) Theory in Archaeology: A World Perspective, London: Routledge, 236—50. 
(1999) 'Brazilian archaeology: a reappraisal', in G. G. Politis and B. Alberti 

(eds) Archaeology in Latin America, London: Routledge, 17-37. 
Gailey, C. W. (1987) Kinship to Kingship: Gender Hierarchy and State Formation in the 

Tongan Islands, Austin: University of Texas Press. 
Gailey, C. W. and Patterson, T. C. (1987) 'Power relations and state formation', in 

T C. Patterson and C. W. Gailey (eds) Power Relations and State Formation, 

Washington DC: American Anthropological Association, 1—26. 
(1988) 'State formation and uneven development', in J. Gledhill, B. Bender 

and M. T Larsen (eds) State and Society: The Emergence and Development of Social 

Hierarchy and Political Centralisation, London: Unwin & Hyman, 77—90. 
Gall, P. L. and Saxe, A. A. (1977) 'The ecological evolution of culture: the state as 



predator in succession theory', in T. K. Earle and T. K. Ericson (eds) Exchange 
Systems in Prehistory, New York: Academic Press, 255—68. 

Gandara, M. (1982) 'La "vieja" nueva arqueologiV, in Teorias, me'todos y tecnicas en 
arqueologia, Mexico: Reimpresiones del Boletin de Antropologia Americana, 

Garcia Sanjuan, L. (1999) 'Expressions of inequality: settlement patterns, economy 
and social organization in the southwest Iberian Bronze Age (c. 1700— 1100 Be)', 
Antiquity, 73: 337-51. 

Gasull, P., Lull, V. and Sanahuja, Ma. E. (1984) Son Pomes 1: La fase Talayotica: 
ensayo de reconstruction socio-economico de una comunidad prehistorica de la isla de Mal- 
lorca, Oxford: British Archaeological Reports 209. 

Gerlach, L. P. and Gerlach, U. M. (1988) 'Egalitarianism, collectivism and indi- 
vidualism: the Digo of Kenya', in J. G. Flanagan and S. Rayner (eds) Rules, 
Decisions and Inequality in Egalitarian Societies, Aldershot: Avebury, 113-44. 

Gero, J. M. (2000) 'Troubled travels in agency and feminism', in M-A. Dobres and 
J. E. Robb (eds) Agency in Archaeology , London: Routledge, 34—9- 

Giddens, A. (1979) Central Problems in Social Theory, London: Macmillan. 

(1982) Profiles and Critiques in Social Theory, London; Macmillan. 

Oilman, A. (1976) 'Bronze Age dynamics in south-east Spain', Dialectical Anthro- 
pology, 1: 307-19. 

(1981) 'The development of social stratification in Bronze Age Europe', 

Current Anthropology, 22: 1—23- 

(1987a) 'Regadio y conflicto en sociedades acefalas', Boletin del Seminario de 

Estudios de Arte y Arqueologia, liii: 59-72. 
(1987b) 'Unequal developments in Copper Age Iberia', in E. M. Brumfiel 

and T. K. Earle (eds) Specialization, Exchange and Complex Societies, Cambridge: 

Cambridge University Press, 22—9. 
(1989) 'Marxism in American archaeology', in C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky 

(ed.) Archaeological Thought in America, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 

(1991) 'Trajectories towards social complexity in the later prehistory of 

the Mediterranean', in T Earle (ed.) Chiefdoms: Power, Economy and Ideology, 

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 146—68. 
(1995) 'Prehistoric European chiefdoms: rethinking "Germanic" societies', in 

T. D. Price and G. M. Feinman (eds) Foundations of Social Inequality, New York: 

Plenum Press, 235—51. 
(1997) 'Como valorar los sistemas de propiedad a partir de datos arqueologi- 

cos', Trabajos de Prehistoria, 54(2): 81-92. 
(1998) 'The Communist manifesto, 150 years later', Antiquity, 72: 910—13. 

Oilman, A. and Thornes, J. B. (1985) Land-use and Prehistory in South-east Spain, 

London: George Allen & Unwin. 
Gledhill, J. (1988) 'Introduction: the comparative analysis of social and political 

transitions', in J. Gledhill, B. Bender and M. Trolle Larsen (eds) State and Society: 

The Emergence and Development of Social Hierarchy and Political Centralisation, 

London: Unwin Hyman, 1—29. 



Godelier, M. (1982) 'Social hierarchies among the Baruya of New Guinea', in 
A. Strathern (ed.) Inequality in New Guinea Highlands Societies, Cambridge: 
Cambridge University Press, 3—34. 

Goni Quintero, A., Rodriguez, A., Camalich, Ma. D., Martin, D. and Francisco, 
Ma. I. (1999) 'La tecnologia de los elementos de adorno personal en materias 
minerales durante el Neolitico Medio: El ejemplo del poblado de Cabecicos 
Negros (Almeria)', Saguntum Extra, 2: 163-70. 

Gonzalez Marcen, P. and Risch, R. (1990) Archaeology and historical materialism: 
outsider's reflections on theoretical discussion in British archaeology', in F. Baker 
and J. Thomas (eds) Writing the Past in the Present, Lampeter: St David's Uni- 
versity College, 94-104. 

Gonzalez Marcen, P., Lull, V. and Risch, R. (1992) Arqueologia de Europa, 2250— 
1200 AC: una introduccion a la 'Edad del Bronce, Madrid: Editorial Sintesis. 

Goody, J. (1977) 'Population and polity in the Voltaic region', in J. Friedman and 
M.J. Rowlands (eds) The Evolution of Social Systems, London: Duckworth, 535-46. 

Gosden, C. (1999) Anthropology and Archaeology: A Changing Relationship, London: 

Gosse, G (1941) 'Aljoroque, estacion neoh'tica inicial de la provincia de Almeria', 
Ampurias, 3: 63-84. 

Greenwood, D. (1988) 'Egalitarianism or solidarity in Basque industrial coopera- 
tives: the FAGOR Group of Mondragon', in J. G Flanagan and S. Rayner 
(eds) Rules, Decisions and Inequality in Egalitarian Societies, Aldershot: Avebury, 

Gregg, S. A. (ed.) (1991) Between Bands and States, Carbondale: Center for 
Archaeological Investigations, Southern Illinois University. 

Grove, D. C. (1997) 'Olmec archaeology: a half century of research and its 
accomplishments', Journal of World Prehistory, 11: 51-101. 

Guidi, A. (1988) 'The development of prehistoric archaeology in Italy: a short 
review', Acta Archaeologica, 58: 237-47. 

(1996) 'Processual and postprocessual trends in Italian archaeology', in A. 

Bietti, A. Cazzella, I. Johnson and A. Voorips (eds) Theoretical and Methodological 
Problems, Forli: ABACO, 29-36. 

Gusi, F. and Olaria, C. (1991) El poblado neoeneoh'tico de Terrera Ventura (Tabernas, 
Almeria), Madrid: Excavaciones Arqueologicas en Espana 160. 

Haas, J., Pozorski, S. and Pozorski, T. (eds) (1987) The Origins and Development of the 
Andean State, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Hall, R. L. (1991) 'Cahokia identity and interaction models of Cahokia Mississip- 
pian', in T E. Emerson and R. B. Lewis (eds) Cahokia and the Hinterlands: Middle 
Mississippian Cultures of the Midwest, Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois 
Press, 3-34. 

Halstead, P. and O'Shea, J. (1982) '"A friend in need is a friend indeed": social 
storage and the origins of ranking', in C. Renfrew and S. Shennan (eds) Ranking, 
Resource and Exchange, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 92-9- 

Harris, E. C. (1989) Principles of Archaeological Stratigraphy , London: Academic 



Harris, M. (1968) The Rise of Anthropological Theory, New York: Crowell. 

Harrison, R. J. and Oilman, A. (1977)' Trade in the second and third millennia BC 

between the Maghreb and Iberia', in V. Markotic (ed.) Ancient Europe and the 

Mediterranean, Warminster: Aris and Phillips, 89—104. 
Harrison, R. J. and Orozco-KShler, T. (2001) 'Beyond characterisation: polished 

stone exchange in the Western Mediterranean 5500—2000 Be', Oxford Journal of 

Archaeology, 20(2): 107-27. 
Harvey, D. (1989) The Condition of Posttnodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of 

Cultural Change, Oxford: Blackwell. 
Hastorf, C. A. (1990) 'One path to the heights: negotiating political inequality in 

the Sausa of Peru', in S.Upham (ed.) The Evolution of Political Systems: Sociopolitics 

in Small-scale Sedentary Societies, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 

Hawkes, C. (1954) Archaeological theory and method', American Anthropologist, 56: 

Headland, T. N. and Reid, L. A. (1989) 'Hunter gatherers and their neighbours 

from prehistory to the present', Current Anthropology , 30: 43—66. 
Helms, M. W. (1979) Ancient Panama: Chiefs in Search of Power, Austin: University 

of Texas Press. 
Hernando, A. (1987) 'Evolucion cultural differencial del calcolitico entre las zonas 

aridas y humedas del sureste espanol', Trabajos de Prehistoria, 44: 171-200. 
(1997) 'The funerary world and the dynamics of change in south-east 

Spain (fourth— second millennia Be)', in M. Diaz-Andreu and S. Keay (eds) The 

Archaeology of Iberia: The Dynamics of Change, London: Routledge, 85-97. 
Hertz, N. (2001) The Silent Takeover: Global Capitalism and the Death of Democracy, 

London: William Heinemann. 
Hodder, I. (1982a) Symbols in Action, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 
(ed.) (1982b) Symbolic and Structural Archaeology, Cambridge: Cambridge 

University Press. 

(1986) Reading the Past, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

(1988) 'Material culture texts and social change: a theoretical discussion and 

some archaeological examples', Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society , 54: 61—16. 

(ed.) (1991a) Archaeological Theory in Europe, London: Routledge. 

(1991b) 'Postprocessual archaeology and the current debate', in R. W Preucel 

(ed.) Processual and Postprocessual Archaeologies: Multiple Ways of Knowing the Past, 

Carbondale: Southern Illinois University, 30—41. 
(1996a) 'Comments on "Agency, Ideology and Power in Archaeological 

Theory"', Current Anthropology, 37: 57—9- 
(ed.) (1996b) On The Surface: Catalhoyuk 1993-95, Cambridge: McDonald 

Institute for Archaeological Research. 
(1997) "Always momentary, fluid and flexible": towards a reflexive 

excavation methodology', Antiquity, 71: 691-700. 

(1999) The Archaeological Process, Oxford: Blackwell. 

(2000) Agency and individuals in long-term process', in M-A. Dobres and 

J. E. Robb (eds) Agency in Archaeology , London: Routledge, 21-33. 



(2001) 'Introduction: a review of contemporary theoretical debates in archae- 
ology', in I. Hodder (ed.) Archaeological Theory Today, Cambridge: Polity Press, 

Hoffmann, G. (1988) Holozdnstratigraphie und Kiistenlinienverlagerung an der Andalu- 
sischen Mittelmeerkuste, Bremen: Universitat Bremen. 

Holtorf, C. and Karlsson, H. (2000) 'Changing configurations of archaeological the- 
ory: an introduction', in C. Holtorf and H. Karlsson (eds) Philosophy and Archaeo- 
logical Practice. Perspectives for the 21st Century, GSteborg: Bricoleur Press, 1—11. 

Hopf, M. (1991) 'Kulturpflanzenreste aus der Sammlung Siret in Briissel', in H. 
Schubart and H. Ulreich, Die Funde der siidostspanischen Bronzezeit aus der 
Sammlung Siret, Madrider Beitrage 17, Mainz: Philipp von Zabern, 397—431. 

Hunt, R. C. and Gilman, A. (eds) (1998) Property in Economic Context, Lanham, Md: 
University Press of America. 

Hurtado, V. (1997) 'The dynamics of the occupation of the middle basin of the river 
Guadiana between the fourth and second millennia Be', in M. Diaz-Andreu and 
S. Keay (eds) The Archaeology of Iberia. The Dynamics of Change, London: 
Routledge, 98-127. 

Hutterer, K. L. (1991) 'Losing track of the tribes: evolutionary sequences in south- 
east Asia', in A. T. Rambo and K. Gillogly (eds) Profiles in Cultural Evolution, Ann 
Arbor, Mich.: Museum of Anthropology, 219^6. 

Isbell, W. H. and Schreiber, K. J. (1978) 'Was Huari a state?', American Antiquity, 
43: 372-89. 

Jimenez Brobeil, S. A. and Garcia Sanchez, M. (1989—90) 'Estudio de los restos 
humanos de la Edad del Bronce del Cerro de la Encina (Monachil, Granada)', 
Cuadernos de Prehistoria de la Universidad de Granada, 14-15: 157-80. 

Johnson, G. A. (1978) 'Information sources and the development of decision- 
making organisations', in C. Redman et al. (eds) Social Archaeology: Beyond Subsist- 
ence and Dating, New York: Academic Press, 87—112. 

(1982) 'Organizational structure and scalar stress', in C. Renfrew, M. J. Row- 
lands and B. A. Segraves (eds) Theory and Explanation in Archaeology , New York: 
Academic Press, 389-421. 

Johnson, M. (1989) 'Conceptions of agency in archaeological interpretation', Journal 
of Anthropological Archaeology , 8: 189-211. 

(1999) Archaeological Theory: An Introduction, Oxford: Blackwell. 

Jones, S. (1981) 'Institutionalised inequalities in Nuristan', in G D. Berreman (ed.) 
Social Inequality: Comparative and Developmental Approaches, New York: Academic 
Press, 151-62. 

Jorge, V. and Oliveira Jorge, S. (1995) 'Theoretical underpinnings of Portuguese 
archaeology in the twentieth century', in P. J. Ucko (ed.) Theory in Archaeology: A 
World Perspective, London: Routledge, 251—62. 

Kalb, P. and Hock, M. (1997) 'O povoado fortificado calcolitico do Monte da Ponte, 
Evora', // Congresso de Arqueologia Peninsular, vol. II, Zamora: Fundacion Rey 
Afonso Henriques, 417—23. 

Kaplan, H. and Hill, K. (1985) 'Hunting ability and reproductive success among 
male Ache foragers: Preliminary results', Current Anthropology, 26(1): 131—3. 



Keech Mcintosh, S. (1999a) 'Pathways to complexity: an African perspective', in 
S. Keech Mcintosh (ed.) Beyond Chiefdoms: Pathways to Complexity in Africa, 
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1—30. 

(ed.) (1999b) Beyond Chiefdoms: Pathways to Complexity in Africa, Cambridge: 

Cambridge University Press. 

(1999c) 'Modeling political organization in large-scale settlement clusters: a 

case study from the Inland Niger Delta', in S. Keech Mcintosh (ed.) Beyond 

Chiefdoms: Pathways to Complexity in Africa, Cambridge: Cambridge University 

Press, 66-79. 
Keene, A. S. (1991) 'Cohesion and contradiction in the communal mode of produc- 
tion: the lessons of the kibbutz', in S. A. Gregg (ed.) Between Bands and States, 

Carbondale: Center for Archaeological Investigations, Southern Illinois 

University, 376-94. 
Keesing, R. M. (1987) 'Ta'a geni: women's perspectives on Kwaio society', in M. 

Strathern (ed.) Dealing with Inequality: Analysing Gender Relations in Melanesia and 

Beyond, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 33—62. 
Kehoe, A. B. (1998) Thehand of Prehistory: A Critical History of American Archaeology , 

London: Routledge. 
Kinehan, J. (1995) 'Theory, practice and criticism in the history of Namibian 

archaeology', in P. J. Ucko (ed.) Theory in Archaeology: A World Perspective, London: 

Routledge, 76-95. 
Kirch, P. (1991) 'Chiefship and competitive involution: the Marquesas Islands of 

eastern Polynesia', in T. Earle (ed.) Chiefdoms: Power, Economy and Ideology, 

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 119—45. 
Kirk, T. (1991) 'Structure, agency and power relations "chez les derniers chasseurs- 

cueilleurs" of northwestern France', in R. W. Preucel (ed.) Processual and Postproc- 

essual Archaeologies: Multiple Ways of Knowing the Past, Carbondale: Southern 

Illinois University, 108—25. 
(1993) 'Space, subjectivity, power and hegemony: megaliths and long 

mounds in earlier Neolithic Brittany', in C. Tilley (ed.) Interpretative Archaeology , 

Oxford: Berg, 181-223. 
Klein, N. (2000) No Logo, London: Flamingo. 
Klejn, L. S. (1977) A panorama of theoretical archaeology', Current Anthropology , 

18: 1-42. 
Kobylinski, Z. (1991) 'Theory in Polish archaeology 1960—90: searching for para- 
digms', in I. Hodder (ed.) Archaeological Theory in Europe, London: Routledge, 

Kohl, P. (1984) 'Force, history and the evolutionist paradigm', in M. Spriggs 

(ed.) Marxist Perspectives in Archaeology , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 

(1987) 'State formation: useful concept or idee fixe?', in T C. Patterson and C. 

W. Gailey (eds) Power Relations and State Formation, Washington DC: American 

Anthropological Association, 27—34. 
Kosse, K. (1990) 'Group size and societal complexity: thresholds in the long-term 

memory' , Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 9: 275-303. 



Kotsakis, K. (1991) 'The powerful past: theoretical trends in Greek archaeology', in 
I. Hodder (ed.) Archaeological Theory in Europe, London: Routledge, 65-90. 

Kristiansen, K. (1982) 'The formation of tribal systems in later European 
prehistory: Northern Europe, 4000—500 Be', in C. Renfrew, M. J. Rowlands and 
B. A. Segraves (eds) Theory and Explanation in Archaeology, New York: Academic 
Press, 241-80. 

(1991) 'Chiefdoms, states and systems of social evolution', in T Earle (ed.) 

Chiefdoms: Power, Economy and Ideology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 

(1998) Europe Before History, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Kuhn, T S. (1962) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Chicago, 111.: University of 

Chicago Press. 
Kuijt, I. (1996) 'Negotiating equality through ritual: a consideration of late 

Natufian and prepottery Neolithic A period mortuary practices', Journal of 

Anthropological Archaeology, 15: 313-36. 
Kunst, M. (1995) 'Central places and social complexity in the Iberian Copper Age', 

in K. T. Lillios (ed.) The Origins of Complex Societies in Late Prehistoric Iberia, Ann 

Arbor, Mich.: International Monographs in Prehistory, 32—43. 
Kunter, M. (1990) Menschliche Skelettreste aus Siedlungen del El Argar-Kultur: Ein 

Bietrag der Prdhistorischen Anthropologic zur Kenntnis bronzezeitlicher Bevb'lkerungen 

Siidostspaniens, Madrider Beitrage 18, Mainz: Philipp von Zabern. 
(2001) 'Los restos de esqueletos humanos hallados en Fuente Alamo durante 

las campanas de 1985, 1988 y 1991', in H. Schubart, V. Pingel and O. Arteaga, 

Euente Alamo: las excavaciones arqueologicas 1977-1991 en el poblado de la Edad del 

Bronce, Seville: Junta de Andalucia, 265—82. 
Last, J. (1995) 'The nature of history', in I. Hodder, M. Shanks, A. Alexandri, V. 

Buchli, J. Carmen, J. Last and G. Lucas (eds) Interpreting Archaeology , London: 

Routledge, 141-57. 
Laudan, L. (1990) Science and Relativism, Chicago, 111.: University of Chicago 

Leacock, E. (1983) 'Interpreting the origins of gender inequality: conceptual and 

historical problems', Dialectical Anthropology, 7: 263-83. 
Lee, R. (1982) 'Politics, sexual and non-sexual, in an egalitarian society', in E. 

Leacock and R. Lee (eds) Politics and History in Band Societies, Cambridge: 

Cambridge University Press, Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, 

(1990) 'Primitive communism and the origin of social inequality', in S. 

Upham (ed.) The Evolution of Political Systems: Sociopolitics in Small-scale Sedentary 

Societies, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 225—46. 
Lee, R. B. and Devore, I. (1968) 'Problems in the study of hunters and gatherers', in 

R. B. Lee and I. Devore (eds) Man The Hunter, Chicago: Aldine, 3—12. 
Leisner, G. and Leisner, V. (1943) Die Megalithgrdber der Iberischen Halbinsel: Der 

Siiden, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. 
Lemonnier, P. (1991) 'From great men to big men: peace, substitution and competi- 
tion in the Highlands of New Guinea', In M. Godelier and M. Strathern (eds) Big 



Men and Great Men. Personifications of Power in Melanesia, Cambridge: Cambridge 

University Press, 7—27. 
Lenin, V. I. (1969) The State and Revolution, London: Central Books. 
Leonard, R. D. and Jones, G. T. (1987) 'Elements of an inclusive evolutionary 

model for archaeology ', Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 6: 199-219. 
Levy, J. E. (1995) 'Heterarchy in Bronze Age Denmark: settlement pattern, gender 

and ritual', in R. M. Ehrenreich, C. L. Crumley and J. E. Levy (eds) Heterarchy 

and the Analysis of Complex Societies, Archaeological Papers of the American 

Anthropological Association no. 6, 41—53. 
Lewin, R. (1993) Complexity: Life on the Edge of Chaos, London: Phoenix. 
Liep, J. (1991) 'Great Man, Big Man, Chief: a triangulation of the Massim', in M. 

Godelier and M. Strathern (eds) Big Men and Great Men: Personifications of Power in 

Melanesia, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 28—47. 
Lightfoot, K. G. (1993) 'Long-term developments in complex hunter-gatherer soci- 
eties: recent perspectives from the Pacific Coast of North America', Journal of 

Archaeological Research , 1: 167-201. 
Lillios, K. (1993) 'Regional settlement abandonment at the end of the Copper Age 

in the lowlands of west-central Portugal', in C. Cameron and S. Tomka (eds) 

Abandonment of Settlements and Regions: Ethnoarchaeological and Archaeological 

Approaches, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 110—20. 
(1997) Amphibolite tools of the Portuguese Copper Age (3000-2000 bc): a 

geoarchaeological approach to prehistoric economics and symbolism', Geoar- 

chaeology, 12: 137—63. 
Lopez Mazz, J. M. (1999) 'Some aspects of the French influence upon Uruguayan 

and Brazilian archaeology', in G. G. Politis and B. Alberti (eds) Archaeology in 

Latin America, London: Routledge, 38-58. 
Lull, V. (1983) La 'cultura' de El Argar. Un modelo para el estudio de las formaciones 

economico-sociales prehistoricas , Madrid: Akal. 
(1984) 'A new assessment of Argaric society and economy', in W. H. 

Waldren, R. W. Chapman, J. Lewthwaite and R. C. Kennard (eds) The Deya 

Conference of Prehistory, Oxford: British Archaeological Reports International 

Series 229, 1197-238. 
(1988) 'Hacia una teorfa de la representacion en arqueologia', Revista de 

Occidente, 81: 62-76. 
(1991) 'La prehistoria de la teoria arqueologica en el estado espanol', in A. 

Vila (ed.) Arqueologia, Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, 

(2000) Argaric society: death at home', Antiquity, 74: 581-90. 

Lull, V. and Estevez, J. (1986) 'Propuesta metodologica para el estudio de las 

necropolis argaricas', in Homenaje a Luis Siret 1934—84, Seville: Junta de Anda- 

lucia, 441-52. 
Lull, V., Mico, R., Monton, S. and Picazo, M. (1990) 'La arqueologia entre la insopo- 

rtable levedad y la voluntad de poder' Archivo de Prehistoria Levantina, xx: 

Lull, V., Mico, R., Rihuete, C. and Risch, R. (1999) La Cova des Cdrritxy la Cova des 



Mussol ideologic! y sociedad en la prehistoria de Menorca, Barcelona: Consell Insular 

de Menorca. 
Lull, V. and Risch, R. (1996) 'El esrado argarico', Verdolay, 7: 97-109. 
Lumbreras, L. G. (1974) La arqueologia como ciencia social, Lima: Hisrar. 
(1994) 'Acerca de la aparicion del estado', Boletin de Antropologia Americana, 

29: 5-33. 
Maicas Ramos, R. (1999) La indusrria osea neolitica del sureste: avance preliminar', 

Saguntum Extra, 2: 151-6. 
Malone, C, Stoddart, S. and Trump, D. (1988) 'A house for the temple builders: 

recent investigations on Gozo, Malta', Antiquity, 62: 297—301. 
Malone, C, Stoddart, S. and Whitehouse, R. (1994) 'The Bronze Age of southern 

Italy, Sicily and Malta f.2000-800 Be', in C. Mathers and S. Stoddart (eds) 

Development and Decline in the Mediterranean Bronze Age, Sheffield: J. R. Collis 

Publications, 167-94. 
Marcus, J. and Feinman, G. M. (1999) 'Introduction', in G. M. Feinman and 

J. Marcus (eds) Archaic States , Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press, 

Mars, G. (1988) 'Hidden hierarchies in Israeli Kibbutzim', in J. G. Flanagan and S. 

Rayner (eds) Rules, Decisions and Inequality in Egalitarian Societies, Aldershot: 

Avebury, 98-112. 
Martin Socas, D., Camalich, Ma. D., Tejedor, Ma. L., Rodriguez, A. and 

Gonzalez, P. (1985) 'Composicion mineralogica y evaluacion de las temperatu- 

ras de coccion de la ceramica de Campos (Cuevas del Almanzora, Almeria). 

Estudio preliminar', Cuadernos de Prehistoria de la Universidad de Granada, 10: 

Martin Socas, D., Camalich, Ma. D., Mederos, A., Gonzalez Quintero, P., Diaz 

Canton, A. and Lopez Salmeron, J. (1992—3) 'Analisis de la problematica de los 

inicios de la prehistoria reciente en la cuenca baja del rio Almanzora (Almeria)', 

Tabona, viii: 493-506. 
Martinez Navarrete, Ma.l. (1989) Una revision critica de la prehistoria espanola: la 

Edad del Bronce como paradigma , Madrid: Siglo Veintiuno Editores. 
Martinez Santa Olalla, J. (1946) 'Cereales y plantas en al cultura ibero-sahariana en 

Almizaraque (Almeria)', Cuadernos de Historia Primitiva, 1: 35—45. 
Marx, K. (1973) Grundrisse. Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy, London: 

Penguin Books. 
Marx, K. and Engels, F. (1970) The German Ideology, London: Lawrence & Wishart. 
(1998) The Communist Manifesto: A Modern Edition (with an introduction by 

Eric Hobsbawn), London: Verso. 
Maschner, H. D. G. (1991) 'The emergence of cultural complexity on the northern 

Northwest Coast', Antiquity, 65: 924-34. 
Mathers, C. (1984a) 'Beyond the grave: the context and wider implications of mor- 
tuary practices in south-east Spain', in T F. C. Blagg, R. F. J. Jones and S. J. Keay 

(eds) Papers in Iberian Archaeology , Oxford: BAR International Series 193, 13—46. 
(1984b) '"Linear regression", inflation and prestige competition: second mil- 
lennium transformations in south-east Spain', in W. H. Waldren, R. Chapman, 



J. Lewthwaite and R. C. Kennard (eds) The Deya Conference of Prehistory, Oxford: 
British Archaeological Report International Series 229, 1167—96. 
(1994) 'Goodbye to all that?: contrasting patterns of change in the south-east 

Iberian Bronze Age c.24/2200-600 Be', in C. Mathers and S. Stoddart (eds) 

Development and Decline in the Mediterranean Bronze Age, Sheffield: J. R. Collis 

Publications, 21—71. 
Mathers, C. and Stoddart, S. (1994) 'Introduction', in C. Mathers and S. Stoddart 

(eds) Development and Decline in the Mediterranean Bronze Age, Sheffield: J. R. Collis 

Publications, 13-20. 
Mays, S. (1988) 'Marxist perspectives on social organisation in the central European 

Early Bronze Age', in D. Miller, M. Rowlands and C. Tilley (eds) Domination and 

Resistance, London: Allen & Unwin, 215—26. 
McGlade, J. and van der Leeuw, S. (eds) (1997) Time, Process and Structured Trans- 
formation in Archaeology , London: Routledge. 
McGuire, R. H. (1983) 'Breaking down cultural complexity: inequality and 

heterogeneity', Advances in Archaeological Method and T heory , 6: 91—142. 

(1992) A Marxist Archaeology, New York: Academic Press. 

(1993) Archaeology aadMarxism, AnhaeologicalMethodandTheory, 5: 110—57. 

McGuire, R. H. and Saitta, D. J. (1996) Although they have petty captains, 

they obey them badly: the dialectics of prehispanic western pueblo social 

organisation', American Antiquity, 61: 197—216. 
McLellan, D. (1973) Karl Marx: His Life and Thought, London: Macmillan. 

(1975) Marx, London: Fontana. 

Meskell, L. M. (1998) 'Oh my goddesses: archaeology, sexuality and ecofeminism', 

Archaeological Dialogues , 5 (2): 126-42. 

(1999) Archaeologies of Social Life, London: Routledge. 

Michels, J. and Webster, G (eds) (1987) Studies in Nuragic Archaeology: Village 

Excavations at Nuraghe Urpes and Nuraghe Toscano, Oxford: British Archaeological 

Reports International Series 373. 
Mico, R. (1990) 'La elaboracion de modelos explicativos en arqueologia. el ejemplo 

del Calcolitico del sudeste de la peninsula iberica', unpublished manuscript, 

Autonomous University of Barcelona. 
(1991) 'Objeto y discurso arqueologico: el Calcolitico del sudeste peninsular', 

Revista d Arqueologia de Ponent, 1: 51—70. 
(1993) 'Pensamientos y practicas en las arqueologias contemporaneas: norma- 

tividad y exclusion en los grupos arqueologicos del III y II milenios cal a.n.e en el 

sudeste de la peninsula iberica', unpublished PhD thesis, Autonomous 

University of Barcelona. 
Miller, D. and Tilley, C. (eds) (1984) Ideology, Power and Prehistory, Cambridge: 

Cambridge University Press. 
Milner, G. (1998) The Cahokia Chief dom: The Archaeology of a Mississippian Society, 

Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. 
Minnegal, M. and Dwyer, P. P. (1998) 'Intensification and social complexity in the 

interior lowlands of Papua New Guinea: a comparison of Bedamuni and Kubo', 

Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 17: 375-400. 



Modjeska, N. (1982) 'Production and inequality: perspectives from central New 
Guinea', in A. Strathern (ed.) Inequality in New Guinea Highlands Societies, 
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 50—108. 

Molina, F. (1983) Prehistoria de Granada, Granada: Editorial Don Quijote. 

(1989) 'Proyecto Millares (los inicios de la metalurgia y el desarollo de las 

comunidades del sudeste de la peninsula iberica durante la Edad del Cobre)', 
Anuario ArqueoMgico de Andalucia 1989: 211-13. 

Molina, F. and Arribas, A. (1993) 'Millares: Los Inicios de la metalurgia y el desa- 
rollo de las comunidades del sudeste de la peninsula iberica durante la Edad del 
Cobre', Investigaciones Arqueologicas en Andalucia (1985-1992): Proyectos, Huelva: 
Junta de Andalucia, 311—15. 

Molina, E, Contreras, E, Ramos, A., Merida, V., Ortiz, F. and Ruiz, V. (1986) 
'Programa de recuperacion del registro arqueologico del Fortin de Los Millares: 
Analisis preliminar de la organizacion del espacio', Arqueologia Espacial 8, 
175—201. Teruel: Colegio Universitario de Teruel. 

Monks, S. J. (1997) 'Conflict and competition in Spanish prehistory: the role of 
warfare in societal development from the late fourth to third millennium Be', 
Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, 10: 3-32. 

Montane, J. (1980) Marxismo y Arqueologia, Mexico: Ediciones de Cultura Popular. 

Montero, I. (1992) 'La actividad metalurgica en la Edad del Bronce del sudeste de la 
peninsula iberica', Trabajos de Prehistoria, 49: 189—215. 

(1993) 'Bronze Age metallurgy in south-east Spain', Antiquity, 61: 46—57. 

(1994) El origen de la metalurgia en el sudeste de la peninsula iberica, Almeria: 

Instituto de Estudios Almerienses. 

(1999) 'Sureste', in G. Delibes and I. Montero (eds) Las primeras etapas metal- 

urgicas en la peninsula iberica ii. estudios regionales, Madrid: Instituto Universitario 

Ortega y Gasset, 333-57. 
Montero, I. and Ruiz Taboada, A. (1996) 'Enterramiento colectivo y metalurgia en 

el yacimiento neolitico de Cerro Virtud (Cuevas de Almanzora, Almeria)', Traba- 
jos de Prehistoria, 53(2): 55-75. 
Montero, I., Rihuete, C. and Ruiz Taboada, A. (1999) 'Precisiones sobre el enter- 
ramiento colectivo neolitico de Cerro Virtud (Cuevas de Almanzora, Almeria)', 

Trabajos de Prehistoria, 56(1): 119-30. 
Motos, F. de (1918) 'La edad neolitica en Velez Blanco', Comision de Investigaciones 

Palaeontologicas y Prehistoricas, Memoria, 19: 1-81. 
Navarrete, Ma. S., Capel, J., Linares, J., Huertas, F. and Reyes, E. (1991) Cerdmicas 

neoliticas de la provincia de Granada: materias primas y tecnicas de manufacturacion, 

Granada: Universidad de Granada. 
Nelson, B. A. (1995) 'Complexity, hierarchy and scale: a controlled comparison 

between Chaco Canyon, New Mexico and La Quemada, Zacatecas', American 

Antiquity, 60: 597-618. 
Nelson, S. M. (1998) Gender hierarchy and the queens of Silla', in K. Hays-Gilpin 

and D. S. Whitley (eds) Reader in Gender Archaeology, London: Routledge, 

Netting, R. McC. (1990) 'Population, permanent agriculture and polities: unpack- 



ing the evolutionary portmanteau', in S. Upham (ed.) The Evolution of Political 

Systems: Sociopolitics in Small-scale Sedentary Societies, Cambridge: Cambridge 

University Press, 21—61. 
Nocete, F. (1994) 'Space as coercion: the transition to the state in the social forma- 
tions of La Campina, upper Guadalquivir valley, Spain c. 1900—1600 Be', Journal 

of Anthropological Archaeology , 13: 171-200. 
(2001) Tercer milenio antes de nuestra era: relaciones y contradicciones centrolperiferia 

en el Valle del Guadalquivir, Barcelona: Bellaterra. 
Oberg, K. (1955) 'Types of social structure among the lowland tribes of South and 

Central America', American Anthropologist, 57: 472—87. 
Oliveira Jorge, S. (1994) 'Colonias, fortificagoes, lugares monumentalizados: trajec- 

toria das concepcpes sobre um tema do Calcolitico peninsular', Revista da 

Faculdade de Letras, xi: 447-546. 
(2000) 'Domesticating the land: the first agricultural communities in Portu- 
gal ', Journal of 'Iberian Archaeology, 2: 43-98. 
Oliveira Jorge, S. and Jorge, V. (1997) 'The Neolithic/Chalcolithic transition in 

Portugal: the dynamics of change in the third millennium Be', in M. 

Diaz-Andreu and S. Keay (eds) The Archaeology of Iberia: The Dynamics of Change, 

London: Routledge, 128-42. 
Olivier, L. (1999) 'The origins of French archaeology', Antiquity, 73: 176—83. 
Olivier, L. and Coudart, A. (1995) 'French tradition and the central place of history 

in the human sciences: preamble to a dialogue between Robinson Crusoe and his 

Man Friday', in P. J. Ucko (ed.) Theory in Archaeology. A World Perspective, London: 

Routledge, 363-81. 
Olsen, B. J. (1991) 'Metropolises and satellites in archaeology: on power and 

asymmetry in global archaeological discourse', in R. W. Preucel (ed.) Processual 

and P ostprocessual Archaeologies: Multiple Ways of Knowing the Past, Carbondale: 

Southern Illinois University, 211—24. 
Orozco-Kohler, T (2000) Aprovisionamiento e intercambio: andlisis petrologico del utillaje 

pulimentado en la prehistoria reciente del pais valenciano (Espaiia), Oxford: British 

Archaeological Report International Series 867. 
Ortner, S. B. (1984) 'Theory in anthropology since the sixties', Comparative Studies 

in Society and History, 26: 126-66. 
Pascual-Benito, J. LI. (1995.) 'Origen y significado del marfil durante el horizonte 

campaniforme y los inicios de la Edad del Bronce en el pais valenciano', Sagun- 

tum,29: 19-31. 
Patzold, J., Hagedorn, C. and Wefer, G (1998) '018 and Ol6 isotopes in Glyci- 

meris shells', In P. V. Castro et al., Aguas Project: Palaeoclimatic Reconstruction and 

the Dynamics of Human Settlement and Land-use in the Area of the Middle 

Aguas (Almeria), in the South-east of the Iberian Peninsula, Luxembourg: European 

Commission, 43. 
Pauketat, T R. (1998) 'Refiguring the archaeology of greater Cahokia , Journal of 

Archaeological Research, 6: 45-89. 
(2000) 'The tragedy of the commoners', in M-A. Dobres and J. E. Robb (eds) 

Agency in Archaeology, London: Routledge, 113—29- 



Pauketat, T. R. and Emerson, T. E. (eds) (1997) Cahokia: Domination and Ideology in 

the Mississippian World, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. 
Pauketat, T. R. and Lopinot, N. H. (1997) 'Cahokian population dynamics', in 

T. R. Pauketat and T. E. Emerson (eds) Cahokia: Domination and Ideology in the 

Mississippian World, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 103—23. 
Paynter, R. (1989) 'The archaeology of equality and inequality', Annual Review of 

Anthropology, 18: 369-99- 
Paynter, R. and McGuire, R. H. (1991) 'The archaeology of inequality: material 

culture, domination and resistance', in R. Paynter and R. H. McGuire (eds) The 

Archaeology of Inequality , Oxford: Blackwell, 1-27. 
Peebles, C. S. and Kus, S. M. (1977) 'Some archaeological correlates of ranked 

societies', American Antiquity, 42: 421—48. 
Pena-Chocarro, L. (1999) Prehistoric Agriculture in Southern Spain during the Neolithic 

and the Bronze Age: The Application of Ethnographic Models, Oxford: British Arch- 
aeological Reports International Series 818. 
Peregrine, P. N. (2001) 'Matrilocality, corporate strategy and the organisation of 

production in the Chacoan world', American Antiquity, 66: 36^6. 
Perez Bareas, C. and Camara, J. A. (1995) 'Intervencion arqueologica en Marroquies 

Bajos (Jaen): sector urbanistico RP-4, Parcela G-3', Anuario Arqueologica de 

Andalucia 1995: 256-70. 
Perra, M. (1997) 'From deserted ruins: an interpretation of Nuragic Sardinia', 

Europeae, iii-2: 49-76. 
Persson, P. and Sjogren, K.-G. (1995) 'Radiocarbon and the chronology of the 

Scandinavian megalithic graves', Journal of European Archaeology , 3: 59—88. 
Peters, J. and Driesch, A. von den (1990) Neolithische und Kupferzeitliche Tierknochen- 

funde aus Siidspanien: Los Castillejos. Los Millares, Munich: Studien iiber friihe 

Tierknochenfunde von der Iberischen Halbinsel 12. 
Plog, S. (1995) 'Equality and hierarchy: holistic approaches to understanding social 

dynamics in the Pueblo Southwest', in T. D. Price and G. M. Feinman (eds) 

Foundations of Social Inequality, New York: Plenum Press, 189-206. 
Plog, S. and Braun, D. P. (1984) 'Some issues in the archaeology of "tribal" social 

systems', American Antiquity, 49: 619—25. 
Pluciennik, M. (1999) 'Archaeological narratives and other ways of telling', Current 

Anthropology, 40: 653-78. 
Politis, G. (1995) 'The socio-politics of the development of archaeology in Hispanic 

South America', in P. J. Ucko (ed.) Theory in Archaeology: A World Perspective, 

London: Routledge, 197-235. 
Pollock, S. (1992) 'Bureaucrats and managers, peasants and pastoralists, imperial- 
ists and traders: research on the Uruk and Jemdet Nasr periods in Mesopotamia', 

Journal of World Prehistory, 6: 297-336. 
Possehl, G. L. (1999) 'Sociocultural complexity without the state', in G. M. 

Feinman and J. Marcus (eds) Archaic States, Santa Fe, NM: School of American 

Research Press, 261—309. 
Potter, D. R. and King, E. M. (1995) 'A heterarchical approach to lowland Maya 

socioeconomics', in R. M. Ehrenreich, C. L. Crumley and J. E. Levy (eds) Heterar- 



chy and the Analysis of Complex Societies, Archaeological Papers of the American 

Anthropological Association no. 6, 17—32. 
Preucel, R. W. (1991a) 'Introduction', in R. W. Preucel (ed.) Processual and Post- 

processual Archaeologies: Multiple Ways of Knowing the Past, Carbondale: Southern 

Illinois University, 1—14. 
(1991b) 'The philosophy of archaeology', in R. W. Preucel (ed.) Processual 

and P ostprocessual Archaeologies: Multiple Ways of Knowing the Past, Carbondale: 

Southern Illinois University, 17—29. 
(1995) 'The postprocessual condition' , Journal of Archaeological Research, 3: 

Price, T D. (1995) 'Social inequality at the origins of agriculture', in T D. Price 

and G. M. Feinman (eds) Foundations of Social Complexity, New York: Plenum 

Press, 129-51. 
Price, T D. and Brown, J. A. (eds) (1985) Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherers: The Emergence 

of Cultural Complexity , New York: Academic Press. 
Price, T D. and Feinman, G. M. (eds) (1995) Foundations of Social Complexity, New 

York: Plenum Press. 
Raab, L. M. and Goodyear, A. C. (1984) 'Middle-range theory in archaeology: a 

critical review of origins and applications', American Antiquity, 49: 255—68. 
Ramos, A. (1981) 'Interpretaciones secuenciales y culturales de la Edad del 

Cobre en la zone meridional de la peninsula iberica: la alternativa de 

materialismo cultural', Cuadernos de Prehistoria de la Universidad de Granada, 6: 

(1998) 'La mineria, la artesanfa y el intercambio de silex durante la Edad del 

Cobre en el sudeste de la peninsula iberica', in G Delibes de Castro (ed.) Min- 

erales y metales en la prehistoria reciente. algunos testimonios de su explotacion y laboreo en 

la peninsula iberica, Valladolid: Universidad de Valladolid, 13—40. 
(1999) 'Culturas neoh'ticas, sociedades tribales: economia politica y proceso 

historico en la peninsula iberica', Saguntum Extra, 2: 597—608. 

Rayner, S. (1988) 'The rules that keep us equal: complexity and costs of egalitarian 
organization', in J. G. Flanagan and S. Rayner (eds) Rules, Decisions and Inequality 
in Egalitarian Societies, Aldershot: Avebury, 20-42. 

Redmond, E. M. (ed.) (1998) Chiefdoms and Chieftaincy in the Americas, Gainesville: 
University Press of Florida. 

Renfrew, C. (1967) 'Colonialism and megalithismus', Antiquity, 41: 276—88. 

(1972) The Emergence of Civilisation, London: Methuen. 

(1973a) 'Monuments, mobilisation and social organisation in Neolithic 

Wessex', in C. Renfrew (ed.) The Explanation of Culture Change: Models in Prehis- 
tory, London: Duckworth, 539-58. 

(1973b) Before Civilisation: The Radiocarbon Revolution and Prehistoric Europe, 

London: Jonathan Cape. 

(1974) 'Beyond a subsistence economy: the evolution of social organisation in 

prehistoric Europe', in C. B. Moore (ed.) Reconstructing Complex Societies: An Arch- 
aeological Colloquium, Supplement to the Bulletin of the American Schools of 
Oriental Research no. 20, 69—95. 



(1975) 'Trade as action at a distance: questions of integration and communica- 
tion', in J. A. Sabloff and C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky (eds) Ancient Civilization and 
Trade, Albuquerque, NM: School of American Research Press, 3—59- 

Reynolds, R. G. (1984) A computational model of hierarchical decision systems', 
J ournal of Anthropological Archaeology , 3: 159-89. 

Richards, C. (1995) 'Knowing about the past', in I. Hodder, M. Shanks, A. Alexan- 
dri, V. Buchli, J. Carmen, J. Last and G. Lucas (eds) Interpreting Archaeology , 
London: Routledge, 216—19- 

Risch, R. (1995) 'Recursos naturales y sistemas de produccion en el sudeste de la 
peninsula iberica entre 3000 y 1000 a.n.e', unpublished PhD thesis, Autono- 
mous University of Barcelona. 

(1998) Analisis paleoeconomico y medios de produccion lfticos: el caso de 

Fuente Alamo', in G Delibes de Castro (ed.) Minerales y metales en la prehistoria 
reciente. Algunos testimonios de su explotacion y laboreo en la peninsula iberica, 
Valladolid: Universidad de Valladolid, 105-54. 

Risch, R. and Ruiz, M. (1994) 'Distribucion y control territorial en el sudeste de la 
peninsula iberica durante el tercer y segundo milenios a.n.e.', Verdolay, 5: 77—87. 

Robb, J. (1994) 'Gender contradictions, moral coalitions and inequality in 
prehistoric Italy' , Journal of European Archaeology, 2(1): 20—49. 

(1999) 'Great Persons and Big Men in the Italian Neolithic', in R. H. Tykot, 

J. Morter and J. E. Robb (eds) Social Dynamics of the Prehistoric Central Mediter- 
ranean, London: Accordia Specialist Studies on the Mediterranean 3, 111—21. 

(2001) 'Island identities: ritual, travel and the creation of difference in 

Neolithic Malta', European Journal of Archaeology , 4(2): 175—202. 

Rodriguez Ariza, Ma. O. (2000) 'El paisaje vegetal de la depresion de Vera durante 
la prehistoria reciente: una aproximacion desde la antracologia', Trabajos de Prehis- 
toria, 57(1): 145-56. 

Rodriguez Ariza, Ma. O. and Ruiz Sanchez, V. (1995) Antracologia y palinologia 
del yacimiento argarico de Castellon Alto (Galera, Granada)', Anuario Arqueologico 
de Andalucia 1992: 169-76. 

Rodriguez Ariza, Ma. O. and Stevenson, A. C. (1998) 'Vegetation and its exploit- 
ation', in P. V Castro, R. W. Chapman, S. Gili, V Lull, R. Mico, C. Rihuete, R. 
Risch and Ma. E. Sanahuja, Aguas Project: Palaeoclimatic Reconstruction and the 
Dynamics of Human Settlement and Land Use in the Area of the Middle Aguas (Almeria) 
in the South-east of the Iberian Peninsula, Luxembourg: European Commission, 62—8. 

Rodriguez Ariza, Ma. O. and Vernet, J-L. (1991) 'Premiers resultats paleoeco- 
logiques de l'etablissement chalcolithique de Los Millares (Santa Fe de Mondujar, 
Almeria, Espagne) d'apres l'analyse anthracologique de l'etablissement', in W. 
Waldren, J-A. Ensenyat and R. C. Kennard (eds) II Deya Conference of Prehistory, 
Oxford: British Archaeological Reports International Series 573, 1—16. 

Roman Diaz, Ma. P. (1999) 'Primeras aldeas con almacenamiento en el sureste de la 
peninsula iberica', Saguntum Extra, 2: 199-206. 

Roman Diaz, Ma. P. and Martinez Padilla, C. (1998) Aproximacion al estudio de 
las transformaciones historicas en las sociedades del VI al III milenio AC en el 
sureste peninsular', Trabajos de Prehistoria, 55(2): 35-54. 



Roscoe, P. B. (1993) 'Practice and political centralisation', Current Anthropology, 

34: 111-40. 
Rovira, N. (2000) 'Semillas y frutos arqueologicos del yacimiento calcolitico de Las 

Pilas (Mojacar, Almeria)', Complutum, 11: 191—208. 
Rowlands, M. J. (1988) 'A question of complexity', in D. Miller, M. Rowlands and 

C. Tilley (eds) Domination and Resistance, London: Allen & Unwin, 29—40. 
Ruiz, A., Chapa, T. and Ruiz, G. (1988) 'La arqueologia contextual: una revision 

critica', Trabajos de Prehistoria, 45: 11-17. 
Ruiz, A., Molinos, M. and Hornos, F. (1986) Arqueologia en Jam, Jaen: Diputacion 

Provincial de Jaen. 
Ruiz, A. and Nocete, F. (1990) 'The dialectic of the past and the present in the 

construction of a scientific archaeology', in F. Baker and J. Thomas (eds) Writing 

the Past in the Present, Lampeter: St David's University College, 105— 1 1. 
Ruiz Galvez, M., Leira, R. and Berzosa, L. (1987) 'Primera campana de excavaciones 

sistematicas en el yacimiento de Lugarico Viejo (Antas, Almeria)', Anuario 

Arqueologico de Andalucia 1987: 232-42. 
Ruiz Mata, D. (1983) 'El yacimiento de la Edad del Bronce de Valencina de la 

Concepcion (Sevilla) en el marco cultural del bajo Guadalquivir', Actas del 1 

Congress de Historia de Andalucia: Prehistoria y Arqueologia, 183-208. Cordoba: 

Publicaciones del Monte de Piedad y Caja de Ahorros de Cordoba. 
Ruiz Taboada, A. and Montero Ruiz, I. (1999a) 'Ocupaciones neoliticas en Cerro 

Virtud: estratigrafia y dataciones', Saguntum Extra, 2: 207—11. 

(1999b) 'The oldest metallurgy in western Europe', Antiquity, 73: 897-903- 

Sahlins, M. (1958) Social Stratification in Polynesia, Seattle: University of Washington 


(1968) Tribesmen, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. 

(1972) Stone Age Economics, London: Tavistock Publications. 

Sahlins, M. and Service, E. R. (eds) (I960) Evolution and Culture, Ann Arbor: 

University of Michigan Press. 
Saitta, D. J. (1988) 'Marxism, prehistory and primitive communism', Rethinking 

Marxism, 1: 145-68. 
(1992) 'Radical archaeology and middle-range methodology', Antiquity, 66: 

Saitta, D. J. and Keene, A. S. (1990) 'Politics and surplus flow in prehistoric com- 
munal societies', in S. Upham (ed.) The Evolution of Political Systems: Sociopolitics in 

Small-scale Sedentary Societies, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 203-24. 
Salzman, P. C. (1999) Is inequality universal?', Current Anthropology, 40: 31—61. 
Sanchez Romero, M. (2000) Espacios de produccion y uso de los utiles depiedra tallada del 

Neolitico: el poblado de 'Los Castillejos de las Peiias de Los Gitanos' (Granada, 

Espana), Oxford: British Archaeological Reports International Series 874. 
Savory, H. N. (1968) Spain and Portugal, London: Thames & Hudson. 
Saxe, A. A. (1970.) 'Social dimensions of mortuary practices', unpublished PhD 

thesis, University of Michigan. 
Scarre, C. (1999) Archaeological theory in France and Britain', Antiquity, 73: 




Schmidt, P. (1983) 'An alternative to the strictly materialist perspective: a review of 

historical archaeology, ethnoarchaeology and symbolic approaches in African 

archaeology', American Antiquity, 48: 62-79. 
Schrire, C. (ed.) (1984) Past and Present in Hunter-Gatherer Studies, London: 

Academic Press. 
Schubart, H. (1993) 'El Argar: Vorbericht iiber probegrabung 1991', Madrider 

Mitteilungen, 34: 13—21. 
Schubart, H. and Arteaga, O. (1978) 'Fuente Alamo: Vorbericht iiber die 

Grabung 1977 in der bronzezeitlichen Hohensiedlung', Madrider Mitteilungen, 

(1980) 'Fuente Alamo: Vorbericht iiber die Grabung 1979 in der 

bronzezeitlichen Hohensiedlung', Madrider Mitteilungen, 21: 45—61. 
(1986) 'Fundamentos arqueologicos para el estudio socio-economico y cul- 

tural del area de El Argar', in Homenaje a Luis Siret 1934—84, Seville: Junta de 

Andalucia, 298-307. 
Schubart, H. and Pingel, V (1995) 'Fuente Alamo: eine bronzezeitliche 

Hohensiedlung in Andalusien', Madrider Mitteilungen, 36: 150—65. 
Schubart, H., Pingel, V and Arteaga, O. (2001) Fuente Alamo: las excavaciones arque- 

ologkas 1977-1991 en el poblado de la Edad del Bronce, Seville: Junta de Andalucia. 
Schiile. W. ( 1 980) One und Galera: Zwei Siedlungen aus dem 3 bis 1 Jahrtausend v. chr. 

im Siidosten der Iberischen Halbinsel I, Mainz am Rhein: Philipp von Zabern. 
Service, E. R. (1962) Primitive Social Organisation: An Evolutionary Perspective, New 

York: Random House. 
(1967) 'Our contemporary ancestors: extant stages and extinct ages', in M. 

Fried, M. Harris and R. Murphy (eds) War: The Anthropology of Armed Conflict and 

Aggression, Chicago, 111.: American Museum of Natural History, 160—7. 
(1975) Origins of the State and Civilisation: The Process of Cultural Evolution , New 

York: Norton. 
Shanks, M. and Tilley, C. (1987a) Social Theory and Archaeology , Cambridge: Polity 


(1987b) Reconstructing Archaeology , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Shennan, S. (1989) 'Cultural transmission and cultural change', in S. E. van der 

Leeuw and R. Torrence (eds) What's New? A Closer Look at the Process of Innovation , 

London: Unwin Hyman, 330—46. 
(1991) 'Tradition, rationality and cultural transmission', in R. W. Preucel 

(ed.) Processual and Postprocessual Archaeologies: Multiple Ways of Knowing the Past, 

Carbondale: Southern Illinois University, 197—208. 
(1993) 'After social evolution: a new archaeological agenda?', in N. Yoffee and 

A. Sherratt (eds) Archaeological Theory: Who Sets the Agenda?, Cambridge: 

Cambridge University Press, 53—9. 
Silverblatt, I. (1988) 'Women in states', Annual Review of Anthropology, 17: 427—60. 
Siret, H. and Siret, L. (1887) Les Premiers ages du metal dans le sud-est de I'Espagne, 

Siret, L. (1913) Questions de chronologic et d 'ethnographic iberiques I, Paris: Paul 




(1948) 'El tell de Almizaraque y sus problemas', Cuadernos de Historia 

Primitiva, 3: 117—24. 
Skeates, R. (1994) 'Ritual, context and gender in Neolithic south-eastern Italy', 

J ournal of European Archaeology , 2(2): 199-214. 
(1995) 'Transformations in mortuary practice and meaning in the Neolithic 

and Copper Age of lowland east-central Italy', in W. H .Waldren, J. A. Ensenyat 

and R. C. Kennard (eds) Ritual, Rites and Religion in Prehistory, Oxford: British 

Archaeological Reports International Series 611, 212—38. 
(1999) 'Unveiling inequality: social life and social change in the Mesolithic 

and Early Neolithic of East-Central Italy', in R. H. Tykot, J. Morter and J. E. 

Robb (eds) Social Dynamics of the Prehistoric Central Mediterranean, London: 

Accordia Specialist Studies on the Mediterranean 3, 15—45. 
(2000) 'The social dynamics of enclosure in the Neolithic of the Tavoliere, 

south-east Italy' ', J 'ournal of Mediterranean Archaeology, 13(2): 155-88. 

Soffer, O. (1985) 'Patterns of intensification as seen from the Upper Palaeolithic of 
the Central Russian Plain', in T D. Price and J. A. Brown (eds) Prehistoric Hunter- 
Gatherers: The Emergence of Cultural Complexity, New York: Academic Press, 

Sollas, W. J. (1911) Ancient Hunters and Their Modern Representatives, London: 

Spencer, C. S. (1987) 'Rethinking the chiefdom', in R. D. Drennan and C. Uribe 
(eds) Chiefdoms in the Americas, Lanham, Md: University Press of America, 

(1993) 'Human agency, biased transmission and the cultural evolution of 

chiefly authority' ', Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 12: 41—74. 

(1997) 'Evolutionary approaches in archaeology', Journal of Archaeological 

Research, 5: 209-64. 
Speth, J. D. (1990) 'Seasonality, resource stress and food sharing in so-called 

"Egalitarian" foraging societies', Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 9: 

Spriggs, M. (ed.) (1984) Marxist Perspectives in Archaeology, Cambridge: Cambridge 

University Press. 
Stein, G. J. (1994) 'The organizational dynamics of complexity in Greater Mesopo- 
tamia', in G. Stein and M. S. Rothman (eds) Chiefdoms and Early States in the Near 

East: The Organizational Dynamics of Complexity , Madison, Wis.: Prehistory Press, 

(1998) 'Heterogeneity, power and political economy: some current research 

issues in the archaeology of Old World complex societies', Journal of 

Archaeological Research , 6: 1-44. 
Steponaitis, V. P. (1978) 'Location theory and complex chiefdoms: a Mississippian 

example', in B. D. Smith (ed.) Mississippian Settlement Patterns, New York: 

Academic Press, 417—53. 
(1991) 'Contrasting patterns of Mississippian development', in T Earle (ed.) 

Chiefdoms: Power, Economy and Ideology, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 




Sterud, G. (1973) 'A paradigmatic view of prehistory', in C. Renfrew (ed.) The 
Explanation of Culture Change: Models in Prehistory, London: Duckworth, 3—17. 

Stika, H-P. (1988) 'Botanische Untersuchungen in der bronzezeitlichen 
Hohensiedlung Fuente Alamo', Madrider Mitteilungen, 29: 21—76. 

(2000) 'Resultados arqueobotanicos de la campana de 1988 en Fuente Alamo', 

in H. Schubart, V. Pingel and O. Arteaga Fuente Alamo: las excavaciones an 

cas 1977-1991 en el poblado de la Edad del Bronce, Seville: Junta de Andalucia, 

Stika, H-P. and Jurich, B. (1998) 'Pflanzenreste aus der Probegrabung 1991 im 

bronzezeitlichen Siedlungsplatz el Argar, prov. Almeria, sudostspanien', 

Madrider Mitteilungen, 39: 35-48. 
Stoddart, S., Bonanno, A., Gouder, T., Malone, C. and Trump, D. (1993) 'Cult in an 

island society: prehistoric Malta in the Tarxien period', Cambridge Archaeological 

Journal, 3: 3-19- 
Stos-Gale, S. (2000) 'Trade in metals in the Bronze Age Mediterranean: an overview 

of lead isotope data for provenance studies', in C. F. E. Pare (ed.) Metals Make The 

World Go Round: The Supply and Circulation of Metals in Bronze Age Europe, Oxford: 

Oxbow Books, 56-69- 
Stos-Gale, S., Hunt-Ortiz, M. and Gale, N. H. (1999) 'Analisis elemental y de 

isotopos de plomo de objectos metalicos de Gatas', in P. V. Castro et al., Proyecto 

Gatas 2: la dindmica arqueoecologica de la ocupacion prehistorica, Seville: Junta de 

Andalucia, 347-58. 
Strathern, M. (1987) 'Introduction', in M. Strathern (ed.) Dealing with Inequality: 

Analysing Gender Relations in Melanesia and Beyond, Cambridge: Cambridge 

University Press, 1—32. 
Suarez, A., Bravo, A., Cara, L., Martinez, J., Ortiz, D., Ramos, R. and Rodriguez, J. 

Ma. (1986) Aportaciones al estudio de la Edad del Cobre en la provincia de 

Almeria: Analisis de la distribucion de yacimientos', in Homenaje a Luis Siret 

1934-84, Seville: Junta de Andalucia, 196-207. 
Taylor, D. (1975) 'Some locational aspects of middle-range hierarchical societies', 

unpublished PhD dissertation, City University of New York. 
Tellez, R. and Ciferri, F. (1954) Trigos arqueologicos de Espana 1, Madrid: Instituto 

Nacional de Investigaciones Agronomicas. 
Terral, J-F. (1996) 'Wild and cultivated olive (Olea europaea L.)\ a new approach to 

an old problem using inorganic analyses of modern wood and archaeological 

charcoal', Review of Paleobotany and P alynology , 91: 383-97. 
(2000) 'Exploitation and management of the olive tree during prehistoric 

times in Mediterranean France and Spain' , Journal of Archaeological Science, 27: 

Thomas, J. (1995) 'Where are we now? Archaeological theory in the 1990s', in P. J. 

Ucko (ed.) Theory in Archaeology: A World Perspective, London: Routledge, 

(2000) 'Introduction: The polarities of post-processual archaeology', in J. 

Thomas (ed.) Interpretive Archaeology: A Reader, Leicester: Leicester University 

Press, 1-18. 



Thomas, J. and Tilley, C. (1993) 'The axe and the torso: symbolic structures in the 

Neolithic of Brittany', in C. Tilley (ed.) Interpretative Archaeology , Oxford: Berg, 

Tilley, C. (2000) 'Materialism and an archaeology of dissonance', in J. Thomas (ed.) 

Interpretive Archaeology: A Reader, Leicester: Leicester University Press, 71-80. 
Trigger, B. G. (1989) A History of Archaeological Thought, Cambridge: Cambridge 

University Press. 
(1990) 'Maintaining economic equality in opposition to complexity: an Iro- 

quoian case study', in S. Upham (ed.) The Evolution of Political Systems: Sociopolitics 

in small-Scale Sedentary Societies, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 

(1993) 'Marxism in contemporary western archaeology', Archaeological Method 

and Theory, 5: 159-200. 

(1998a) Sociocultural Evolution, Oxford: Blackwell. 

(1998b) 'Archaeology and epistemology: dialoguing across the Darwinian 

chasm', American Journal of Archaeology, 102: 1—34. 
Tschauner, H. (1996) 'Middle-range theory, behavioral archaeology and post- 
empiricist philosophy of science in archaeology, Journal of Archaeological Method 

and Theory, 3: 1-30. 
Turner, B. S. (1994) Orientalism, Postmodernism and Globalism, London: Routledge. 
Turner, V. W. (1957) Schism and Continuity in an African Society, Manchester: 

Manchester University Press. 
Tusa, S. (1996) 'From hunter-gatherers to farmers in western Sicily', in R. Leighton 

(ed.) Early Societies in Sicily: New Developments in Archaeological Research, London: 

University of London, Accordia Specialist Studies in Italy 5, 41—55. 
Tykot, R. (1994) 'Radiocarbon dating and absolute chronology in Sardinia and 

Corsica', in R. Skeates and R. Whitehouse (eds) Radiocarbon Gating and Italian 

Prehistory, London: British School at Rome and Accordia Research Centre, 

Ucko, P. J. (ed.) (1995) Theory in Archaeology: A World Perspective, London: 

Upham, S. (1987) A theoretical consideration of middle range societies', in R. D. 

Drennan and C. Uribe (eds) Chiefdoms in the Americas, Lanham, Md: University 

Press of America, 345—67. 
(1990a) 'Decoupling the processes of political evolution', in S. Upham (ed.) 

The Evolution of Political Systems: Sociopolitics in Small-scale Sedentary Societies, 

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1—17. 
(ed.) (1990b) The Evolution of Political Systems: Sociopolitics in Small-scale 

Sedentary Societies, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 
(1990c) 'Analog or digital?: toward a generic framework for explaining the 

development of emergent political systems', in S. Upham (ed.) The Evolution of 
Political Systems: Sociopolitics in Small-Scale Sedentary Societies, Cambridge: 
Cambridge University Press, 87—115. 
VanPool, C. S. and VanPool, T L. (1999) 'The scientific nature of postprocessual- 
ism' , American Antiquity , 64: 33—53. 



Vargas Arenas, I. and Sanoja, M. (1999) Archaeology as a social science: its expres- 
sion in Latin America', in G. G. Politis and B. Alberti (eds) Archaeology in Latin 
America, London: Routledge, 59-75. 

Vazquez Varela, J. M. and Risch, R. (1991) 'Theory in Spanish archaeology since 
I960', in I. Hodder (ed.) Archaeological Theory in Europe, London: Routledge, 

Vicent, J. M. (1991) 'Arqueologia y filosofia: la teoria critica', Trabajos de 
Prehistoria, 48: 29-76. 

Vigne, J.-D. (1988) Les Mammifires post-glaciaires de Corse: Etude Archeozoologique, 
Paris: Editions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. 

Vincent, J. (1978) 'Political anthropology: manipulative strategies', Annual Review 
of Anthropology , 7: 175-94. 

Wailes, B. (1995) A case study of heterarchy in complex societies: early medieval 
Ireland and its archaeological implications', in R. M. Ehrenreich, C. L. Crumley 
and J. E. Levy (eds) Heterarchy and the Analysis of Complex Societies, Archaeological 
Papers of the American Anthropological Association no. 6, 55—69. 

Waldren, W. (2001) 'A new megalithic dolmen from the Balearic island of Mal- 
lorca: Its radiocarbon dating and artefacts', Oxford Journal of Archaeology, 20: 

Webster, G. S. (1990) 'Labor control and emergent stratification in prehistoric 
Europe', Current Anthropology, 31: 337—66. 

(1991a) 'Monuments, mobilization and Nuragic organization', Antiquity, 65: 


(1991b) 'The functions and social significance of nuraghi', in B. Santillo 

Frizell (ed.) Arte Militare e Architettura Nuragica, Stockholm: Acta Instituti Regni 
Sueciae, Series 4, xlviii, 169-85. 
(1996) A Prehistory of Sardinia 2300-500 bc, Sheffield: Sheffield Academic 

Webster, G. S. and Michels, J. W (1986) 'Palaeoeconomy in west-central Sardinia', 

Antiquity, 60: 226-9. 
Wenke, R. J. (1981) 'Explaining the evolution of cultural complexity: a review', 

Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory, 4: 79—127. 
Whallon, R. (1982) 'Comments on "explanation"', in C. Renfrew and S. Shennan 

(eds) Ranking, Resource and Exchange, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 

White, J. C. (1995) 'Incorporating heterarchy into theory on socio-political devel- 
opment: the case for South-east Asia', in R. M. Ehrenreich, C. L. Crumley and J. 

E. Levy (eds) Heterarchy and the Analysis of Complex Societies, Archaeological Papers 

of the American Anthropological Association no. 6, 101—23. 
White, J. P. (1985) 'Digging out Big Men?', Archaeology in Oceania, 20: 57-60. 
Wolf, E. R. (1982) Europe and the People Without History, Berkeley: University of 

California Press. 
Wright, H. T (1977) 'Recent research on the origins of the state', Annual Review 

of Anthropology, 6: 519— 91 ■ 
(1984) 'Prestate political formations', in T Earle (ed.) On the Evolution of 



Complex Societies: Essays in Honor of Harry Hoijer 1982, Malibu, Cal.: Undena 
Publications, 41-77. 
(1986) 'The evolution of civilisations', in D. J. Meltzer, D. D. Fowler and J. 

A. Sabloff (eds) American Archaeology Past and Future: A Celebration of the Society for 

American Archaeology 1935—85, Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 

Wright, H. T. and Johnson, G. A. (1975) 'Population, exchange and early state 

formation in southwestern Iran', American Anthropologist, 77: 267-89. 
Wylie, A. (1982) 'Epistemological issues raised by a structuralist archaeology', in I. 

Hodder (ed.) Symbolic and Structural Archaeology, Cambridge: Cambridge 

University Press, 39—46. 
(1989) 'The interpretive dilemma', in V. Pinsky and A. Wylie (eds) Critical 

Traditions in Contemporary Archaeology , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 

(1992) 'On "heavily decomposing red herrings": scientific method in 

archaeology and the ladening of evidence with theory', in L. Embree (ed.) 
Metaarchaeology , Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 269—88. 
(2000) 'Questions of evidence, legitimacy and the disunity of science', 

American Antiquity, 69: 227-37. 
Yates, T (1989) 'Habitus and social space: some suggestions about meaning in the 

Saami (Lapp) tent ca. 1700—1900', in I. Hodder (ed.) The Meaning of Things. 

Material Culture and Symbolic Expression, London: Unwin Hyman, 249—62. 
Yengoyan, A. A. (1991) 'Evolutionary theory in ethnological perspectives', in A. T 

Rambo and K. Gillogly (eds) Profiles in Cultural Evolution, Ann Arbor, 

Mich.: Museum of Anthropology, 3—21. 
Zafra de la Torre, N., Hornos, F. and Castro, M. (1999) Una macro-aldea en el 

origen del modo de vida campesino: Marroqies Bajos (Jaen) c. 2500—2000 cal 

a.n.e', Trabajos de Prehistoria, 56(1): 77-102. 
Zeidler, J. A. (1987) 'The evolution of prehistoric "tribal" systems as historical 

process: archaeological indicators of social reproduction', in R. D. Drennan and 

C. Uribe (eds) Chiefdoms in the America: Lanham, Md: University Press of Amer- 
ica, 325-43. 
Zilhao, J. (2000) 'From the Mesolithic to the Neolithic in the Iberian peninsula', in 

T. D. Price (ed.) Europe's First Farmers, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 




Numbers in bold indicate figures in the text. 

Abercrombie, N. 62 

Abrams, P. 88 

agency 14, 65-6, 68 

Aguas valley 105, 110, 112, 120, 

152, 153 
Albalete 173 
Alcina Franch, J. 21, 22 
Alcores 173 
Alden Smith, E. 27 
Aldenderfer, M. 81 
Almagro, M. 104 
Almizaraque 104, 105, 108, 115, 

118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 124, 

126, 131, 140 
Andah, B. W. 17, 18 
Aranda Jimenez, G. 175 
ArausJ. L. 137, 153 
Archaeomedes 110, 112 
Arnold, J. E. 10,66,86,87 
Arribas, A. 104, 108, 109, 114, 

126, 127, 128 
Arteaga, O. 108, 144, 146, 171, 

172, 173 
Audouze, F. 23 

Balearic Islands 179 

bands 34-5, 38, 55 

Barker, G. 177, 194 

barley monoculture 135, 137 

Barrera Morate, J. L. 124 

Barrett, J. C. 65 

Barth, F. 64 

Bate, L. F. 18, 20, 22, 29, 98, 99 

Bawden, G. 91 

Bender, B. 57, 58,60,63,86 

Bentley, G. R. 50 

Berlin, I. 59 

Bernbeck, R. 64 

Berreman, G. D. 79 

big men 38, 42, 77, 107, 130, 

159-60, 180, 183-4 
Binford, L. R. 10, 13, 29, 33, 38, 

39, 105 
Binford, S. R. 13,33,39, 105 
Blake, M. 67 

Blanton, R. E. 66, 83, 165 
Bloch, M. 5, 12, 27, 28, 59, 60, 97 
Boissevain, J. 64 
Bonanno, A. 185 
Boone, J. L. 27 
Borronar 103, 124 
Bourdieu, P. 64,65,66,67 
Braun, D. P. 50, 55,58,68 
Brown, J. A. 85 
Brumfiel, E. 94, 161 
Buchli, V. 30 
BuikstraJ. E. Ill, 143 
Bunge, M. 27, 30 
Burrow, J. W. 5 
Buxo, R. 122 
Byrd, B. 87 

Cabecicos Negros 104, 109, 118, 

Cabezo de la Cueva del Plomo 108 
Cabezojure 174 



Cahokia 88-90, 93, 94, 160, 195 
Callinicos, A. 3, 4, 68 
Camalich, M. D. 109, HO, 114, 

118, 123, 125 
Camara, J. C. 169 

Campos 104, 108, 109, 122, 123, 

125, 126, 130, 132 
capital investment 155—8, 183 
capitalism 1, 2, 3, 8, 30, 59 
Cara, L. 110 

Carigiiela de Pinar 103, 104 
Carmichael, P. H. 91 
Carneiro, R. L. 43 
Carrilero, M. 109, 118, 155 
Carrion, F. 118, 124 
Castro, P. V. 24, 25, 97, 110, 111, 

112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 

121, 122, 123, 126, 130, 131, 
132, 133, 135, 136, 138, 143, 
144, 146, 151, 153, 154, 156 

(Jatalhoyiik 196 

Cazzella, A. 177 

centralization 83, 94, 95, 161, 193 

Cerro del Real 103 

Cerro de la Encina, Monachil 103, 

105, 133, 162, 175 
Cerro de la Virgen 103, 104, 105, 

122, 123, 125, 130, 133, 155, 

Cerro de las Canteras 103, 126 
Cerro de los Castellones, Laborcillas 

103, 108 
Cerro Virtud 104, 114, 117, 118, 

119, 120, 155 

Chapman, R. 104, 106, 109, 110, 
111, 114, 121, 122, 123, 129, 
130, 133, 144, 151, 152, 155, 
159, 160, 164-5, 174, 178, 179 

Cherry, J. F. 43, 95 

chiefdoms 35-6, 37, 38, 39-41, 44, 
45,47-8, 50-6, 58,66-7,86, 
93,94-5, 159, 162, 177, 180, 
182, 185; coercive 42, 84; 
collaborative 42, 84; complex 42, 
48, 49, 52, 90, 161,180; group- 
oriented 39,40, 42; 
individualizing 41, 42; simple 

Childe, V. G. 19,22,30, 33,60 

Chowning, A. 42 

Ciavieja, El Ejido 103, 109, 118, 

124, 155 
Ciferri, F. 122 
civilization 5, 43, 197 
Claessen, H. J. M. 88,93 
Clapham, A.J. 133 
Clark, J. E. 67,91,93 
Clarke, D. L. 13, 

class 24, 37, 60, 63, 64, 68, 96-9 
class societies 5, 173, 174-5, 181 
Clemente, I. 139 
coercion 96-7, 98 
Cohen, A. P. 64 
complexity 4-5, 6,7,8, 9, 10, 11, 

24, 82-4; horizontal 83; 

organizational 54, 55; social 66; 

vertical 83 
complex societies 5, 7, 10, 72; 

Iberia 164-7; West 

Mediterranean 176—85 
con junto 25, 26 
Contreras, F. 109, 142, 163, 174, 

Coppa Nevigata 177 
Cordy, R. H. 42, 45, 49, 52, 94 
Coudart, A. 14, 16 
Courty, M. A. 135 
Creamer, W. 41 
Cretan palace society 194, 195 
Crumley, C. L. 81 
Cruz-Aunon, R. 171, 172, 173 
Cuartillas 104, 114, 118, 119 
Cuesta del Negro, Purullena 103, 

105, 133, 163 
Cueva de los Murcielagos, Zuheros 

Cueva de los Toyos 103, 119 
Cueva de Nerja 103, 104 
cultural ecology 27, 28, 45, 46, 50, 

cultural evolution 38, 50, 55, 58 
cultural materialism 28 

Delibes, G. 110, 117, 118, 119, 

120, 122, 126, 131, 166 
DeMarrais, E. 62, 63 
Dever, L. 154 
Devore, I. 84 
Diaz-Andreu, M. 166-7 
Dobres, M-A. 66 



Dolukhanov, P. M. 28 

Donner, W. 74 

Douglas, B. 42 

Drennan, R. D. 38, 49, 53, 54, 55, 

Driesch, A. von den 122 
Dunnell, R. C. 27 
Dwyer, P. P. 84 

Earle, T. 10, 14,42,44,49, 50, 51, 

52, 53, 56, 57,62,63,66,68, 

109, 161 
egalitarian 1 1 

egalitarianism 50, 73, 74, 75—6 
egalitarian societies 36, 38, 41, 

El Argar 102, 104, 109, 133, 135, 

139, 141, 142, 148 
El Barranquete 103, 105, 130, 

ElGarcel 104, 123 
ElMalagon 103, 108, 122, 123, 

125, 130, 159 
ElOficio 104, 132, 142, 155, 156 
El Trastejon 175 
Emerson, T. E. 63, 88, 90 
Engels, F. 3, 5, 19, 23, 59, 60, 62, 

Enlightenment 5, 6 
equality 72—3 

Estivez, J. 22, 109, 144, 146 
Evans-Pritchard, E. E. 72, 76, 84, 

evolution 4—5, 27 
evolutionism 12, 18 
exploitation 24, 25, 52, 59, 63, 64, 

97, 142-3 

Fedoroff, N. 135 

Feinman, G. M. 10, 43, 44, 45, 48, 

49,52,54,55,57,93,94, 162 
Fernandez-Miranda, M. 114, 117, 

119, 120 
Ferreira do Alentejo 173 
Flanagan, J. G. 72, 73, 75 
Flannery, K. V. 13, 46, 47, 48, 83, 

84,93,94,98, 161, 162 
Forenbaher, S. 166, 174 
Fortes, M. 72, 76, 84, 87, 93 
French, C. 152 

Fried, M. H. 34, 36, 37, 38, 39, 43, 

44,45,50,93, 193 
Friedman, J. 60,61,63,75 
Fuente Alamo 104, 108, 109, 115, 

116, 132, 133, 135, 137, 138, 

141, 143, 144, 145, 155, 156, 

Funari, P. PA. 18 

Gailey, C. W. 96, 98 

Gall, P. L. 46 

Gandara, M. 19, 29 

Garcia Sanchez, M. 163 

Garcia Sanjuan, L. 175 

Gasull, P. 25 

Gatas 10, 25, 102, 104, 110-11, 

112, 115, 132, 133, 135, 136, 

137, 139, 141, 147, 153, 154, 

155, 156, 157 
gender 77—9, 146; ideology of 

Gerlach, L. P. 75 
Gerlach, U. M. 75 
Gero, J. M. 67 
Giddens, A. 64,65,66,67 
Gilman, A. 28, 51, 52, 53, 63, 64, 

106, 109, 122, 131, 133, 140, 

143, 155, 156, 157, 160, 167 
Gledhill, J. 93 
globalization 1, 2, 8, 17, 19 
Godelier, M. 77, 78 
Gomez, M. T. 118, 124 
Goni Quintero, A. 119 
Gonzalez-Marcen, P. 23, 24, 113, 

Goody, J. 95 
Goodyear, A. C. 24 
Gosden, C. 159 
Gosse, G. 123 
Gould, S.J. 6 
Grant, A. 179 
great men 42, 183—4 
Greenwood, D. 73 
Gregg, S. A. 50 
Grove, D. C. 91 
Guidi, A. 16 
Gusi,F. 118 

Haas, J. 41, 56,91 
Hall, R. L. 90 



Halstead, P. 106 
Harris, E. C. 25 
Harris, M. 5,28 
Harrison, R. J. 118, 125, 126, 

Harvey, D. 2, 6 
Hastorf, C. A. 56, 57, 79 
Hawaii 42, 44 
Hawkes, C. 33 
Headland, T. N. 85 
Helms, M. W. 44 
Hernando, A. 109, 165 
Hertz, N. 2 
heterarchy 81—2 
heterogeneity 83 
hierarchical societies 38, 73—4 
hierarchy 10, 11, 52, 78; 

decision-making 46—9, 80, 

91, 94, 161; sequential 80; 

settlement 48-9, 55,91, 

92,94, 160-1, 180; 

simultaneous 80 
Hill, K. 77 
historical materialism 21, 22, 23, 

24, 55,58, 59-64,96-9, 107, 

H6ck, M. 171 
Hodder, I. 4, 9, 13, 14, 15, 17, 25, 

26,28,30,63,65, 196 
Hoffman, G 152 
Holtorf, C. 17 
Hopf, M. 135 
Hoshower, L. 143 
Hunt, R. C. 64 
hunters and gatherers 6, 44, 84—7; 

!Kung Bushmen 73, 76, 77, 85; 

Pacific coast 85—7 
Hurtado, V. 169, 170, 171 
Hutterer, K. L. 45 

Iberia 164—76; fortified settlements 
168—9; monumental enclosures 
169-73; production 173-6 

idealism 12, 16,20,21,23,28, 

ideology 51, 53, 60, 61-3, 66-7, 
73, 143, 181, 183-5 

Ifre 103, 137 

incommensurability thesis 28 

inequality 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 72, 
73, 76-9, 83, 158-9; economic 
57, 73; institutionalized 67; 
political 57, 73; 

information theory 47 

Isbell, W. H. 90, 92 

Jenne-jeno 95 

Jimenez Brobeil, S. A. 163 

Johnson, G. A. 46, 47, 49, 76, 80, 

90,91, 161 
Johnson, M. 65, 188 
Jones, G. T. 45 
Jones, S. 79 
Jorge, V. 16, 166 
Jurich, B. 133 

Kalb, P. 171 

Kaplan, H. 77 

Karlsson, H. 17 

Keech Mcintosh, S. 75, 93, 95 

Keene, A. S. 50, 58, 74, 76 

Keesing, R. M. 78 

Kehoe, A. B. 90 

Kinehan, J. 17 

King, E.M. 81 

Kirch, P. 53 

Kirk, T. 29 

Klein, N. 3 

Klejn, L. S. 28 

Kobylinski, Z. 15 

Kohl, P. 88, 93 

Kosse, K. 47 

Kotsakis, K. 15 

Kristiansen, K. 52, 53, 61, 93, 98, 

99, 195 
Kuhn, T. S. 19,26,27,28,29 
Kuijt, I. 87 
Kunst, M. 166 
Kunter, M. 142, 143, 144 
Kus, S. M. 41,49 

La Bastida de Totana 103, 142 
La Papua 175 
La Pastora 171 
LaPijotilla 169, 170, 173 
LaVenta 103, 125 
Las Angosturas 103, 108 
Las Pefias de los Gitanos, Montefrfo 
103, 104 



Las Pilas 104, 109, 115, 121, 122, 
125, 130, 132 

Last, J. 67 

Laudan, L. 28 

Leacock, E. 79 

lead isotope analysis 140—2 

Lee, R. B. 57,76,77,84 

Leisner, G. 120 

Leisner, V. 120 

Lemonnier, P. 42 

Lenin, V. I. 96 

Leonard, R. D. 45 

Leroi-Gourhan, A. 16 

Levy, J. E. 81,82 

Lewin, R. 6, 8, 

LiepJ. 42 

Lightfoot, K. G. 85,86,87 

Lillios, K. 174 

Lopez Mazz, J. M. 18 

Lopinot, N. H. 88 

Los Millares 102, 103, 106, 108, 
109, 110, 114, 122, 123, 124, 
126-9, 130, 131, 153, 155, 
156, 159, 169 

Lugarico Viejo 104, 109, 132 

Lull, V. 10,20,21,22,23,24, 
25,96,97,98,99, 107, 109, 
111, 115, 131, 134, 137, 142, 
143, 144, 146, 147, 153, 160, 

Lumbreras, L. G. 22, 99 

McGladeJ. 8 

McGuire, R. H. 16, 18, 19, 28, 59, 

McLellan, D. 59 
Madarovce group 194 
Maicas Ramos, R. 119 
Malone, C. 177, 178, 179 
Malta 39, 179, 185 
Marcus, J. 93,94 
Marroquies Bajos 170, 171—2 
Mars, G. 75 
Martin Socas, D. 109, 114, 118, 

123, 125, 129, 130 
Martinez Navarrete, Ma. I. 21, 22, 

Martinez Padilla, C. 114, 117, 118, 

Martinez Santa Olalla, J. 122 

Marx, K. 3, 8, 19, 23, 24, 59, 60, 

Marxism 12, 15, 16, 18, 21, 22, 24, 

28, 57, 61, 164; analytical 68; 

classical 22, 60, 63; neo- 60, 63; 

structural 15, 18, 19, 22, 60, 63; 

western 60 
Maschner, H. D. G. 85,86 
Matarrubilla 171 
materialism 20, 28, 30, 31, 32, 

Mathers, C. 106, 107, 109, 122, 

131, 165, 177, 185, 186 
Mays, S. 64 
Meggers, B. 18 
Melanesia 38, 42, 78 
Meskell, L. M. 9, 30, 67 
MichelsJ. W. 179, 182 
Mico, R. 109, 114, 124, 130, 131, 

Miller, D. 61 
Milner, G. 88 
Minnegal, M. 84 
Modjeska, N. 78 
Molina, F. 109, 117, 124 
Monahan, CM. 87 
Monks, S.J. 130, 169 
Monks Mound 88, 89, 90 
Montane, J. 22 
Monte Alban 93, 94 
Monte d'Accodi 180 
Monte da Ponte 171 
Montero, I. 114, 117, 119, 120, 

125, 126, 129, 139, 140, 141, 

Morales, A. 122 
Morgan, L. H. 5,28,43, 197 
Moscoloni, M. 177 
Motos, F. de 126 

Namibia 17 

Nasca 91 

Navarrete, Ma. S. 119 

Neitzel, J. 43, 44, 45, 48, 49, 54, 

Nelson, B. A. 42, 84 
Nelson, S. M. 79 
neo-evolutionism 33—45 
Netting, R. McC. 57, 58 
New Guinea Highlands 73, 77-8 



Nocete, F. 23, 24, 169, 172, 173, 

Nuraghe Trobas 183 
Nuragic 179-83 

Oberg, K. 37 

Olaria, C. 118 

Oliveira Jorge, S. 16, 166, 168, 

169, 171 
Olivier, L. 16, 17 
Olmec 91, 93, 94, 160, 195 
Olsen, B.J. 17 
Orozco-Kohler, T. 118, 124, 125, 

Ortner, S. B. 64 
O'SheaJ. 106 
Otomani group 194—5 

paradigms 14, 26 

Pascual-Benito, J. LI 126 

Patterson, T .C. 96 

PatzoldJ. 153 

Pauketat, T. R. 67, 88, 89, 90, 99 

Paynter, R. 61,81 

Peebles, C.S. 41,49 

Pefia-Chocarro, L. 118, 175 

Penalosa 103, 109, 142, 174-5 

Perdigoes 171 

Peregrine, P. N. 144 

Perez Bareas, C. 169 

Perra, M. 181, 182 

Perrson, P. 181 

Peters,]. 122 

Pingel, V. 137 

Plog, S. 50, 55, 58,68,74 

Pluciennik, M. 26 

Politis, G. 18 

Pollock, S. 193 

Polynesia 38, 42, 43 

population 45, 49, 54-5, 57, 161-2 

Portugal 16, 

Possehl, G. L. 95 

postmodernism 4, 6, 16, 22 

postprocessualism 10, 13, 14, 17, 

Potter, D. R. 81 
power 61-2, 64 
practice theory 64—8 
Preucel, R. W. 13, 14,30 
Price, T.D. 10,82,85 

processualism 10, 13, 14, 17, 18, 

production 118-19; 122-30, 
133-42, 154-8; lithic 118, 
124-5, 126, 138-9; metal 119, 
125, 126-8, 139-42; pottery 
125; vertical 138 

productive tensions 28 

progress 5, 6 

property 24, 28, 97 

Pueblo societies 74—5 

Python, M. 31 

Raab, L. M. 24 

Ramos, A. 107, 125, 126, 130, 152, 

ranked societies 36, 44, 159 
Rasmussen, T. 194 
Rayner, S. 75,76 
realism 23, 30 

redistribution 35, 37, 39, 42, 43-4 
Redmond, E. M. 75 
Reid, L. A. 85 
Reinecke, P. 5 

relativism 19,20,21, 23, 30 
Renfrew, C. 13, 39, 40, 41, 42, 45, 

94, 105, 162, 185 
Reynolds, R. G. 47 
Richards, C. 25, 26 
Risch, R. 20, 23, 24, 96, 97, 98, 99, 

111, 124, 132, 133, 134, 138, 

140, 143, 146, 150 
Robb, J. E. 66, 179, 183-4, 185 
Rodriguez, J. M. 110 
Rodriguez Ariza, Ma. O. 153, 156 
Roman Diaz, Ma. P. 114, 117, 118, 

122, 123, 124 
Roscoe, P. B. 65 
Rovira, N. 122 

Rowlands, M.J. 6,7,60,61,63 
Ruiz, A. 21,22,23 
Ruiz, M. 132, 133, 138, 143 
Ruiz Galvez, M. 109 
RuizMata, D. 171 
Ruiz Taboada, A. 114, 117, 119 
Ruiz Sanchez, V. 153 

Sahlins, M. 37, 38, 39, 42, 43, 72 
Saitta, D.J. 58,63,74,97 
Salzman, P. C. 74 



Sanahuja, Ma. E. 25 

Sanchez Romero, M. 120 

Sanoja, M. 19 

Santa Barbara 104, 109 

Sardinia 179— 83; production 182-3 

Savory, H. N. 168 

Saxe, A. A. 39, 46 

Scarre, C. 16, 20 

Schiffer, M. B. 13 

Schmidt, P. 18 

Schreiber, K. J. 90, 92 

Schrire, C. 85 

Schubart, H. 108, 109, 115, 133, 

137, 144, 155 
Schiile, W. 125 
segregation 83 
Service, E. R. 34,35,36,37,38, 


93, 161 
Shanks, M. 7,8, 13, 14,65 
Shennan, S. 65, 67, 68 
S'lllot 179 
Silverblatt, I. 79 
Siret, H. 102, 108, 119, 126, 132, 

137, 145, 148, 149 
Siret, L. 102, 108, 119, 126, 132, 

137, 145, 148, 149 
Sjogren, K-G. 181 
Skalnik, P. 88, 93 
Skeates, R. 176, 183, 184 
social evolution 5, 28, 33, 39, 72 
social practices 25, 65, 119—20 
social production 24, 25, 55 
social types 39, 4 1—5 
Soffer, O. 86 
Sollas, W.J. 33 
Son Ferrandell Oleza 179 
Son Fornes 25, 179 
South America 18—20 
South-east Spain 10, 11, 102-63; 

Argaric 114-15, 131-46, 159; 

capital investment 155—8; 

Copper Age 114, 120-31, 

158—9; funerary evidence 120, 

130-1, 144-6; matrilocality 

143—4; models of change 106-8, 

150-1; Neolithic 113-14, 

116-20, 158; 

palaeoenvironments 151—4; 

periodization 112—16; 

population 120—2, 132—3; 
Postargaric 116; production 
118-19, 122-30, 133-42, 
154-8; social relations 158-60 

Spain 10, 20-6 

Spencer, C. S. 55,68,81 

Spencer, H. 4 

SpethJ. D. 77 

Spissky Stvrtok 195 

Spriggs, M. 61 

states 1, 6, 7, 24, 36, 37, 42, 44, 45, 
144, 158-63, 173, 193-6; 
archaic 52, 53, 93, 195; types 43 

Stein, G.J. 94, 161, 193-4 

Steponaitis, V. P. 48, 49, 52, 53 

Sterud, G 28 

Stevenson, A. C. 153 

Steward, J. 27,34,46 

Stika, H-P. 133, 135 

Stoddart, S. 177, 179, 185 

Stos-Gale, S. 140 

Strathern, M. 78 

stratified societies 37, 44, 79 

Stretto-Partanna 176 

structuralism 12, 21 

structuration theory 65, 67—8 

Suarez, A. 109, 118, 125, 155 

surplus 24, 97 

Tarajal 103, 105 

Taylor, D. 44 

technology 5-6 

Tellez, R. 122 

Teotihuacan 93, 94 

Terrall,J-F. 158 

Terrera Ventura, Tabernas 103, 105, 

118, 122, 124, 155 
Thapsos 178 
Thomas, J. 13, 14,29 
Thornes, J. B. 109, 122, 131, 133, 

155, 157 
Tilley, C. 7,8, 13, 14,29,61,65 
Toscono 179 
Tosi, M. 16 
tribal societies 52, 55 
tribes 35, 36, 37,38, 41,42, 50 
Trigger, B. G. 4, 5, 6, 28, 30, 31, 

42, 57,60,61,63 
Tschauner, H. 14 



Turner, B. S. 1,2 
Turner, V. W. 64 
Tusa, S. 176 
Tykot, R. 181 

Ucko, P.J. 17 

Upham, S. 47, 49, 54, 55, 56, 57, 

Uribe, C. 54 
Urpes 179 

Valencina de la Concepcion 171, 

172, 173, 176 
Van Der Leeuw, S. 8 
VanPool, C. S. 14 
VanPool, T L. 14 
Vargas Arenas, I. 19 
Vazquez Varela, J. M. 20, 23 
Vera basin 104, 105, 107, 109, 110, 

111, 113, 114, 116-43, 152, 

153, 162, 175, 190 
Vernet,J-L. 153, 156 
VicentJ. M. 21 
Vigne,J-D. 179 
Vila Nova de Sao Pedro 174 
Vincent, J. 64 

Wailes, B. 81 

Waldren, W. 179 

Webster, G. S. 179-83 

Wenke, R.J. 63, 162 

Wessex 39, 40 

West Mediterranean 176-85; 

production 178-9 
Whallon, R. 13,24 
White, J. C. 82 
White, J. P. 160 
White, L. 27, 28, 34, 38, 46 
Wolf, E. R. 50 
Wright, H. T. 42, 46, 47, 48, 


Wylie, A. 29, 150 

Yates, T 65 
Yengoyan, A. 41 

Zafra de la Torre, N. 170, 171 
Zajara 104, 109, 121, 125, 

Zambujal 169, 174 
ZeidlerJ. A. 55,56,63 
ZilhaoJ. 113