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Exchange Systems in Prehistory

Chapter

Abstract

Thirty years ago today (and then some), Exchange Systems in Prehistory (Earle and Ericson 1977) was published. The editors of the present volume offered me the chance to consider how exchange studies have grown over the last generation and what major challenges lie ahead. My plan is to summarize briefly the state of the field in the 1970s and then trace briefly major forward movements leading to this first decade of the twenty-first century. Rather than review the countless studies and stream of useful books and articles on the topic, I offer thoughts on where we have come from and where we must go (Earle 1994, 1999). We have solved many analytical problems with source identification and have learned to view exchange as a means to form and maintain social and power relationships, but challenges remain ahead. We are just beginning to model the complex and conflicting ways in which elites and commoners in opposition and in collaboration used exchange in their daily lives and on special occasions. The present volume points directions in our path toward a more integrated view of economy and society.

Keywords

Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis Market Exchange Present Volume Commodity Chain Ceramic Waster 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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