Positioning Exchange in the Evolution of Human Society

  • Timothy Earle
Part of the Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology book series (IDCA)


Contributors to Prehistoric Exchange Systems in North America summarize valiantly changing patterns of exchange. What can help us understand temporal variation across the continent? Why do systems of exchange rapidly expand only to collapse and reformulate? J. Johnson (Chapter 5) describes prehistoric exchange as “episodic” and tells us that to explain the exchange, we must focus on the “difference in social organization.” In this chapter, taking an explicit materialist perspective, I will try to position exchange within a general scheme of social evolution and to explain the processes that intertwine economic and social organizations.


Complex Society Wealth Finance Subsistence Economy American Antiquity Late Archaic 
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 New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy Earle
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Archaeology and Department of AnthropologyUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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