Eurasian C-Wave Crises in the First Millennium B.C.

  • William R. Thompson
Part of the The Evolutionary Processes in World Politics Series book series (EPWP)

Abstract

One of the more interesting challenges in world-system history is modeling long-term fluctuations in change and instability The task is challenging because we are not used to working in really longue durees and, partially as a consequence, the information needed to test theories is not readily available. It must be slowly reconstructed, to the extent that it can be found, from many scattered sources. A third problem is that our understandings of prehistorical eras are sketchy and interpretative. Coins, burned walls, and pottery styles must be studied for whatever clues they can impart. Most analysts of world-system history are not trained in numismatics or art history. Therefore, we are forced to rely on reconstructions executed by specialists who are not always particularly interested in bigger pictures. Fourth, the world system is and, seemingly, has been a rather large place for some time. Yet history and archaeology tend to be organized by regional and subregional foci that are usually further delimited by temporal filters. For instance, historians and archaeologists, as a rule, do not study the Bronze Age as a whole. They study a chronological slice of it (e.g., early, middle, late) in some village in Palestine, Greece, or the Carpathians. Moreover, substantial territories are studied and written about primarily in languages (e.g., Russian and Chinese) that are not widely known in the West. Fitting together information extracted from different villages, regions, and eras certainly goes on but it is not an activity in which many historians and archaeologists are engaged. Finally, the prevailing ideologies of anthropology, archaeology, and history are inherently antagonistic to some of the central conceptualizations on which we rely in world-system history.1

Keywords

Migration Europe Syria Excavation Nash 

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© Christopher Chase-Dunn and E. N. Anderson 2005

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