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In this ground-breaking work, Norman Yoffee shatters the prevailing myths underpinning our understanding of the evolution of early civilisations. He counters the emphasis in traditional scholarship on the rule of 'godly' and despotic male leaders and challenges the conventional view that early states were uniformly constituted bureaucratic and regional entities. Instead, by illuminating the role of slaves and soldiers, priests and priestesses, peasants and prostitutes, merchants and craftsmen, Yoffee depicts an evolutionary process centred on the concerns of everyday life. Drawing on evidence from ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, China and Mesoamerica, the author explores the variety of trajectories followed by ancient states, from birth to collapse, and explores the social processes that shape any account of the human past. This book offers a bold new interpretation of social evolutionary theory, and as such it is essential reading for any student or scholar with an interest in the emergence of complex society.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521521567
ISBN-10: 0521521564
Format: Paperback
(247mm x 174mm x 16mm)
Pages: 292
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 13-Jan-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Norman Yoffee

Norman Yoffee is Professor of Mesopotamian Studies and Anthropology at the Centre for Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His various publications and edited works include Archaeological Theory: Who Sets the Agenda? (0521440149 HB; 0521449588 PB) and The Collapse of Ancient States and Civilizations (co-editor with George L. Cowgill) (University of Arizona Press, 1988).

Books By Author Norman Yoffee

Questioning Collapse by Norman Yoffee

Questioning Collapse

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Prehistory of Britain and Ireland by Norman Yoffee

The Prehistory of Britain and Ireland

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Olmec Archaeology and Early Mesoamerica by Norman Yoffee

Olmec Archaeology and Early Mesoamerica

Hardback, February 2007
$166.50