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By Michael E. Smith

A part of a resurgence within the comparative research of historic societies, this booklet provides various equipment and techniques to comparative research throughout the exam of wide-ranging case stories. each one bankruptcy is a comparative research, and the varied subject matters and areas coated within the ebook give a contribution to the starting to be figuring out of version and alter in historical complicated societies. The authors discover topics starting from urbanization and payment styles, to the political recommendations of kings and chiefs, to the commercial offerings of people and families. The case reviews hide an array of geographical settings, from the Andes to Southeast Asia. The authors are prime archaeologists whose learn on early empires, states, and chiefdoms is on the innovative of clinical archaeology.

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Perhaps these views can be reconciled by suggesting that their research fits within Grew’s stage 4, but at a very early position within that stage. 9. Spatial and Temporal Domain. 12 on Tue Oct 09 11:10:35 BST 2012. 004 Cambridge Books Online © Cambridge University Press, 2012 APPROACHES TO COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS IN ARCHAEOLOGY 15 global comparisons. , 1993; Cutright et al. 2010; Marcus and Flannery 1996). Often the attempt is focused on understanding variation in how cultures have adapted to a particular area.

Stark and Chance (Chapter 9), for example, explore the concept of provincial strategies. Because this topic had not previously been synthesized or subject to comparative or theoretical analysis, their study is positioned relatively early in the trajectory of comparative research on provincial strategies. Now that they have identified a number of such strategies and their implications, the next step would be a more formal comparison of the provincial strategies employed in a sample of empires. Such early-stage comparisons differ from late-stage comparisons, such as Earle and Smith’s study.

Elsewhere I focus on several urban issues to argue that the reasons for this lack of progress lie less in the lack of archaeological data than in the realms of concepts and methods. Archaeologists need to engage conceptually with work in other disciplines to make effective ancient–modern comparisons, and we need to analyze (or reanalyze) our data so that we can address the topics and concepts of interest (M. E. Smith 2010). The delay of archaeologists in seriously engaging ancient–modern comparisons (see Feinman, Chapter 3) has not stopped nonarchaeologists from doing this, however, and they frequently use outdated information or misuse archaeological data (Childs 2007; Pugh 2000).

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