From Leaders to Rulers

  • Jonathan Haas

Part of the Fundamental Issues in Archaeology book series (FIAR)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
  3. The Emergence of Leaders

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 35-36
    2. Winifred Creamer
      Pages 37-58
  4. Leaders to Rulers

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 83-84
    2. Kristian Kristiansen
      Pages 85-104
    3. Timothy K. Earle
      Pages 105-124
  5. Rulers in Power

  6. Conclusion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 233-233
    2. Jonathan Haas
      Pages 235-243
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 245-286

About this book


The evolution of complex cultural systems is marked by a number of broad, sweeping patterns that characterize many different cultures at different points in time across the globe. Over the course of the past 100,000 years, there has been a general evolutionary trend for cultural systems to get larger and more complex. A consistent element in the broad course of cultural evolu­ tion has been the emergence and subsequent development of centralized forms of political organization. The record of the first modern humans illuminates a global wide pat­ tern of relative social equality and decentralized deciSion-making processes. Prior to about 10,000 years ago, there are no indications of clear social, political, or economic hierarchies. In these early millennia archaeological markers of social ranking are lacking and there is a similar absence of evidence pointing to the presence of leaders, chiefs or rulers. The pattern of social equality began to change at different moments and at different rates in various parts of the world in the course of the last 10,000 years. In some areas, such as Mesopotamia, politically centralized hierarchies emerged very early and developed rapidly, while in others, such as the Arctic, political centralization never emerged outside the context of Western colonialism. In every culture area, the origins and development of politically cen­ tralized social systems and the emergence of leaders and rulers followed a unique evolutionary trajectory depending on local history and environment.


DDR Evolution Maya Mesopotamia bronze age cultural evolution landscape

Editors and affiliations

  • Jonathan Haas
    • 1
  1. 1.The Field MuseumChicagoUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 2001
  • Publisher Name Springer, Boston, MA
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4613-5484-0
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4615-1297-4
  • Series Print ISSN 1567-8040
  • Buy this book on publisher's site