Rethinking Intensification

Power relations and scales of analysis in Precolonial South India
  • Kathleen D. Morrison
Part of the Studies in Human Ecology and Adaptation book series (STHE, volume 3)


Most archaeological discussion of intensification has centered around identifying the conditions under which it emerges — that is, around problems of cause. Secondarily, disciplinary effort has focused on the consequences of intensification, most notably its supposed undergirding of complexity, by which we often simply mean institutionalized inequality. In part, this dual focus on cause and effect reflects basic archaeological biases about what the major issues of the field are, or ought to be. If we consider intensification to be a process rather than a thing, as such, it may seem curious that its causes and consequences rather than the process itself should have become the focus of archaeological attention. I briefly discuss issues of cause and consequence below; however, the majority of this paper is concerned with neither cause nor effect, but process.


Agricultural Intensification American Anthropologist Human Economy Landless Laborer Fallow Length 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen D. Morrison
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of ChicagoChicago

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