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Decentralized Complexity: The Case of Bronze Age Northern Europe

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

Abstract

The concept of complexity demands theoretical elaboration, especially in regard to decentralized social formations such as the Bronze Age chiefdoms of northern Europe (Artursson 2008, Goldhahn 2005, Gröhn 2004, Kristiansen 2007, Kristiansen and Larsson 2005, Ling 2007, Nordenborg Myhre 2004). I propose that analysis of their political economy will help us understand how complex power structures operate in a decentralized social and economic environment that lacks many of the attributes of more clear-cut stratified, or complex, societies. These more complex groups normally evolve in environments where high productivity in nodal areas can be controlled and monopolized, whereas decentralized complexity normally operates in environments where productive resources are widespread and difficult to control from a single center.

Keywords

Symbolic Capital Network Strategy Settlement Structure Prestige Good Local Chief 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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