Oxbow Books, 2010. - 222 p.This book explores the dynamics of small-scale societies in the ancient Near East by examining the ways in which particular communities functioned and interacted and by moving beyond the broad neo-evolutionary models of social change which have characterised many earlier approaches. By focusing on issues of diversity, scale, and context, it considers: the ways in which economy, crafts, technology, and ritual were organised; the roles played by mortuary practices and households in the structure and development of ancient societies; the importance of agency, identity, ethnicity, gender, community and cultural interaction for the rise of socio-economic complexity. The contributors to this volume are well-known archaeologists in the field of Near Eastern studies; all are currently engaged in fieldwork or research in Cyprus, the Levant, or Turkey. The variety and depth of the research they present here reflect the richness of the archaeological record in the 'cradle of civilisation' and convey the vibrancy of current interpretive approaches within the field of Near Eastern prehistory today.
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