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The Collapse of Complex Societies : New Studies in Archaeology - Joseph A. Tainter

The Collapse of Complex Societies

New Studies in Archaeology

Paperback

Published: 28th May 1990
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Political disintegration is a persistent feature of world history. The Collapse of Complex Societies, though written by an archaeologist, will therefore strike a chord throughout the social sciences. Any explanation of societal collapse carries lessons not just for the study of ancient societies, but for the members of all such societies in both the present and future. Dr. Tainter describes nearly two dozen cases of collapse and reviews more than 2000 years of explanations. He then develops a new and far-reaching theory that accounts for collapse among diverse kinds of societies, evaluating his model and clarifying the processes of disintegration by detailed studies of the Roman, Mayan and Chacoan collapses.

'Tainter's model accommodates all levels of complexity and all kinds of evidence. It deserves to be widely read.' Antiquity 'Tainter's is an attractive and compelling thesis, of a genre which is nearly extinct among domestic historians.' History Today

Acknowledgements
Introduction to collapse
The nature of complex societies
The study of collapse
Understanding collapse: the marginal productivity of sociopolitical change
Evaluation: complexity and marginal returns in collapsing societies
Summary and implications
References
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521386739
ISBN-10: 052138673X
Series: New Studies in Archaeology
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 262
Published: 28th May 1990
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.7 x 17.4  x 1.5
Weight (kg): 0.54