- The Oxford Handbook of Archaeology
- List of Contributors
- The Discipline of Archaeology
- The Formative Century, 1860–1960
- The Theoretical Scene, 1960–2000
- Into the Future
- Measuring the Passage of Time: Achievements and Challenges in Archaeological Dating
- Human Activity in a Spatial Context
- Data Collection by Excavation
- Mastering Materials
- The Nature of Humanness
- Early Hominids
- The Emergence of <i>Homo</i> Sapiens Sapiens
- The Neanderthals
- Peopling the World
- Hunters and Gatherers
- Early Farming and Domestication
- Studying Human Diet
- Cultural Complexity
- Trade and Interaction
- China: State Formation and Urbanization
- The Central Andean Region in Prehistory
- The Mediterranean and its Hinterland
- The Archaeology of Sub-Saharan Africa
- Pre-Islamic Central Asia
- The Circumpolar Zone
- East Asia
- The Pacific Islands
- North America
- South American Archaeology
- Indigenous Voices, Archaeology, and the Issue of Repatriation
- Sex and Gender
- Archaeological Representation: the Consumption and Creation of the Past
- Community Archaeology
- Subject Index
- Index of Personal Names: Includes all referenced authors.
Abstract and Keywords
This article examines the issue of cultural complexity from an archaeological perspective. It explains that cultural complexity is one of Anglo-American anthropological archaeology's core concepts and it provides the framework for much empirical work in archaeology, and states that archaeologists have re-exported it to the other social sciences. The article proposes minimal and ideal-type definitions of cultural complexity and suggests that cultural complexity is the scale of practices characterising societies. It also investigates how to measure cultural complexity and how cultural complexity change can occur.
Ian Morris is Willard Professor of Classics and Professor of History at Stanford University. He works on long-term global history.
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