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Bones of ComplexityBioarchaeological Case Studies of Social Organization and Skeletal Biology$
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Haagen D. Klaus, Amanda R. Harvey, and Mark N. Cohen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062235

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062235.001.0001

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Human Biology in Ancient Complex Societies

Human Biology in Ancient Complex Societies

Some Concepts for Bioarchaeology

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Human Biology in Ancient Complex Societies
Source:
Bones of Complexity
Author(s):

Haagen D. Klaus

Amanda R. Harvey

Mark N. Cohen

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813062235.003.0001

This introductory chapter examines previous archaeological thinking regarding the origins, scales, forms of evidence, and nature of social complexity in the human past. As a relative newcomer to this topical area, bioarchaeological approaches are shown to bring unique theoretical and empirical perspectives on these issues. Unique strengths of the bioarchaeological approach include compelling ways of looking at power, hierarchy, and heterarchy, the embodiment of social realities into human behavior and biology, and avenues to bridge long-standing divides between mortuary archaeology and bioarchaeology. The authors also discuss a number of challenges in the bioarchaeology of social complexity, including how best to grapple with typological thinking and interpretation of social structures from human skeletal remains. The chapter closes with a preview summary of the following chapters in the volume.

Keywords:   social complexity, hierarchy, heterarchy

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