Regional Approaches to Society and Complexity - Alex R. Knodell

Regional Approaches to Society and Complexity - Alex R. Knodell

Regional Approaches to Society and Complexity: Setting an Agenda

Regional Approaches to Society and Complexity - Alex R. Knodell

Alex R. Knodell [+-]
Carleton College
Alex R. Knodell is Assistant Professor of Classics and Co-Director of the Archaeology Program at Carleton College. He currently co-directs the Mazi Archaeological Project (Northwest Attica, Greece) and previously served as field director of the Brown University Petra Archaeological Project (Petra, Jordan). Other research interests include the development of complex societies in the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age Mediterranean, especially in relation to the Euboean Gulf of Greece. Recent articles have appeared in Antike Kunst, Journal of Archaeological Science, Journal of Field Archaeology, and World Archaeology.
Thomas P. Leppard [+-]
University of Cambridge
Thomas P. Leppard is Renfrew Fellow in the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge. His research concerns the comparative archaeology of island societies in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Pacific, especially issues of colonization, mobility, and emergent social complexity. Recent articles on these subjects have appeared in Human Ecology, Cambridge Archaeological Journal, Current Anthropology, Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology, Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, and World Archaeology. He currently conducts fieldwork in Micronesia and Sardinia.


This introductory chapter lays out the framework and key themes of the present volume, explores the development of regional approaches to society and complexity over the last several decades and situates the papers that follow in terms of a comparative agenda. We begin by establishing context through a discussion of critical junctures in the history of regional studies. While taking a deliberately global view, we claim that the Aegean has been an exceptionally fruitful ground for the development of archaeology beyond the site, and that certain Aegean-based developments in archaeological survey and studies of sociopolitical complexity have represented crucial ways forward for comparative archaeology in the later twentieth and early twenty-first century, seen especially through the work of John F. Cherry. Such contributions include specifically the development of meso-scale, explicitly regional perspectives, as well as multi-scalar studies of complex societies that aim to synthesize local, regional, and inter-regional interactions. Nevertheless, disciplinary divisions between Mediterranean and other archaeological traditions remain an impediment to the type of regionally grounded, comparative perspectives advocated in this book. By examining patterns of divergence and convergence in methodological, theoretical, and disciplinary developments we provide a summary and assessment of regional approaches to the archaeological study of society and complexity in the Mediterranean and beyond.

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Knodell, Alex; Leppard, Thomas. Regional Approaches to Society and Complexity: Setting an Agenda. Regional Approaches to Society and Complexity. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 1-22 Jan 2018. ISBN 9781781795279. Date accessed: 11 Jul 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.30799. Jan 2018

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