AAA Annual Meeting Program

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Paper Information:
This paper may be of particular interest to:  Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges     Students
Type: Paper
Paper Title: CIRCULATION AND THE NATURE OF ECONOMIC BEHAVIOR
Author: SARAH GRAFF (University of Chicago)   
Date/Time: Thu., 5:00 PM
Co-Author(s): SARAH GRAFF (University of Chicago) 
Abstract: The circulation of goods within a region is often associated with management by a strong political authority. Similarly, changes in how material objects are produced, especially if they are produced in a labor efficient manner, is frequently associated with the development of urbanism, early states, and institutionalized inequality. This is because many researchers draw a link between similar material styles circulating within a region, economically efficient organization, and political authority. However, studying the economic transformation (production, circulation, and consumption) of material objects provides a research opportunity to fully discuss assumptions about economic behavior. In this paper I will draw on my research in Early Bronze Age (2500-2300 B.C.) western Syria to argue that ceramic containers used to identify the political power and extent of the state of Ebla are not evidence of political domination. Instead, I argue that the circulation of particular material styles in western Syria indicates an informal economy dominated by social connections. This argument relies on a combination of data from archaeological surface surveys, excavations, and the petrographic analysis of ceramic containers from both surveyed and excavated contexts.

Program Number: 2-0800
Session Title: MOTION CHECK: ARCHAEOLOGICAL INSIGHTS ON THE CIRCULATION OF SUBJECTS AND OBJECTS
Session Sponsor: Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Thu., 1:45 PM-5:30 PM
Organizer(s): DAVID PETERSON, ALAN GREENE (University of Chicago) 
Chair(s): SARAH GRAFF (University of Chicago)  
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