You are not currently logged in.
Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Early State Dynamics as Political Experiment
Henry T. Wright
Journal of Anthropological Research
Vol. 62, No. 3 (Fall, 2006), pp. 305-319
Published by: The University of Chicago Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20371027
Page Count: 15
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
The emergence of states is an enduring focus for anthropologists. Identifying when and under what circumstances this political transformation has occurred in independent cases is necessary if we wish to evaluate competing ideas explaining the origins of states. This has proved difficult, however, in part because the process is not easy to understand with largely archaeological evidence, but more importantly because it is not a unitary and rapid process. Study of different trajectories toward more complex political organization in Madagascar--where we have an understanding based on archaeology, ethnohistory, and ethnography--provides an illustration of the complexities of what may be termed an experimental process. In turn, viewing of earlier trajectories of state emergence in Mesopotamia and Mesoamerica as series of interrelated political experiments may also resolve long-standing problems in dealing with these developments.
Journal of Anthropological Research © 2006 The University of Chicago Press