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Believing the Ancients: Quantitative and Qualitative Dimensions of Slavery and the Slave Trade in Later Prehistoric Eurasia

Timothy Taylor
World Archaeology
Vol. 33, No. 1, The Archaeology of Slavery (Jun., 2001), pp. 27-43
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/827887
Page Count: 17
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Believing the Ancients: Quantitative and Qualitative Dimensions of Slavery and the Slave Trade in Later Prehistoric Eurasia
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Abstract

This paper briefly examines two types of slavery in the first millennium Aegean, Carpatho-Balkan and Pontic regions - branded silver-mine slaves and blinded milk-processing slaves. The first is examined primarily in quantitative terms, to attach economically sensible order-of-magnitude figures to the trade in people. The second is examined qualitatively, to show how indigenous forms of dependence and subordination were caught up in the emergence of Graeco-Roman chattel slavery. In both cases I have taken the rather unusual step of trusting what the classical authors tell us they knew. Finally, a symbolic connection is made between shackles and torcs.

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