Essay World Systems Theory in Archaeology

Essay World Systems Theory in Archaeology

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These papers deal with the world systems theory of Wallerstien's article as well as the other specialists' criticisms on it. They bring up basically three main ideas, which first off, include the significant role of the periphery in the core- periphery relationship. Secondly, the need to focus on internal and local affects on interrelations between different polities instead of concentrating on the external and generalized role of interaction. Lastly, they demand a model that is diversified enough to allow for analyzation of various levels of interaction between different groups.

In Halls article, he points out that this theory has a few weaknesses, such as its basis is on only one situation of modern times, which does not always have applications to past societies. It is necessary to define the difference between "new" linear events that result from progress over time, and those occurrences that can be explained as historical-cyclical tendencies. To illustrate these types of occurrences, he states that there is a cyclical development from unicentric to multicentric organizations or hegemonic shifts. An example is given between the transfer of power or leadership from the British to the American. Although in concerning this shift the more significant change is the rise of capitalism in the first place that aided in the shift of power.

In order to understand the prehistoric past it is necessary for archaeologists to purpose new theories of interregional interactions. First of all, in order to achieve this increased communication between archaeologist and different type of specialists must happen, before arriving at theories that work. Hall's view on the present day situation is the overflow of theories and models where...


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...y of this relationship.

Many points mentioned are important, especially the idea by all that in order to start to understand interactions relations between groups, we must develop a paradigm and not focus on creating one theory, that is either to general or not enough. Further, the importance of ethnographic studies in realizing that the current model does not hold, and the diverse ways groups can interrelate is essential to developing theories that work. Furthermore I agree that both the internal and cultural factor and the external and functional factors must be observed to understand why the change occurred. Finally the importance of the periphery in the periphery core model is essential to understand in view of the previous statement in order to obtain an accurate view on how systems develop in relation to one another and other factors, such as distance.

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