MULTIPLE LEVELS IN THE AEGEAN BRONZE AGE WORLD-SYSTEM

  • Nick Kardulias Wooster College

Abstract

Aegean societies in the third and second millennia B.C. developed complex economics based on the accumulation of substantial agricultural surpluses, craft specialization, and intricate distribution systems. The trade items included both utilitarian and luxury goods. To place these activities in a proper context, this paper initially evaluates the world systems literature as it relates to antiquity. The paper then presents some specific evidence to support the contention that the Aegean BA economy was an adjunct to an Eastern Mediterranean world system. While Wallerstein's model offers valuable insights into the operation of trade networks, his approach has certain limitations. The paper explores some of these limitations, in particular the absence of periphery dependence on core areas that is a hallmark of modern capitalist systems, discusses revisions suggested by other scholars, and demonstrates the validity of the altered model with data from the Aegean. The evidence suggests the existence of a system with local, intraregional, and extraregional components. Finally, the paper also suggests that the world systemsapproach needs to place greater emphasis on production, not just exchange, as the crucial nexus of economic activity.
Published
1996-08-31
How to Cite
Kardulias, N. (1996). MULTIPLE LEVELS IN THE AEGEAN BRONZE AGE WORLD-SYSTEM. Journal of World-Systems Research, 2(1), 378-408. https://doi.org/10.5195/jwsr.1996.93
Section
Archeological and Anthropological Approaches to World-Systems