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Dark Age Economics: A New Audit (Duckworth Debates in Archaeology)

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9780715636794: Dark Age Economics: A New Audit (Duckworth Debates in Archaeology)
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This new volume enlarges on the debate that still continues almost thirty years after Richard Hodges' ground-breaking "Dark Age Economics" was first published. Richard Hodges focuses on the archaeological, anthropological and historical models of gift and commodity exchange, pertinent to Europe during the seventh to ninth centuries, and shows how these debates shed new light on the evolution of the Early Medieval political economies. Special attention is also given to new evidence for managing agrarian economies and how this shaped the evolution of towns. Ranging across western Europe, a new thesis is advanced about the shift from the consumption economies of antiquity to the emphasis upon production in the Middle Ages.

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Synopsis:

This series of short volumes, each devoted to a theme which is the subject of contemporary debate in archaeology, ranges from issues in theory and method to aspects of world archaeology. This timely, concise volume enlarges on the debate that still continues twenty-five years after Richard Hodges' ground-breaking "Dark Age Economics" was first published. Special attention is given to the archaeological, anthropological and historical models about gift and commodity exchange, pertinent to western Europe during the seventh to tenth centuries, and how these debates shed new light on the evolution of towns. One theme of the book examines the role of the elite in economic practice. Twenty-five years ago archaeologists and historians challenged this; today, paradoxically, as government plays a reduced role in managing our economies, medieval archaeologists and historians concur that the economics of the Early Middle Ages were highly regulated.

About the Author:

Richard Hodges, OBE, is Professor and Director of the Institute of World Archaeology, University of East Anglia, UK, and Director of the Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, USA. He is the editor of this series; his publications include Dark Age Economics, The Anglo-Saxon Achievement, Towns and Trade in the Age of Charlemagne, Goodbye to the Vikings and (as co-author) Villa to Village, all published by Bloomsbury.

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