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Archaeologies of Empire

Local Participants and Imperial Trajectories

Edited by Anna L. Boozer, Bleda S. Düring, and Bradley J. Parker

Throughout history, a large portion of the world’s population has lived under imperial rule. Although scholars do not always agree on when and where the roots of imperialism lie, most would agree that imperial configurations have affected human history so profoundly that the legacy of ancient empires continues to structure the modern world in many ways. Empires are best described as heterogeneous and dynamic patchworks of imperial configurations in which imperial power was the outcome of the complex interaction between evolving colonial structures and various types of agents in highly contingent relationships. The goal of this volume is to harness the work of the “next generation” of empire scholars in order to foster new theoretical and methodological perspectives that are of relevance within and beyond archaeology and to foreground empires as a cross-cultural category. This book demonstrates how archaeological research can contribute to our conceptualization of empires across disciplinary boundaries.

2020. 344 pp., 6 x 9, 53 halftones, 10 tables

Contributors: Sonia Alconini, Anna L. Boozer, Sofia Chacaltana, Bleda S. Düring, Donna Nash, Lisa Overholtzer, Bradley J. Parker, Stuart Tyson Smith, Patrick Ryan Williams, Alice Yao

Download an excerpt.

Watch the editors discuss their work with Peter Perdue (co-editor of Imperial Formations, SAR Press, 2007) in SAR Press Book Talk: Archaeologies of Empire.

“Overall, this volume represents a welcome addition to the study of empires—one that puts agents and diversity at center stage. Departing from traditional models and simplistic typologies, Archaeologies of Empire encourages readers to envision empires as produced and reproduced by individuals who have different, and sometimes contradictory, stakes in the imperial project.”
—Véronique Bélisle, Millsaps College, American Antiquity, September 2021 (doi:10.1017/aaq.2021.104)

List of Illustrations
List of Tables

Bradley J. Parker in Memoriam
Bleda S. Düring and Patrick Ryan Williams

Chapter One. Archaeologies of Empire: An Introduction
Bleda S. Düring, Anna L. Boozer, and Bradley J. Parker

Chapter Two. Colonial Entanglements: Imperial Dictate, Individual Action, and Intercultural Interaction in Nubia
Stuart Tyson Smith

Chapter Three. The Great Wall as Destination? Archaeology of Migration and Settlers under the Han Empire
Alice Yao

Chapter Four. Inka Provinces of the Kallawaya and Yampara: Imperial Power, Regional Political Developments, and Elite Competition
Sonia Alconini

Chapter Five. Agents of Empire: Imperial Agendas and Provincial Realities in Roman Egypt
Anna L. Boozer

Chapter Six. The Assyrian Threshold: Explaining Imperial Consolidation in the Early Assyrian Empire
Bleda S. Düring

Chapter Seven. Historical Time and Imperial Formation in Aztec Mexico
Lisa Overholtzer

Chapter Eight. Wari and Tiwanaku: Early Imperial Repertoires in Andean South America
Patrick Ryan Williams, Donna Nash, and Sofia Chacaltana

Chapter Nine. Re-modeling Empire
Bradley J. Parker

Chapter Ten. Conclusions
Anna L. Boozer and Bleda S. Düring