Books : reviews

Kent Flannery, Joyce Marcus.
The Creation of inequality: how our prehistoric ancestors set the stage for monarchy, slavery, and empire.
Harvard University Press. 2012

Our early ancestors lived in small groups and worked actively to preserve social equality. As they created larger societies, however, inequality rose; and by 2500 BCE truly egalitarian societies were on the wane. Kent Flannery and Joyce Marcus demonstrate that this development was not simply the result of population increase, food surplus, or the accumulation of valuables. Instead, inequality resulted from conscious manipulation of the unique social logic that lies at the core of every human group.