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.