2 – Modeling Interregional Interaction in Prehistory

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Publication Date

January 1987


This chapter discusses the modeling of interregional interaction in prehistory. The review of intersocietal interaction frameworks begins with the diffusion for several reasons. Diffusion research clearly lays out the problems of studying contact among societies that one still has to face and that later research has tried to deal with. Further, the examination of the rise and fall of diffusion as a framework reveals processes in anthropological thought relevant to the question of intersocietal frameworks but not obvious from purely synchronic studies. The chapter also discusses the interactions among societies, which are trade studies of the late 1960s and 1970s, and the use of world systems models borrowed from historical sociology, which have begun to appear in the 1980s. It discusses how these different approaches have contributed to the understanding of processes of intersocietal interaction and the construction of the schema needed for the study of such contacts. There has been a tendency in the past to envision a focus on intersocietal interaction as antithetical to the investigation of individual societies and their relations to their physical environments.


Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory



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