World Pre-hx.- Exam 3 Study Guide

World Pre-hx.- Exam 3 Study Guide - Archaeology of Exchange...

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Archaeology of Exchange Much of ancient trade involved simple barter or reciprocity- face-to-face exchanges between known participants, such as kin or trading partners; the giver assumed that a trade good or gift would be returned in the future. Other ancient trade networks were more centralized & included “nodal” individuals (like Polynesian chief) or central institutions (such as the Inca state) that controlled the movement, or redistribution, of certain goods. Items were collected from peripheral communities by a central authority, which then redistributed all or part of what was collected. Centrally stored goods could be amassed for military campaigns, construction projects, or the relief of local emergencies or natural disasters- e.g.: federal income taxes = modern redistributive network. Marketing was common in prehispanic Mexico- the principles of supply & demand play a larger role in marketing than in redistribution/reciprocity; in contrast to redistribution, which presumes the receipt & disbursement of goods by a central figure, marketing tends to involve more individualized Trade or exchange is best documented archaeologically by the presence of foreign or exotic goods, such as when marine shell bracelets or beads are found @ inland sites many kilometers from water- the amount & distribution of exotic goods in archaeological contexts help determine the means & the volume of exchange. Archaeologists generally assume that communities that share stylistic or
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World Pre-hx.- Exam 3 Study Guide - Archaeology of Exchange...

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