Simple and complex economies – Studies in the prehistory of labour (Neolithic temperate Europe)

→ Dr. Tim Kerig

Below mentioned works are preliminary studies to the larger project. They are partly done in the framework of the previous projects „Econometrics ofthe European Neolithic“ (German Research Council, PI Kerig) and EUROEVOL (ERC Grant PI Shennan).

Settlement archaeology (finished):   

J. Lechterbeck / K. Edinborough / T. Kerig / R. Fyfe / N. Roberts / S. Shennan (2014), Is Neolithic land use correlated with demography? An evaluation of pollen derived land cover and radiocarbon inferred demographic change (Hegau/Lake Constance) [Holocene in press]

J. Lechterbeck / T. Kerig / A. Kleinmann / M. Sillmann / L. Wick / M. Rösch (2014), How was Bell Beaker economy related to Corded Ware and Early Bronze Age lifestyles? Archaeological, botanical and palynological evidence from the Hegau, WesternLakeConstance region. Journal of Environmental Archaeology 19/2, 95-113

Economic cycles in the Neolithic and the Early Bronze Age (flint mining and consumption of metal)

The current focus of the project lies on economic cycles. The aim of the sub-project is the archaeological description and the economic analysis of economic cycles in flint mining and metallurgy in Europe between 5500 cal BCE and 1450 cal BCE. The methodological background is the method of summed calibrated probability densities of radiocarbon dates  (Shennan et al. 2013) representing mining activity. The general approach should be complemented by modelling of particular site chronologies (Bayesian modelling). Already now a relationship between mining activity and metal consumption becomes visible.

T. Kerig, K. Edinborough,S. Downey, S. Shennan (forthcoming), A robust radiocarbon chronology of European flint mines reveals early economic cycles are driven by demography. In:  T. Kerig / S. Shennan (eds.), Connecting Networks: characterising contact by measuring lithic exchange in the European Neolithic. BAR IS (Oxford)

S. Shennan, S.S. Downey, A. Timpson, K. Edinborough, S. Colledge, T. Kerig, K. Manning & M. G. Thomas (2013), Regional population collapse followed initial agriculture booms in mid-Holocene Europe. Nature communications DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3486

Agriculture and demography in the European Neolithic

Already finished work on labour in agriculture (Kerig 2007; 2013) and on neolithic demography (s.a.) will be linked, especially by Life-History theory. Together with EmmyBocaege, Sue Colledge, Enrico Crema, KevanEdinborough, Kat Manning, Stephen Shennan, Adrian Timpson (UCL London) and Sean Downey (University of Maryland).

T. Kerig (2013), Introducing Economic Archaeology: Examples from Neolithic agriculture and Hallstatt princely tombs. In: T. Kerig / A. Zimmermann (eds.), Economic archaeology: from structure to performance in European archaeology. Universitätsforschungen zur Prähistorischen Archäologie 237 (Bonn: Habelt 2013) 13-28

T. Kerig (2008), Als Adam grub… Vergleichende Anmerkungen zu landwirtschaftlichen Betriebsgrößen in prähistorischer Zeit. Ethnographisch-ArchäologischeZeitschrift 48, 2007, 375-402

Modelling of transmission

Transmission processes are in the focus of current theoretical thinking in archaeology. The data dependent simulation studies are contributions of fundamental research into cultural evolution. Together with Sue Colledge, Enrico Crema, KevanEdinborough, Kat Manning, Stephen Shennan, Adrian Timpson (UCL London).

E. Crema, T. Kerig& S. Shennan (2014), Culture, Space, and Metapopulation: a simulation-based study for evaluating signals of blending and branching. Journal of Archaeological Science 43, 289-298

Contributions to a history of economic thought in archaeology

The series of publications continues:

T. Kerig (forthcoming), In Kossinna’s shadow: Hans Gummel, Ernst Wahle, Hans Jürgen Eggers and Herbert Kühn writing on ‘the history of archaeology’. In J. Lech (ed.), The History of Archaeology in the XXth century ii. ArchaeologiaPolona 2012 [accepted]

T. Kerig (2013), Wirtschaftsarchäologie: Struktur und Leistung in frühen Gesellschaften. In M. K. H. Eggert  / U. Veit (Hg.), Theorie in der Archäologie: Zur deutschsprachigen Diskussion. Tübinger Archäologische Taschenbücher 10. Münster: Waxmann. 139-190

T. Kerig (2012), Grahame Clark und die deutschsprachige Archäologie: Eine vergleichende Rezeptionsgeschichte. Ethnographisch-ArchäologischeZeitschrift 52/1, 2011, 83-103.

T. Kerig / A. Zimmermann (2010), Grahame Clark’s Economic Basis: A Central European perspective on his holism and his systemic view. In J. Coles / A. Marciniak (eds.), Grahame Clark and his legacy (Cambridge). 114-149

 

And as an independent project not directly connected to the previous ones (together with Mark Schmidt Universität Leipzig, Vohenstrauss):

On the socio-economics of West-Hallstatt Princely graves

Exceptionally costly equipped tombs are an inter-culturally wide spread archaeological phenomenon. The project aims on the socio-economics behind the practice. It makes use of examples from the early Iron Age of E France and SW Germany (“Westhallstattkreis”) to demonstrate how funerals may create benefit. It strictly focuses on the successor as agent: if 1) the social position of the successor is displayed and at the same time achieved or fixed via the sepulchral effort, and if 2) a social position may be valued in accordance with the assumed access to resources and services connected to the position, then 3) people can expect more benefit from higher social positions, thus they 4) invest more in higher positions by costly burials of their predecessors.

It is not implied that the reason for giving grave goods is primarily an economic one. This may or may not have been the case, but the custom as such can only survive if it follows economic constraints. The very meaning of the custom can be interpreted independently from the economic conditions of its transmission, but only those societal institutions which are not counteracting the logics of economy have a chance to survive.

M. Schmidt / T. Kerig (2014), “Rich grave” = “princely grave”? On socio-economics of West-Hallstatt Princely graves. Paper EAA 2014 Istanbul

T. Kerig (2013), Introducing Economic Archaeology: Examples from Neolithic agriculture and Hallstatt princely tombs. In: T. Kerig / A. Zimmermann (eds.), Economic archaeology: from structure to performance in European archaeology. Universitätsforschungen zur Prähistorischen Archäologie 237.Bonn: Habelt. 13-28