The Archaeology of Inequality

Tracing the Archaeological Record

Edited by Orlando Cerasuolo

Subjects: Archaeology, History, Anthropology, Social And Cultural History
Series: SUNY series, The Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology Distinguished Monograph Series
Hardcover : 9781438485133, 392 pages, September 2021
Paperback : 9781438485126, 392 pages, January 2022

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Table of contents


1. Archaeological Perspectives on Inequality
Orlando Cerasuolo

Part I: Pathways of Early Social Inequality

2. The Emergence of Social Inequality in Prehistory
T. Douglas Price

3. Transegalitarian Societies on the American Northwest Plateau: Social Dynamics and Cultural/Technological Changes
Brian Hayden

4. The Emergence of Social Inequality in Southeastern Europe: A Long-Term Perspective
William A. Parkinson

5. Long‑Term Trends in Social Organization and Inequality in the Late Prehistoric Eurasian Steppes
Bryan K. Hanks

6. The Unequal Dead: Bronze and Iron Age Evidence from Veneto and Trentino–South Tyrol
M. Saracino, E. Perego, L. Zamboni, and V. Zanoni

7. Inequality during the Iron Age in France. Tracing the Archaeological Record
Patrice Brun

Part II: Inequality in Early Greece and Etruria

8. The Protogeometric Graves of the Kerameikos Cemetery at Athens: Is There Inequality?
Simona Dalsoglio

9. Diversities and Inequality: The Male Burials in Early Iron Age Athens
Anna Maria D'Onofrio

10. Tracing Inequality in Early Attica: Wealthy and Deprived, Ladies and Maidens
Vicky Vlachou

11. Etruscan Women and Social Polarity: Two Case Studies for Approaching Inequality
Giovanna Bagnasco Gianni

Part III: Inequality in Classical Archaeology

12. History and Archaeology of the Etruscan Servitus
†Mario Torelli

13. Housing and Inequality in Ancient Greece
Ruth Westgate

14. Mapping Inequality in Ancient Greece
Rachel Zelnick‑Abramovitz

15. Inequality in Republican Rome: Short‑term and Long‑term Effects of Warfare on the Distribution of Wealth
Luuk de Ligt

16. Slave Spaces: Housing Dependent Workers at Villa Magna
Elizabeth Fentress

17. Inequality and Roman Imperial Properties: A Case Study
Myles McCallum

18. Countering Inequality through Organized Collective Burial in Imperial Rome
Dorian Borbonus

Part IV: Bioarchaeology of Historical Inequality

19. Bioarchaeology of Inequality: Lessons from American Institutionalized and Anatomical Skeletal Assemblages
Jennifer L. Muller


Brings together archaeologists, art historians, sociologists, and classicists to explore the origins and development of unequal relationships in ancient societies.


The Archaeology of Inequality explores the different aspects of social boundaries and articulation by comparing several interdisciplinary approaches for the analysis of the archaeological data, as well as actual case studies from the Prehistory to the Classical world. The book explores slavery, gender, ethnicity and economy as intersecting areas of study within the larger framework of inequality and exemplifies to what degree archaeologists can identify and analyze different patterns of inequality.

Orlando Cerasuolo is Adjunct Professor of Etruscan and Pre-Roman Archaeology at the Eastern University of Naples.