11. Stratified Complexity

In a course based on Anthropology: What does it mean to be human?, after reading about the domestication of plants and animals, we read:

  • Chapter 7, “Why did humans build cities and establish states?”
  • Michael Wilcox, “Marketing conquest and the vanishing Indian: An Indigenous response to Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse.” Journal of Social Archaeology (2010)


This lecture on “Complex Societies and States” begins with the question of “How do anthropologists define social complexity?” In the end, it seems to have to do with social stratification.

These materials were for Intro to Anthropology 2021. After that, we read about the anthropological concept of culture.


Living Anthropologically means documenting history, interconnection, and power during a time of global transformation. We need to care for others as we attempt to build a world together. This blog is a personal project of Jason Antrosio, author of Fast, Easy, and In Cash: Artisan Hardship and Hope in the Global Economy. For updates, follow on Twitter, watch on YouTube, or subscribe to e-mail list.

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