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In a very influential paper published in 1994, John Baines and Norman Yoffee produced the first analysis to examine the impact of wealth and high culture on the development of states. The contributors to this book apply that model to a range of ancient states around the world, providing evidence on the production and uses of "high culture," literature and monumental architecture. There are chapters on Mesoamerica, the Andes, the Indus Valley, China, and Greece, while others expand on the original Egypt-Mesopotamia comparison.
Part I. Order, Legitimacy, and Wealth in Ancient States: 1. Introduction: ideology, wealth, and the comparative study of 'civilizations' Mary Van Buren and Janet Richards; 2. Order, legitimacy, and wealth: setting the terms John Baines and Norman Yoffee; Part II. Civilizations in Comparative Perspective: 3. Society and individual in Early Egypt David O'Connor; 4. Modified order, responsive legitimacy, redistributed wealth: Egypt, 2260-1650 BC Janet Richards; 5. Law courts and the mediation of social conflict in ancient Mesopotamia Norman Yoffee; 6. High culture, Mesoamerican civilization, and the classic Maya tradition Rosemary A. Joyce; 7. Political fragmentation and ideological continuity in the Andean highlands Mary Van Buren; 8. Wealth and socio-economic hierarchies of the Indus Valley civilization Jonathan Mark Kenoyer; 9. Classical order, alternative orders, and the uses of nostalgia Susan E. Alcock; 10. Order, legitimacy, and wealth in ancient China Bennet Bronson; Part III. Conclusions: 11. The politics of high culture: issues of worth and rank Elizabeth M. Brumfiel.