This book, newly translated from the original Spanish, first offers a summary of the main theories about what we today call the `State', a category that draws together various interests in the research into the past of human societies and, at the same time, inspires passionate political and ideological debate. The authors review political philosophies from Greek antiquity to contemporary evolutionism. They then examine how the State has been viewed and studied within archaeology in the twentieth century, and offer an alternative approach based upon historical materialism. Their argument that this method can be profitably used to study the archaeological record is a sophisticated and creative contribution to current theory, and will inspire debate about its implications for our understanding of human history.
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