A Statistical Technique to Measure Social Conflict through the Archaeological Record
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Pascual Izquierdo-Egea • español
Abstract. A statistical technique to measure social conflict through the mortuary record is presented here. It is born under the contextual valuation method used in the analysis of grave goods since 1993. This is a fundamental tool for the development of the archaeology of social phenomena, whose relevant empirical results support its theoretical significance. After conveying its conceptualization in terms of social inequality and relative wealth, the two classes of social conflict are explained: static or structural and dynamic or conjunctural. Finally, connections with the Malthusian demographic law through its two parameters—population and resources—are included. The synthesis of these theoretical frameworks is illustrated with applications to ancient civilizations, including Iberian protohistory, prehispanic Mesoamerica, and early imperial Rome.
Keywords: Statistical technique, Measure, Social conflict, Archaeological record, Theoretical archaeology, Social phenomena, Mortuary, Methodology.
Izquierdo-Egea, P. 2015. Una tecnica estadistica para medir la conflictividad social a traves del registro arqueologico. Arqueologia Iberoamericana 25: 5-18. PURL:
Publication date: 14 January 2015.
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