Economic Institutions in Ancient Greece and Mesoamerica

Автор: Kowalewski, Stephen A. - подписаться на статьи автора
Журнал: Social Evolution & History. Volume 19, Number 1 / March 2020 - подписаться на статьи журнала


New studies have led to deeper comprehension of economic variation and change in Late Post-classic Mesoamerica and the Archaic and Classical Greek world. Archaeological data on city-state settlement patterns, specialized production, trade, and household consumption, new archival material, and re-analysis of texts have undermined primitivism, substantivism, and ideal-types. In urbanization and demographic scale the two areas are comparable. Mesoamerican and Greek agricultural production was not simply for subsistence, but was market-oriented and market-dependent. Local and long-distance trade often functioned by market mechanisms. The economies had the capacity for real growth. There are two major differences. The Old World used state-issued coinage as money; Mesoamerica had goods monies. In the Old World the firm, or corporate group for carrying out economic activities, was sometimes larger than in Mesoamerica, where the household was the locus of specialized production. These differences had consequences in the relative capacity for accumulation, appropriation, and inequality.

Stephen A. Kowalewski, University of Georgia more