Complexity Explorer Santa Few Institute


Technical Book

The Emergence of Premodern States

Like many other sciences, archaeology is experiencing a data deluge. The recent accumulation of accessible data on early urban societies, coupled with the re-emergence of comparative studies, puts modern scholars in a position to make significant theoretical advances concerning the key episode of human social organization that provided the foundations of the contemporary world: the formation of the state. A complex systems approach—pioneered at the Santa Fe Institute—involves fully interdisciplinary explorations of long-debated questions. Can basic quantitative analysis of human social evolution reveal macrocultural processes? Can we understand social cohesion by way of cultural genotypes? And does the emergence of social complexity involve the creation of new potential or the realization of latent human capabilities? In this volume, many of the foremost experts in quantitative archaeology and anthropology leverage innovative methodologies—including agent-based modeling, network analysis, and theoretical applications of evolutionary biology—to push the field in new directions.

Santa Fe Institute
United States of America
Jeremy A. Sabloff
Social Science, Social Systems, Complex Systems, Humanities