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Stratum plus. 2010. №2

L. Nikolova (Salt Lake City, USA)

Toward Theory of Accumulation and Treasuring of Wealth in Prehistory (With Reference to the Balkans)




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Pages: 23-36


Wealth was a leading social construct in prehistoric societies. It is one of the fundamental reproductive means incorporated into complex systems of multilevel social relationships. Accordingly, the topic of wealth is of primary importance for the prehistoric cultural anthropology and in particular for Balkan Prehistory. The prehistoric meaning of wealth has peculiarities, as well as there are many lost or invisible traces that complicate the problem even if we use the best archaeological records, theory, and prospective case studies.
Based on the existed data four levels of social complexity are projected from the perspective of the wealth:

1. Level of reproduction of subsistence only;
2. Level of accumulation of wealth;
3. Level of reproduction of wealth and possible increase of surplus;
4. Level of treasuring of wealth.

Reproduction and treasuring of wealth mean any valuable material product/object, which is beyond the level of subsistence. This study is offered to stimulate future critical research in similar or alternative directions. The author reserves the right to make updates and appreciates critical comments and suggestions.


Keywords: Balkans, Prehistory, Wealth, Accumulation, Treasuring, Social Structure


Information about author:

Lolita Nikolova (Salt Lake City, USA). Doctor. International Institute of Anthropology.
Е-mail: [email protected]

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