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Poverty in early civilizations: a comparative view - 17-18/11/2017, Köln (Germany)

Cross-cultural research of early civilizations is traditionally focussed on elite culture and the central institutions of the societies compared. This conference explores on comparative grounds the social, cultural and economic disposition of people outside the elite. It contributes to questions of how poor people might surface in the available record, whether poverty is a corollary of social complexity and to what extent it challenges notions of civilization.The speakers cover a wide range of periods and societies, including ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, prehispanic Mexico, early and Buddhist India, late Bronze Age China, Greece and Rome in antiquity, and modern Africa.

FECHA/ DATE/DATA: 17-18/11/2017

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Lecture room XVIII, Main Building, Universität zu Köln (Köln, Germany)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Universität zu Köln; Prof. Dr. Richard Bußmann

INFO: web -


Se ruega enviar un email a /please contact /sono pregati di inviare una e-mail a Ina Borkenstein, the coordinator of the ResearchTraining Group “Archaeology of pre-modern economies”:


Friday, 17 November Modern Africa and ancient China

14.15-15.00 Thomas Widlok, Cologne: Who and what is poor anyway? Poverty in processual anthropological perspective 15.00-15.45 Lothar von Falkenhausen, Los Angeles: Poverty in late Bronze Age China - what do we know about it, and what are we missing? Greece and Rome

16.15-17.00 Winfried Schmitz, Bonn: Bettler, Tagelöhner und Gesinde. Armut im archaischen Griechenland 17.00-17.45 Elisabeth Herrmann-Otto, Trier: Poverty and slavery in the ancient Roman society: relationship between identity and difference Saturday, 18 November Mesoamerica 9.30-10.15 Nikolai Grube, Bonn: Identifying poverty amongst the Classic Maya 10.15-11.00 Gary M. Feinman, Chicago, and Linda M. Nicholas, Chicago: Inequality: A perspective from the prehispanic Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico India 11.30-12.15 Heather M.-L. Miller, Toronto: Poverty, wealth and well-being in the Indus civilization 12.15-13.00 Julia Shaw, London: An alleviation of poverty and human:non-human suffering: socio-ecological outcomes of, and religio-philosophical responses to social, environmental and climatic change in ancient India Egypt 14.30-15.15 Richard Bussmann, Cologne: Discourse and reality: poverty in ancient Egypt 15.15-16.00 Andreas Dorn, Fribourg: Workmen huts in the Valley of the kings (tbc) Mesopotamia 16.30-17.15 Reinhard Pirngruber, Vienna: Poverty in Babylonia: evidence from the texts 17.15-18.00 Susan Pollock, Berlin: The missing poor in early Mesopotamian states 18.00 Concluding remarks

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