Archaeological Approaches to Market Exchange in Ancient Societies

edited by Christopher P. Garraty and Barbara L. Stark

Paperback Price $34.95
Ebook Price $27.95
30-day ebook rental price $13.50

Buy Now

"These significant contributions to economic anthropology should encourage comparative cross-cultural diologues and foster new approaches to the study of premodern market exchange. . . . The Garraty & Stark volume is a giant step forward in understanding market systems, market places, and sociocultural and religious parameters that impinge upon the economic structure of preindustrial societies."
The Cambridge Archaeological Journal

"This volume is sure to be a rallying point for further research, in that it has demonstrated conclusively that market exchange constitutes a dynamic component of human behavior and that it was one among many mechanisms by which people acquired desired goods as part of a measured, calculated, and conscious engagement in economic activities at the level of both the household and the state."
American Anthropologist

"With a quiet seriousness and unpretentious manner, Archaeological Approaches to Market Exchange in Ancient Societies resets the terms of research on the topic of market exchange. . . this coming-of-age book hopefully marks a new intellectual independence and spirit of innovation within the discipline."
Journal of Field Archaeology


Ancient market activities are dynamic in the economies of most ancient states, yet they have received little research from the archaeological community. Archaeological Approaches to Market Exchange in Ancient Societies is the first book to address the development, change, and organizational complexity of ancient markets from a comparative archaeological perspective.

Drawing from historical documents and archaeological records from Mesoamerica, the U.S. Southwest, East Africa, and the Andes, this volume reveals the complexity of ancient marketplace development and economic behavior both in hierarchical and non-hierarchical societies. Highlighting four principal themes—the defining characteristics of market exchange; the recognition of market exchange archaeologically; the relationship among market, political, and other social institutions; and the conditions in which market systems develop and change—the book contains a strong methodological and theoretical focus on market exchange.

Diverse contributions from noted scholars show the history of market exchange and other activities to be more dynamic than scholars previously appreciated. Archaeological Approaches to Market Exchange in Ancient Societies will be of interest to archaeologists, anthropologists, material-culture theorists, economists, and historians.


Christopher P. Garraty is a senior ceramic analyst at Statistical Research, Inc.

University Press of Colorado Logo


  • Paperback Price: $34.95
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-60732-370-9
  • Ebook Price: $27.95
  • 30-day ebook rental price: $13.50
  • EISBN: 978-1-60732-029-6
  • Publication Year: 2010
  • Pages: 368
  • Illustrations: 16 line drawings, 18 maps, 8 tables
  • Discount Type: Short
  • Author: edited by Christopher P. Garraty and Barbara L. Stark
  • ECommerce Code: 978-1-60732-028-9
  • Get Permissions: Get Permission

Related Titles

Browse Related Titles Tagged Under:

University Press of ColoradoUtah State University PressUniversity of Alaska PressUniversity of Wyoming Press