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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:52800
Doc. No:TL22754
Call number:‭3179776‬
Main Entry:Kevin M. McGeough
Title & Author:Exchange relationships at Ugarit: A study of the Ugaritic economic textsKevin M. McGeough
College:University of Pennsylvania
Date:2005
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2005
Page No:1222
Abstract:The wealth of evidence for the study of the economy of Late Bronze Age Ugarit in Syria has long been recognized. Attempts to investigate the Ugaritic economy have been hampered, however, by the application of rigid models to incomplete datasets. It is argued that previous questions about economic activity, as embedded in these rigid models as well as questions derived from the formalist-substantivist debate, were misdirected. Rather than asking what kind of economy Ugarit had or whether or not private exchange was possible, it is more productive to investigate how economic agents operated in different exchange networks and how elite actors could gain power by operating across more than one network. By applying a Network-based model (NBM) to both the textual and the archaeological data from the site of Ugarit, economic activities at the site are reconstructed without making totalizing statements, while still accommodating the variety of types of evidence. The textual evidence is investigated in detail, with special attention paid to the alphabetic economic texts and associated vocabulary. The archaeological evidence is examined separately and both types of data are then used in tandem to reconstruct ancient economic relationships. The people of Ugarit had numerous economic choices and possibilities, yet these choices were constrained by a number of factors, including the mediating power of institutions, which “framed” these options. It is argued that economic activity at Ugarit should not be viewed as a total system but as an effect of an emergent network of contingent exchange relationships. The palace, while not in control of the economy, was able to act as the most powerful economic actor through its unique position at the nodal point of several social and exchange relationships and perpetuated this dominance not through top-down administration but through the haphazard arrangement of receiving and distributing goods, transferring resources across networks. The emergent dominance of the palace facilitated the creation of various social relationships at Ugarit, mediated through exchange relationships.
Subject:Social sciences; Language, literature and linguistics; Bronze Age; Economic texts; Exchange relationships; Syria; Ugarit; Ancient civilizations; Archaeology; Ancient languages; 0579:Ancient civilizations; 0289:Ancient languages; 0324:Archaeology
Added Entry:B. Routledge
Added Entry:University of Pennsylvania