The ancient empires are frequently examined through the lenses of theoretical models, which both provide conceptual frameworks and pose series of questions that permit cross-cultural comparisons. This paper summarizes the salient features of some of the more influential models that have been applied to archaeological inquiry over the last several decades, including the core-periphery, world systems, territorial-hegemonic, and IEMP approaches. It then examines the shifts in theoretical orientation that have arisen since the emergence of post-colonial, experiential, and materiality theory, along with the selective infusion of philosophical questions about existence, vitality, and space-time. It further explores how advances in technical analytical capacities, for example through GIS and bioarchaeology, have created hitherto unavailable data sets that are reframing the kinds of theoretical questions raised in the investigation of ancient empires.
Asian Archaeology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 1, 2018
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