The Praxis of Inequality: A Study of Three Ancient Agricultural Societies (Egypt, China, and Mesopotamia)

From the Introduction (pg. 9):
"In this book I have made an effort to reconstruct what inequality looked like in three ancient agricultural societies: the kingdoms of Mesopotamia, China, and Egypt. The inequality I consider in these societies was not defined in terms of gold, silver, or property, but in terms of a person's diet and command of excess food and drink. In simple terms, I will argue that elites in these agricultural societies enjoyed an upper-class lifestyle because they served food and drink offerings to gods. Those offerings were produced primarily by non-elites, who believed gods dined on them But the truth is that elites divided food and drink offerings among themselves. Religion disguised the fact that feasting rituals for gods amounted to a redistribution of resources."

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. The Social Study of Inequality
Chapter 2. The Creation of Inequality in Ancient Mesopotamia
Chapter 3. The Creation of Inequality in Ancient China
Chapter 4. The Creation of Inequality in Ancient Egypt
References Cited

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