An Examination of an Intermediate Sociopolitical Evolutionary Type between Chiefdom and State

Bong Won Kang

Abstract

Elman R. Service’s model proposing four different categories of sociopolitical types has been widely accepted and used. Although his sociopolitical evolutionary model has been criticized, it still serves as a valuable concept for the study of prehistoric societies. In this paper, the traditional concept, definition, and criteria of chiefdoms and states will be reviewed and redefined in the light of archaeological examples as well as ethnohistorical documents. The paper will discuss the concept and definition of the term “kingdom,” and will propose it be used to refer to an intermediate stage between chiefdom and state-level societies.

  • Bong Won Kang, Visiting Professor, Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544-1018, U.S.A., and Department of Cultural Resources Studies, Kyongju University, Kyongju, 780-712, Republic of Korea

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