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If Antiquities Could Talk

A visit with Alex Barker, Director, Museum of Art and Archeology

By LuAnne Roth
Published: - Topics: anthropology archaeology glyphic inscription vessel vase

Barker’s Fieldwork in Romania

Topics: social complexity research

Almost all of Barker’s field research in Romania focuses on a single broad question: how does society go from the sovereign individual to the individual sovereign?
Barker is trying to understand the relationship between that process and the economics underlying those societies, seeking answers to questions about the economic basis of political change, and the development of economic mechanisms like taxation and charity relief, as well as why people would be willing to forsake their rights as autonomous individuals for more autocratic control by some kind of hierarchy. Barker surmises that individuals must have somehow perceived themselves as benefiting from the change.