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Crisis to Collapse

 | 
Tim Cunningham
, 
Jan Driessen

V. Metanarratives of Collapse

14. Temporary and Permanent

Status Race and the Mechanism of Change in a Complex Civilisation: Ancient Egypt in between 2900 and 2120 BC1

Miroslav Bárta

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Increasingly the way to cope with the inevitability of anachronistic projection is to openly acknowledge the interpretive force that the present wields on the past.

When looking at the history of a distant past, there are in principle two ways to view it. One can understand the past as a single continuum which slowly, step by step, changes over time. Or one can complicate the analysis a bit more and look for certain patterns in the progression of history. In archaeology, quite logically, the situation is biased as, more often than not, we lack primary sources of information. The archaeological record is never ‘complete’ and this is one of the reasons why the projects in the field must continue. Nevertheless, despite all the challenges of dealing with past processes, there is always a fair possibility of arriving at a better understanding of the past, especially when utilising information from recent, multidisciplinary projects in the field.

This brief outline of the history of the th...

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