Metals, Culture and Capitalism: An Essay on the Origins of by Jack Goody

By Jack Goody

Metals, tradition and Capitalism is an bold, broad-ranging account of the hunt for metals in Europe and the close to East from the Bronze Age to the economic Revolution and the connection among this and financial task, socio-political buildings and the improvement of capitalism. carrying on with his feedback of Eurocentric traditions, a topic explored within the robbery of heritage (2007) and Renaissances (2009), Jack Goody takes the Bronze Age as a place to begin for a balanced account of the East and the West, looking commonalities that contemporary histories put out of your mind. contemplating the position of metals in terms of early cultures, the eu Renaissance and 'modernity' typically, Goody explores how the hunt for metals entailed other kinds of data, in addition to the humanities, resulting in alterations that experience outlined Europe and the modern international. This landmark textual content, spanning centuries, cultures and continents, can provide to motivate students and scholars around the social sciences.

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Extra resources for Metals, Culture and Capitalism: An Essay on the Origins of the Modern World

Example text

The terms refer to ways of living. So, stimulated by students from Asia, this book began as an attempt to bring closer together their work and interest in Europe and the Near East and the other countries they came from. The Bronze Age had always fascinated me as a focus for a balanced account of the east and the west, a common origin rather than the divisive versions of many recent historians. Comparative advantage was to be found in both at different times. But in exploring the early lead of China in metallurgy, paper, printing and other fields, one also wanted to account for the later achievement of Europe, both economically and intellectually (for they do intersect).

But the fact that the book is largely about metals should not make us forget the other aspects of urban civilisation, the spread of literacy and of written religions. All these are linked together and it is a mistake completely to separate off the two spheres, as so many do, both scientists and humanists. Given the frequent use in the humanities of the dichotomy between sciences (and technology) and the arts (and communication), I must stress that I am not seeking to exclude one or the other (nor yet the religious or the secular) but to trace the connections in a rounded (anthropological) view.

Metal-working had arrived in the Aegean from the Troad or from elsewhere in Anatolia. The archaeologist, Renfrew, writes that the ‘idea of metallurgy may have been brought to the Aegean from outside’,31 indicating doubt. He emphasises, quite rightly, ‘the essential autonomy’ of the new culture it produced; nevertheless metal-working itself apparently did arrive from abroad. But that is not to deny the role of invention in this or in other activities, for instance, in the decoration of pots, though not in the introduction of pottery itself; one has to distinguish different elements and not be too enmeshed in a holistic ‘anthropological’ view.

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