Some interesting questions in archaeology

(This was a dump for an archaeologist who applied for Effective Thesis coaching, to be updated)
  • Various big history books relying on archaelogical record – a critical review of the sources they rely on would be very valuable + likely to generate great research questions
      • What conditions are conducive to faster / slower diffusion of technologies?
    • Gregory Clark: A Farewell to Alms, online course – this lecture in particular
      • Wages and growth rates in pre-industrial societies – how reliable is our evidence? Are there alternative sources of evidence?
      • How stable were Malthusian patterns in pre-industrial societies?
      • (Mostly to put an important question in the back of the mind)
    • Eric Drexler: Radical Abundance
      • How stable
    • Superintelligence, chapter 1
      • Evidence for exponential growth rates and their causes, particularly agricultural revolution
    • Christian: Big History
    • Sapiens
  • James  Scott: Against the Grain
    • How did the emergence of state structures affect human well-being?
    • Were there stable societies without centralized governance structures?
      • e.g. are these claims true of Mohenjo Daro?
  • Other
  • Random finds
    • Memetics is an important discipline that bears on strategy in just about anything. I found this reference that might be interesting:
      • Ben Cullen, in his book Contagious Ideas,[31] brought the idea of the meme into the discipline of archaeology. He coined the term “Cultural Virus Theory”, and used it to try to anchor archaeological theory in a neo-Darwinian paradigm. Archaeological memetics could assist the application of the meme concept to material culture in particular.
    • While the literary and archaeological evidence supports a Chinese origin for gunpowder and guns, the manner in which gunpowder technology was transferred from China to the West is still under debate

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