Near Eastern Tribal Societies During the Nineteenth Century: Economy, Society and Politics Between Tent and Town
Series: Approaches to Anthropological Archaeology Author(s): Eveline van der Steen ISBN: 1908049839; ISBN-13: 9781908049834 Publication date: 16 May 2013 Publishing house: Acumen Publishing Pages: 320 (234 x 156 mm) Format: Hardback List price: £70.00
Until the First World War, Near Eastern society was tribally organised. In the Levant and the Arabian peninsula, where the Ottoman empire was weak, large and powerful tribes such as the Anaze, Beni Sakhr and Shammar competed for control of the land, the people and the economy. This in-depth study explores the history, archaeology and anthropology of tribal society, economy and politics in the villages, towns and deserts of the Near East in the nineteenth century.
Drawing on a wide range of historical accounts from travellers, adventurers and explorers as well as archaeological evidence, the book sheds new light on tribal life and tribal organisation as a driving force in Near Eastern society. While a straight comparison between ancient and more recent tribal communities must be treated with caution, the book shows how a better understanding of nineteenth-century tribal ethics and customs provides useful insights into the history and power relations of the more distant past and the underlying causes for the present conflicts of the region.
Table of contents
Introduction 1. What is a Tribe? 2. Travellers in the Levant in the Nineteenth Century 3. The Dynamics of Territorial and Power Structures 4. Oral Traditions 5. Tribal Society and its Relation to the Landscape 6. Tribal Institutions 7. Relations Between the Tribe and the State 8. From Tribe to Tribal State: Three Case Studies 9. The Economy of Tribal Societies 10. Ethnicicty and the Sense of Belonging 11. Women in Tribal Societies 12. Religion and Folklore 13. Back in Time: Historical Parallels
The book is an important addition to new research on Bedouin life and culture and will be of interest to historians, archaeologists, anthropologists and scholars of the Near East.