Quantifying the Evolution of Social Complexity with Seshat: Global History Databank
I will present preliminary results of analyzing social complexity data in Seshat: Global History Databank. “Social complexity” has many dimensions, such as social scale, hierarchical organization, governance structures, provision of public goods, and capacity to cumulate and process information. The Seshat project has coded c.100 variables relevant to social complexity for over 300 polities (politically independent societies ranging in organization from independent villages to mega-empires) located at 30 sampling points across the globe. In my talk I will show how the Seshat approach can allow us to compare social development across different continents and thousands of years.