Hruby, J. (2013). Crafts, Specialists, and Markets in Mycenaean Greece The Palace of Nestor, Craft Production, and Mechanisms for the Transfer of Goods. American Journal of Archaeology, 117, 423–427. (free .pdf file)
Link to the forum website of AJA
Abstract by Julie Hruby:
Market exchange formed one aspect of a complex, mixed economy integrated into the political structures of Mycenaean Pylos. Palatial elites used a variety of strategies to obtain goods and services, and different individuals who represented a single craft often worked in different modes of production, as can be demonstrated for both the ceramic and the textile industries. Palatial elites did, however, establish predictable mechanisms for the remuneration of labor, forming an incipient labor market. They also, probably unintentionally, created conditions that favored the development of market-oriented systems through dispute management, infrastructure construction and maintenance, and the commoditization of goods.
The offered article as open access attempts to connect different prehistorians on the problems of theory of prehistory and methodology of prehistoric research. It has been published in a period of a crisis of prehistory as a scientific discipline which is well documented in Balkan research that includes pseudoscience, psychotronic terrorism (Todorova gang), violence of scholars against innocent victims (Tringham-Bailey gang), fraud (Chapman-Gaydarska), etc. It is unclear why and how violent pseudoscientists continue to occupy academic places and be danger for humanity in a global context. But obviously there is a serious core of scientists who have been trying to change the color of the general picture.
Julie Hruby represents Dartmouth College which is leading in research of Antiquity. I believe the article will get attention and will be discussed in details from perspectives of facts and how the previous research was approached. As a theorist of prehistory the author would point to term “Palatial elites”.
Elite is a controversial tern in human life. The science is usually often behind the life and reproduces terms which may do not have the right meaning. Elite has many meanings – best, selected, leading, top, exclusive, privileged, influential … If there are Palatial elites, then, there is hierarchy. While elite is top. From perspectives of theory, there is no term Palatial elites, but it would be a Palatial elite. If Hurdy suspects the structure was complex, then, it can be used another scientific term. The author prefers the term wealthy (rich), since there is difference between economic and political structure in society. Not every wealthy was an elite, as well as not all elite belongs to the political top. There would be elite even among the low-status labors. Then, Palatial elite mean everything and nothing for the reader while the reader today is a person who would like to spend time to read non-ambiguous content.
Typical instance from contemporary world that shows how important is to use the precise words in science is the case with Vassil Bozhkov – the Skull (Bulgarian mafia) who has been spending considerable funds for buying ancient antiques (use purposefully as a noun like in Bulgarian language) and has been trying to become Bulgarian elite. However, he is wealthy, but mafia according to society - never elite.