book cover
Download Sample PDF

H 276 x W 203 mm

56 pages

Published Sep 2019

Archaeopress Access Archaeology


Paperback: 9781789693027

Digital: 9781789693034

Recommend to a librarian

Ancient States; Economic Collapse; Near East; Egypt; Maya; Mycenae; Rome; Elite

Related titles

Why Did Ancient States Collapse?

The Dysfunctional State

By Malcolm Levitt

Includes PDF

PDF eBook
(personal use)
Free Download

PDF eBook
(institutional use)

Add to basket

Add to wishlist

Rooted in agriculture, sedentism and population growth, ancient states were fragile and prone to collapse. There is an ongoing debate about the importance, nature and even existence of state-wide collapse. This book investigates why ancient states collapsed and examines to what extent inequality contributed to their downfall.



I - Introduction: meaning, origins, fragility and collapse of states

II - The dysfunctional state

III - Egyptian Old Kingdom

IV - Mycenaean palace states

V - Western Roman Empire

VI - Classic Maya

VI - Inequality

VII - Summary and conclusions


About the Author

Malcolm Levitt held posts as lecturer in economics at Liverpool and Hallsworth Fellow at Manchester University (where his interest in state collapse originated) before joining HM Treasury where he became Senior Economic Adviser. He then moved to the OECD and later served as Chef de Division in the European Commission.

Since completing his MA in Archaeology at the UCL Institute of Archaeology in 2018 he has concentrated on deepening the theoretical basis of his dissertation on why ancient states collapsed.