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The Political MachineAssembling Sovereignty in the Bronze Age Caucasus$
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Adam T. Smith

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691163239

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691163239.001.0001

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The Civilization Machine in the Early Bronze Age

The Civilization Machine in the Early Bronze Age

(p.97) Chapter 3 The Civilization Machine in the Early Bronze Age
The Political Machine

Adam T. Smith

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the role of things in the reproduction of a public—the first condition of sovereignty defined in Chapter 2—during the Early Bronze Age in the South Caucasus. “A public” here means a self-recognizing community that is not maintained exclusively through face-to-face interaction. It is thus in large part an assembly of strangers who are made familiar to one another through an assemblage of publicity—forms of mass mediation and sites of encounter, such as those Benedict Anderson described as fundamental to the imagination of modern nations. The suggestion that material things are critical to the creation of a public follows closely Hannah Arendt's conception of humanity as Homo faber.

Keywords:   political sovereignty, things, Early Bronze Age, South Caucasus, self-recognizing community, Hannah Arendt, humanity, Homo faber

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