Details zu 10.14361/9783839445389-009

Reinhard Bernbeck
Monumental Negligence: the Difference between Working and Alienated Labor
DOI: 10.14361/9783839445389-009
In this paper, I argue that the calculation of necessary work hours for the construction of ancient buildings in order to assess their monumentality and meaning needs to consider an element of labor hitherto almost completely neglected: the perspective of the laborers themselves. Using a Chayanovian approach to the logic of drudgery in production, I show that various practices and institutional arrangements in ancient Mesopotamian societies include attempts to negotiate a critical point of tension in projects that required a massive number of laborers. This point is defined here as the »utility-drudgery-threshold«.