In current archaeological research the failure to find common ground between world-systems theory believers and their counterparts has resulted in a stagnation of theoretical development in regards to modeling how early state societies interacted with their neighbors. This book is an attempt to redress these issues. By shifting the theoretical focus away from questions of state evolution to state interaction, the authors develop anthropological models for understanding how ancient states interacted with one another and with societies of different scales of economic and political organization. One of their goals has been to identify a theoretical middle ground that is neither dogmatic nor dismissive. The result is an innovative approach to modeling social interaction that will be helpful in exploring the relationship between social processes that occur at different geographic scales and over different temporal durations. The scholars who participated in the SAR Advanced Seminar that resulted in this book used a particular geographic and temporal context as a case study for developing anthropological models of interaction that are cross-cultural in scope but still deal well with the idiosyncrasies of specific culture histories.