Archaeology is not just about the past, but the present and future too. Much of our present condition and future prospects are inevitably bound up with what states do and what they fail to do. To understand the inner-workings and motivations of states one must understand how and why they came into existence in the first place. This book describes how states formed in Egypt and Mesopotamia, China and the Andes, and also how the Indus Civilization functioned without a state. This work spans law, ideology, politics, economics, and psychology, the ancient world and modern history, in order to show how power is obtained, sustained and deployed, and in whose interests. Grounded in archaeological data, it examines human nature, morality, violence and governance, issues of special importance to everyone, but in particular to students of politics, anthropology, psychology and sociology, as well as archaeology.opology, psychology and sociology, as well as archaeology.