Thoughts on the Procurement of Labour in Pre-Monetary Europe

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In societies with a monetary economy, one of the, if not the preferred means of procuring the workforce necessary to carry out a particular work is to simply pay those who are required to do the work. In societies with a pre-monetary economy, this is much less simple: after all, money does not (yet) exist, and thus, no one can be paid with it. Yet sometimes, it becomes necessary – particularly for labour-intensive tasks – to get a sizeable workforce to do, not what they would want to do themselves, but that which those who want to get a particular job done would want them to. For that, it is either necessary that the workers are convinced that they actually want to do what needs to be done voluntarily, or they must be motivated by other than monetary rewards to commit themselves to the work, or at least to make themselves available for it. This contribution attempts to demonstrate how workforces were recruited, co-ordinated, and deployed in pre-monetary ‘Celtic’ societies – primarily such of the insular early middle ages, secondarily in those of the European Iron Age – by means of social networking and non-monetary rewards to carry out such labour-intensive tasks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPersistent economic ways of living
Subtitle of host publicationProduction, Distribution, and Consumption in Late Prehistory and Early History
EditorsAlzbeta Danielisová, Manuel Fernández-Götz
Place of PublicationBudapest
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9789639911703
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2015

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