In different parts of the world individuals choose to cooperate as part of smaller or larger communities. The ways in which we cooperate and the limits of our cooperation are two of the most important principles for social groups because in the same time individuals can be very competitive. It is said that from a biological point of view much of the human uniqueness rests in our abilities to cooperate at larger scales and in different manners.
The Enlightenment scholars spoke in favour of rationalism and progress also reflecting on people`s participation in social groupings when their primary motivations tend to be selfish. Moreover, these particular social relations were further developed in the nineteenth-century by Karl Marx, Émile Durkheim or Max Weber.
Archaeologists have been investigating the trajectories of cooperation and competition in past societies for decades, but have tended to emphasize competition in seeking to explain those processes underlying cultural evolution. Part of cultural evolutionism domain, these two theories of cooperation and collective action are used also in other social sciences.
Moving from theory to practice and bringing archaeology into play,
this paper wants to find cooperation in the archaeological remains of
the Late Iron Age in Romania (1st century BC – 1st century AD). Under
scrutiny will be a part of the
Dacian world, the settlements from
south-western Transylvania. Bringing together the construction system
of the fortifications, the monumental size of civilian and religious
edifices in an unwelcoming landscape, indicate a distinctive
profile/identity of the local community at the end of the Iron Age,
assumed through cooperation and collective action.