How, when and why did inherited differences of wealth, status and power arise in human communities? At the heart of Emerging Complexity is the thesis that complex societies developed independently during the Copper and Bronze Ages in south-east Spain, and in the wider context of the Iberian peninsula and the west Mediterranean. Chapman rejects the concept of diffusion from the Aegean and east Mediterranean, until recently seen as the cradle of complex society in later prehistoric Europe. The unprecedented amount of new data on south-east Spain since the 1970s unavailable to many prehistorians. This detailed synthesis is therefore valuable as a general introduction to the area, as well as being important for prehistorians concerned with the emergence of complexity in the Aegean and throughout Europe.