added by archaeologs A form of sociopolitical organization in which their is a chief who is the central authority over a social ranking or hierarchy. Individuals' status is determined by birth and closeness of relationship to the chief. The chief occupies a central role socially, politically, and economically. The central authority enables considerable human effort to be mobilized and directed, often into the building of large public works such as monuments or irrigation systems and in the establishment of mechanisms for distributing goods and services. A chiefdom generally has a permanent ritual and ceremonial center, as well as being characterized by local specialization in crafts.