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Lecture

Week 7 Lecture 1 GEOG 2200 2013 Notes.docx

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Department
Geography
Course
GEOG 2200
Professor
John Milton
Semester
Winter

Description
Page1Week 7 Lecture 1 The CityGEOG 2200 Global ConnectionsIf you could live in any city which would it be Why are we drawn to citiesHumans have officially become an urban species Some claimed that by 2008 there were more people living in cities or urban areas on every continentcombining both official and unofficial settlements Through official censuses Africa is still the last continent upon which there are more rural people than urban people Table on page 286 map p289The Changing Role of Cities From Local Systems to WorldSystemsCities emergeand disappearover time The ascendency of certain places over others while complex can be summarized as based upon location It is not surprising that the first urban societies appeared in the agricultural hearthsMesopotamia China India and Central America However cities have also emerged in importance based upon the trade routes and networks within the context of empires based upon militarydefense needs They have also become important due to their religious significance As city life has often been treated as synonymous with civilization and as the fate of cities has tracked the course of civilization the story of urbanization is also in part an account of the civilizing process Which were the world cities of the ancient classical and modern era and what was their role in world history that is in organizing social life on earthThe First Cities History beginsat Sumer was the tile of a popular account by SN Kramer that applies equally well to the emergence of the first city system in Southern Mesopotamia in the fourth millennium BCE in whatGordon Childe described as the Urban Revolution Erech now usually called Urukthe city of Gilgamesh is considered to have been the first true city on Earth Uruk was built on the Mesopotamian plain in about 3200 BC It was a major cultural and religious centre as well as a political centre It was also a centre of regional trade whose reach has been shown to have extended from Iran in the east to the upper Euphrates in the north and evidently also to Egypt in the westFrom archaeological and literary evidence we also know that Uruk was also the likely locus of the invention of writing and of calendars innovations that proved to be of epochal significanceWhile the distinction between a city and a town can be drawn in many ways but however this is done there was a qualitative difference in population size and spatial extent of the builtup area between Uruk and any earlier settlements By 3000 BCE we find here and nowhere else some halfdozen centres that satisfy the basic urban criteria and therefore an incipient local city system some have suggested that this was an incipient worldsystem due to its connections While archeologists have determined that a threetiered settlement system or urban hierarchy had emerged earlier on the Susiana plain adjacent to the Mesopotamian plain the Uruk settlement system had four tiers and the size of Uruk was much greater than any prior settlement Nissen 19886572 Uruk was at that time the largest among them with a population possibly reaching 40000 making it without doubt the largest city in the world at this time Two trends occurred during this time The first was the emergence by midthird millennium BCE of a viable and productive centre in Sumer the heartland of cities then organized in the form of some two dozen autonomous citystates This state system exhibited many of the Page2characteristics of the modern interstate system with the shifting alliances among different citystates exhibited features of a balance of power mechanism which prevented for a long while takeover by any single state Cooper 1983 Before the Akkadian conquest created an empire composed of formerlyautonomous core citystates there were earlier and nearly successful efforts at empireformation which resembled in some respects the process of the rise and fall of hegemonic core powers in the modern worldsystem BUT the increasingly costly competition for regional leadership between these states occurred culminating around BC2300 that between Umma and Lagash did permit Sargon of Akkad from outside the Land of Sumer to subdue Sumer The reign of Akkad and Sumer came and went and was followed by a native dynasty based on UrAs late as about 2000 something of a numerical parity existed between Sumer and nonSummer cities but not much later the former land of cities completely dropped out of sightBy contrast important cities were on the rise in Egypt Memphis Thebes Heliopolis in north Mesopotamia Mari and in the Indus Valley MohenjoDaro and HarappaThe second basic trend was the experience of dispersal or more precisely the spread of urban practices throughout Eurasia that coincided with what in several areas had been described as Dark Agesin Sumer into the Harappan region and in postMycenean Greece By the end of the ancient era and the Bronze Age three of the four major regions of the Old World had been fertilized by the Urban Revolution West Asia eg Babylon the Mediterranean Mycenae and East Asia Yin near Anyang a major Shang capitalThe less than successful experiments in the Indus Valley in the Ukraine and even Peru would ultimately bear fruit too These centres effectively displaced the lost cities of Sumer as these faded into history Sumer was virtually deurbanized while urbanism rose elsewhere meaning that the number of cities remained about the same it was a millennium earlier 22 in BC2000 became 23 in BC1200In other words the story of the ancient era was rapid urban expansion at the center in its first half followed by deceleration and dispersal in the second Theories of the emergence of the ancient cities are numerous and varied The general connections between increases in social hierarchy intensification of production and the formation of states are agreed upon by everyone but very different explanations of these transformations are offered Many approaches take account of regional and interregional aspects of the process of pristine stateformation and the emergence of civilizations Older emphases on the development of productive technology eg Lenski and Lenski 1987 have given way to theories which emphasize the importance of increasing population pressure within a region eg Johnson and Earle 1987 Renfrew 1975 has developed the notion of the Early State Module ESM an approach which emphasizes coevolutionary interaction among a set of states within a region see also Renfrew and Cherry 1986 The Early State Module ESM model sought to explain certain apparent crosscultural regularities in the spatial attributes of early state societies Renfrew suggests that fairly evenlyspaced autonomous central places existed in most early civilizations and that the sizes of the territories controlled by these central places conform to an absolute size range An Early State Module consists of one of these autonomous central places and the territory it controlled In addition the ESM model suggests that there are important universal processes in the rise of complex societies In particular the model implies that social complexity develops as a result of interaction between autonomous equalsized polities Finally the model predicts that many early civilizations would have consisted of approximately ten ESMsCarneiros 1970 Circumscription Theory is the most widely accepted explanation of pristine state formation combining population pressure resistance to hierarchy intensified agricultural
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