Anthro Lecture Notes, October 26
EMERGENCE OF COMPLEX SOCIETIES
how did we arrive at these systems?
1. MARXISM: internal conflicts for resources. Use of
● some individual gains the means of production
● people realize they are being treated unfairly
● you pay some of the people extra to keep the
people in line (coersion)
● when this stops working, you bring in RELIGION to
teach people to accept their god-given role. *not
that this is when we invented religion, but this is
when religion began being used in this manipulative
2. WARFARE: external conflict for resources.
● arable land is scarce so it must be won from
● the people who organize these raids and risk their
life get the spoils
● this gives rise to standing armies, creating
greater complexities in sustenance, administration,
and task specialization.
● the spoils must be managed.
3. HYDRAULIC: need to co-operate
● managing large irrigation system ● administration necessary to raise the quality of
life for all
● efficiency and task specialization are selected
for writ large.
4. RELIGION: need to manage large projects (temples)
● in places like central america where there were a
lot of natural disasters, it was believed that the
Gods controlled these things and they must be
● temples must be built to make offerings to hold
off the gods.
● cities grow around these temples, creating all the
features of civilization
● here the religious leaders had all the power.
● we need labour to build the temple.
5. LONG DISTANCE TRADE: administration of trade
● the more you become reliant on trade, the more
administrators and security you need.
● the more sedentary you become, the more reliant
you become on trade.
● the rest that follows is the same story:
inequalities arise, etc.
Archaeologists are not looking for one size fits all
answer for the rise of civilization. Different civs
have different reasons or varieties of reasons to turn
into states. A large part of this is just people PERSUADING other people to do certain things, this is
difficult to find or prove with archaeology though.
+++++++THIS CONCLUDES THE LECTURES ON PRE-HISTORY++++++
CULTURE & THE ANTHROPOLOGIST
- for a long time we believed culture set us apart from
animals. early definitions emphasise culture as a
uniquely human attribute.