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Lecture 10

ANTA01H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Abu Simbel Temples, Wyandot People, Shang Dynasty


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTA01H3
Professor
Steven Dorland
Lecture
10

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Developing Complexities
For this lecture: be able to identify which socieities fall into each of the above categories and the
general region they are found -- do not worry about dates unless obviously significant.
Changes in social complexities:
o Social complexities are changes is societal structures.
Egalitarian.
Middle range/chiefdom.
Heterarchical societies (different classes).
States.
Basic social division:
o Egalitarian society: similar members of the society have equal rights, privileges,
responsibilities, and wealth.
Merit based on differences relating to age and gender.
o Stratified society: there are levels (strata) in the society that differ in terms of their rights,
privileges, responsibilities, and wealth (e.g., classes).
Merit not based on age and gender, but familiar ties, or class system.
Egalitarian:
o Smaller community size (in the 100s).
o No social stratification.
o Usually foraging societies.
o Small-scale conflicts, but not large-scale warfare.
Why does complexity emerge?
o Managerial: managing irrigation, flood control.
Problem: not all cultures had resources to manage.
o Internal factors: control of communication or production, causal tie to social stratification,
population increase.
Problem: hard to find evidence.
o External factors: joint protection from outside threats, trade.
Problem: not all cultures with walls developed social complexities.
o Ritual/ceremonial power: control of access to deities, ritual capital, results in social
stratification.
Problem: only applicable to particular regional areas.
Dolni Vestonice:
o 27,000-26,000 years ago; Czech Republic.
o 25-50 people (Upper Paleolithic).
o Hunter-gatherer society.
Middle range socieities:
o Chiefdom societies, or pre-state societies.
o Developed social hierarchy -- slave/commoner/elites.
o Larger population levels (thousands).
o Larger towns or cities.
o Usually associated with agricultural practices, OR intensive forms of foraging.
Sustained surplus: consistent ability to produce surplus.
o Development of larger monumental structures.
o Developed exchange networks.
Mississippian.
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Cahokia, IL.
Monks Mound, IL.
Polynesian.
Easter Island.
Northwest Coast.
Sechelt, BC.
Keatley Creek, BC.
Middle range -- Mississippian:
o Main city was Cahokia.
o Mississippian city peaking around 1,200 AD.
o Maximum population of 5,000-20,000.
o Monks Mound was located in Cohokia; this mound was ~100 feet (30 m) tall, covers about
14 acres.
o Extensive trade networks.
Middle range -- Polynesian:
o 1,200 AD-1,400 CE.
o Easter Island.
Massive stone structures found.
Conspiracies around aliens creating these monuments because they're so complex
(these are obviously not true).
o Orango Store House -- large storage buildings that would have been used to store
resources.
Middle range -- Canadian West Coast:
o Sechelt, BC -- 4,000-2,500 years ago.
Slate point tools (all broken, but in the same way, indicating they may have been
intentionally broken) & shell artifact.
Over 200,000 beads recovered on top of burials -- very time-consuming to create
these beads; this efforts would most likely be put into a burial for a person of value.
o Keatley Creek, BC -- 4,800-2,400 years ago.
700-1000 villagers.
119 house depressions.
Heterarchical societies:
o Non-hierarchical social and political structure.
Hierarchies are not permanent or fixed.
o Larger populated villages/town consisting of longhouses.
800-2000 people.
o Extensive trade networks.
o High intensity exploitation of plant domesticates, supplemented by fishing and other
resources.
Pre-contact Great Lakes Indigenous groups:
6 nations confederacy, Wendat Confederacy.
14-15th AD Iroquoian Villages: Ontario.
o Evidence of complex society, but no evidence of stratified hierarchy.
o Heterarchy -- hierarchy that is not fixed.
o Administrative power flows through councils, system of representative of various social
levels.
Emergence of state societies:
o Occurs in warmer climates to support agriculture.
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