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Lecture 12

ANTA01- Lecture 12.docx

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Genevieve Dewar

ANTA01 – Week 12 – November 29, 2012 Ancient Civilization Outline - Civilizations - Theories of the emergence of States - Social theory - Collapse - Earliest civilizations Civilization - Food and labour surplus controlled by an elite - Social stratification - A formal government - Specialization of labour - Monumental architecture o Military builds walls o Priests build churches - Dense settlements/Cities - A system of record keeping New Social Structures at – 9 000 ya (Refer to week 11 power point) - A consequence of the shift to food productions is the development of enormous surpluses - Whenever there is abundance, density, and reliability of a food source, there will inevitably be social & political complexity - Powerful rulers and chiefs (priests and warriors) emerge to control, organize & centralize the supply & distribution of resources - This eventually leads to the development of cities, civilizations and modern life as we know it - Oldest civilization that we know about is from Jericho - Whatever caused development of agriculture allowed a surplus in food for the first time - 3 realms of power o Religious Leaders o Warriors o Economic Leaders Food and Labour Surplus - Development of more efficient agricultural techniques produced surpluses of food - Plow, draft animals (Domesticated animals) and the wheel o Less people are needed for food production o Frees up a proportion of the population to specialize as non-food producers  Artisans, merchants, soldiers, elites Social Stratification - With surplus food, requires managers and eventually elites - Like a pyramid, social status develops with acknowledged differences - King on top, artisans and managers in the middle, and farmers on the bottom Formal Government - State Society: Class societies with a ruling class controlling the populace through coercion and force - Typically born into your position (rank) o Gained through blood line - As opposed to a ruler who has obtained his position through authority - Next ruler is based on bloodline Labour Specializations - People who are not directly involved with food production are expected to specialize o Artisans, soldiers, merchants, scribes, etc. Monumental Architecture - All monumental architecture start out being the depositary for food (storage) o Only later do we see the claiming of society with the buildings for temples, places and warehouses - Grandiose public statements of power - Positive feedback loop - Reflecting the power of the leader(s) to control enough people to build such monuments Dense Populations - Cities - At least a few thousand people living in dense clusters - Interdependence between the city and the rural hinterland o Hinterland – Agricultural farms o City centres where we see art, development of police, merchants, soldiers Record Keeping - Does not have to be full blown writing - Keeping track of food and labour surplus - Knowledge is power - Only the elite with scribes could “read” - Earliest cuneiform tablets are typically trade records o Ex. Three cows for two bolts of cloth Scribes - Top Left : Mesopotamia - Top Right: Mayan - Bottom Left: Hieroglyphs - Bottom Right: Inca Six Classic Theories of the Emergence of States - Race - Environmental Determinism - The “Urban Revolution” - Hydraulic hypothesis - Marxism - Circumscription/Coercion - Cultural systems (Post perceptual idea) The (Lame) explanation of Race - Biological factors and therefore race was a key factor in the development of civilization - People who had not developed civilization were biologically unequipped to do so - Extremely racist European point of view - Sites like Great Zimbabwe were explained as created by sea fairing peoples from Asia - No evidence whatsoever Environmental Determinism - Environment dictates where people will develop civilizations - Regions that are too easy or too hard lack civilization - Evidence shows this to be completely wrong - Again a Eurocentric view that Europe is the best - Fallen out of favor - This is biased that people though a civilization needs to be by a river Urban Revolution - V. Gordon Childe: The Fertile Crescent - Development of a new social clas
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