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Lecture 11

Civilizations – Lecture 11th.docx

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Ryerson University
Genevieve Dewar

Civilizations – Lecture 11th New Social Structures @ ~9000ya  Consequence of the shift to food production is the development of enormous surpluses 7 features of Civilizations 1. Food and labor surplus controlled by an elite 2. Social stratification 3. Formal government 4. Specialization of labor 5. Monumental architecture 6. Dense settlements/cities 7. Record keeping 1) Food & labor surplus  Development of more efficient agricultural techniques producing surpluses  i.e. plow, drafting animals, the wheel  Less people needed for food production therefore freeing proportion of people to focus on non-food produces i.e. artisans, merchants, soldiers, elites, etc. 2) Social stratification  w/ surplus of food, requires managers & eventually elites  like pyramids, social status develops w/ acknowledged differences  demography  once enough food to supply own people, you can now start trading w/ other villages leading to a population explosion 3) Formal government  State society  class societies w/ ruling class controlling the populace through coercion (police) or force (military)  Typically born into your ranks or position which is opposed to the earlier groups where the rulers demonstrated wisdom and authority to obtain position 4) Labor Specialization  People who weren’t involved in food production are expected to specialize in craftwork i.e. artisans, scribes, merchants, etc. 5) Monumental Architecture  Grandiose public statements of power  Positive feedback loop: reflects power of leaders to control enough people to continue building such monuments 6) Dense populations  At least few thousand people living in dense cultures  Interdependence between cities (kings and elites reside) and rural hinterland (location of food surpluses and food production) 7) Record keeping  ~3000BC  used to keep tract of food & labor surplus  only elites w/ scribes could “read”/ knowledge is power  earliest cuneiform (mud tablets that were pictographs demonstrating the exchange of crafts and food) are typically trade records i.e. 3 cows for a bolt of cloth 6 Classic theories of the emergence of states 1) Race 2) Environmental determinism 3) Urban revolution 4) Hydraulic hypothesis 5) Marxism 6) Circumscription 7) Cultural Systems 1) Explanation of race  Biological facts & therefore race was a key factor in development of civilization  People hadn’t developed civilizations were biologically unequipped  Extremely racist European POV  ****NO EVIDENCE**** 2) Environmental Determinism  Environment dictates where people will develop civilizations  Regions that were too easy or too hard lack civilizations  Evidence shows this to be completely wrong  Again, Euro-centric view 3) Urban Revolution  most likely  Starts within society; need for trade  V. Gorden Childe: the fertile crescent  Development of new social class based on metallurgy and specialist artisans  Require long distance trade for raw materials & redistribution of new goods  Required surpluses from peasants and reducing their interdependence  Growth required sophisticated agricultural techniques  Reinforcing cycle 4) Hydraulic hypothesis  Various regions produce different species of plants/animals  Diversity of food resources protects against famine and drought  Encourages central authority to manage distribution of these produces especially water  Irrigation drastically increases productivity of region  Whomever controls water is in cha
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