SOCB44: Lecture 2 (pp. 33-47) Next lecture: pp. 40 - 54
Initial human settlements
- no such things as cities
- people were scattered and existed as hunters and gatherers
- only recently that cities were formed when? Debate about it.
First urban settlements
- (estimate) arose around 8000 BCE
- 5000 people at best
- largest ancient city = Rome (700 – 800K people)
- at present, there are cities that have 10 million people
Why did people shift from hunters and gatherers to form a city? What brought them
- What types of conditions need to exist for the formation of cities? What
needs to be changed?
e.g. water VS living in the desert, such as living in Las Vegas
using the Colorado River for the fountains, etc.
o Advantages of grouping together
o E.g. the movie “idiocracy”
Electricity, harness power, inanimate sources of energy
Use of symbols
o Agricultural surplus
You are able to produce more food than what you and your
- 1 urban settlement arose because of religious purposes they would build
a place of worship
o priests, etc. will live in that building
o they would conduct religious ceremonies full time so somebody had
to feed me
o those that lived in the surrounding (hinterland), would offer to the
Gods and would feed the priests and others.
o More worshippers in the sacred temple/building = expansion of food
stalls, prostitutes around the temples, etc.
o ^ As a result, the community is growing
- under what conditions that people were able to produce agricultural
o Technological innovations that make agriculture more productive
o e.g. Ancient Egypt – formed at the Nile Delta Water / large area at the
mouth of the Nile River which is very fertile
1 4000 BCE
- Gordon Childe – identified the list of characteristics that are essential to what
could be described as cities. All these early cities contain a combination of the
1. Larger and more densely populated permanent and settlements
prior to that, people were usually nomadic.
Or slash and burn
2. Social classes of non-agricultural specialists including craftsmen,
transport workers, merchants, officials, and priests
They do not participate in agriculture
Not everyone does that same thing
3. A system of taxation and capital accumulation
VS hunting and gathering and agricultural communities looked