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Lecture 5

Archaeology Lecture Five + Readings

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Christopher Watts

ORIGINS OF CITIES AND STATES (TO) Conventional characteristics of civilization were evident by about 3500 B.C. o Communities began to differ in size and specialize in certain crafts in parts of the Near East o First inscriptions o Monumental architecture o Great differences in status and wealth o Hierarchal, centralized political system (chiefdoms) Most ancient civilizations arose in the Near East around 3500 B.C., in northwest India after 2500 B.C. , northern China in 1750 B.C., in the New World 2KYA and in tropical Africa years later Ancient High civilizations: o Mesopotamia (3200 BC), Nile Valley (3000 BC), Indus Valley (2500 BC), North China (2000 BC), Mesoamerica (1500 BC), South America (Inca state 1500 BC) ARCHAEOLOGICAL INFERENCES ABOUT CIVILIZATION Earliest Neolithic societies were egalitarian o Egalitarian all persons of a given age-sex category have equal access to economic resources, power and prestige High status was assigned as birth rather than further on in life What is a Complex Society? Typically associated with chiefdoms and states States o first evolved around 3500 B.C. in Greater Mesopotamia o Centralized authorities with the power to tax surplus production derived from intensive land use and increased productivity (Childe, 1952) But there are other indicators a complex of cultural phenomena (Flannery 1972) such as... o Writing
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