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The Archaeology of Complexity This is the last lecture of Professor Watts for the Archaeology segment. It is on the origins of complex societies.

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Christopher Watts

But there are other indicators a complex of cultural phenomena Flannery 1972 such asThe Archaeology of ComplexityWritingNovember2510Most early writing took the form of conventionalized and abstract pictorial forms605 PMeg the letter A is thought to be descended from a stylized Semitic drawing of an ox headLater developments involve SyllabicAlphabetic systemsWhat is Complex SocietySyllabic written symbol for each syllableTypically associated with chiefdomsand stateseg cuneiform Mesopotamia and hieroglyphics EgyptRecall ChiefdomsAlphabetic written symbol for each vowel and consonantCatahopyukeg Greek alphabet 22 symbols Roman Latin alphabet 21 symbolsEuropeClay tablet from Jemdet Nasr Mesopotamia ca 4000 BCEastern North AmericaDescribes the organization of fields and crops SW North AmericaCircular and semicircular impressions are numbersRecall States PreIndustrialMetallurgyAncient High CivilizationsEarly Metalworking CopperBronzeIron Ages ca 4000 600 BC in EuropeMesopotamia ca 3200 BCBalkans ca 4000 BC copper cold hammeredNile Valley ca 3000 BCAxes Ornaments and other items traded over a wide areaIndus Valley ca 2500 BCItaly and Iberia ca 3000 BC copper smeltingNorth China ca 2000 BCCzech Republic ca 2500 BC bronzeMesoamerica ca 1500 BCBronze spread rapidly throughout Europe ca 1700 1300 BCSouth America ca 1500 BCExchange networks facilitated the spread of ironworking techniques after 1000 BCFor V Gordon Childe 1952 states wereWeapons utilitarian objectsCentralized authorities with power to tax surplus production derived from intensive More difficult to smelt but iron is more widely availableland use and increased productivityBetter agricultural implements population increases presage Roman EmpireMeans of production and how technology comes to be appropriated to meet Predictive sciences eg astronomy mathematicsends of productionTypified by astronomyImportantly not all of these indicators are present in all ancient civilizationseg Mesoamerica Maya ca 5th century BCeg no writing in Ancient South America Peru260 day ceremonial calendar Tzolkin articulates with 265 day solar calendar QuipoHaab plus the Long Counteg little evidence of ostentatious display of power in Harappan Indus Valley Sophisticated knowledge of mathematics zero conceptcivilizationMovement from real to abstract calculationsHarappan CivilizationObservatory Caracol at Chichen ItzaMohenjodaroAstronomy eg Bronze Age EuropeFirst constructed ca 2600 BC rebuilt 9 timesMegalithic tombs New Grange Ireland ca 3200 BC and henge monumentsMajor admin Centre pop 35 000The rising sun shines directly into the burial chamber on the winder solstice DEC 21T
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