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ANT100Y1 December 1 Notes.doc

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Shawn Lehman

Lecture 5 - The Archaeology of Complexity Introduction • Organization of Lecture o What is Complex Society? o Modelling the Development of Complex Society What is Complex Society? • Recall Lecture 2 o Elman Service (1962) Primitive Social Organization • Bands • Tribes • Chiefdoms o More sophisticated social forms containing properties that can be observed • States • Chiefdoms o Larger than tribes (~5,000 - 20,000+ people) o Kin-based ranking under hereditary leader o Economy based on tribute / redistribution o Domestic / non-domestic sites o Archaeological Example: Catalhoyuk Ancient Chiefdoms • Catalhoyuk • Europe • Eastern North America • SW North America • States (Pre-Industrial) o Larger than chiefdoms (generally 20,000+ people) o Class-based hierarchy under king / emperor o Laws, bureaucracy (taxation), standing armies o Cities o Archaeological Example: All ancient civilizations Ancient 'High' Civilizations • Mesopotamia ca. 3200 BC • Nile Valley ca. 3000 BC • Indus Valley ca. 2500 BC • North China ca. 2000 BC • Mesoamerica ca. 1500 BC • South America ca. 1500 BC • Archaeological Indicators o Writing o Metallurgy e.g. China, Bronze work o Predictive sciences (e.g., astronomy, mathematics) o Large population aggregates; urbanization o Occupational specialization, e.g. craft / religious specialists o Monumental architecture • Importantly, not all of these indicators are present in every ancient civilizations, e.g., o Little evidence for ostentatious display of power in Harappan (Indus Valley) civilization o Little evidence for urbanization in Old Kingdom Egypt or among the Maya o No writing in Ancient South America (Peru) • Quipo - system of recording transactions of food e.g. quinoa Indicators - Writing • Not the same as language! • Most early writing is logographic o One written symbol for each item (morpheme - smallest meaningful units of a language) in vocabulary o Characters stand for meanings, not sounds o e.g. Shang Oracle Bone Inscriptions ca. 1600 BC, and evolution of Chinese writing. • Divination practices used for the emperor of China during the Xia, Shang, Zhou dynasties • Later developments involve Syllabic / Alphabetic systems o Syllabic - written symbol for each syllable • e.g. cuneiform (Mesopotamia) and hieroglyphics (Egypt) o Alphabetic - written symbol for each consonant and vowel • e.g., Greek alphabet - 22 symbols; Roman (Latin) alphabet - 21 symbols • Clay tablet from Jemdet Nasr, Mesopotamia, ca. 4000 BC • Describes the organizations of fields and crops. The circular and semicircular impressions are numbers. Indicators - Metallurgy • Early Metalwork in in Europe o Balkans ca. 4000 BC - copper (cold hammered) • Axes, ornaments and other items traded over a wide area o Italy and Iberia (what is now known as Spain/Portugal) ca. 300 BC - copper smelting o Czech Republic ca. 2500 BC - bronze o e.g. Bronze Casting mold (left) and axe (right) o Chinese bronze work is a prime example of metallurgy o Bronze spread rapidly throughout Europe ca. 1700-1300 BC •Exchange networks o Exchange networks facilitated the spread of ironworking techniques after 1000 BC • Weapons, utilitarian objects • Better agricultu
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