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University of Toronto St. George
Christopher Watts

ANT200 October 24, 2011 Lecture 6- origins and development of complex society Tonight present with ways in which archaeologists have talked about complexity in the archaeological past and how that is different from an historical analysis of complexity whereby might read various texts left by ancient high civilizations about documentation of when people came to the throne etc. that wouldnt be archaeological analysis Please note Research paper is due four weeks from today in lecture Next weeks tutorials are devoted to improving your research and writing skills Introduction Organization of lecture o What is complex society? What is it that makes you allowed to say an artifact is evidence of complexity rather than something else o Modeling the development of complex society Models for talking about origin of complexity. How comes about in archaeoligcal record What is complex society? Typically associated with chiefdoms and states (as opposed to bands and tribes) o Talk about social organization and development of society o Some archaeologists array those developments on a continuum. Where have a unilinear framework with savagery barbarism civilization. Dont subscribe to that model but still recognize a progression from simple egalitarian society through to complex societies (modern state-level society today). Obviously not the same as band-level society like hunter-gatherers. Not as complex socially, economically etc o Bands and tribes least complex is socio economical contexts. Low population densities o Band may consist of 50-100 people. Largely hunter and gatherers and move around the landscape o Tribes slightly more complex version of hunting and gathering way of life. Tribes 100-5000 people or something o Dont consider those ways of life complex. Dont exhibit the features that archaeologists associate with complexity Chiefdoms o Larger than bands and tribes (~5000-20000+ people) o Communities and constellation or interconnected web of communities that together can total to give this population o Mississipian societies (around Mississippi) are considered chiefdoms o Kin-based ranking under hereditary leader Leadership inherited typically in familial line or lineage Leadership see in chiefdoms tends to be organized under hereditary leader Chief take over the office within a certain community based on his lineage Born into a family and that family controls political organization of the community. So he assumes that role o In more complex chiefdoms can have one chief that oversees the chiefs of all the different communities o Can have simple to complex kingdoms o There is a lineage though o Those offices are inherited. Typically through birth into that lineage o Economy based on tribute/redistribution Sharing of tasks Can have gender based tasks like women do this and men do that Economies based on bartering. Not really money in bands and tribes Population of commoners that through farming and other works come to support chiefs through tribute. Pay a portion of yield to the chief of community in exchange for his leadership or knowledge of certain rituals. In chiefdoms Chief doesnt do the same tasks as commoners. He is supported by them Tribute is paying of (typically) crop yield to chief and his family In some cases the chief will redistribute the tribute or yield to the different communities and families in keeping with his office and role If a community needs this much corn or whatever then he will give it to them Thats not a characteristic of all chiefdoms but it does occur o Settlement centres- secular and sacred Unique for chiefdoms and states also when compared to bands and tribes Settlements that not just camps and villages Can have villages and towns in chiefdoms but start to see is certain communities oriented to ritual activities, sacred activities as opposed to day to day living Division in some chiefdoms. Settlements for people to live in and separate sites that are oriented towards religious activities and ceremonies In the Hopewell consider them interface between tribal and Chiefdom. Some of their sites dont have occupational component. Consider those to be sacred centers. Not secular or part of day to day living that people do. o Archaeological example: NW coast, Mississippian Northwest coast of north America: BC, Alaska see complex chiefdoms archaeologically and historically Mississippian groups also considered chiefdoms Adena and Hopewell are tribal societies or low level chiefdoms Southwest ancestral pueblo advanced tribal societies or chiefdoms Not tested on mississipian stuff thats not in textbook because didnt talk about it Ancient Chiefdoms Catalhoyuk o In turkey area. o Chiefdom Europe o Most of Europe during the Neolithic also considered to be chiefdom level of economic and political organization Eastern north America Hopewell at interface Mississippian groups SW North America o Like Hohokam and ancestral pueblo What is complex society? States (pre-industrial) o Larger than chiefdoms (generally 20,000+ people) when recognize them in history. Some were like 100s of thousands of people o We live in a state society o We know that it is exceedingly complex socially and economically and politically o States in pre-history also very complex (maybe not as complex as here though) o Pre-industri
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