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Lecture 6

ANTH 100 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Minoan Civilization, Pseudoarchaeology, Subsidence

6 pages73 viewsFall 2016

Course Code
ANTH 100
Erin Mc Guire

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Chapter 7: Archaeology of the last 5000 years (MG)
Ancient Civilization
Civilization: Archeologists would accept that a society characterized as one must have one or all
of the following:
1. One city
- In archaeology, city is usually defined as a settlement having at least 5000 residents
2. Monumental architecture
- Includes buildings, but it also often features other large structures like pyramids
3. Subsistence based on agriculture
4. State level of political organization
5. System of writing
- Leads to describing a society as a civilization
- Other characteristics are generally already in place and have been for a thousand
years or more
Civilization = sometimes, but not always, equated with a state level of political organization.
- Used to describe several distinct states in a region, with each meeting the criteria of
Empire: When one state dominates or exercises control over others.
- Often identified in the archaeological record by comingling of cultural traditions and
connecting road systems
Sumerians (Iraq)
This area is known as Mesopotamia.
- Deeloped orld’s earliest syste of writing, known as cuneiform
- In more recent times, this area was dominated by Persian, Roman, and Islamic
Ancient Egypt
Generally accepted that Egyptian civilization began with the development of writing.
- Early writing is known as hieroglyphics and can be deciphered using the Rosetta
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- It was in the earliest stages of the Egyptian civilizations that the famous pyramids
were constructed
- This region was later dominated by Roman and Islamic empires
One of the first European civilization, centered in and around the Mediterranean, especially on
the islands of Crete.
- The civilization rose about 4000 years ago
- Its collapse was likely due to the tsunami that caused significant damage to the ports
controlled by them
- This area was dominated by the Greek, Roman, and Byzantine empires
Asia had many well known civilizations earliest was known as Harappan.
- This civilization was centered in modern day Pakistan
- Emerged about 4400 years ago
- It provides the first evidence of sewage infrastructure piping from inside houses
joining to larger piping that carried waste out of the residential area
- Started in China
- Emerged about 3800 years ago
- The well known terra cotta comprises about 8000 lives size warriors deposited in
formation near the tomb of the first emperor of the area
There were many well known civilizations in Central and South America in ancient times.
- Emerged about 3500 years ago
- Because of these territorial expansions and domination, the Maya, Aztec, and Inka
civilizations are often referred to as empires
All civilizations eventually collapse. Sometimes the answer is obvious but sometimes other
civilizations, explanations are not so clear and there is debate.
Ecological Explanation
- Involve some environmental occurrence, which in turn, makes it impossible to
effectively feed the population and maintain the infrastructure
- Similarly, epidemic diseases among crops are suggested by some as a cause of
reduced food production
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