Chapter 12 study guide notes

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20 Jul 2010
Chapter 12: Rise of Cities and Civilization
What Civilization means
# in anthropology it refers to societies in which large numbers of people live in cities, are socially stratified
and are governed by centrally organized political systems called states
# occurred b/w 6K and 4500YA
# late Neolithic societies exhibit some, but not all, of the characteristics of civilization
# characteristic of first cities:
o large size and population
o expanded villages
Social Complexity
# comparative studies seek an understanding of societies by examining their similarities and differences
# Elman service considers a variety of factors such as nature of social stratification and authority,
distribution of foods, specialization of production and other activities and presence and nature of
o Bands were egalitarian groups of hunter-gatherers
o Tribes: kinship-based organizations of populations that were larger than found in bands and they were
usually farming or mixed economy groups with situational leaders but no permanent institutions or
formal specialization
o Chiefdoms have been larger populations and are stratified or class-based groups whose leaders belong
to a kin group whose authority is religious. They form theocracy
o States: stratified societies but their power base includes secular leaders, a full-time military, taxation
and secular laws
Agricultural Innovation
# first culture change characteristic of life in cities occurred in farming methods
# irrigation important factor affecting an increase of crop yields
# intensification of agriculture did not mean people ate better than before because of centralized
Diversification of Labor
# with high crop yields with new farming methods and the increased population meant that a sizable
number of people were available to pursue nonagricultural activities on full time basis
# bronze age: in the Old World, the period marked by production of tools and ornaments of bronze; began
about 2K B.C. in China, 3K B.C. in SW Asia and about 500 years earlier in SW Asia
# to procure raw materials needed for their technologies, extensive trade systems were developed by the
early civilizations
Central Government
# strong central authority required to deal with the many problems arising within the new cities because of
their size and complexity
# tried to make sure different interest groups provided the services expected of them and did not infringe on
one another’s rights; it ensured city was save from enemies by constructing fortifications and raising
army; levied taxes and appointed tax collectors; saw to it that merchants, carpenters or farmers who made
legal claims received justice; guaranteed safety of the lives and property of ordinary people and assured
that any harm done one person by another would be justly handled
# surplus food had to be stored for times of scarcity and public works such as extensive irrigation systems
or fortifications had to be supervised by competent, disinterested individuals
Evidence of Centralized Authority
# law codes, temple records, royal chronicles and excavation of city structures
Earliest Governments
# Hammurabi, Babylonian kinghad efficient government organization and highly developed legal system
that characterized his reign
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