CITB02H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter week2: New Economy, Ancestral Shrine, Economic Surplus

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5 Jul 2018
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GORDON CHILDE (30-38)
- Try to present the city historically (or prehistorically) as the symbol of a “revolution”
that initiated a new economic stage in the evolution of society  progressive change in
the economic/social structure and social organization of communities that caused
dramatic increase in pop.
oWould be seen as a “bend” in a pop. Graph  eg. Industrial revolution in England
- Sociologists and ethnographers classify pre-industrial societies in a hierarchy of 3
evolutionary stages
Savagery, barbarism, civilization
First 2 are recognized as methods for getting food  savages lived on wild food by
collecting/hunting etc.
Barbarians supplement these resource by cultivating plants and also breeding
animals
- Throughout the Paleolithic Age all human societies were savage
-Neolithic Age had barbarians (10k years ago)
-Civilization is hard to define in these terms  need to know if people could read/write
(be literate), while not all people lived in cities
oNo recoded instance of a community of savages civilizing themselves/adopting
urban life etc.  all we know is that civilization succeeded barbarism
- Can see this revolution should be defined in population statistics  eg. Urban revolution
= increase was mainly accounting for by the multiplication fo the #s of persons living
together
oThe first cities repsented settlement units of unprecedented size (for the time)
- Density of pop. Is determined by food supply which is limited by natural resoures, the
techniques (tech) for their exploitation, and the means of transport/food preservation
oCan guess: pop. Densities in Paleolithic and pre-neolithic Europe were less than
the normal American
oHunter-gathers lived in small moving bands
-Neolithic Revolution allowed for population expansion and increased carrying capacity
of the land
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These farmers lived in permanent villages (though b/c irrigation, the villages shifted
every 20 years)
Largest Neolithic village in Europe Barkaer in Jutland had 52 single roomed dwellings
 pop. = 200-400 people
- In absence of transport, the men had to live near their crops, and land could only
support certain # of people b/c ½ land was fallow (slash and burn technique) which
meant excess pop. Had to migrate
-Neolithic revolution has other conseq. Beyond helping pop. Increase
New economy allowed for farmer to prod. More food than him/family needed =
surplus  allowed for a social surplus
oWas insignificant at first, but could be increased until it demanded a
reorganization of society
- In any stone age society, anybody coul din theory make home w/ some
tools/cloths/ornaments etc  but every member of the community must contribute
actively to the communal food supply by personally
gathering/collecting/hunting/gardening etc.cannot have full-time specialists who
depend on their livelihood by the food produced from others
- Can find expert craftsmen in Stone age, but they were not full time specialists  spend
time hunting and added to their rewards by making arrows that other people would
exchange with them for more stuff
Same holds true for barbarian societies that are still in the Neolithic age (Eg.
Polynesians where they have industry in gardening)  their social surplus is not
enough to feed idle mouths
- Social division of labour is impossible
Everyone gathering food = solidarity in the group b/c cooperation is essential to
secure food/shelter/defense
Local group consists of a clan/group of clans related by habitual intermarriage
oKinship is reinforced or supplemented by common rites (eg. Ancestral
shrine, sacred places)
oThis solidarity is “mechanical”
- Among advanced barbarians (Eg. Woodcarvers, tatooers), we find people trending to
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Document Summary

Sociologists and ethnographers classify pre-industrial societies in a hierarchy of 3 evolutionary stages. First 2 are recognized as methods for getting food savages lived on wild food by collecting/hunting etc. Barbarians supplement these resource by cultivating plants and also breeding animals. Throughout the paleolithic age all human societies were savage. Neolithic age had barbarians (10k years ago) Civilization is hard to define in these terms need to know if people could read/write (be literate), while not all people lived in cities: no recoded instance of a community of savages civilizing themselves/adopting urban life etc. All we know is that civilization succeeded barbarism. Can see this revolution should be defined in population statistics eg. urban revolution. = increase was mainly accounting for by the multiplication fo the #s of persons living together: the first cities repsented settlement units of unprecedented size (for the time)

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