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Chapter 15 Understanding Key Transitions in World Prehistory.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 15 Understanding Key Transitions in World Prehistory."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 15 Understanding Key Transitions in World Prehistory

2 Outline Evolutionary Studies Why Were Plants Domesticated? Why Did the Archaic State Arise?

3 Evolutionary Studies Unilineal cultural evolution –The belief that human societies have evolved culturally along a single developmental trajectory. Comparative method –In Enlightenment philosophy, the idea that the world’s existing peoples reflect different stages of human cultural evolution.

4 Natural Selection The process through which some individuals survive and reproduce at higher rates than others because of their genetic heritage. Leads to the perpetuation of certain genetic qualities at the expense of others.

5 Social Darwinism The extension of the principles of Darwinian evolution to social phenomena. Implies that conflict between societies and between classes of the same society benefits humanity by removing “unfit” individuals and social forms. Social Darwinism assumed that unfettered economic competition and warfare were primary ways to determine which societies were “fittest.”

6 Morgan’s Three Phases of Human Cultural Evolution PhaseSubphaseHallmarkExample SavageryLowerSubsistence on fruit and nuts None survived into historical period. MiddleFish,fireAustralian aborigines, Polynesians UpperBow and arrow Athapaskan tribes of Hudson’s Bay Territory

7 Morgan’s Three Phases of Human Cultural Evolution PhaseSubphaseHallmarkExample BarbarismLowerPotteryEastern Native American tribes Middle construction; irrigation Pueblos UpperIron smelting Germanic tribes of the time of Caesar

8 Morgan’s Three Phases of Human Cultural Evolution PhaseSubphaseHallmarkExample CivilizationPhonetic alphabet; literary records Ancient: Greece and Rome Modern: Britain

9 Differences Between Unilineal and Modern Evolutionism 1. Modern evolutionism contains none of the racist or moral overtones of 19th century unilineal evolutionism. 2. Contemporary evolutionary thinking recognizes that, if natural selection works on cultural phenomena, it is far more subtle than it is among animals. 3. Although unilineal evolutionists argued over the details of evolution, they all believed in a single immutable sequence.

10 Bands,Tribes, Chiefdoms, and States Subsistence BandForaging TribeForaging, horticulture pastoralism (herding) ChiefdomAgriculture; pastoralists often incorporated within society. StateAgriculture, industrial, pastoral separated as specialists.

11 Bands,Tribes, Chiefdoms, and States Economic Organization BandEqual access to strategic resources through sharing and reciprocity. TribeReciprocity; limited redistribution of goods by charismatic leaders ChiefdomChief redistributes goods of lower-ranking people; includes some non-food producers. StateElites control access to strategic resources; includes non-food producers.

12 Bands,Tribes, Chiefdoms, and States Political Organization BandEgalitarian TribeEgalitarian; temporary and limited roles of authority; competitive feasting to establish rank. ChiefdomDifferences in status based on genealogical closeness to chief, who has a permanent, inherited office. StateState controlled by elites and run by specialists

13 Bands,Tribes, Chiefdoms, and States Settlement pattern BandTemporary camps; some seasonal settlements reoccupied. TribeSedentary villages (temporary) camps among pastoralists) ChiefdomSedentary villages of different sizes; ranked (chief’s village has highest rank). StateHierarchy of settlements reflects administrative functions; may be cities.

14 Bands,Tribes, Chiefdoms, and States Population density BandLow TribeLow to medium ChiefdomMedium to high StateHigh.

15 Tribal Societies A wide range of social formations that lie between egalitarian foragers and ranked societies (such as chiefdoms). Tribal societies are normally horticultural and sedentary, with a higher level of competition than seen among nomadic hunter-gatherers.

16 Civilization A complex urban society with a high level of cultural achievement in the arts and sciences, craft specialization, a surplus of food and/or labor, and a hierarchically stratified social organization.

17 Major Hearths of Agriculture

18 Oasis Theory Proposed by V. Gordon Childe, argues that animal domestication arose as people, plants, and animals congregated around water sources during the arid years that followed the Pleistocene. In this scenario, agriculture arose because of “some genius” and preceded animal domestication.

19 Hilly Flanks Theory Proposed by Robert Braidwood, it claims that agriculture arose in the areas where wild ancestors of domesticated wheat and barley grow, attributing agriculture’s appearance to human efforts to continue to increase the productivity and stability of their food base, coupled with culture being “ready” to accept an agricultural lifeway.

20 Density-equilibrium Model Proposed by Binford, attributes the origins of agriculture to population pressure in favorable environments that resulted in emigration to marginal lands, where agriculture was needed to increase productivity. –Carrying capacity - The number of people that a unit of land can support under a particular technology.

21 Optimal Foraging Theory The idea that foragers select foods that maximize the overall return rate. –return rate - The amount of energy acquired by a forager per unit of harvesting/processing time.

22 Co-evolution The result of natural selection operating simultaneously on both plants and the people using them. Because of some plants’ genetic composition and because of how they must be harvested, the very act of harvesting them results in unintentional selection in such a way that the plants become dependent on humans for survival.

23 The Fertile Crescent An area where agriculture originated in the Near East, a broad arc of mountains in Israel, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. We don’t know exactly when intentional agriculture began, because it’s difficult to distinguish wild wheat and barley from early domesticated forms. The best evidence suggests that a fulltime agricultural economy began about 9000 to 10,000 BP.

24 Natufian A cultural manifestation in the Levant (the southwest Fertile Crescent). Dating from 14,500 to 11,600 BP and consisting of the first appearance of settled villages, trade goods, and possibly early cultivation of domesticated wheat, but lacking pottery.

25 Neolithic The ancient period during which people began using ground stone tools, manufacturing ceramics, and relying on domesticated plants and animals. The “New Stone Age”—coined by Sir John Lubbock (in 1865).

26 Archaic State A centralized political system found in complex societies. Characterized by having a virtual monopoly on the power to coerce.

27 Major Primary Archaic States

28 The Irrigation Hypothesis Karl Wittfogel (1896–1988) asserted that the mechanisms of large-scale irrigation were directly responsible for creating the archaic state. The need for coordinated labor, massive construction, and so forth led to increased wealth and military strength and eventually to the powerful ruling bureaucracy that characterized state development.

29 Irrigation Hypothesis

30 The Warfare and Circumscription Hypothesis Ethnologist Robert Carneiro argues that egalitarian settlements transform into chiefdoms, and chiefdoms into states, only when coercive force is involved. Carneiro’s initial premise stipulates that political change of lasting significance arises only from coercive pressure. And warfare, he suggested, is the only mechanism powerful enough to impose bureaucratic authority on a large scale.

31 Carneiro’s Circumscription and Warfare Hypothesis

32 A Multicausal Theory Allen Johnson and Timothy Earle list three conditions necessary for archaic states to form: 1.High population density that strains the food production system. 2.A need for a system of integration. 3.The possibility of controlling the economy to permit financing of institutions and support a ruling class.

33 Multicausal Origins of the Archaic State

34 Multicausal Origins and the Mayan State 1. High population density places pressure on the agricultural economy and, in dry years, can lead to conflict. 2. Warfare requires social integration, as do efforts to ensure the flow of goods and information between allied centers. 3. Possibly, as one large center gained the edge in authority, families moved to it and smaller centers gave their allegiance in return for protection.

35 Quick Quiz

36 1._____ ______ implies that conflict between societies and between classes of the same society benefits humanity by removing “unfit” individuals and social forms.

37 Answer: Social darwinism _____ ______ implies that conflict between societies and between classes of the same society benefits humanity by removing “unfit” individuals and social forms.

38 2. The view that animal domestication arose as people, plants, and animals congregated around water sources during the arid years that followed the Pleistocene is called the: A.Hilly Flanks Theory B.Density-equilibrium Model C.Oasis Theory D.Optimal Foraging Theory

39 Answer: C The view that animal domestication arose as people, plants, and animals congregated around water sources during the arid years that followed the Pleistocene is called the Oasis Theory.

40 3. The culture dating from 14,500 to 11,600 BP and consisting of the first appearance of settled villages, trade goods, and possibly early cultivation of domesticated wheat, but lacking pottery is called: A. Mesozoic B. Natufian C. Neolithic D. Upper Paleolithic

41 Answer: B The culture dating from 14,500 to 11,600 BP and consisting of the first appearance of settled villages, trade goods, and possibly early cultivation of domesticated wheat, but lacking pottery is called Natufian.


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