Presentation on theme: "How do we study these archaeologically?"— Presentation transcript:
1 How do we study these archaeologically? CivilizationsCharacteristicsOrigin TheoriesHow do we study these archaeologically?
2 V. Gordon Childe: Characteristics of complex societies These include:urban centers between 7-20,000 peoplespecialized division of laborruling class of religious, civil and military leadersfood surplusmonumental architecturewriting systemdevelopments of arithmetic, geometry and astronomyart and long-distance tradeinstitutionalized form of political organization-the state
3 Do all complex societies have these characteristics? Do they have to have all the characteristics to be termed complex?Variations might be Agricultural States which had some of these characteristics but was primarily composed of inequality based on control of food surplus.
4 V. Gordon Childe “Urban Revolution” Suggested that civilization resulted from increasing specialization which was made possible by technological innovations which allowed for increased production and the accumulation of surplusIn the fourth millennium, the development of effective irrigation agriculture combined with fishing and animal husbandry to afford the surplus necessary to support a growing number of specialistsaccumulation of surplus was assisted by water transportation, pack animals, and newly invented wheeled vehiclesuse of irrigation restricted the areas that could be cultivated effectively to those near water courses and canals, thus causing and aggregation of the populationproposes ten criteria to distinguish the earliest cities from any older or contemporary village
5 V. Gordon Childe Dense populations first cities were more extensive and densely populatedpopulation ranged from 7,000 to 20,000Full-time specialization and division of laborcities accomodated peasants, but also classes of specialists: craftsmen, transport workers, merchants, officials, and prieststhese were supported by agricultural surplusthey did not receive their support directly from individual peasantsTaxation and concentration of capitaleach primary producer paid over his surplus as a tithe or tax to an imaginary deity or divine king, who then concentrated the surplusthis capital concentration was necessary to sponsor specialist activities
6 V. Gordon Childe Social classes Religion and state organization all those not engaged in food production were supported by surplus accumulated in the templesome officials absorbed a major share of this surplus, and formed a "ruling class"these ruling classes conferred benefits on their subjects by providing planning and organizationReligion and state organizationcities had "organic solidarity" based on the interdependence of agricultural producers, craftsmen, traders, priests, and members of the ruling classorganization was based on residence rather than kinshipcraftsman could belong politically as well as economicallythere was a conflict between the subsistence farmers and the tiny ruling classthis solidarity had to be maintained by ideological devicesthe pre-eminence of the temple or shrine was used to hold society together, and justify the social order
7 V. Gordon Childe Monumental architecture Writing monumental buildings symbolize the concentration of social surplusthese included temples and zigguratsan important part of each temple complex was a granary or storage facilityin Sumer, social surplus was effectively concentrated in the hands of a god and stored in his granaryWritingmanagement of surplus and the administration of revenues compelled societies to invent systems of recording and exact, practical sciencesorganization of temple required intelligible system of recording informationExact and predictive sciencesthe invention of writing enabled the leisured class to develop the exact and predictive sciences of arithmetic, geometry, and astronomycalendars allowed for regulation of agricultural economyFine artsother specialists, supported by social surplus, developed artistic expression in conceptualized and sophisticated stylesTrade in necessary raw materialssocial surplus was also used to pay for the importation of raw materials necessary for industry which were not available locallycities became dependent on vital materials, such as metal or obsidianregular trade becomes an important activity of the first cities
8 Julian Steward-Ecology Suggested that at the core of the urban transformation was a changing, functionally interrelated group of social institutionscore was characterized by the structural relationships of interdependent institutionseach society derives its distinctive set of social systems from its institutional coreframework was to investigate each society in terms of its "level of sociopolitical complexity"Rise of civilization viewed as a series of successive, major organizational levelsHunting and gatheringIncipient agricultureFormativeRegional florescenceInitial ConquestDark AgesCyclical conquestsSuggested that irrigation works and water distribution required the growth of a bureauocracyrise of ruling class, leisure time, and populationpopulation pressure led to competition and warfarecultural collapse and "dark ages"militaristic phase led to emergence of stonger states
9 Karl Wittfogel-Irrigation Pointed out (as Steward did) that early civilizations appeared in regions where large-scale irrigation agriculture was practicedAttempted to explain the major political systems of the world through control of irrigation agriculture in "Oriental Despotism" (1957)termed societies that relied on large-scale irrigation "hydraulic societies"Suggests that large-scale irrigation required centralized coordination and directionwater was a natural resource, and became a crucial variable because it could be manipulated and agglomerated in bulkwater management was especially important in places where rainfall was insufficient but water was available nearby, such as in semiarid river valleysIrrigation itself had an organizing effectscheduling of water usemaintenance of canalsdefense of canals from hostile neighborswhile it can be carried on by small groups on an informal basis, it is more efficient and leads to greater growth if there is central managementin return, the person who manages the water has tremendous power over the farmersif one source of power is so much more important than all others, a monopoly develops within a societysingle-centered government arises from "oriental despotism"Contrasts this kind of development with what happens in more temperate climates in which rainfall agriculture prevailsalternate bases of power can arise to give a more balanced or multi-centered government
10 Major CriticismsThere are several modern communities in Mesopotamia where small-scale cooperative irrigation works without centralized external control are sufficient for an adequate agricultural livelihoodavailable archaeological and historical data imply that large-scale irrigation works were not prevalent in Mesopotamia until long after the rise of the statehydraulic society might be viewed as a result of state formation rather than as a causeIt is unlikely that Wittfogel intended to imply that large-scale irrigation works preceded centralized governmentinstitutions of central government and large-scale irrigation would have grown side by sidesmall-scale irrigation would have required a certain amount of administration, which would have expanded the irrigation system, which in turn would have required greater administration and so forthit was not irrigation itself, but the centralized coordination of irrigation activities that had important social consequencesit is possible that centralized administration and large-scale irrigation works were present at and early date, but because their growth was not incremental they only became obvious in the archaeological and textual records after they had reached major proportionsThe ancient Maya civilization arose in an area where irrigation was of marginal importance (though water control and management were important activities)Even in arid Mexico and Mesopotamia, archaeological evidence indicates that complex, large-scale irrigation appeared only after the state had already formedModel is relevant to "pristine states", not late "macro-state" formations like the Aztec and Inca empiresdoes not explain why Inca and Mexica became the imperial leaders
11 Robert Carneiro-Warfare Theory grows out of hypotheses which emphasize the importance of population growth and population pressureFormulated hypothesis using South American examples, but applied it to the Near East as wellHypothesis is based on general regularity about the environmental settings of early civilizations throughout the worldthey are areas of circumscribed agricultural landeach area is bounded by mountains, seas, or deserts, which sharply delimited the area that simple farming people could have occupiedExpanding population could not accomodate itself by colonizing new landsInstead, it had to intensify production on lands already being usedMilitary conflicts between groups became more frequentlosers were not able to flee to new farmlands were assimilated into the winner's society as a lower classsuccessful militarists were rewarded by economic wealth, increasing amounts of land, and a conquered class of workersAdaptive advantages of organizing and controlling a successful military operation quickly lead to institutionalization in the form of an early statestate then grows in size as a result of external conquestsPopulation growth in itself is insufficient to engender warfare, but population pressure does engender warfare if the expanding populations is constrained either by environmental barriers or by competing social groups whose populations aree so dense as to preclude expansion
12 Interregional and Intraregional-Trade & Exchange Advent of large-scale trade necessitated administrative organization to control the procurement, production, and distribution of goodsSuch an organization would have had access to a major source of wealth in the community and its power might have been extended to other aspects of societyLarger settlements would have resulted from competition for agricultural land
13 Robert Adams-Cultural Systems Considered causation and structure of civilization from a multifaceted perspectiveStated that the evidence supports the position that "the transformation at the core of the Urban Revolution lay in the realm of social organization... For the most part, changes in social institutions precipitated changes in technology, subsistence, and other aspects of the wider cultural realm, rather than vice versa."Urban Revolution implied focus on ordered, systematic processes of change that can be described in terms of a functionally related core of institutions that interacted and evolvedAttempts to avoid the term civilization by investigating the complex core of social institutions that interacted to form early state societyModel does not favor single-factor explanations, but emphasizes complexity and systemic relationships
14 Three major transformations Three major transformations: first two led to urban centers that were controlled by a religious elite and the third resulted in growth of secular state authorityfirst transformation - changes in subsistence strategiescombination of cultivated crops and herd animals or fishing yielded a stable food base that allowed the population to increase in size and densityexchange and redistribution of food was managed by members of the temple communitygrowth of this centralized means of redistribution gave the temple elite the power to coerce farmers or herders into producing surpluseswhat limited food production was not land but the availability of waternatural water courses and small-scale irrigation works allowed only a part of the available land to be adequately irrigatedeven areas that were irrigated were not equally productivedifferential in productivity emergedThose who controlled land close to the natural courses of the river were able to produce more crops and to produce them even in years of low precipitationthis led to major differentiation of wealth among farmers, which was compounded by their ability to buy additional irrigable landdifferential access to water was the first step in the emergence of class society
15 Three major transformations Second major transformation - a shift from kin-based to class-structured societykinship was the basis for organizational structure in early Mesopotamian societysuch ties were influential in early administrative effortseconomic division of subsistence activities and craft production led to specialization by family in one or more economic pursuitswealth accumulated by controlling good land and by managing the distribution of its products resulted in the acquisition by a few families of reat wealth and powerthese families attempted to retain their wealth and power by advocating an organizational structure that institutionalized the differences that were emergingstructure would have been largely based on economic activities connected with a person's lineagereligious elite would have formed upper strata of societyThird major transformation - transfer of administrative power from the temple to the statehappened largely because of increasing militarism
16 Kent Flannery-Cultural Systems More explicitly systems-oriented perspectiveNotes that what produces surplus is the coercive power of real authoritySegregationinternal differentiation and specialization of subsystems of the societyappearance of new institutions or new levels in the control hierarchyCentralizationstrengthening of higher-level controlslinkage between the subsystems and the highest-order controlling apparatus in the societyhallmark in the evolution of such complex systems as the state is the increasing centralization and interdependence of the various subsystemspowerful centralized management often evolves at the top of the hierarchy to offset the instability that would occur if one subsystem affected all other subsystemsamong most important institutions are those which regulate the flow of information to constituent groups within a societycentral development in the rise of civilization was the increasing necessity for mechanisms with which to communicate informationsocieties with organization based on kinship or religion could handle a considerable amount of detailed informationHighly formalized institutions of early civilizations carried information regulation and dissemination much further than had heretofore been doneenabled the scale of organization that developed into the state
17 Geoff Conrad and Arthur Demarest- Ideology Chinathe wealth that produced the Chinese civilization was the product of concentrated political poweracquisition of that power was accomplished through the accumulation of wealthkey to this circular working was the monopoly of high shamanismenabled rulers to gain critical access to divine and ancestral wisdom, which became the basis for their political authorityshamans were employed by the politically powerfulking himself was known to possess shaman's powers"When the road to Heaven was monopolized by the possessors of shamanistic powers, ancient art and ritual were the sources of political clout, and the accumulation of art and ritual objects was an instrument of social stratification"
18 IdeologyMesopotamiaconcepts of misharum (equality) and anduranum (freedom)appeared under reign of Entemena ( BC)fundamental bases of the political contract uniting the responsibility of the rulers to the ruledNew Year's celebrations afforded an occasion for the King to cancel all private debts and state taxes, punish corrupt administrators, free slaves, and fine or imprison avaricious merchantsroyal decrees were considered essential for sustaining the immutable nature of both the cosmic and social orderlaw was conceived of as timeless and impersonalroyal power held in check by the conception of law as well as assembly of elders and by the priesthoodwas the duty of the kings to be just, make the laws function equitably, and to be subject to the law, rather than considered its sourceconcepts served as a point of departure for the codification of lawwere the foundation for the social contract between the rulers and the ruled, between different classes, and ideally without prejudice as to sex, nationality, or religious belief
19 How do we study Complex Societies? Written Languagesome complex societies had written language, but not all.*i.e. The Andean societies had special historians to remember events.writing systems began as pictures or pictographs, called Ideographic Writing Systems.*i.e. Chinese writing system developed in this way, has as many as ,000 characters that represent a meaning.One who undertakes the task of understanding an ancient text must draw upon ideas and information from a range of disciplines: anthropology, archeology, art history, economics, linguistics, mathematics, political and social history, psychology and theology.
20 Writing SystemsPictograph is a direct image of the object it represents.Ideograph are pictograms that represent ideas linked to a particular object.Phonograph-An ideogram becomes a phonogram when it also stands for the sounds of the wordLogographic-the written character represents both the meaning and pronunciation of a word.An example of a logographic system is Chinese writingSyllabic-can be efficiently used for languages in which words can be phonologically represented by relatively few syllables (about one hundred in Japanese), and in which there are no underlying consonant clusters.Consonantal alphabet-only the consonants are symbolically represented (for example, Hebrew and Arabic).Alphabet writing-a few sympols (letters).Mixed script (like the Egyptian hieroglyphs, for example, that are a mixture of logograms and phonograms)
24 How do we study Complex Societies? Specialization-people involved in nonagricultural activities such as pottery, metalworking, and weaving.Status and Social ranking-archaeologists can observe differences in houses, burial style and material goods.Trade and Exchange-with increased social complexity, trade expanded.Religionmany elements of complex society is involved in religion, but studying it is difficult.can understand practical items, but how do we get to know what a religion meant to people.*i.e. any item whose function is not known has a tendency to be explained as a ritual object.
25 Craft Specialization-Ceremonial Vessels from Egypt
26 How do we study Complex Societies? Monumental ArchitectureHelps to locate sites, provides information about political organization, ritual beliefs and lifeways.*i.e. Sumerian ziggurats (5,000 B.P.) served as religious and food distribution centers.Egyptian pyramids-first built by Pharaoh Djoser 4,680 B.P. built as burial chambers.The Great Pyramid at Giza is 481 feet tall and covers 13 acres.
27 Egypt-Monumental Architecture The Pyramid of Menkaure, son of Khafre.King Sneferu’s Bent PyramidKhufu, son of King Sneferu. The Great Pyramid is the only surviving member of the Seven Wonders of the World (Height: m ( ft) Length of Side: ).
28 Ancient Chinese Civilizations-Monumental Architecture Dunhuang and the Cave of Manuscripts 111 BCNorthern end of the Mogao cliff face, pitted with caves for shelter 366 A.D.