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How do we study these archaeologically?

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Presentation on theme: "How do we study these archaeologically?"— Presentation transcript:

1 How do we study these archaeologically?
Civilizations Characteristics Origin Theories How do we study these archaeologically?

2 V. Gordon Childe: Characteristics of complex societies
These include: urban centers between 7-20,000 people specialized division of labor ruling class of religious, civil and military leaders food surplus monumental architecture writing system developments of arithmetic, geometry and astronomy art and long-distance trade institutionalized 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 surplus In 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 specialists accumulation of surplus was assisted by water transportation, pack animals, and newly invented wheeled vehicles use of irrigation restricted the areas that could be cultivated effectively to those near water courses and canals, thus causing and aggregation of the population proposes 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 populated population ranged from 7,000 to 20,000 Full-time specialization and division of labor cities accomodated peasants, but also classes of specialists: craftsmen, transport workers, merchants, officials, and priests these were supported by agricultural surplus they did not receive their support directly from individual peasants Taxation and concentration of capital each primary producer paid over his surplus as a tithe or tax to an imaginary deity or divine king, who then concentrated the surplus this 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 temple some 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 organization Religion and state organization cities had "organic solidarity" based on the interdependence of agricultural producers, craftsmen, traders, priests, and members of the ruling class organization was based on residence rather than kinship craftsman could belong politically as well as economically there was a conflict between the subsistence farmers and the tiny ruling class this solidarity had to be maintained by ideological devices the 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 surplus these included temples and ziggurats an important part of each temple complex was a granary or storage facility in Sumer, social surplus was effectively concentrated in the hands of a god and stored in his granary Writing management of surplus and the administration of revenues compelled societies to invent systems of recording and exact, practical sciences organization of temple required intelligible system of recording information Exact and predictive sciences the invention of writing enabled the leisured class to develop the exact and predictive sciences of arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy calendars allowed for regulation of agricultural economy Fine arts other specialists, supported by social surplus, developed artistic expression in conceptualized and sophisticated styles Trade in necessary raw materials social surplus was also used to pay for the importation of raw materials necessary for industry which were not available locally cities became dependent on vital materials, such as metal or obsidian regular 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 institutions core was characterized by the structural relationships of interdependent institutions each society derives its distinctive set of social systems from its institutional core framework was to investigate each society in terms of its "level of sociopolitical complexity" Rise of civilization viewed as a series of successive, major organizational levels Hunting and gathering Incipient agriculture Formative Regional florescence Initial Conquest Dark Ages Cyclical conquests Suggested that irrigation works and water distribution required the growth of a bureauocracy rise of ruling class, leisure time, and population population pressure led to competition and warfare cultural 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 practiced Attempted 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 direction water was a natural resource, and became a crucial variable because it could be manipulated and agglomerated in bulk water management was especially important in places where rainfall was insufficient but water was available nearby, such as in semiarid river valleys Irrigation itself had an organizing effect scheduling of water use maintenance of canals defense of canals from hostile neighbors while 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 management in return, the person who manages the water has tremendous power over the farmers if one source of power is so much more important than all others, a monopoly develops within a society single-centered government arises from "oriental despotism" Contrasts this kind of development with what happens in more temperate climates in which rainfall agriculture prevails alternate bases of power can arise to give a more balanced or multi-centered government

10 Major Criticisms There are several modern communities in Mesopotamia where small-scale cooperative irrigation works without centralized external control are sufficient for an adequate agricultural livelihood available archaeological and historical data imply that large-scale irrigation works were not prevalent in Mesopotamia until long after the rise of the state hydraulic society might be viewed as a result of state formation rather than as a cause It is unlikely that Wittfogel intended to imply that large-scale irrigation works preceded centralized government institutions of central government and large-scale irrigation would have grown side by side small-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 forth it was not irrigation itself, but the centralized coordination of irrigation activities that had important social consequences it 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 proportions The 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 formed Model is relevant to "pristine states", not late "macro-state" formations like the Aztec and Inca empires does 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 pressure Formulated hypothesis using South American examples, but applied it to the Near East as well Hypothesis is based on general regularity about the environmental settings of early civilizations throughout the world they are areas of circumscribed agricultural land each area is bounded by mountains, seas, or deserts, which sharply delimited the area that simple farming people could have occupied Expanding population could not accomodate itself by colonizing new lands Instead, it had to intensify production on lands already being used Military conflicts between groups became more frequent losers were not able to flee to new farmlands were assimilated into the winner's society as a lower class successful militarists were rewarded by economic wealth, increasing amounts of land, and a conquered class of workers Adaptive advantages of organizing and controlling a successful military operation quickly lead to institutionalization in the form of an early state state then grows in size as a result of external conquests Population 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 goods Such 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 society Larger settlements would have resulted from competition for agricultural land

13 Robert Adams-Cultural Systems
Considered causation and structure of civilization from a multifaceted perspective Stated 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 evolved Attempts to avoid the term civilization by investigating the complex core of social institutions that interacted to form early state society Model 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 authority first transformation - changes in subsistence strategies combination of cultivated crops and herd animals or fishing yielded a stable food base that allowed the population to increase in size and density exchange and redistribution of food was managed by members of the temple community growth of this centralized means of redistribution gave the temple elite the power to coerce farmers or herders into producing surpluses what limited food production was not land but the availability of water natural water courses and small-scale irrigation works allowed only a part of the available land to be adequately irrigated even areas that were irrigated were not equally productive differential in productivity emerged Those 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 precipitation this led to major differentiation of wealth among farmers, which was compounded by their ability to buy additional irrigable land differential 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 society kinship was the basis for organizational structure in early Mesopotamian society such ties were influential in early administrative efforts economic division of subsistence activities and craft production led to specialization by family in one or more economic pursuits wealth 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 power these families attempted to retain their wealth and power by advocating an organizational structure that institutionalized the differences that were emerging structure would have been largely based on economic activities connected with a person's lineage religious elite would have formed upper strata of society Third major transformation - transfer of administrative power from the temple to the state happened largely because of increasing militarism

16 Kent Flannery-Cultural Systems
More explicitly systems-oriented perspective Notes that what produces surplus is the coercive power of real authority Segregation internal differentiation and specialization of subsystems of the society appearance of new institutions or new levels in the control hierarchy Centralization strengthening of higher-level controls linkage between the subsystems and the highest-order controlling apparatus in the society hallmark in the evolution of such complex systems as the state is the increasing centralization and interdependence of the various subsystems powerful centralized management often evolves at the top of the hierarchy to offset the instability that would occur if one subsystem affected all other subsystems among most important institutions are those which regulate the flow of information to constituent groups within a society central development in the rise of civilization was the increasing necessity for mechanisms with which to communicate information societies with organization based on kinship or religion could handle a considerable amount of detailed information Highly formalized institutions of early civilizations carried information regulation and dissemination much further than had heretofore been done enabled the scale of organization that developed into the state

17 Geoff Conrad and Arthur Demarest- Ideology
China the wealth that produced the Chinese civilization was the product of concentrated political power acquisition of that power was accomplished through the accumulation of wealth key to this circular working was the monopoly of high shamanism enabled rulers to gain critical access to divine and ancestral wisdom, which became the basis for their political authority shamans were employed by the politically powerful king 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 Ideology Mesopotamia concepts 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 ruled New 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 merchants royal decrees were considered essential for sustaining the immutable nature of both the cosmic and social order law was conceived of as timeless and impersonal royal power held in check by the conception of law as well as assembly of elders and by the priesthood was the duty of the kings to be just, make the laws function equitably, and to be subject to the law, rather than considered its source concepts served as a point of departure for the codification of law were 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 Language some 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 Systems Pictograph 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 word Logographic-the written character represents both the meaning and pronunciation of a word. An example of a logographic system is Chinese writing Syllabic-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)

21 Logograms-Chinese Writing

22 Early Chinese Logograms: Recorded on animal bone

23 Alphabetic-Translation of Hungarian Runes

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. Religion many 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 Architecture Helps 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 Pyramid Khufu, 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 BC Northern end of the Mogao cliff face, pitted with caves for shelter 366 A.D.

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