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Early Cities and States

by: Carina Sauter

Early Cities and States ANTH 1102

Carina Sauter
GPA 3.79

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About this Document

This notes discuss the development of societies in various forms and what the difference of these forms are.
Introduction to Anthropology
Dr. Birch
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Carina Sauter on Sunday March 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 1102 at University of Georgia taught by Dr. Birch in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 16 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at University of Georgia.

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Date Created: 03/13/16
Early Cities and States • 1960’s: Salanze and Service Anthropologists o “evolutionary” o interested in social evolution o simple to complex forms o created 4 forms: • Scales of Human Societies o Bands: small, egalitarian groups of hunter-gatherers § No major status differences § Can achieve position of status through achievement o Segmentary societies: kinship-based groups, usually farming people, no formal political institutions § “tribes” § Neolithic o Chiefdoms: larger stratified population, class system, political and religious leaders § Mississippian societies § Larger population § Commoners and elites § Hereditary ranking o States: secular leaders, social classes, armies, taxation, laws, expansive economy • Classification of Societies o Simplified system of classification o *NOT an evolutionary ladder o Permits comparisons of similar societies § Similar size § Similar social structure § Comparing “like with like” • Causes of State Formation o Creation and control of: § Hydraulic systems for irrigation § Long-distance trade o Voluntaristic vs. Coercive theories of state formation § Voluntaristic theories = posit that population may voluntarily band together giving up their individual sovereignties in exchange for the security of the state § Coercive theories = regard conflict and dominance of some population over another population as key to the formation of states • Carniero (1970) o “A Theory of the Origin of the State” o Circumscription Theory § A multivariate theory – involved multiple causes, factors, and variables § 1. Environmental circumscription or resource concentration • certain areas with concentrated necessary resources for agriculture • circumscribed agricultural land • population pressure on critical resources = competition over land = warfare • intensity and importance of war increases • winners seize control of the losers’ assets § 2. Increasing population • agriculture leads to increase in population § 3. Warfare • increasing population competes for scarce resources like land o Near East close to fertile crescent (Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria) o Options after defeat in environmentally circumscribed areas: § Extermination § Expulsion § Stay, at a price – political subordination to the victor • Emergence of social and political inequality • Winners become elites, losers become commoners • Political control (decision-making) • Production control • But is conquest and coercion the only way for social complexity to develop? o Other theories consider the roles of cooperation and collective action in state formation, including under the conditions Caniero outlines • Attributes of States o Chiefdoms: social hierarchy, political and religious leaders o States: secular leaders, social classes, armies, taxation, laws, expansive economy o 1. Controls a specific regional territory o 2. Productive agricultural economies § supported dense populations § intensive agriculture • labor intensive • technologies that allowed farmers to extract more production from soil o 3. Accumulation of Resources § tribute and taxation § distributed at certain places § support occupational specialists § need more technology for this § organization and jobs needed § first writing system • receipts and accounting § long distance economies for trading (Aztecs) • interest-like strategies § Accumulated and distributed at central places to support occupational specialists § Mesopotamian writing system, cuneiform, developed as a means of recording production and taxation o 4. Social Stratification § (depends on state) § Ruler § Elite § Artisans, priests, officials § Commoners § Slaves o 5. Public Buildings and Monumental Architecture § palaces, monuments, administration, gates, etc. § Accumulation of resources allowed to construct works o 6. Record-Keeping System § sometimes writing, notes, systems of cords, pictures, etc. • Cities and Urbanism o Settlements where practices constitute having a state happen o Regional centers o Large populations o Administrative functions • The Earliest States (Middle East, 6000-5500 BP) o City State § A central city and its surrounding villages, which together follow the same law, have one form of government, and share languages, religious beliefs, and ways of life § Early Greek city-states • Early cities § Ex. Ur, Iraq • 3800 BC, 6000 BP • Sumerian city-state § Ex. Babylon (85 km south of Baghdad) • Belonged to Acadian Culture • Large mound caused by melting of … • Cities made of mud-brick • Ancient Mesopotamian Economies o Writing played a key role in recording economic activities o Co-ordinated the flow of raw materials and finished products or goods o Metallurgy: extraction and processing of metals § Bronze, iron o Smelting: high temperature extraction of metal from ores § Metalworking technologies quickly diffused throughout the Mediterranean and Europe • States in the New World: Mesoamerica o Valley of Mexico: Teotihuacan § Elaborate architecture § Goods diffused to all of Mesoamerica o Tikal, Guatemala § Elites and monuments § Huge § Core with outlying settlement o Copan, El Salvador § Civic and ceremonial core § Hieroglyphic stairway • Why States Collapse o Causes are diverse and involve multiple factors: § Invasion § Disease § Famine § Drought § Environmental degradation – erosion, deforestation, soil exhaustion § Social and political upheaval § Warfare § Elites disallow population growth


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