Iron Age - The Trade-based State of Harappa and the Rise of...

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1 The Trade-based State of Harappa and the Rise of Iron Age Civilization Agriculture on Rain-Watered Lands in Mesopotamia
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2 Harappa: Free, Egalitarian Civilization? “While Egypt had a state but, perhaps, few cities, Indus valley had cities but no clearly delineated state.” (Spodek, 83) “Interpretations of Indus valley artifacts stress the apparent classlessness of the society, its equality, efficiency, and public conveniences.” (Spodek, 83)
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3 Division of surplus Peasant labor divided in two parts Necessary for life of peasants Surplus – basis of “civilization” Surplus permits specialization in work not directly related to production People who do not work productively at all > Division of countryside and city
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4 Uniqueness of Harappan Society Has the technical and cultural features of civilization Not the social features No armed state power, impoverishment = “Government,” not “State” Shows that “state” is not necessary for organization of large populations How explain this?
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5 Herding people at first “Over the millennia, people moved down into the plains and river valley. At first, they may have moved into the forested river valley only in the colder months, herding their flocks of sheep and cattle, including the humped zebu, back to the hills for the summer. (cont.)
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6 They became farmers, and then traders “Over time they may have decided to farm the river-watered alluvial lands of the valley. They began to trade by boat along the Indus and even down the Indus into the Arabian Sea and, further, into the Persian Gulf and up the Tigris and Euphrates into Mesopotamia.” Spodek, 80.
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7 Trade-based Civilization 1) Free herding people 2) become farmers Maintain mobility: no civilization trap Mesopotamia: farmers versus herders 3) Wealth from 1) river-valley plains as in Mesopotamia 2) trade: surplus from other states 4) = freedom, equality for local peasantry
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This note was uploaded on 04/06/2008 for the course UGC 111 taught by Professor Bono during the Spring '08 term at SUNY Buffalo.

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Iron Age - The Trade-based State of Harappa and the Rise of...

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