Complex Society Essay - Kyle Goro December 6 2006...

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Kyle Goro December 6, 2006 Introduction to Prehistory The Origin of Complex Society According to Wolfe (1987:3), there are no single theories about the development of the state that fit all societies. There has been a tendency for social theorists to promote specific factors, which attempt to account for the evolution of all state-level societies. The control of water resources is one important factor. Another theory for the origin of state level society includes increasing populations. This idea causes pressures on the society, prompting the need for increased food production through more intensive production methods. The control over scarce resources and trade networks has been pushed as a primary factor as well. Groups who control resources or access to resources may become more powerful, thereby promoting differences in wealth and power. The final theory of successful society is the ability to control land through the use of a powerful military (Wolfe 1987:4-5). Wolfe states, “Pressure from population increase puts pressure on resources, leading to increased warfare over land and resources, leading to the development of regional polities or states (1987:5).” In Mesopotamia, a site that exhibited state level society, the key state institution was the temple (Adams 1967:90). One notable role of the temple is the social activities it held such as feasting and rituals. Also, the temple gave value during times of emergency, such as points in time of poor harvest. The temple had an economic as well as a religious role in maintaining the state. Adams states, “Temple administrators were also involved in the organization of cooperative projects requiring a substantial labor force such as
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irrigation channels and other building projects (1967:91).” The Temple elite held much of
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This note was uploaded on 03/26/2008 for the course SOCIAL WOR 101 taught by Professor G during the Fall '07 term at University of Iowa.

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Complex Society Essay - Kyle Goro December 6 2006...

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