Prof. T. D'Altroy
In studying for the final, as for the midterm, remember that the course has concerned both
the general processes in the rise of ancient civilization and the particular histories of
Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus Valley, China, Mesoamerica, and the Andes.
That means that
both general theories and specific cultural developments should be thought of as part of an
Think about the main themes that the course has emphasized in the rise of
civilization: social organization, politics, ideology, information processing, subsistence and craft
economics, settlement patterns (esp. urbanism), and conflict.
Recall the main theories that we
outlined at the beginning of the course: e.g., population pressure (Malthus, Boserup); warfare
and the rise of the state (Carneiro); technology, progress, and urbanism (Childe, Diamond);
irrigation and state formation (Wittfogel); multivariate explanations (e.g., Redman).
considering such overarching theories, work out what the main variables were and how they
related to one another; then ask how the available evidence supports or contradicts the theories.
Such general approaches can then be tied to the more specific culture histories that we have
The exam will be structured in a manner similar to the midterm, but will not be twice as
It will include 3 short answers and 2 essays, with choices in each section.
The final exam
will include a chronology of each region that we have studied, so you do not have to memorize
the order of specific cultures or their dates (a mixed blessing, of course).
The exam will draw