Mesopotamia2007Lec3 - THE RISE OF CIVILIZATION...

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1 T HE R ISE OF C IVILIZATION [\Mesopotamia2007Lec3.wpd] February 1, 2007 T. D’Altroy S TATE FORMATION , P T . 2: U RUK E CONOMY AND S OCIETY © Terence N. D’Altroy [sources: see prior lectures] 1. diversified economy developed as the state emerged a. focuses our attention on irrigation b. emergence of craft specialization 1. mass production c. political economy 1. sustenance of elite institutions 2. household, specialized, and political economies all developed: major trends a. labor mobilization b. mass production c. private property d. temple economy: beginnings 3. by end of Uruk times a. many households no longer engaged in production of most necessities b. implies considerable interdependence c. increasing taxation on general populace 1. both in goods 2. and in labor 4. labor mobilization a main evidence: bevel rim bowls b. in Uruk: painted pottery largely replaced by unpainted or monochrome pottery 1. continues earlier trend 2. pottery decoration loses importance for conveying social messages c. evidence of mass production 1. “one of the ugliest ceramic types ever made outside a kindergarten” 2. standardized form: cheap, coarse a. vary slightly over time 3. government workshops d. often interpreted to be evidence for state-managed economy 1. ration measures 2. grain for worker’s labor: state-temple projects 3. size about right for one meal a. according to later texts 4. later symbol for act of eating: person eating from what looks like a bevel rim bowl (Nissen) 5. functional equivalent of MacDonalds styrofoam containers (Wright) 1
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5. crafts: little known about actual workshops a. dozens of occupations written down in the Standard Professions List (Late Uruk) 1. social hierarchy reflected in order 2. list remained unchanged over 600 years b. likely specialists in the political economy included 1. stone cutters 2. metalworkers 3. sailors c. other more mundane specialists 1. bricklayers 2. farmers 3. potters 4. fishermen 5. shepherds d key invention: wheel-made pottery 1. faster production 2. greater control over shapes 6. imported materials a. probably obtained through government trade 1. administered and protected 2. e.g., limestone, marble, basalt 3. metals: copper, some gold and silver b. later: emphasis on luxury items 1. daily use of metal I RRIGATION AND S OCIOPOLITICAL D EVELOPMENT 1. recall Wittfogel’s argument a. water management : essential to large-scale society b. required managerial elite 1. engineering knowledge: planning and construction 2. allocate water 3. resolve conflicts c. elite turned role into political power d. tied together: environment, technology, cultural institutions 2. what actually happened? a.
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course ANTH V1008 taught by Professor D'altroy during the Spring '08 term at Columbia.

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Mesopotamia2007Lec3 - THE RISE OF CIVILIZATION...

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