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Mesopotamia2007Lec4 - THE RISE OF CIVILIZATION February 6...

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1T HE R ISE OF C IVILIZATION [\Mesopotamia2007Lec4.wpd] February 6, 2007 T. D’Altroy T HE E ARLY D YNASTIC : S UMERIAN C IVILIZATION © Terence N. D’Altroy [main sources: Redman 1978; Postgate 1992; de Montmollin 1992 lecture notes; van de Mieroop 1992; Pollock 1999; Wenke 1999] 1. main points of lecture today a. continue discussion of formation of complex society in Mesopotamia 1. move from formation of first state: Uruk e. to Sumerian civilization O VERVIEW OF S TATE F ORMATION 1. state : array of hierarchical institutions responsible for administrative and political affairs in complex polities a. policy-making functions b. economic complexity c. social classes d. institutionalized ideologies e. formal militaries f. legal codes 2. Wright and Johnson: state is a policy-making hierarchy found in complex societies a. 3-tiered decision-making hierarchy: hypothetical structure 1. village headman 2. local coordinators of headmen a. e.g., government agents b. tax collectors 3. coordinators of district officials a. i.e., policy makers b. view sometimes criticized: focus on administration leaves out a lot of the negotiation, mediation, and cajoling that form politics 1. but can be studied archaeologically 3. alternate view: state is political structure that exists to protect interests of the privileged elite a. tap off production of general populace b. proponents: Marx, Childe 4. archaeological evidence for the state a. organizational hierarchy 1. settlement patterns b. administrative and monumental architecture 1
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1. repeated architectural forms 2. labor investment on grand scale c. documentation 1. writing records administrative transactions d. standardized mobilization of labor on public projects 1. control of labor force e. mass production and distribution 1. agricultural labor mobilization: e.g., bevel-rim bowls 2. mass craft production 3. private property 4. temple economy T HE E ARLY D YNASTIC 1. temple elite a. often thought to be first central decision-making authorities b. core of theocracy 1. emerged in Uruk c. multiple functions 1. religious leaders 2. administrators 3. economic managers 4. source of methods of codifying information a. e.g., writing b. calendrics d. power may have been exaggerated: controlled writing 2. Early Dynastic: rise of secular-based political authority a. evidence 1. archaeological 2. textual: king-lists b. city-state rule 1.
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