UNDERSTANDING EARLY CIVILIZATIONS A COMPARATIVE STUDY

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Understanding Early Civilizations

Author : Bruce G. Trigger
ISBN : 0521822459
Genre : History
File Size : 46.99 MB
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This book offers the first detailed comparative study of the seven best-documented early civilizations: ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, Shang China, the Aztecs and adjacent peoples in the Valley of Mexico, the Classic Maya, the Inka, and the Yoruba. Unlike previous studies, equal attention is paid to similarities and differences in their sociopolitical organization, economic systems, religion, and culture. Many of this study's findings are surprising and provocative. Agricultural systems, technologies, and economic behaviour turn out to have been far more diverse than was expected. These findings and many others challenge not only current understandings of early civilizations but also the theoretical foundations of modern archaeology and anthropology. The key to understanding early civilizations lies not in their historical connections but in what they can tell us about similarities and differences in human behaviour.
Category: History

Understanding Early Civilizations

Author : Bruce G. Trigger
ISBN : 9781316025598
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 46.12 MB
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This book offers the first detailed comparative study of the seven best-documented early civilizations: ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, Shang China, the Aztecs and adjacent peoples in the Valley of Mexico, the Classic Maya, the Inka, and the Yoruba. Unlike previous studies, equal attention is paid to similarities and differences in their sociopolitical organization, economic systems, religion, and culture. Many of this study's findings are surprising and provocative. Agricultural systems, technologies, and economic behaviour turn out to have been far more diverse than was expected. These findings and many others challenge not only current understandings of early civilizations but also the theoretical foundations of modern archaeology and anthropology. The key to understanding early civilizations lies not in their historical connections but in what they can tell us about similarities and differences in human behaviour.
Category: Social Science

Understanding Early Civilizations

Author : Bruce G. Trigger
ISBN : 0521705452
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 50.17 MB
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Arising independently in various parts of the world, early civilizations--the first class-based societies in human history--are of importance to social scientists interested in the development of complexity, while their cultural productions fascinate both humanists and the general public. This book offers the first detailed comparative study of the seven most fully documented early civilizations: ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, Shang China, the Aztecs and their neighbors, the Classic Maya, the Inca, and the Yoruba. Unlike previous studies, equal attention is paid to similarities and differences in their sociopolitical organization, their economic systems, and their religious beliefs, knowledge, art, and values. Many of this study's findings are surprising and provocative. They challenge not only current understandings of early civilizations but also the theoretical foundations of modern archaeology and anthropology. Rival cultural and ecological approaches are demonstrated to be complimentary to one another, while a comprehensive understanding of human behavior is shown to require that more attention be paid to psychology and the neurosciences. Bruce G. Trigger is James McGill Professor in the Department of Anthropology at McGill University. He received his PhD from Yale University and has carried out archaeological research in Egypt and the Sudan. His current interests include the comparative study of early civilizations, the history of archaeology, and archaeological and anthropological theory. He has received various scholarly awards, including the Prix Leon-Gerin from the Quebec government, for his sustained contributions to the social sciences. He is an honarary fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and an honarary member of the Prehistoric Society (U.K.). His numerous books include Sociological Evolution (Blackwell, 1998), Early Civilizations: Ancient Egypt in Context (Amer. Univ in Cairo, 1993), A History of Archaeological Thought (Cambridge, 1989), and The Children of Aataentsic: A History of the Huron People to 1660 (McGill-Queens Univ., 1976).
Category: Social Science

Early Civilizations

Author : Bruce G. Trigger
ISBN : 977424365X
Genre : History
File Size : 26.56 MB
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"An important scholarly contribution not only to the study of early civilizations, but also to archaeological theory. . . . It should be required reading for any course on ancient civilization." --Kathryn A. Bard, Journal of Field Archaeology
Category: History

Myths Of The Archaic State

Author : Norman Yoffee
ISBN : 0521521564
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 63.79 MB
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Classical archaeology promotes the view that a state's evolution reflects general, universal forces. Norman Yoffee challenges the model in this book by presenting more complex and multi-linear models for the evolution of civilizations. Yoffee questions the definition of the prehistoric state, particularly that which heralds "the chiefdom" as the forerunner of the ancient state and explores case studies on the role of women in ancient societies.
Category: Literary Criticism

Early Civilizations Of The Old World

Author : Charles Keith Maisels
ISBN : 9781134837304
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 80.72 MB
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In this new paperback edition of Early Civilizations of the Old World, Charles Keith Maisels traces the development of some of the earliest and key civilizations in history. In each case the ecological and economic background to growth, geographical factors, cross-cultural intersection and the rise of urbanism are examined, explaining how particular forms of social structure and cultural interaction developed from before the Neolithic period to the time of the first civilizations in each area. This volume challenges the traditional assumption of a band-tribe-chiefdom-state sequence and instead demonstrates that large complex societies can flourish without social classes and the state, as dramatically shown by the Indus civilization. Such features as the use of Childe's urban revolution theory as a means of comparison for each emerging civilization and the discussion of the emergence of archaeology as a scientific discipline, make Early Civilizations of the Old World a valuable, innovative and stimulating work.
Category: Social Science

Anthropology Off The Shelf

Author : Alisse Waterston
ISBN : 9781444338799
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 47.23 MB
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In Anthropology off the Shelf, leading anthropologists reflect on the craft of writing and the passions that fuel their desire to write books. First of its kind volume in anthropology in which prominent anthropologists and 3 respected professionals outside the discipline follow the tradition of the ?writers on writing? genre to reflect on all aspects of the writing process Contributors are high-profile in anthropology and many have a strong presence outside the field, in popular culture Unique in its format: short essays, revealing and straightforward in content and writing style
Category: Social Science

Conceptions Of The Afterlife In Early Civilizations

Author : Gregory Shushan
ISBN : 9781441177759
Genre : Body, Mind & Spirit
File Size : 55.52 MB
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Gregory Shushan challenges post-modern scholarly attitudes concerning cross-cultural comparisons in the study of religions. In an original and innovative piece of comparative research, he analyses afterlife conceptions in five ancient civilisations (Old and Middle Kingdom Egypt, Sumerian and Old Babylonian Mesopotamia, Vedic India, pre-Buddhist China, and pre-Columbian Mesoamerica). These are considered in light of historical and contemporary reports of near-death experiences, and shamanic afterlife 'journeys'. Conceptions of the Afterlife in Early Civilizations is a significant study, for it presents a comprehensive new comparative framework for the cross-cultural study of myth and religion, while at the same time providing a fascinating exploration of the interface between belief and experience.
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Artifacts And Ideas

Author : Bruce Trigger
ISBN : 9781351324069
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 28.63 MB
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Prehistoric archaeologists cannot observe their human subjects nor can they directly access their subjects' ideas. Both must be inferred from the remnants of the material objects they made and used. In recent decades this incontrovertible fact has encouraged partisan approaches to the history and method of archaeology. An empirical discipline emphasizing data, classification, and chronology has given way to a behaviorist approach that interprets finds as products of ecologically adaptive strategies, and to a postmodern alternative that relies on an idealist, cultural-relativist epistemology based on belief and cultural traditions. In Artifacts and Ideas, Bruce G. Trigger challenges all partisan versions of recent developments in archaeology, while remaining committed to understanding the past from a social science perspective. Over 30 years, Trigger has addressed fundamental epistemological issues, and opposed the influence of narrow theoretical and ideological commitments on archaeological interpretation since the 1960s. Trigger encourages a relativistic understanding of archaeological interpretation. Yet as post-processual archaeology, influenced by postmodernism, became increasingly influential, Trigger countered nihilistic subjectivism by laying greater emphasis on how in the long run the constraints of evidence could be expected to produce a more comprehensive and objective understanding of the past. In recent years Trigger has argued that while all human behavior is culturally mediated, the capacity for such mediation has evolved as a flexible and highly efficient means by which humans adapt to a world that exists independently of their will. Trigger agrees that a complete understanding of what has shaped the archaeological record requires knowledge both of past beliefs and of human behavior. He knows also that one must understand humans as organisms with biologically grounded drives, emotions, and means of understanding. Likewise, even in the absence of data supplied in a linguistic format by texts and oral traditions, at least some of the more ecologically adaptive forms of human behavior and some general patterns of belief that display cross-cultural uniformity will be susceptible to archaeological analysis.Advocating a realist epistemology and a materialist ontology, Artifacts and Ideas offers an illuminating guide to the present state of the discipline as well as to how archaeology can best achieve its goals.
Category: Social Science

The Creation Of Inequality

Author : Kent Flannery
ISBN : 9780674064973
Genre : History
File Size : 77.40 MB
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Flannery and Marcus demonstrate that the rise of inequality was not simply the result of population increase, food surplus, or the accumulation of valuables but resulted from conscious manipulation of the unique social logic that lies at the core of every human group. Reversing the social logic can reverse inequality, they argue, without violence.
Category: History