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6500-5500 BC, northern MesopotamiaCharacteristics of the Halaf Culturea. elaborate pottery (probably exchanged as prestige items)b. round buildings called tholoic. seals and figurinesd. dryland farming
6000-3800 BCFirst sedentary occupation of lower mesopotamia. (tepe Gawra and Tepe Ouelli). First occurrence of irrigation which was a cause for organization and control, huge public works type project. Very limited natural resources (clay, reeds, water) indicates established trade network for stone and wood. Also see first evidence of official seals/stamps. Further supports argument for beginnings of social administration and control. By end of period village based life is prevalent.Important b/c of simultaneous emergence of a.irrigation dependent farmingb. economic differentiationc.regional centralization d. ritual elaboration
4000-3200 BC; northern/lower Egypt. Sedimentary agricultural society with emerging social complexity.Emergence of subterranean houses, all modern domestic plants and animals are around (specifically barley, wheat, pigs, and cattle). Lacks evidence of settlement hierarchy, but excavation is also limited.
Also in northern/lower Egypt with the same type of culture (co-existed with Ma’adi; the two sights/cultures are closely linked)Like maadi excavation is limited. However pottery recovered is clearly being made somewhere else along with other evidence of long-range trade/exchange (based on the presence of exotic materials)
Naqada 1: 4000-3500 BC Naqada 2: 3500-3200 BC Naqada 3: 3200-3000 BC; southern/upper Egypt Clear evidence of trade for lapiz and obsidian, malachite and sea shells. The later are evidence of a wealth finance system, as they are only found is some places and would have likely been fairly exotic. Distinction in pottery like Ubaid; both fineware and courseware are found but fineware is only found in some places.
Earliest known Ubaid site. Evidence of well developed farming system relying on oxen as draught animals for cultivation of irrigated, salt tolerant crops such as barley (from Stein Ubaid article)
Tripartite houses (characteristic of the Ubaid), evidence of social inequality (one house significantly larger than all the others). End of Ubaid (period 4); also evidence of spread of Ubaid culture into northern Mesopotamia.
Northern Mesopotamia; connected to/related to Nippur, which eventually replaced Uruk as the central settlement/city-state in Mesopotamia in the late Uruk period
(Ubaid Predynastic) monumental architecture (temple) -built on top of previous temples
(Predynastic, Egypt) Elite cemetery, Mortuary monuments (radiocarbon date form pillar in structure E8: 3,790-3,640 BC), Non-elite cemetery (only ~210/452 burials have attributed grave goods), Domestic structures (KH29: potter’s house and associated production/kiln area), Industrial areas, beer production, heating area, KH29A- ceremonial center (Narmer’s Temple
(Early Dynastic Egypt - Dynasty 1) Hieroglyphics (jar label from tomb, ca. 3,200 BC) individuals being incorporated and shows a more ‘ritual’ character and this completely changed writing, Maat (sacred aspect, similar to justice, “heart must be lighter than the feather to go to afterlife”); location of royal burials of Dynasty 0 and the Early Dynastic periods
(Naqada III): Cemetery located south of Cairo and on the West bank of the Nile. Tombs of almost all periods were found, but most importantly many belonging to the time of Egyptian state formation, around 3,000 BC. The most important finds include a tomb with many seal impressions belonging to king Narmer and one of the oldest dresses found in Egypt.
(Early Dynastic): Royal tombs. Ancient burial ground in Egypt. Saqqara features numerous pyramids, including Step pyramid of Djoser. The earliest burials of nobles can be traced back to the First Dynasty, at the north side of the Saqqara plateau. During this time, the royal burial ground was at Abydos. The first royal burials at Saqqara, comprising underground galleries, date to the Second Dynasty. The last Second Dynasty king Khasekhemwy was buried in his tomb at Abydos, but also built a funerary monument at Saqqara consisting of a large rectangular enclosure, known as Gisr el-Mudir.
A clay "envelope" usually a spherical shape that would hold cuneiform tokens that signified items for trade.
early (4th millennium BC) form of writing distinctive for being wedge shaped clay imprints
The triumph of the Naqada in Egypt, made later for historical content, Menes (founder of Egyptian state); evidence of the unification of Egypt since the king depicted on the tablet (presumably King Narmer) is wearing a headdress with symbols of both upper and lower Egypt. Dates to the end of the Dynasty 0 (Early Dynastic) period. Found at Hierakonpolis.
Bevel Rim Bowl
Simple style of clay bowl found throughout Mesopotamia and even into Iran; used to bake bread in which was then used as rations (for industrial workers). Mass produced and concentrated around industrial sites (not used in residences). Broad distribution indicates shared ideologies and also spread of the administrative control and influence of the Uruk city.
hierarchical position based on genealogical relationships (hereditary)
control based on the production and distribution of craft goods/speciality items (restricted manufacturing and exchange of items which have a more symbolic/representative value, such as gold, rather than items which have a direct utilitarian value, such as food), and it is very distinguishable between elites and the poor; greater focus on trade networks. Much more frequent occurrence of conflict (fighting between chiefdoms) in wealth finance systems.
System based on the exercise of authority through the control of “staple” goods (primarily food); these staple goods were generally produced in the local area and therefore staple finance systems tend to place less emphasis on trade networks (although evidence of trade still exists in these societies); staple finance systems tend to be more stable than wealth finance ones, but they also are less scalable (i.e. cannot achieve the same size and scope of administrative control). Also, in systems based on staple finance (like in Mesopotamia during the Ubaid), conflicts (i.e. battles/wars) between competing/neighboring chiefdoms is not common. Centralized Storage Facilities.
Maximizing / resilient strategies
monumental agriculture, social hierarchy, mass production, etc. Maximizing strategies focus on maximizing the amount of resources produced (ex: highest agricultural yields possible). Resilient strategies are oriented towards maintaining a stable level of production; much more conservative and risk adverse, but more sustainable and, with regards to agriculture, far less likely to exhaust the farm land (i.e. over-farming)
Urbanism / cities
Resource flux, size, political, economic, ideological center, density, nature of public structures and diversity, spatial organization, hinterland
Continuum of increasing cultural complexity (differentiation and specialization, integration and autonomy)Typical archaeological indicators (4-level settlement hierarchy, increasing status differentiation, craft production – standardization?, inferred: political center, supra-kin organizational networks, administrative control)
Bevel-rim Bowls (highest concentration in production areas, not domestic spaces, mass-produced bread rations, redistribution, occupational specialization), Agriculture (seed-drill plow), Textiles (contexts of spindle whorls), Elite control/regulation of craft production (especially weights and seals, writing), Tokens (used to county and used as symbols as well during the early Uruk), Bullae (basically a ball, clay envelope that elites would seal, shows both administrative and control from the elites)
four essential elements of social complexity
- 1. Differentiation in occupation
- 2. Integration of political system
- 3. Food Surplus
- 4. Social Hierarchy
Childes 10 traits of the Urban Revolution:
- 1. Large population and large settlements (cities)
- 2. Full-time specialization and advanced division of labor
- 3. Production of an agricultural surplus to fund government and a differentiated society
- 4. Monumental public architecture
- 5. A ruling class
- 6. Writing
- 7. Exact and predictive sciences (arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, calendars)
- 8. Sophisticated art styles
- 9. Long-distance trade
- 10. The state
What social conditions provide a foundation for complexity to emerge?
Farming is a must, it provides the ability for craft specialization of non-farms. Also because of need for public works like irrigation people or groups of people must take “charge” to make things happen
What are some distinctive characteristics of Ubaid material cultures?
- Pottery - Two Distinctive types ( Working and Fine)
- Fine Pottery not concentrated ( all people had)
- Staple finance system
- Irrigation (environmental pressure for more centralized control and organized labor projects)
What are some distinctive characteristics of Naqada material cultures?
- Plain, not decorated Pottery (Buto)
- Imported Pottery
- Very Distinct Burial Practices -Hierakonpolis- ( with Objects/ different areas based on status), this is not seen in the ‘Ubaid
- Clear Distinction between elites and non elites
- Wealth finance -Imported Lapis Lazuli, which, although it almost certainly passed through Mesopotamia, has not been found at Ubaid sites, as well as other specialized/exoctic goods
What evidence suggests non-egalitarian social structures existed in the Ubaid?
Public works such as irrigation administrative seals and buildings
What evidence suggests non-egalitarian social structures existed in Naqada?
Burial practices (different cemeteries and burial practices for social elites)
Describe the characteristics of a state-level society.
State-level society - Continuum of increasing cultural complexity (differentiation and specialization, integration and autonomy), typical archaeological indicators (4-level settlement hierarchy, increasing status differentiation, craft production – standardization?, inferred: political center, supra-kin organizational networks, administrative control)
- Stein’s 3-dimensional scale of organization (From Stein complexity paper):
- Scale: size or number of functional units (“the number of people incorporated into the society, and/or the size of the area involved”)
- Complexity: the extent of functional differentiation between social units
- Integration: the interdependence of units
What evidence do archaeologists use to infer that a state-level society was present in a particular period/region?
- Distinct political centers
- Use of seals, tokens, tablets
- Distinct economic centers
- Distinct Religious centers
- Differences in dwelling size/ material culture in areas showing distinction between classes
- Large Public Works
- settlement hierarchy