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The Emergence Of Civilisation

Author: Charles Keith Maisels
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134863284
Size: 27.32 MB
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The Emergence of Civilisation is a major contribution to our understanding of the development of urban culture and social stratification in the Near Eastern region. Charles Maisels argues that our present assumptions about state formation, based on nineteenth century speculations, are wrong. His investigation illuminates the changes in scale, complexity and hierarchy which accompany the development of civilisation. The book draws conclusions about the dynamics of social change and the processes of social evolution in general, applying those concepts to the rise of Greece and Rome, and to the collapse of the classical Mediterranean world.

The Emergence Of Civilization

Author: Charles Keith Maisels
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 9780415096591
Size: 79.53 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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The Emergence of Civilisation is a major contribution to our understanding of the development of urban culture and social stratification in the Near Eastern region. Charles Maisels argues that our present assumptions about state formation, based on nineteenth century speculations, are wrong. His investigation illuminates the changes in scale, complexity and hierarchy which accompany the development of civilisation. The book draws conclusions about the dynamics of social change and the processes of social evolution in general, applying those concepts to the rise of Greece and Rome, and to the collapse of the classical Mediterranean world.

Against The Grain

Author: James C. Scott
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300231687
Size: 24.78 MB
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An account of all the new and surprising evidence now available for the beginnings of the earliest civilizations that contradict the standard narrative Why did humans abandon hunting and gathering for sedentary communities dependent on livestock and cereal grains, and governed by precursors of today’s states? Most people believe that plant and animal domestication allowed humans, finally, to settle down and form agricultural villages, towns, and states, which made possible civilization, law, public order, and a presumably secure way of living. But archaeological and historical evidence challenges this narrative. The first agrarian states, says James C. Scott, were born of accumulations of domestications: first fire, then plants, livestock, subjects of the state, captives, and finally women in the patriarchal family—all of which can be viewed as a way of gaining control over reproduction. Scott explores why we avoided sedentism and plow agriculture, the advantages of mobile subsistence, the unforeseeable disease epidemics arising from crowding plants, animals, and grain, and why all early states are based on millets and cereal grains and unfree labor. He also discusses the “barbarians” who long evaded state control, as a way of understanding continuing tension between states and nonsubject peoples.

Early Civilizations Of The Old World

Author: Charles Keith Maisels
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134837313
Size: 15.65 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.

Unbound

Author: Richard L Currier
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing Inc.
ISBN: 1628727764
Size: 41.71 MB
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Like Guns, Germs, and Steel, a work of breathtaking sweep and originality that reinterprets the human story. Although we usually think of technology as something unique to modern times, our ancestors began to create the first technologies millions of years ago in the form of prehistoric tools and weapons. Over time, eight key technologies gradually freed us from the limitations of our animal origins. The fabrication of weapons, the mastery of fire, and the technologies of clothing and shelter radically restructured the human body, enabling us to walk upright, shed our body hair, and migrate out of tropical Africa. Symbolic communication transformed human evolution from a slow biological process into a fast cultural process. The invention of agriculture revolutionized the relationship between humanity and the environment, and the technologies of interaction led to the birth of civilization. Precision machinery spawned the industrial revolution and the rise of nation-states; and in the next metamorphosis, digital technologies may well unite all of humanity for the benefit of future generations. Synthesizing the findings of primatology, paleontology, archeology, history, and anthropology, Richard Currier reinterprets and retells the modern narrative of human evolution that began with the discovery of Lucy and other Australopithecus fossils. But the same forces that allowed us to integrate technology into every aspect of our daily lives have also brought us to the brink of planetary catastrophe. Unbound explains both how we got here and how human society must be transformed again to achieve a sustainable future. Technology: “The deliberate modification of any natural object or substance with forethought to achieve a specific end or to serve a specific purpose.”

Mesopotamia Before History

Author: Petr Charvát
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134530773
Size: 56.40 MB
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Mesopotamia was one of the earliest regions to produce writing, literature and the fine arts, as well as being one of the first areas to construct states. This comprehensive and detailed survey of the region's prehistory and protohistory shows how these fascinating developments were possible. Petr Charvát explores the economic, social and spiritual spheres in Mesopotamia from the Palaeolithic to the time of the early states, c. 100,000 BC to 2334 BC. The narrative is supplemented by numerous descriptions of the principal archaeological sites for each phase, and by conclusions outlining the most important developments and changes.

Profumi D Arabia

Author: Alessandra Avanzini
Publisher: L'ERMA di BRETSCHNEIDER
ISBN: 9788870629750
Size: 71.26 MB
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English summary: The names, origins, and by ways in the west, and the uses and 'imaginary' symbolism that has for centuries distinguished the commerce in incense, cinnamon, and myrrh from the far away regions of the orient to the merchant's stalls of the Greeks and Romans. This is an ideal journey through the centuries of classical antiquity following the caravan routes, legends and the Levantine enchantment that instill an atmosphere of dreams around the commercial and cultural exchanges between the Orient and Occident, prior to the advent of the great Islamic civilization. Italian description: I nomi, le origini, le vie di penetrazione in Occidente, gli usi e il simbolismo immaginario che ha contraddistinto per secoli il commercio di incenso, cinnamomo, mirra dalle lontane plaghe d'Oriente ai banchi dei mercati greci e romani. Un viaggio ideale nei secoli dell'antichita classica al seguito di vie carovaniere, di leggende e magie levantine che infondono un'atmosfera di sogno agli scambi commerciali e culturali tra Oriente ed Occidente, prima dell'avvento della grande civilta islamica.

Against The Grain

Author: Richard Manning
Publisher: North Point Press
ISBN: 1466823429
Size: 61.56 MB
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In this provocative, wide-ranging book, Against the Grain, Richard Manning offers a dramatically revisionist view of recent human evolution, beginning with the vast increase in brain size that set us apart from our primate relatives and brought an accompanying increase in our need for nourishment. For 290,000 years, we managed to meet that need as hunter-gatherers, a state in which Manning believes we were at our most human: at our smartest, strongest, most sensually alive. But our reliance on food made a secure supply deeply attractive, and eventually we embarked upon the agricultural experiment that has been the history of our past 10,000 years. The evolutionary road is littered with failed experiments, however, and Manning suggests that agriculture as we have practiced it runs against both our grain and nature's. Drawing on the work of anthropologists, biologists, archaeologists, and philosophers, along with his own travels, he argues that not only our ecological ills-overpopulation, erosion, pollution-but our social and emotional malaise are rooted in the devil's bargain we made in our not-so-distant past. And he offers personal, achievable ways we might re-contour the path we have taken to resurrect what is most sustainable and sustaining in our own nature and the planet's.

Before The Flood

Author: Ian Wilson
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1466867388
Size: 65.23 MB
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In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. The great Biblical flood so described in Genesis has long been a subject of fascination and speculation. In the 19th century the English archbishop James Ussher established it as having happened in the year 2348 B.C., calculating what was then taken as the age of the earth and working backward through the entire series of Biblical "begats." Proof of the flood, which is an element of so many creation myths, began in earnest when archaeology started connecting physical evidence with Biblical story. The dream of proving the Bible as literal truth has proven irresistible, producing both spurious claims and serious scholarship. As best-selling historian Ian Wilson reveals in this fascinating new book, evidence of a catastrophic event has been building steadily, culminating in the work of William Ryan and Walter Pitman. Several years ago Ryan and Pitman had posited that around 5600 BC there had an inundation in the Black Sea of such proportions that it turned the freshwater lake into a saltwater lake by connecting it to the Mediterranean. Were that true, they estimated that there would be signs of civilization 300 feet below the surface of the Black Sea. In September 2000, using his famous underwater equipment, Robert Ballard (of SS Titanic fame) explored parts of the Black Sea near the Turkish shore and found the remains of wood houses. There had been a flood, and whether God's wrath or not it had destroyed everything around it for hundreds of miles, killing tens of thousands of people. Exploring all the archeological evidence, Wilson explains how the Black Sea flood and the Biblical flood have to be connected. In particular, Wilson argues, learnedly and persuasively, that the center of the civilized world was further to the West than previously thought-not in Egypt or Mesopotamia but in what is today Northern Turkey. The earliest, antediluvian civilizations may have migrated east into those places we have come to call the cradles of civilization, forced by the Black Sea flood to create new settlements. Scrupulous in its details and compelling in its sweep, Before the Flood is narrative detective history at its most provocative, contributing a vital new chapter to the debate about the Bible and origins of the modern world.