Myths of the Archaic State: Evolution of the Earliest Cities, States, and Civilizations

By: Norman Yoffee

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In this ground-breaking work, Norman Yoffee shatters the prevailing myths underpinning our understanding of the evolution of early civilisations. He counters the emphasis in traditional scholarship on the rule of ‘godly’ and despotic male leaders and challenges the conventional view that early states were uniformly constituted bureaucratic and regional entities. Instead, by illuminating the role of slaves and soldiers, priests and priestesses, peasants and prostitutes, merchants and craftsmen, Yoffee depicts an evolutionary process centred on the concerns of everyday life. Drawing on evidence from ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, China and Mesoamerica, the author explores the variety of trajectories followed by ancient states, from birth to collapse, and explores the social processes that shape any account of the human past. This book offers a bold new interpretation of social evolutionary theory, and as such it is essential reading for any student or scholar with an interest in the emergence of complex society. Contents 1. Evolution of a factoid; 2. Dimensions of power in the earliest states; 3. The meaning of cities in the earliest states and civilizations; 4. When complexity was simplified; 5. Identity and agency in early states: case studies; 6. The collapse of ancient states and civilizations; 7. Social evolutionary trajectories; 8. New rules of the game; 9. Altered states: the evolution of history. Printed Pages: 292.

Title: Myths of the Archaic State: Evolution of the Earliest Cities, States, and Civilizations

Author Name: Norman Yoffee

Categories: Social Science,

Edition: First Edition

Publisher: Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press: 2005

ISBN: 0521521564

ISBN 13: 9780521521567

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: Brand New

Size: 17.5 Cms x 25 Cms

Seller ID: 009429

Keywords: Archaic State Civilizations Evolution