Understanding Early Civilizations: A Comparative Study

By: Bruce G. Trigger

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As the first class-based societies in human history, early civilizations are of great importance to social scientists interested in the development of human complexity. 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 Inka, 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 complementary to one another, while a comprehensive understanding of human behavior is shown to require that more attention be paid to the neurosciences. Contents Introduction: 1. Rationalism and relativism; 2. Comparative studies; 3. Defining ‘early civilization’; 4. Evidence and interpretation; Sociopolitical Organization: 5. Kingship; 6. States: city and territorial; 7. Urbanism; 8. Class systems and social mobility; 9. Family organization and gender roles; 10. Administration; 11. Law; 12. Military organization; 13. Sociopolitical constants and variables; Economy: 14. Food production; 15. Land ownership; 16. Trade and craft specialization; 17. Appropriation of wealth; 18. Economic constants and variables; Cognitive and Symbolic Aspects: 19. Conceptions of the supernatural; 20. Cosmology and cosmogony; 21. Cult; 22. Priests, festivals, and the politics of the supernatural; 23. The individual and the universe; 24. Elite art and architecture; 25. Literacy and specialized knowledge; 26. Values and personal aspirations; 27. Cultural constants and variables; Discussion: 28. Culture and reason; 29. Conclusion; References; Index. Printed Pages: 774.

Title: Understanding Early Civilizations: A Comparative Study

Author Name: Bruce G. Trigger

Categories: History,

Edition: First Edition

Publisher: Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press: 2003

ISBN: 0521822459

ISBN 13: 9780521822459

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: Brand New

Jacket Condition: Brand New

Size: 18.5 Cms x 25 Cms

Seller ID: 009435

Keywords: Early Civilizations