A Companion to the Ancient Near East (Blackwell Companions by Daniel C. Snell PDF

By Daniel C. Snell

ISBN-10: 0631232931

ISBN-13: 9780631232933

A better half to the traditional close to East bargains scholars and basic readers a entire review of close to jap civilization from the Bronze Age to the conquests of Alexander the good. Covers the civilizations of the Sumerians, Hittites, Babylonians, Assyrians, Israelites and Persians locations specific emphasis on social and cultural historical past Covers the legacy of the traditional close to East within the medieval and smooth worlds presents an invaluable bibliographical advisor to this box of research

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Entwined with arguments over locations are debates over reasons for domestication. Climate change-based hypotheses (Childe 1928) were followed by evolutionary ideas (Braidwood 1960), population pressure theories (Boserup 1965; Binford 1968; Smith and Young 1972; Flannery 1973), systems theory explanations (Redman 1978; Henry 1989), and psychological concepts (Cauvin 2000). Childe named the ‘‘Neolithic Revolution,’’ but his vision, that climate drying forced development of agriculture in ‘‘oases,’’ is no longer accepted.

Classic explanatory theories developed for other regions, for example the hypothesis that states arose to effect irrigation or to reduce conflict, have proved inadequate for the Mesopotamian situation, but other forces scholars have suggested include population pressure (Smith and Young 1972), climate change, and river shifts (Hole 1994). Systems theory has also been applied, with its identification of the many factors that contribute to social change (Adams 1966, 1981; Redman 1978). But the most enduringly popular explanations for Mesopotamian state origins involve trade and its management (Wright and Johnson 1975; Oates 1993; Algaze 2001a).

A chiefdom is structurally kinship-based, with a degree of social complexity and inequality and a single leader, in contrast to the corporate entity implied by a state. The Ubaid does offer many identifiers of chiefdoms: two-tier settlement hierarchies, specialist production of pottery, large wellplanned structures at Tell ‘Oueili, shrines at Eridu, possible chiefs’ houses at Tell Abada, and stamp seals indicating the increased importance of ownership. An unresolved question is whether Ubaid chiefs’ power was based on ‘‘wealth finance,’’ restricted luxuries, as is traditionally assumed for chiefdoms (D’Altroy and Earle 1985; Earle 1991), or on ‘‘staple finance,’’ surplus basic materials such as grain, with control of the land, water, and labor which allowed surpluses (Stein 1994, From Sedentism to States, 10,000–3000 BCE 27 1996).

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A Companion to the Ancient Near East (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World) by Daniel C. Snell


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