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Week Nine: the First Cities and States


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Lecture preparation (week beginning 16 September)

This week you are required to read chapter 9 of Maps of Time.

Please also try to watch the following video, which will be available online via the UQ Library website:

Tutorial focus (week beginning 30 September)

This week you will divide up into groups of five or six and discuss the following questions:

  • What forms of social organization did the earliest cities and states have?
  • Why did these forms of social organization develop?

Two people in the group will be required to take notes and report what answers the group has formulated in response to the above questions.

Recommended further reading

There is a wealth of books about the first cities and agrarian states in the period 3000 BCE to 1000 CE. The following works will allow you to explore various subjects referred to in this week's lecture and likely to be discussed tutorial in your tutorial:

Adams, Robert McC. 1981. Heartland of cities :Surveys of ancient settlement and land use on the central floodplain of the euphrates. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Andrews, E. Wyllys, and William L. Fash. 2005. Copán :The history of an ancient maya kingdom. School of american research advanced seminar series. 1st ed. Santa Fe, N.M.: School of American Research.

Aruz, Joan, Kim Benzel, Jean M. Evans, and Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2008. Beyond babylon :Art, trade, and diplomacy in the second millennium B.C. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Bellwood, Peter. 2005. The first farmers :Origins of agricultural societies. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub.

Bertman, Stephen. 2005; 2003. Handbook to life in ancient mesopotamia. New York: Oxford University Press.

Burns, Thomas S., and John William Eadie. 2001. Urban centers and rural contexts in late antiquity. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press.

Foster, Benjamin R., and Karen Polinger Foster. 2009. Civilizations of ancient iraq. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Fritz, Volkmar. 1995. The city in ancient israel. The biblical seminar. Vol. 29. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press.

Hansen, Mogens Herman, and Københavns universitet. 2000. A comparative study of thirty city-state cultures :An investigation. Historisk-filosofiske skrifter. Vol. Bd. 21. Copenhagen: Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab.

Higham, Charles. 1974. The earliest farmers and the first cities. Cambridge introduction to the history of mankind. topic book. Cambridge ; New York ; Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.

Johns, Claude Hermann Walter. 2004; 1904. Babylonian and assyrian laws, contracts, and letters. Whitefish, Mont.: Kessinger Pub.

Leick, Gwendolyn. 2003. The babylonians : An introduction. London: Routledge.

Loewe, Michael, and Edward L. Shaughnessy. 1999. The cambridge history of ancient china :From the origins of civilization to 221 B.C. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press.

Maisels, Charles Keith. 1993. The emergence of civilization :From hunting and gathering to agriculture, cities, and the state in the near east. London: Routledge.

Manzanilla, Linda. 1997. Emergence and change in early urban societies. Fundamental issues in archaeology. New York: Plenum Press.

Miller, Frederic P., Agnes F. Vandome, and John McBrewster. 2009. Maya civilization :Maya peoples, maya society, maya religion, maya mythology, maya calendar, mayan languages, maya architecture, mesoamerica. Mauritius: Alphascript Publishing.

Redman, Charles L. 1978; 1978. The rise of civilization :From early farmers to urban society in the ancient near east. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman.

Rosen, Arlene Miller. 2007. Civilizing climate :Social responses to climate change in the ancient near east. Lanham: Altamira Press.

Sabloff, Jeremy A., and C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky. 1975; 1975. Ancient civilization and trade. School of american research advanced seminar series. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.

Sasson, Jack M. 2000; 1995. Civilizations of the ancient near east. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

Smith, Christopher, and Helen Parkins. 1998. Trade, traders, and the ancient city. London; New York: Routledge.

Snell, Daniel C. 2007; 2005. A companion to the ancient near east. Blackwell companions to the ancient world. Oxford: Blackwell.

---. 2005. A companion to the ancient near east. Blackwell companions to the ancient world. ancient history. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub.

Staller, John E., Michael Carrasco, and University of Calgary. 2010. Pre-columbian foodways. New York: Springer.

Van de Mieroop, Marc. 1997. The ancient mesopotamian city. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Wheatley, Paul. 1971. The pivot of the four quarters :A preliminary enquiry into the origins and character of the ancient chinese city. Chicago: Aldine Pub. Co.

Whitehouse, Ruth. 1977. The first cities. Oxford Eng.: Phaidon ; New York.

Zhongmin, Han, and Hubert Delahaye. 1985. A journey through ancient china :From the neolothic to the ming. New York, N.Y.: Gallery Books.

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