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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.
|List of figures|
|List of tables|
|Preface and acknowledgements|
|1||How Does the Past Illuminate the Present?||1|
|2||Sema-Tawy: The Land of the Papyrus and Lotus||31|
|3||The Levant and Mesopotamia||80|
|4||The Indus/'Harappan'/Sarasvati Civilization||186|
|5||The Central Kingdom, Zhong-Guo||260|
|6||Conclusion: The Emergence of Social Complexity||342|
|App. A||The genealogical principle||360|
|App. B||Occupation, kinship and caste||364|
|App. C||The Sumerian King List as a historical source||366|