Detail of Sigur 1 Rockpainting India

The Archaeology of Civilization


An 306 

Professor: Allen Zagarell

Fall Semester 2008

109 Moore Hall

Office hours:Mon/Weds/ 1-2 pm or by appointment

Requirements: Do all readings and visit all the assigned Web sites. You are also expected to participate in all class discussions. Class participation is decisive whenever there is any question about final grade. You will be required to give one class room presentation (ca. 20 minutes in length) and transform that talk into an expanded  term paper on the same theme as the paper presentation. There will be two essay/multiple choice exams. Each exam and the term paper is worth 30 points of total grade. The presentation and class participation is worth an additional 10 points. 


Required Readings: 

Archaic States eds. G Feinman, J . Marcus (AS)
Order, Legitimacy, and Wealth in Ancient States eds J. Richards, M.V. Buren (OLW)

Other readings can be found in the Anthropology and the University Libraries. Click here for bibliography. In addition there are a series of  Web reading assignments.  

Week 1: Introduction to The Course
Sept. 3: Brief Introduction to the Course 

Week 2: The State of Archaeology and the Archaeology of the State 
Sept. 8 Introduction to Anthropology; Where this course fits in

Sept:10: Dividing up assignments/Presentations.
Film: Realms


Week 3: The Archaeology of the State. Complexities and Difficulties. 
                                                   Prime Movers 
Sept 15: Theories of the State

What is Archaeology? What is Civilization? What do we mean by the state? Are there other forms of government? Is there one state or are there many states? Under what conditions did the first states appear?  Does first appearance describe all appearances?  Can we talk about states in general? Where do we look for explanation?
READINGS:  (AS) Intro; (OLW) Yofee, Baines pp. 13-20; Buren, Richards pp.3-12

Sept 17 Oral Reports:Aristotle

 and  Plato

Week 4: Prime Movers continued: 
of the State
Difficulties Comparing Data.. Prime Movers: What are they? Complexities + Prime Movers: Ecological and Environmental attempts at explanation.

READINGS:Claessen and Skalnik 1978:3-29 1992 Harris 1992:261-276, Carneiro;1970:733-738 

Oral Reports:Machiavelli1  Machiavelli2  Kautilya1 kautilya2   Confucianism

Sept:24  legalism 1  legalism2    

READINGS: Contract approaches Service 1978:21-35 Wittfogel(S,L-K:15-25)  

Week 5: Prime Movers and other Related Approaches 

Sept 29-Oct. 1  Conquest, Systems,and Class approaches
Film: Armies and Warfare

Oral Reports  Class approaches: Origin of the Family/Engels

 Ibn Khaldun and Systems approaches

READINGS: Systems approaches Flannery; 1972:399-426 Class approaches Fried;1961:134-147  ,   




Week 6: Prime Movers and other Related Approaches 

Oct. 6-8 Segmentary State, Feminist approaches Hegemony
Oral Reports:Gramsci

READINGS:(AS) Flannery 15-49;Segmentary State Southall 1988:52-82 Feminist approaches Costin  




Week 7:   Prime Movers and other Related Approaches 

Oct. 13 World Systems/Hegemony/Legitimation

READINGS: (OLW) Baines, Yoffee 199-260; Zagarell 2008
Oct 15
Exam I (1 hour) 


Week 8: Mesopotamia 
Oct. 20-22 Film/Mesopotamia
Oral Reports: Mesopotamian class system, the development of a writing system

READINGS: (OLW)Yofee 46-63, (AS)Wright 173-198; Zagarell 1986xx

Web pages: Codexes ; Code of Hammurabi

Gilgamesh Epic

Mesopotamian Writing

For an extended view of Mesopotamian Sites see Near Eastern Web Sites (not required)




Week 9: Indus Civilization 
Oct. 27-29
Oral Reports ; Harappa Civilization and a World Trade System

READINGS: (OLW) Kenoyer 88-109; (AS)Possehl 261-292

Web pages: Kenoyer's Tour of the Indus  




Week 10: Egypt 
Nov 3-6
Oral Reports: Egyptian Religion and Its state implications

Film: Egypt
READINGS:(AS)Baine/Yofee  199-260; (OLW)Oconnor 21-36 (OLW) Richards 36-41

Web pages: Priests

Ancient Egypt and the Pyramids




Week 11: China and Central Asia
Nov 10-12
Oral Reports:Are there different pathways to state emergence? 


READINGS: (OLW)Bronson 120-130, Kohl  An Yang Project

Web pages:Capital Shang

Qin Dynasty Statues

Urumchi Mummies


Week 12: Greece; Archaic and Classical 
Nov. 17-19
Oral Reports:

READINGS: Finley 1973:67-92 , (OLW)Alcock 110-120; Ina Berg

Web pages:
Mycenean Social Order

Week 13: Central America 
Nov. 24 Ecological Restraints; What effect on Development?
Oral Reports:


READINGS:New World/Central America ; (AS)Morris 293-310(OLW)Brumfiel 131-140; (OLW)Joyce 64-77

Web pages: Teotihuacan  

Olmec Society





Nov. 26




Week 14:  Central American continued andLast Day:Summing Up 
Dec. 1-3

Summing up/Making Sense out of History

Papers to be handed in  



Final Exam





















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