Department of Anthropology
Western Michigan University

Presentations and Paper for the Archaeology of Civilization

An 306


All class participants will present a ten to fifteen minute oral presentation on a their term paper. The topics will either be chosen from the list below or in consultation with the instructor. All those with related (regional) topics are expected to periodically meet and provide support for one another. They will furthermore meet with me before the first exam.


REPORT AND PAPER TOPICS Pick one topic (for example 1 a or 2 c).

Ancient Philosophers of the State

3)Confucius and Legalism in China
4)Marx and Engels
6)Ibn Khaldun/; and conquest theorists


Ancient Civilizations

1)Mesopotamia; a)Trade, exchange and production; from prehistory to early history. b)Early Mesopotamian irrigation cultivation. c)The Mesopotamian writing and accounting systems d)Ideology and the Mesopotamian State e)Systems of Class in Early Mesopotamia

2)Indus ; a)Crafts and commodity production in the societies of the Indus b)Trade colonies; particularly Shortugai. c)Harappan Architecture; evidence for conquest and class structure. d)The collapse of the Indus civilization.

3)China; a)Buildings, Architecture and the Emergence of the Shang State. b)Forms of labor, labor extraction and property in Ancient China. c)Administrative organization in the Shang and Chou states.

4)Greece/Europe; a)The Women's Role in Production in Mycenean Greece; the public and private economy. b)Commodity Production and Exchange in Classical Greece c)Slavery, Helotism and dependent labor in Classical Greece.

5)Mesoamerica; a)Forms of Labor extraction and dependent labor forms in Aztec State Society (refer to Olmecs for comparison). b)The Development of the Meso-american writing systems and their uses c)The Organization of Exchange in Northern Mesoamerica d)Architecture and ideological control f)State Systems of Ideological Controls

6)Egypt; a)Irrigation Systems and the State b)ideological domination

7)Central Asia; a)What role do cities, and irrigation play in the emergence of  early states in Central Asia b)Trade/Silk Road


Papers should be approximately 10 pages in length (not including bibliography). Topics are to be chosen from those listed above or in consultation with the instructor. Students should periodically consult with the instructor about their papers (discussing outlines etc). Included in the bibliography should be an annotated discussion of internet resources available for your region or topical problem. Papers are to be handed at or before the date noted in the syllabus.

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