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Understanding Early Civilizations By Bruce G. Trigger (McGill University, Montreal)

Understanding Early Civilizations
by Bruce G. Trigger (McGill University, Montreal)

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£12.99
A detailed comparative study of the seven best-documented early civilizations: ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, Shang China, the Aztecs, peoples in the Valley of Mexico, the Classic Maya, the Inka, and the Yoruba. Equal attention is paid to similarities and differences in their sociopolitical organization, economic systems, religion, and culture.
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Understanding Early Civilizations Summary


Understanding Early Civilizations: A Comparative Study by Bruce G. Trigger (McGill University, Montreal)

This book offers the first detailed comparative study of the seven best-documented early civilizations: ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, Shang China, the Aztecs and adjacent peoples in the Valley of Mexico, the Classic Maya, the Inka, and the Yoruba. Unlike previous studies, equal attention is paid to similarities and differences in their sociopolitical organization, economic systems, religion, and culture. Many of this study's findings are surprising and provocative. Agricultural systems, technologies, and economic behaviour turn out to have been far more diverse than was expected. These findings and many others challenge not only current understandings of early civilizations but also the theoretical foundations of modern archaeology and anthropology. The key to understanding early civilizations lies not in their historical connections but in what they can tell us about similarities and differences in human behaviour.

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Understanding Early Civilizations Reviews


'This work is a milestone in the scientific study of sociocultural evolution ... I know of no other comparative study of early civilizations of similar scope, depth, and originality.' Philosophy of the Social Sciences
'Its comprehensiveness of theme, readiness to pursue profound if difficult and sometimes not readily answerable questions, and impressive control of a wide range of sources, reflect distinguished thought and dedicated effort ... a major achievement.' The International History Review
'Understanding Early Civilizations is the capstone of Trigger's remarkable archaeological career. This is, quite simply, a definitive work.' Brian Fagan, University of California, Santa Barbara
'Trigger's study is monumental and magisterial. It is a work to treasure and digest for years to come.' Philip L. Kohl, Wellesley College
'The latest in Trigger's impressive string of ground-breaking works ... An astounding work of scholarship.' Boyce Richardson
'This book is an extraordinary undertaking and a great achievement ... It provides an accessible introduction to the problems and priorities of cross-cultural comparison and approaches to early civilisations.' Antiquity
"This is a major work of anthropological archaeology. Its comprehensiveness of theme, readiness to pursue profound if difficult and sometimes not readily answerable questions, and impressive control of a wide range of sources, reflect distinguished thought and dedicated effort. It stands out among comparative approaches to early human societies for its breadth and systematicity...This is as good a place as there is for the next generation of scholars to obtain a solid introduction to the intellectual substance of a field of great breadth and promise. The book should act as a powerful stimulant to the revitalization of comparative studies." Robert McC. Adams, University of California at San Diego, The International History Review
"Its comprehensiveness of theme, readiness to pursue profound if difficult and sometimes not readily answerable questions, and impressive control of a wide range of sources, reflect distinguished thought and dedicated effort. ...a major achievement." The International History Review
"Understanding Early Civilizations is the capstone of Trigger's remarkable archaeological career. No archaeologist is better qualified to undertake the challenging task of comparing seven ancient civilizations in such exhaustive detail. He has succeeded brilliantly. Trigger's effortless command of the literature and dispassionate approach to the complex theoretical issues ensure that Understanding Early Civilizations will become a classic. This is, quite simply, a definitive work." Brian Fagan, University of California, Santa Barbara
"Long acknowledged as the premier historian of the discipline of archaeology in the Anglophone world, Bruce Trigger now must be recognized as its most knowledgeable authority of early civilizations. Understanding Early Civilizations presents a highly specific and richly detailed comparative analysis of seven 'early civilizations' or early class-stratified states that are viewed as essentially independent examples of the development of complex society. His study is written in the grand evolutionist tradition that emphasizes similarities in the social, economic, and cultural structures of these early civilizations despite their idiosyncratic or specific manifestations. Trigger's study is monumental and magisterial. It is a work to treasure and digest for years to come." Philip L. Kohl, Wellesley College

About Bruce G. Trigger (McGill University, Montreal)


Bruce G. Trigger is James McGill Professor in the Department of Anthropology at McGill University. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University and has carried out archaeological research in Egypt and the Sudan. His current interests include the comparative study of early civilizations, the history of archaeology, and archaeological and anthropological theory. He has received various scholarly awards, including the prestigious Prix Leon-Gerin from the Quebec government, for his sustained contributions to the social sciences. He is an honorary fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and an honorary member of the Prehistoric Society (UK). His numerous books include The Children of Aataentsic: A History of the Huron People to 1660 (1976), A History of Archaeological Thought (Cambridge 1989), Early Civilizations: Ancient Egypt in Context (1993), and Sociocultural Evolution (1998), and The Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of the Americas, Volume 1 (Cambridge 1996), co-edited with Wilcomb E. Washburn.

Table of Contents


Part I. Introduction: 1. Rationalism and relativism; 2. Comparative studies; 3. Defining 'early civilization'; 4. Evidence and interpretation; Part II. Sociopolitical Organization: 5. Kingship; 6. States: city and territorial; 7. Urbanism; 8. Class systems and social mobility; 9. Family organization and gender roles; 10. Administration; 11. Law; 12. Military organization; 13. Sociopolitical constants and variables; Part III. Economy: 14. Food production; 15. Land ownership; 16. Trade and craft specialization; 17. Appropriation of wealth; 18. Economic constants and variables; Part IV. Cognitive and Symbolic Aspects: 19. Conceptions of the supernatural; 20. Cosmology and cosmogony; 21. Cult; 22. Priests, festivals, and the politics of the supernatural; 23. The individual and the universe; 24. Elite art and architecture; 25. Literacy and specialized knowledge; 26. Values and personal aspirations; 27. Cultural constants and variables; Discussion: 28. Culture and reason; 29. Conclusion; References; Index.

Additional information

GOR004708064
Understanding Early Civilizations: A Comparative Study by Bruce G. Trigger (McGill University, Montreal)
Bruce G. Trigger (McGill University, Montreal)
Used - Very Good
Paperback
Cambridge University Press
2007-04-16
774
0521705452
9780521705455
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.