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    The Uruk World System: Dynamics of Expansion of Early Mesopotamian Civilization (Hardback) By (author) Guillermo Algaze

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    DescriptionArchaeologists and historians have long been keenly interested in the emergence of early cities and states in the ancient Near East, particularly in the growth of early Sumerian civilization in the lowlands of Mesopotamia during the second half of the fourth millennium B.C. Most scholars have focused on the internal transformations attending this process, such as the development of new forms of spatial organization, socio-political relationships, and economic arrangements. In "The Uruk World System," Guillermo Algaze concentrates instead on the unprecedented and wide-ranging process of external expansion that coincided with the rapid initial crystallization of Mesopotamian civilization. He contends that the rise of early Sumerian polities cannot be understood without also taking into account developments in surrounding peripheral areas. Algaze reviews an extensive body of archaeological evidence for cross-cultural exchange between the nascent city-states in the Mesopotamian lowlands and communities in immediately surrounding areas. He shows that at their very inception the more highly integrated lowland centers succeeded in establishing a variety of isolated, far-flung outposts in areas at the periphery of the Mesopotamian lowlands. Embedded in an alien hinterland characterized by demonstrably less complex societies, the outposts were commonly established at the apex of preexisting regional settlement hierarchies and invariably at focal nodes astride important trade routes. Algaze argues that these early colonial out-posts served as collection points for coveted peripheral resources acquired in exchange for core manufactures and that they reflect an inherently asymmetrical systemof economic hegemony that extended far beyond areas under the direct political control of Sumerian polities in southern Mesopotamia. From this he concludes that economic exploitation of less developed peripheral areas was integral to the earliest development of civilization in the ancient Near East.


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    Title
    The Uruk World System
    Subtitle
    Dynamics of Expansion of Early Mesopotamian Civilization
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Guillermo Algaze
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 174
    Width: 220 mm
    Height: 287 mm
    Thickness: 18 mm
    Weight: 792 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780226013817
    ISBN 10: 0226013812
    Classifications

    B&T Book Type: NF
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T5.5
    BIC E4L: HIS
    BIC subject category V2: HBLA
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    LC subject heading:
    BIC subject category V2: HBJF1
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1FB
    LC subject heading:
    BIC subject category V2: HDD
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 43
    LC subject heading:
    Libri: I-HP
    Ingram Subject Code: HP
    B&T General Subject: 431
    Ingram Theme: CHRN/ANCIEN
    BISAC Merchandising Theme: ET135
    Ingram Theme: CULT/MIDEST
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15520
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 02
    B&T Approval Code: A14500000
    BISAC V2.8: HIS026000
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 07
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    BISAC V2.8: HIS002000
    LC subject heading:
    B&T Approval Code: A14202000
    Abridged Dewey: 935
    LC subject heading:
    DC22: 935
    LC subject heading:
    DC20: 935
    LC subject heading: ,
    LC classification: DS73.1 .A44 1993, DS73.1.A44
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: HIS039000
    Thema V1.0: NHC, NHG, NKD
    Edition
    2
    Edition statement
    2nd
    Illustrations note
    25 halftones, 25 figures, 15 maps
    Publisher
    The University of Chicago Press
    Imprint name
    University of Chicago Press
    Publication date
    15 June 1993
    Publication City/Country
    Chicago, IL
    Author Information
    Guillermo Algaze, a MacArthur Fellow, is professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, San Diego.
    Back cover copy
    Archaeologists and historians have long been keenly interested in the emergence of early cities and states in the ancient Near East, particularly in the growth of early Sumerian civilization in the lowlands of Mesopotamia during the second half of the fourth millennium B.C. Most scholars have focused on the internal transformations attending this process, such as the development of new forms of spatial organization, socio-political relationships, and economic arrangements. In The Uruk World System, Guillermo Algaze concentrates instead on the unprecedented and wide-ranging process of external expansion that coincided with the rapid initial crystallization of Mesopotamian civilization. He contends that the rise of early Sumerian polities cannot be understood without also taking into account developments in surrounding peripheral areas. Algaze reviews an extensive body of archaeological evidence for cross-cultural exchange between the nascent city-states in the Mesopotamian lowlands and communities in immediately surrounding areas. He shows that at their very inception the more highly integrated lowland centers succeeded in establishing a variety of isolated, far-flung outposts in areas at the periphery of the Mesopotamian lowlands. Embedded in an alien hinterland characterized by demonstrably less complex societies, the outposts were commonly established at the apex of preexisting regional settlement hierarchies and invariably at focal nodes astride important trade routes. Algaze argues that these early colonial out-posts served as collection points for coveted peripheral resources acquired in exchange for core manufactures and that they reflect an inherently asymmetrical system ofeconomic hegemony that extended far beyond areas under the direct political control of Sumerian polities in southern Mesopotamia. From this he concludes that economic exploitation of less developed peripheral areas was integral to the earliest development of civilization in the ancient Near East. However, the early Mesopotamian outposts did not endure long. They either collapsed or were withdrawn by the end of the fourth millennium B.C. According to Algaze, this is explained, in part, by the impact that the outposts had on the sociopolitical evolution of peripheral societies. He argues that the cross-cultural contacts initiated by the intrusions would have led to an initial strengthening of local chiefs, so that in some cases local communities soon became expansive in their own right. This unintended consequence would have required core polities either to arrive at more formal (political and military) modes of domination or, alternately, to abandon the periphery altogether, ceding control of trade routes to the newly emerging local powers. In light of transportational and organizational constraints common to societies at the dawn of civilization, the latter appears to have been the case.