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The origins of civic life - a global perspective

Wengrow, D; (2018) The origins of civic life - a global perspective. Origini - Preistoria e Protostoria delle Civiltà Antiche - Prehistory and Protohistory of Ancient Civilizations , 42 (2018-2) pp. 25-44. Green open access

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Abstract

Comparing early phases of urban development in four regions – the Indus Valley, Mesopotamia, China, and Mesoamerica – this essay offers a global perspective on the origins of civic life. While we may never be able to reconstruct the unwritten constitutions of these earliest cities, or the reforms undergone in their first centuries, we can hardly doubt that these existed. Consideration of archaeological and written evidence from across the four areas suggests in every case, that significant checks and balances were placed on the centralisation of power and wealth during the early development of urban societies. Increasingly, the burden of proof lies with theorists who argue for causal or evolutionary connections between the origins of cities and the rise of stratified states.

Type: Article
Title: The origins of civic life - a global perspective
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.gangemieditore.com/dettaglio/origini-x...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Urbanisation, Origin of cities, State formation, Eurasia, Mesoamerica
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10082161
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