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UNIT 4: Agricultural and Urban Revolutions

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VIDEO SEGMENT: Cities and Their Origins

While there were many differences between early agricultural communities, they did share some similarities. Primary among these were increasing social complexity and increasing social inequality. Through the examples of the ancient cities of Anyang (in modern China) and Chavin de Huantar (in modern Peru), this video segment traces the social stratification that resulted from large, complex settlements.

In about 1400 BCE, the city of Anyang emerged as a central site of political power in the Shang dynasty. Archaeological evidence found in tombs — including jade and bronze — indicates great distinctions in wealth between the city's inhabitants. Similar markers of wealth and power have also been found at the ritual center of Chavin de Huantar.

However, excavations in the ancient city of Catalhoyuk (in modern Turkey) — settled as early as 7000 BCE — may yet prove an exception to the general rule of increasing inequality within complex societies, as scholars can find little evidence of social stratification despite a large and permanent population.

SELECTED IMAGES AND MAPS


John Rick, CHAVIN DE HUANTAR, PERU (n.d.). Courtesy of John Rick.

Anonymous, EXCAVATION DIG AT ABEJAS - TEHUACAN VALLEY (n.d.). Courtesy of the Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology, Philips Academy, Andover, MA.


Hot Pepper Studios, created for Bridging World History, THE EARLY CITY OF ANYANG 1400 B.C.E. (2004) Courtesy of Oregon Public Broadcasting.

John Rick, MONKEY STELA EXCAVATED FROM CHAVIN DE HUANTAR, PERU (n.d.). Courtesy of John Rick.



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