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Understanding Early Civilizations: A Comparative Study

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  34 Ratings  ·  2 Reviews
Arising independently in various parts of the world, early civilizations--the first class-based societies in human history--are of importance to social scientists interested in the development of complexity, while their cultural productions fascinate both humanists and the general public. This book offers the first detailed comparative study of the seven most fully documen ...more
Paperback, 757 pages
Published April 16th 2007 by Cambridge University Press (first published May 5th 2003)
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AC
I don't have much to add to what I've already said. The most valuable and original and insightful part of this book is the section on method - on the comparative method (chs. 1-4); see below.

The bulk of the rest of the book (chs. 5-27) consists of a compendium of information, drawn almost entirely at second-hand (that is, from the secondary literature; Trigger can only read Hierogplyphs of the seven cultures he studies) arranged by topic: Sociopolitical (Kingship; States - City and Territorial;
...more
Alice Lemon
Jul 12, 2016 Alice Lemon rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in world-building or the origins of civilization
Shelves: history-cultural
I came across this book in the process of doing research for a world-building project I never got around to finishing. However, just reading this book was enough to have justified the world-building project. It's an incredibly detailed survey of seven "early civilizations": the Classical Mayans, the Aztecs, the Incas, early Old Kingdom Egypt, early Bronze Age China, Sumer, and nineteenth-century Yoruba states, along with a detailed discussion of the methodology needed to do useful comparative st ...more
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239801
Bruce Graham Trigger, OC OQ FRSC was a Canadian archaeologist, anthropologist, and ethnohistorian.

Born in Preston, Ontario, he received a doctorate in archaeology from Yale University in 1964. His research interests at that time included the history of archaeological research and the comparative study of early cultures. He spent the following year teaching at Northwestern University and then took
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