Tracking the State in Mesopotamia (and Elsewhere)

Event Date: 

Friday, May 22, 2015 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Event Location: 

  • Humanities and Social Sciences 1173

In recent years archaeologists have turned from certain disco-age preoccupations of defining an essentialized ancient state and identifying the (earliest) states in the archaeological record to more modern concerns, under the influence of practice theory and actor-network theory, about what the state does.  This talk will move toward an even newer research question of what the state does not do. In Mesopotamia such studies consider in what ways people were and were not subjects of the Crown, why cities resisted incorporation in territorial polities, why ethnic groups were trouble-makers, and why the countryside was unruly. A brief comparison with other early states is also offered.

Early Cities 4000 BCE-1200CE Introduction

Early Cities 4000 BCE-1200CE Conclusion

Norman Yoffee-The Limits of Power