ARCH 354 CULTURE OF CITIES. LECTURE 2 Origins of cities 3000 BCE to 1000 BCE Prof. Dr. Naciye Doratl I. TODAY’S MENU. Origins: 3000 BCE to 1000 BCE Sanctuary, Village, Stronghold The Crystallization of the City Ancestral Forms and Patterns The Nature of the Ancient City. TO REMEMBER.
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Origins of cities
3000 BCE to 1000 BCE
Prof. Dr. NaciyeDoratlI
Origins: 3000 BCE to 1000 BCE
Sanctuary, Village, Stronghold
The Crystallization of the City
Ancestral Forms and Patterns
The Nature of the Ancient City
To be able to lay a new foundation for the urban life:
- Understanding the historic nature of the city;
- its original functions;
- functions that emerged from these functions;
- earlier structures.
Easiest way would be looking for the physical remains, which have been found by the archeologist.
If we look only for the bones, tools and weapons and ignore inventions like language and rituals, it would be not present the full picture.
Social life shared with many other animals for existence
The camp, the cache, the cave
Hamlet, shrine, village
The two modes can be traced back to the evolution of living things.
Animal Kingdom Vegetable Kingdom
Stability & Continuity comes forward from our animal past.
The way of living of many animals, like fishes, birds etc, can be considered as prototypes of the most primitive kind of human settlements:
- The hamlet
- the Village.
In addition to the similarities to animal’s way of living, CEREMONIOUS CONCERN for the DEAD has been one of the most important features for the mankind.
Early man had shown respect for the dead.
Mid Paleolithic Period (when early man was wandering around for
food gathering and hunting)
The dead were the first to have a permanent dwelling: A CAVE, A COLLECTIVE BARROW. These places were landmarks to which the living man had returned at certain times.
In a sense it can be claimed that the city of the dead is the forerunner of every living city.
There is another part of the environment to which the Paleolithic man periodically came: the CAVE.
Caves (covered with paintings) have been special ritual centers, which were used for Ceremonial Purposes.
In these ancient Paleolithic sanctuaries, the first hints of civic life before the permanent villages can be detected. These were ceremonial centers.
In addition to the caves, there has also been great stones, sacred groves, monumental trees, holy wells etc., which had been visited by Paleolithic man occasionally.
These fixed landmarks and holy meeting places call together, periodically or permanently, those who shared the same magical practice or religious beliefs.
Mecca, Rome, Jerusalem etc. still recall and carry on these original purposes.
Even before a city is a permanent settlement of man, it begins as a meeting place to which people periodically came and gone.
MAGNETS before the CONTAINER.
The first germ of the city: the ceremonial meeting place (serving the pilgrims).
Attraction with its ‘spiritual’ or supernatural powers.
When people were hunting and food gathering, they need a large area for small number of people (10 people / square mile).
Until man learned to smoke and salt his meat, he must live from day to day, keeping to SMALL & MOBILE GROUPS, not tied to a fixed habitation.
The first condition for an sufficient, reliable food supply arose in the MESOLITHIC PERIOD (15.000 YEARS AGO)
Mesolithic hamlets are the first examples of settlements with agricultural production (they grow fruit-bearing trees) and domestic animals: pigs, ducks, goose, dogs etc.
Due to these changes the role of women has changed. In other words, the dominant role of hunting and fighting man has shifted to women (growing their children, domestic animals, taking care about the plants etc.)
With the great enlargement of the food supply as a result of cumulative domestication of plants and animals, woman’s central role in the new economy was established.
. house and oven
. cistern (water reservoir)
. storage pit (hole/well)
DOMESTICATION TWO IMPORTANT CHANGES:
I WOULD ADD TO THIS: CHANGING ROLES / INCREASING OF THE IMPORTANCE OF WOMAN
During this phase:
“Neolithic farmers could of course, and certainly did, live together in permanent villages, though, owing to the extravagant rural economy generally practiced, unless the crops were watered by irrigation, the villages had to be shifted at least every twenty years.” (Gordon Childe, 1950)
16-30 houses, with a few hundred inhabitants.
Once the main Neolithic inventions and institutions established, village life might continue for thousands of years.
Last departure came with PLOW CULTURE & SUBSTITITION OF METAL TOOLS FOR STONE.
About 5,000 years ago the discovery of irrigation and cultivation combined with stock-breeding and fishing in the valleys of the Nile, the Tigris-Euphrates and the Indus had begun to yield a social surplus, large enough to support a number of resident specialists who were themselves released from food-production.
Water-transport, supplemented in Mesopotamia and the Indus valley by wheeled vehicles and even in Egypt by pack animals, made it easy to gather food stuffs at a few centers.
The actual emergence of the city came as a result of accumulations of previous Paleolithic and Neolithic periods.
In the new proto-urban milieu (setting, environment), the male became again a leading figure; woman took the second place.
The tools that have been produced by woman had been replaced by more efficient plow.
It was possible to transform the whole landscape (opening of canals and irritation works).
This change has also influenced the human relations within the community.
In the city, new ways took the place of ancient customs. Struggle, domination, mastery and conquest were the new themes.
The miner, the woodman, the fisherman (each brought their tools, habits etc.)
(Invention of metal, bronze later iron)
Invention of the written records, the library, the archive, the school and the university (during later periods) is the one of the earliest and most characteristic achievement of the city.
A city: techniques, politics and religion (among which religion played a very important role)
For protection the earliest cities were fortified and it was ruled by a king (having control over everything)
The king was a sort of mediator between heaven and earth (supernatural forces and factors were important). Most of the time the king was appointed by priesthood.
There was a fusion between secular and sacred power.
The erection of a great temple, architecturally and symbolically reflected the union between secular and sacred powers.
Magnitude of the temple can be considered as a reflection of the power of both the god and the king. (religious and political power)
With the king’s command, the city would become a mobilized army (held in reserve). This made the city superior to the thinly populated villages scattered around.
As wars became important, weapon bearing minority took over the social leadership and political power.
Sharp contrasts can be seen.
The cities came out in a few great river valleys:
Villages possibility of farming and cattle-raising (irrigation);
In the regions like Negev in Palestine, sufficient man power for building cistern and reservoirs: (possibility for settlements)
Villages could be easily swept away.
The city: could mobilize man power and exercise centralized control.
A NEW TYPE OF ORGANIZATION
Wall has been one of the essential definitions of the city (until 18th century).
The palace and the great temple stand close within the citadel: part of the dual system of government.
The wall served as both military device and an agent of effective command over the urban population.
Aesthetically it made a clean break between the city and the country side.
Socially emphasized the difference between insider and outsider.
Safety & security.
Market: economic life of the city (2000 B.C.)
At the beginning it was an open space as part of the temple precinct.
It was a monopoly of the god and the priests, but not a money making corporation.
Exchange was not like today at the beginning. Before the money was founded, there was BARTER SYSTEM.
Against the modest size of the city, the scale of the citadel and its chief buildings might be very big in size, reflecting the prestige and power/ to ensure its permanence.
The regular street system, row houses, the pottery pipes, the brick lined drainage channels in the streets have been found in the ruins in early cities (Ur).
There was a broad street long before the invention of wheeled vehicles (for sacred procession or for marching soldiers).
In the earliest cities (Ur), the narrow street was well-shaded for protection from hot sun.
The general appearance of the Mesopotamian cities looked very much like the walled North African City today:
Nippur near Babylon (1500 B.C.)
Citadel cannot be seen.
Central park may be the place of the palace.
The canal divides the city into two: South east the principal temple.
The map does not only show the main elements of the city, but also indicates the presence of the kind of learning and ability in terms of thinking in abstraction.
Different than the earliest cities in Mesopotamia.
Exist in its simplest form.
The city itself was a complex and powerful aesthetic symbol.
In different parts of the world, better to say in different geographies they showed considerable differences.
Although natural factors are important, different cultures have been far more influential on the formation of cities.
Division of Labor
For example: Art and Drama
These competitions have been accompanied by religious ceremonies.
Childe’s 10 criteria to distinguish earliest cities from any older or contemporary village;
Permanent Settlement in dense aggregations
Nonagricultural Specialists (craftspeople, merchants, priests and state functionaries)
Taxation and Wealth Accumulation (control of food production in the hinterland and the storage of the surplus)
Monumental Public Buildings (symbolized the concentration of the social surplus)
Ruling Class, that possessed absolute control over the society
Writing Techniques (numerical and alphabetical notational systems for information processing)
Artistic Expression (cultural forms of expression that were progressively refined, such as art and music)
Trade for Vital materials
Decline in importance of Kinship- family relations
“In short, the large ancient city was the cradle of civilization” (Gottdiener & Hutchison, 2000)
In this Neolithic village of about 7500 BC, we find individual houses, mainly rectangular in shape, abutting each other to form what is close to a rectilinear pattern.
No streets here, just houses next to each other.
Ur was a politically and economically powerful center on the Euphrates, with easy access to the Persian Gulf and long distance see trade.
Nowadays, its ruins covers about 302 km lying on the east bank of Euphrates 90 km south of Baghdad and about 10 km north of Hilla.
Babylon, the legendary city, is indeed, the most famous ancient city in the whole World. It was the capital of ten Mesopotamian.
What we know about the Tower of Babylon today comes only from the little archaeological evidence found and a few ancient writings.
The most important was the Street of m, which passed through Ishtar's Gate and ended in the Stepped Tower.
Inhabited from around 3200 BC.