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The Ancient City

New Perspectives on Urbanism in the Old and New World

Edited by Joyce Marcus and Jeremy A. Sabloff

Cities are so common today that we cannot imagine a world without them. More than half of the world’s population lives in cities, and that proportion is growing. Yet for most of our history, there were no cities. Why, how, and when did urban life begin? Ancient cities have much to tell us about the social, political, religious, and economic conditions of their times—and also about our own. Ongoing excavations all over the world are enabling scholars to document intra-city changes through time, city-to-city interaction, and changing relations between cities and their hinterlands. The essays in this volume—presented at a Sackler colloquium of the National Academy of Sciences—reveal that archaeologists now know much more about the founding and functions of ancient cities, their diverse trade networks, their heterogeneous plans and layouts, and their various lifespans and trajectories.

2008. 424 pp., 122 figures, 6 tables, notes, references, index, 7 x 10

Contributors: Kathryn A. Bard, Karl W. Butzer, Janet DeLaine, Lothar Von Falkenhausen, Mogens Herman Hansen, Kenneth G. Hirth, Michael J. Jones, Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, Chapurukha Kusimba, Joyce Marcus, Craig Morris, K. Anne Pyburn, Colin Renfrew, Jeremy A. Sabloff, Elizabeth C. Stone, Bruce G. Trigger

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“The…book is informative and authoritative….The editors review much literature on the study of cities, especially four models of cities developed by the University of Chicago sociologists working in the 1920s and 1930s.”
—Norman Yoffee, Reviews in Anthropology, vol. 38, issue 4, 2009

  1. Introduction
    Joyce Marcus and Jeremy A. Sabloff
  2. The City through Time and Space: Transformations of Centrality
    Colin Renfrew
  3. Early Cities: Craft Workers, Kings, and Controlling the Supernatural
    Bruce G. Trigger
  4. Analyzing Cities
    Mogens Herman Hansen
  5. Other Perspectives on Urbanism: Beyond the Disciplinary Boundaries
    Karl W. Butzer
  6. Between Concept and Reality: Case Studies in the Development of Roman Cities in the Mediterranean
    Janet DeLaine
  7. Urban Foundation, Planning, and Sustainability in the Roman Northwestern Provinces
    Michael J. Jones
  8. A Tale of Two Cities: Lowland Mesopotamia and Highland Anatolia
    Elizabeth C. Stone
  9. Royal Cities and Cult Centers, Administrative Towns, and Workmen’s Settlements in Ancient Egypt
    Kathryn A. Bard
  10. Indus Urbanism: New Perspectives on Its Origin and Character
    Jonathan Mark Kenoyer
  11. Stages in the Development of “Cities” in Pre-Imperial China
    Lothar von Falkenhausen
  12. Early African Cities: Their Role in the Shaping of Urban and Rural Interaction Spheres
    Chapurukha M. Kusimba
  13. Pomp and Circumstance before Belize: Ancient Maya Commerce and the New River Conurbation
    K. Anne Pyburn
  14. Incidental Urbanism: The Structure of the Prehispanic City in Central Mexico
    Kenneth G. Hirth
  15. Links in the Chain of Inka Cities: Communication, Alliance, and the Cultural Production of Status, Value, and Power
    Craig Morris
  16. Cities and Urbanism: Central Themes and Future Directions
    Joyce Marcus and Jeremy A. Sabloff

There are no working papers for this book at the present time.

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