Primary Vs Secondary Characteristics of a State

I believe that secondary characteristics of a state are the most important. The secondary characteristics of a state in my opinion are what we remember most about a society. Secondary characteristics is what is left behind for us as Anthropologist to study and build upon to gain more knowledge about histories of the past and understand our place as modern civilizations in the future. I think that we should place more emphasis on secondary characteristics as opposed to the primary characteristics because in my opinion the primary characteristics of a state are a lot more generic and do not provide as much information as we could gather from secondary characteristics.  The reason why I believe secondary characteristics are more important because it allows us to compare characteristics across different civilizations. Thus allowing us to see not only similarities, but we also get the chance to see how the evolution of previous civilizations are sometimes passed on to the next one and this helps us understand newer aspects of our own civilizationsFor instance, think of the Indus Valley: There are certain characteristics that are present in Early Harappan that are similar to characteristics that were present from the Sumerians and Akkadians; such as the extension of trade networks. The Early Harappan’s were able to pull from the Akkadians and Sumerians and reorganize their trade to be more efficient to the needs of their civilization and they also understood the importance of the foreign goods/trade.

Although I do believe that secondary characteristics are more important than primary characteristics I do not think that we should completely dismiss the role that primary characteristics play in helping Anthropologist understand civilizations from the past. The biggest thing that we should take away from primary characteristics is that they lay a foundation for the importance of secondary characteristics. Understanding the basic layout of a particular state such as its geographical location, agriculture, its main sources of food, etc. allows us to better understand why certain states adopted the particular secondary characteristics that they did. For example, the Indus Valley were near bodies of water so it made since for their methods of transportation  agriculture and major networks of trade to be based around water as well. Granted this is a very simplistic example of why primary characteristics are valuable to recognize, but it does help us see how primary and secondary characteristics interact with one another and even though i’m arguing that one may be more important than the other these two characteristics do work hand in hand at times. I believe that as anthropologist we shouldn’t necessarily look at whether one is more important than the other, but rather than how does one affect the other or arguably is there any relationship at all.