I think that agriculture is the most important primary characteristic of a state. Food is usually the number one priory when it comes to sustaining a population, especially when the population is growing and using up more local resources than hunting and gathering can provide. If everyone is starving to death, you’re obviously doing something wrong. Agriculture isn’t just about the cultivation of plants but also about the domestication of animals. Animals besides providing primary products such asmilk, hyde, and meat can also provide important secondary products such as cheese, bread, bone tools, etc.
Of course agriculture doesn’t just have to be used as a food staple for society. In Mesopotamia’s case they decided to trade their cereals with Harappa in exchange for luxury goods. Agriculture can help open the door to trade due to the land that one group is on being more suitable for a staple crop such as wheat than other regions. This way they can trade excess portions in order to obtain items or materials that aren’t obtainable my their local resources.
However I feel that agriculture goes hand-in-hand with large population densities. Agriculture allows for more food to be produced within a set period of time and states usually tend to keep intensifying it because there are more and more people. So that means there are more people to aid in the fields in order to produce more food and this can help lead to the plots of farming land becoming larger. This is because agriculture provides a healthier way of life than hunting and gathering. Therefore more of the younger generations are surviving and creating “age grades.” As time goes on a larger amount of people allow for specialized craftsmanship like metallurgy and skilled foremen to aid in building the monumental works. Larger populations and an urbanized environment make trade safer. It’s not just one person making tools, going off to maybe sell them and probably getting looted on the way there or back. In urbanized states, trade is more organized traders can hire others to protect them on their journey to acquire wealth. This helps to introduce other materials to the society such as bronze or iron were for many states. A of these societies were no where near any type of mines so they had to trade in order to get what they wanted.
I really just find this interesting how many of these characteristics are inter-related and it’s hard to imagine some being unaccompanied by some of the others.