I believe the most important characteristic of being categorized as an ancient state would have to be agriculture. Agriculture opens doors to extensive trade networks, a rising economy, and the survival of the people of the state. This primary characteristic leads is an imperative asset to the continuation of a state. It is necessary to survive and without it a dependence of hunting and gathering would not be enough. Without the advancement of agriculture, states would not have been able to rapidly expand as they did once agriculture was established around 10,000 BC. Agriculture is key to the rest of the remaining primary characteristics. If agriculture was not present then a complex economy and urban setting would not have been possible. Without those, the people of the time would continue to be nomadic and would not retain a state authority and stratification of classes as well as having specializations. Specializations are based on the presence of food production and that would not be as present without agriculture. As for the secondary characteristics of being called a state, they branch off from the primary characteristics and without them, they would not have much of a basis in societies. Agriculture maintained a population increase in order for all of these characteristics to follow. Until agriculture became a part of everyday life for the people living around 10,000 BC, advancements were slow and relating to hunting and tools. But until the radical change of agriculture came, humans were more nomadic and followed herds of animals in order to survive. With agriculture people were able to settle down and become sedentary and reproducing more. The growing populations continued humans advancements and urban centers grew and distinct cultural societies were claiming their lands. You can see the rapid growth and advancement through states like Mesopotamia, the Aztecs, and the Egyptians. These states growth and development would not have been possible without the foundation of agriculture. As agriculture spread, societies sprouted up where agriculture was possible continuing the humans settlement across our planet. When you look at all of the ancient states we learned about in class, take out agriculture and you can see it was the foundation and beginning of that particular state and the reason behind its continuation. Without agriculture these states would not be the great ancient states we learn about in school today. We may not even be here today without the primary characteristic of agriculture.