Week 7 Blog Post – Rise of Agriculture and the State

After reviewing all the material that was covered in this week’s lecture videos and the readings, I do think that the emergence of agriculture eventually led to the rise of the state. Without the emergence of agriculture, there simply would not have been the necessary infrastructure to lead to the rise of the state. Without agriculture being realized as a more effective method of sustenance, there wouldn’t have been any reason for our species to change from the hunter and gatherer system that had been working fine for millions of years prior. And if they didn’t settle down to grow their own food, their wouldn’t have been groups large, dense, or complex enough to justify creating a “state”.

I think that the cultural developments that led to the emergence of agriculture was the domestication of plants and animals. When humans figured out they could cross-breed the most desirable plants and animals to be able to basically amplify their desired traits, it became clear it was a more time and energy efficient way of sustaining a large group rather than going out daily to find the day’s meal. You could cross breed large goats with goats with less dangerous features to make a safer animal to domesticate and keep near your home with more meat.

The cultural developments that led to the rise of of the state are, in my opinion, urbanization and specialization. I think that urbanization is one of the main cultural developments that led to the rise of the state because as populations became more dense in a communities center, it became more worthwhile to work together for the benefit of the group rather than competing which led to the rise of the state. I think that specialization is one of the main cultural developments that led to the rise of the state because as there were less people required to do the farming, more people could be devoted to managing the resources like a government.

The archaeological materials that were used to identify the emergence of agriculture were the distinct morphological and demographics of the animal remnants in the societies and the tools used to process plant materials, such as scythes and millstones. The archaeological materials that were used to identify the rise of the state were remnants of dense urban centers where larges groups would coexist. There would also be large monuments and depictions of a ruler over the people working, as a state often has.

The emergence of agriculture is very similar to the rise of the state in that both are tied together. Without agriculture, there wouldn’t have been the need for creating a unified state and without a state, there wouldn’t have been a need to put the effort or the organization required to put together large scale agriculture. The emergence of agriculture is also different than the rise of the state because although there is not many obvious things we can learn from studying ancient agricultural methods, whereas we can learn much from studying ancient states that can be applied to our own societies today because politics hasn’t deviated much from thousands of years ago.

One thought on “Week 7 Blog Post – Rise of Agriculture and the State

  1. Hey! I think your post looks great! I was especially interested in several parts because it looks like we have something connected and share the same opinion. When you said that the domestication of animals and plants led to the emergence of agriculture, I totally agreed with you. I also thought that the growing population caused the cultural developments, which led to the emergence of agriculture. The next thing I was able to connect was when you said that urbanization was the cause of the rise of the ancient states. I believe urbanization had created what we call now, “society”, and it taught people to cooperate and get along with each other. Although it was all for survival, just as you said, the urbanization made people become more cooperative instead of competitive. And finally, the similarity between the emergence of agriculture and the rise of the state caught my interest. I believe that the people being one group and living together was the main emergence of agriculture and community. As a conclusion, it is really nice to find a post that I could agree on and connect to. I also was able to learn from it, and reflect on what I have written.

Leave a Reply