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The rapid development of early cities at different dates in many regions of the world affected their hinterlands profoundly. Ancient Egypt, in many periods a territorial state unlike the typical city-state configuration of the other regions in most periods, presents some of the largest monuments and the longest timespan for investigation, but its urbanism is imperfectly understood. Classic Maya performances were strongly sonic, with anticipation fortified by blasts of trumpet or conch, the pounding of large drums or tapping of smaller ones under the arm, whistles and maracas, singing, and the musical collisions of shells on the king's body. Secular performances in Southeast Asia could involve hundreds or thousands of urban residents as participants and as spectators. Public movement was generally toward a restricted space: ceremonies within a royal court could only ever have small numbers of participants and be observed by relatively few.
Chinese urbanism has a history of more than 5,000 years, and ever since the invention of the Chinese writing system more than 3,000 years ago, the process of urbanization and the uninterrupted transmission of literacy have gone hand in hand. This chapter focuses on the second millennium BCE, the early Bronze Age, and also covers two consecutive episodes of that phase, such as the Huanbei period and the Yinxu period. The Anyang inscriptions are the first substantial corpus of Chinese writing, but they are display inscriptions; neither at Anyang nor at Zhengzhou does everyday writing survive. Unlike Huanbei, Yinxu had no city walls and no clearly demarcated perimeters other than those provided on the north and east by the riverbank. The royal precinct covers about 70 hectares, with over 100 building foundations found so far. It is in storage pits associated with some of the buildings that most of the inscribed divination bones have been found.
We are grateful for the opportunity to respondto Erickson's (1999) critique of our articles onhuman-environment interactions in the LakeTiticaca basin of Bolivia (Ortloff & Kolata 1993;Abbott et al. 1997; Binford et al. 1997). Hisdecision to publish this critique in ANTIQUITY,rather than in the journals in which our articlesappeared, permits us to reach a broaderaudience. Erickson labels our interpretationsa form of 'neo-environmental determinism', buthis rejection of our conclusions stems fromserious misunderstandings and is misleadingto readers who have not examined our originaldata. He (p. 634) claims:1 our research represents 'simplistic reductionistthinking' that treats humans as 'passivepawns' of environmental change;2 our dating of the chronic drought in the Andeanaltiplano after AD 1150 is impreciseand not correlated with the 12th-centurydisintegration of the Tiwanaku state; and3 the drought did not affect intensive agriculturalproduction.
Paleolimnological and archaeological records that span 3500 years from Lake Titicaca and the surrounding Bolivian–Peruvian altiplano demonstrate that the emergence of agriculture (ca. 1500 B.C.) and the collapse of the Tiwanaku civilization (ca. A.D. 1100) coincided with periods of abrupt, profound climate change. The timing and magnitude of climate changes are inferred from stratigraphic evidence of lake-level variation recorded in14C-dated lake-sediment cores. Paleo-lake levels provide estimates of drainage basin water balance. Archaeological evidence establishes spatial and temporal patterns of agricultural field use and abandonment. Prior to 1500 B.C., aridity in the altiplano precluded intensive agriculture. During a wetter period from 1500 B.C. to A.D. 1100, the Tiwanaku civilization and its immediate predecessors developed specialized agricultural methods that stimulated population growth and sustained large human settlements. A prolonged drier period (ca. A.D. 1100–1400) caused declining agricultural production, field abandonment, and cultural collapse.
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