The Development of Civilization
W e know now that Botta had uncovered not Nineveh but Assyrian King Sargon’s palace, constructed at great expense in the eighth century b.c. Even so, Botta’s remarkable discoveries ushered in a classical era of nineteenth-century archaeology. Archaeologists revealed
to an astonished world not only the Assyrians but, in addition, the Sumerians, the Maya, the Minoans, the Mycenaeans, and other hitherto-unknown civilizations (Figure 14.1). Today, there are no more unknown civilizations to be unearthed, but archaeologists are still striving to understand the origins and workings of the world’s earliest states. In this chapter, we review some of the attempts to explain their beginnings.