chapter  23
42 Pages

Urbanization and state formation

WithSimon Stoddart

This chapter covers the development and maintenance of state-organized society in the pre-industrial era, concentrating on the earliest forms which took place some five millennia ago. In the writings of most social theorists (including archaeologists), this transformation is considered the most radical development since the transition to agriculture. Agriculture was generally a necessary precursor, since it provided the potential surplus production, once politically orchestrated, to maintain power over people and materials (see Chapter 21).