The Emergence of Civilisation is a major contribution to our understanding of the development of urban culture and social stratification in the Near Eastern region. Charles Maisels argues that our present assumptions about state formation, based on nineteenth century speculations, are wrong. His investigation illuminates the changes in scale, complexity and hierarchy which accompany the development of civilisation. The book draws conclusions about the dynamics of social change and the processes of social evolution in general, applying those concepts to the rise of Greece and Rome, and to the collapse of the classical Mediterranean world.

chapter 1|14 pages


chapter 2|28 pages

The premisses of social succession

chapter 3|32 pages

The ecology of the Zagrosian Arc

chapter 4|50 pages

The origin and growth of villages

chapter 5|22 pages

The heartland of cities

chapter 6|44 pages

The institutions of urbanism

chapter 7|21 pages

Theories of the state

chapter 8|40 pages

From status to state

chapter 9|13 pages

Modelling societies: modes of production

chapter 11|20 pages

Summary and overview