Rise of Cities and Formation of Early States Bronze Age: Rise of Cities and Formation of Early States (33,00-18,00 BCE)

By Prabir Purkayastha

The beautiful and exotic artifacts kept in the museums or listed in regular text books often do not tell us the history of how they were made? The Bronze Age is known for the production of exotic as well as regular materials made of copper/bronze. Weapons made of copper actually set the Bronze Age States apart from previous historical formations as the ruling classes could use these against the vast majority of populace, take away the surplus and control resources and labour mobilization. But who were the actual inventor/possessor of the technological know-how required for the making of copper items? The history of labour that goes into the making of these items goes missing if we continue to look at the objects only.  

This lecture focuses on the development of agrarian surplus in the Anatolian plateau, Levant and Zagros mountain, i.e. he erstwhile fertile crescent and also traces the movement of people and opportunities of migration of crops and so on across this region. At the same time, the issue of the possibility of indigenous development is also hinted, especially in the context of South Asia. But the focus of the lecture really remains on the development of technological know-how that was one of the basis of Bronze Age civilization, i.e. how copper was produced.