Village to City








From Village to City Over the years of history, there have been many civilizations. We will look at the earliest of all civilizations
known to man. From Village to City began in 8000BC and spanned all the way into 3000BC. Throughout this report we will
look at the 6 key features of this civilization as outlined in our classroom discussions, and hope to convey what we have learned
in a useful, and interesting way. The development of a city: The first city to be built was Jericho, in the Middle East Map: This
map is a picture of what the division of land would have looked like in those times. Clearly identified here, it is possible to see
Babylon, Ur, and Eridu. © Microsoft Encarta ’95. (Appendix 1). Sumer at this time evolved into the largest city-state,
established by a people known as the Ubaidians. The development of the city, allowed for rapid population growth due to the
abundance of food. Sheep, goat and pigs had been originally domesticated for use as food, not as sources of clothing. The main
economic activity during this time was trade and barter. Obsidian, a volcanic glass was fashioned into razor sharp tools and
weapons. It was also used as trade. People who lived near Obsidian deposits often risked their lives to collect it and eventually
barter it off for food or money. Obsidian comes from volcanoes and was a kind of glass, the only of the times. The value of
Obsidian was great, and so therefore was the supply and demand. Salt, ore, copper, and soapstone were accepted trade
materials around 8000BC. Most of the Village to City civilization took place during the copper age, when copper was mined
and used for many purposes. Trade developed between different cities, Jericho, Sumer, Adab, Eridu, Isin, Kish, Kullab,
Lagash, Larsa, Nippur and Ur. Most of the trade consisted of livestock and other things such as weapons and food. Sumerians
constructed large temples called Ziggurats. These temples were the focal point of religious activities in towns. They were made
of sun-dried mud bricks that eroded easily. Not many of these remain today. Near 4000BC, urban societies included, farmers,
herders, merchants, artisans, priests, debtors, creditors and social leaders. Economic authority in that time took the form of tax
collection, creditors and debtors. Civil authority was created with the use of Hammurabi code. Hammurabi Code is in a way the
articulation of values. It reflects the way they believed that matters should be handled from their times. This code is a collection
of the laws and edicts of the Babylonian King Hammurabi. King Hammurabi’s code covers everything from loans, deposits and
personal injury to domestic property and family rights. It contains no laws for religion, but the criminal law is comparable to the
Semitic law of "an eye for an eye." This code was particularly humane for its time. However, remnants of King Hammurabi’s
Code of Laws are still present in today’s society. Many people believe that the Capital Punishment controversy dates back to
King Hammurabi. Capital Punishment has been outlawed in Canada, however it is still in effect as the main source of deterrence
and for cleaning up the streets in many countries i.e. the U.S.A. (in some states). Division of Labor: Since there had been
farmers, merchants, etc., a division of labour was present. As fore said, there were many job roles that had to be fulfilled, for
the society to function. There was no real specific information regarding the use of gender roles. However, there were certain
roles that were male only, such as hunter and farmer, and other that were designated for females; namingly cooking and
cleaning. Class structure developed as the cities grew larger. Leaders and civil authority were in a higher class than that of the
regular citizens. In this time period also there was slavery. Slaves, to which later became more commonly known as ‘Serfs’.
Development of Writing: Cuneus: Given above is some text which has been written in the form of Cuneus. It is engraved in a
stone tablet as they had not discovered paper. © Microsoft Encarta ’95. (Appendix 2). The first form of writing known, was
cuneiform. In cuneiform each symbol represented a word. This writing was developed around 3000BC, and lasted until the 1st
century. With this development it allowed for the continuity in beliefs and helped keep business and legal records. The same
writing gave us a very good insight into