Extraordinary Cities: early ‘City-ness’ and the origins of agriculture and states

Taylor, Peter (2012) Extraordinary Cities: early ‘City-ness’ and the origins of agriculture and states. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 36 (3). pp. 415-447. ISSN 0309-1317

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2427.2011.01101.x


I explore the ramifications of applying some recent research on cities, built on the work of Jane Jacobs, to early city development. A communications approach to ‘city ness’ is offered as a way of understanding early cities as qualitatively new social worlds enabling world-changing processes. Returning to Jacobs’ use of Çatalhöyük to push back the timing of the first cities, I review recent work on the site to support her thesis. In the process I also argue in favour of her controversial thesis of cities inventing agriculture using Sahlin’s ‘stone age economics’. Further, and going beyond Jacobs, I argue that states were also invented in cities and harness evidence for this in Mesopotamian studies. In both cases I provide generic conclusions that briefly indicate examples from other parts of the world.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: city-states, Jane Jacobs, Çatalhöyük, Mesopotamia, territorial states, agriculture
Subjects: K900 Others in Architecture, Building and Planning
L700 Human and Social Geography
V300 History by topic
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Helen Pattison
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2012 15:13
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 19:15
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/6376

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