This quarter we are looking at what actually makes up a city. I’ve had the students read two articles (on top of their normal reading): Banning, E. B, “Housing Neolithic Farmers,” Near Eastern Archaeology, Vol. 66, No. 1/2, House and Home in the Southern
Levant (Mar. - Jun., 2003), pp. 4-21, and Childe, V. Gordon, “The Urban Revolution,” The Town Planning Review, Vol. 21, No. 1 (Apr., 1950), pp. 3-17. The
Childe article is particularly good in describing what makes up a civilization. The Banning article
is pretty fascinating in that it discusses how the act of living in a village for the first time affected people psychologically. It also is a great article for providing architectural plans for early Neolithic houses. I’m hoping the students see the difference between the Neolithic (when farming first occurs) and Civilization. But back to a city: what is the difference between a Neolithic village and a city? It is more than just a house. I don’t want to go into all the details here, but there are buildings that take large numbers of people to build: temples, infrastructure like roads, bridges, governmental buildings like palaces and libraries, buildings for entertainment (like the Theater at Delphi shown above), storage for large amounts of food and so on. We’ll be concentrating quite a bit on the archaeological plans for these cities.