Cookie Policy

Our website uses cookies to understand content and feature usage to drive site improvements over time. To learn more, review our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Where and Why Did the First Cities and States Appear? (10:45)

Key Ideas

As this video progresses, key ideas will be introduced to invoke discussion.

Key Ideas

Think about the following questions as you watch the video

  1. 00:55 Why does David Christian claim that increasing complexity depends on agriculture?
  2. 02:00 What was the “secondary products revolution” and why was it so important to the spread of agriculture and the growth of cities and states?
  3. 03:34 What is an agrarian civilization?
  4. 03:50 Where did the first agrarian societies develop?
  5. 05:02 Why does David Christian say that "surpluses" are the key to cities?
  6. 05:30 Why does Christian argue that cities needed a "coordinating mechanism"?
  7. 07:22 What are the characteristics that all agrarian civilizations share?
  8. 08:05 Why does David Christian make the claim that writing accelerated collective learning? Do you agree with him?