13: Ubaid society & Mesopotamia’s first temples, 6500-4200 BCE (Thersites vs Odysseus)

The Drumbeat Forever After

04-12-2021 • 52 mins

(Formerly episode 16, partially re-recorded as of June 30, 2022)

Guest: Kelten

First, one of the common soldiers at Troy tells Agamemnon what everyone else is thinking and Odysseus threatens to smack him upside the head.

Then, we tour Tell Abada (on the far northeastern edge of the Ubaid world), with interesting evidence of political centralization around 5000 BCE.

Then, we talk about increasing social & economic complexity in the late 4000s & early 3000s BCE. What makes cereals more conducive to state formation than other Neolithic crops (like lentils)?

Then, we look at the administrative centers in Ubaid towns like Eridu, both as socio-political institutions and as architectural monuments. At this point, they're in the process of transforming from the domestic houses of prominent families to the sprawling temple bureaucracies which dominate the early history of Mesopotamia.

Then, we visit one of the other most famous cities in Mesopotamia. Unug, alias Uruk, alias Erech, alias Warka, home to Gilgamesh and Inanna and the biblical Nimrod, will be the world's largest city throughout the late 4th millennium BCE, during which time humanity will invent bronze, the state, and the written word.

Then, we take one last look at Ubaid society. How does the concept of chiefdom apply to the Ubaid alluvium?

Finally, Odysseus & Thersites resolve their dispute like civilized men!

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Works cited