- A small group with less than 100 people.
- They move seasonally to explot wild food resources.
- Baned members are usually kinsfolk (related).
- They have seasonal camps and small more specialised site e.g. butchery sites and site where tools are made.
- Most Paleolithic societies were organised in bands.
- They were self sufficient groups.
- It tends to be an egalitarian society.
- If there were leaders it would be based on those that had experience or personal qualities, but they may have been temporary.
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- They are larger than bands but are rarely larger than a few thousand people.
- They tended to live on cultivated plants and domesticated animals-farmers.
- They tended to be settled farmers but sometimes they were pastoralist herders with a mobile economy based on intensive exploiation of livestock.
- They were multi-community societies, with individual communities ties together by kinship.
- Some may have officials or a seat of government but may lacked the economic base to have power.
- They lived in settled agricultural homesteads or villages.
- There may have been a disperse settlement pattern with isolated, permanent houses or a nucleated pattern with permanent villages.
- There may have been agglomerate structures which are clusters of buildings grouped together.
- There may be activity leaders who are recognised as having skill and authority in particular areas.
- e.g. Catalhoyuk.
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- These can number from 5,000 people up to about 20,000 people.
- They tended to be ranking due to differences in social status.
- Different lineages are graded on a scale of prestige.
- They are governed by a chief.
- There tends to be local specialisation in craft products.
- It is thought that surpluses in food are given to the chief.
- There tends to be a center of power with temples, residents of the chief and places for craft specialists.
- There may be a central focus on a permanent ritual and ceremonial center e.g. Stonehenge.
- The very rich graves goods then to be in burials of deceased cheifs.
- E.g. Iron Age Britain
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- The population tends to be over 20,000 people.
- The ruler (who could be a King or Queen) has the authority to establish laws and enforce them by a standing army.
- Society is stratified into different classes of people.
- The functions of the ruler are often sperated from those of the priest.
- The society may be viewed as a territory owned by the ruling class.
- There may be taxes.
- There could be a beurocratic administration of officials to collect revenue and distribute it to the government, army and craft specialists.
- Cities tend to play a prominant part with a large population center.
- There tends to be a pronounced settlement hierarchy, usually with a capital city as well as subsidary or regional centers as well as local villages.
- E.g. Roman Empire, Mesoamerica.
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