Re: Curse of Akkad - What happened to Sumer

9 Aug 1996 01:33:12 GMT

Timo Niroma ( wrote:
: In article <4uau2u$>, (HARRY R. ERWIN) says:
: >
: >Prior to the development of modern medicine, urban centers had higher
: >death rates than birth rates (among other sources, Trout Rader, 1971,
: >Economics of Feudalism). To maintain an urban center, there had to be
: >immigration of population from the countryside. This was generally (about
: >90% of the time) maintained by elite policies at a rate that was
: >unsustainable in the long term (Hodges and Whitehouse, 1983, Mohammed,
: >Charlemagne and the Origins of Europe). This usually led to urban center
: >collapse. See my paper (H R Erwin, 1990/1996, "The Dynamics of Peer
: >Polities," chapter 3 in van der Leeuw, S E, 1996, Time, Process, and
: >Structured Transformation, Routledge, One World Archaeology Series,
: >originally presented at the Cambridge Conference on Dynamic Modelling and
: >Human Systems, December 10-13, 1990).
: >

: That is certainly true as far as we discuss the medieval Europe and probably for all
: urban centers after AD500 until about 100 years ago and somewhere even later, but I
: have not found any evidence of this phenomenon in earlier societies.

The evidence is well-documented, but mostly in the technical literature.

Harry Erwin, Internet:, Web Page:
49 year old PhD student in computational neuroscience ("how bats do it" 8)
and lecturer for CS 211 (data structures and advanced C++)