A Premodern Settlement System Research

The task is to study a premodern[2] settlement system of a whole political-military network [3] composed of
interacting polities. On April 26 please submit a word document with your name, and name and location the
main premodern settlement that will be the focus of your study of a settlement system and the time period you
will study. Also include full citations for at least three sources of information about your focal settlement and the
region in which it is located.
A political/military network (PMN) is a network of polities that are allying and making war on one another, like
the modern international system or earlier regional PMNs composed of chiefdoms, states or empires. PMNs
have settlement systems composed of cities, towns, villages and hamlets and may be in interaction with
nomadic peoples who live in temporary camps. Pick a single focal settlement (for example a specific Chumash
village before the Europeans arrived in Southern California, or Carthage from 300 to 50 BCE). Describe the
nature of the polity[i] within which your focal settlement is located, and the relations that that polity has with
other polities. Use the idea of nested interaction networks in Chase-Dunn and Hall (and discuss in lecture) to
try to estimate how far the bulk goods, prestige goods, political-military networks and information network
extend away from your focal settlement. For example, what is the most distant settlement from which the focal
settlement occasionally gets food (etc.)? These are the systemic spatial boundaries of the world-system of
which your focal settlement is a part. Also study the relations that the humans living in your focal settlement
have with nature: how they get their food, raw materials, fuel, and water? And study the transportation
networks that link your focal settlement to other settlements. Use the idea of a settlement size distribution to
examine the relative population sizes of the settlements that are linked together in your settlement system.
Examine and discuss whether the world-system you are studying has core/periphery differentiation or
core/periphery hierarchy in its relationships among polities. Also use other ideas and readings from the course
in your consideration of this settlement system.
A list of datasets on city population sizes is on the course Ilearn site under Course Materials: Data Sets. David
Wilkinson’s maps of cities and their civilization may also be helpful. These are at
Tell the story of the settlement system of which your focal settlement is a part and suggest explanations for the
patterns that you find. The text of your paper should be no longer than 10 typed pages of text. (about 2500
words). The bibliography, pictures and maps can be on additional pages. Include a complete bibliography of
your sources.

Sample Solution