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Mobile Communities and the Transition to Sedentism - 15th to 3rd millennium BCE

Lecture 1 in a lecture series by Visiting Professor Roland Fletcher (University of Sydney), followed by the first workshop in the series.

Info about event


Tuesday 11 June 2019,  at 13:00 - 15:00


Centre for Urban Network Evolutions (UrbNet) Aarhus University, Moesgård Allé 20, 8270 Højbjerg, Denmark (Building 4230-232).

Roland Fletcher will give a lecture series, containing three lectures and three discussion-seminars during his stay at UrbNet.

Title of lecture series: Material Behaviour and the Dynamics of Settlement Trajectories from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Present.

- Lecture 1 (11 June 2019): Mobile Communities and the Transition to Sedentism - 15th to 3rd millennium BCE.

- Lecture 2 (18 June 2019): The Transition to Agrarian Urbanism - 4th millennium BCE to 1st millennium CE.

- Lecture 3 (25 June 2019): The Transition to Industrial Urbanism - 2nd millennium CE


Mobile Communities and the Transition to Sedentism - 15th to 3rd millennium BCE

The transition to sedentism is one of the great debated issues of the human past. Opinions about that change are prone both to ambiguity and to assumptions of the self-evident. The phenomenon of sedentism is poorly defined and also consider to be obvious and familiar. Redefining the phenomenon is necessary because mobility is now known to be materially far more robust than was assumed, the settlements of mobile communities are far larger and the community organisations of which they are capable are much more elaborate. There can even be mobile cities as part of a general trajectory towards low-density, dispersed settlement patterns. In contrast to conventional conceptual agendas these “disruptive” conditions can be coherently integrated into the dynamics of the Interaction-Communication matrix to generate a material perspective on the formation of sedentary communities. This approach provides a new perspective on the character and growth of mobile communities, a new view on the specification of sedentism, a new process for its formation and a global perspective which allows for regionally unique, diverse kinds of social agency, while concurrently offering a consistent global perspective on this fundamental phenomenon.