Civilisation before the State
27 January 2014
The Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation's Engelsberg Seminar is a forum
for promoting independent discussion of practical and spiritual matters of importance
to Swedish society and culture, and promotes Sweden's ongoing contribution to
international, interdisciplinary humanist debate.
The theme of the 2013 seminar was Civilisation and David gave a presentation on 'Civilisation before the State', giving an archaeological perspective on the topic of civilisation to an audience of prominent social scientists, historians, journalists, and politicians.
In the associated TV interview David explores issues such as: How egalitarian were early hunter-gatherers really? Does living in cities necessarily imply submission to some kind of top-down government? How can we identify forms of resistance to centralised government in the remote past? And why has the concept of 'civilisation' been so closely linked to the concept of 'the state'?