The Getty Center
Date: Saturday, December 2, 2017
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Museum Lecture Hall
Admission: Free; ticket required. Call (310) 440-7300 or use the "Get Tickets" button below. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Parking fee: $15; $10 after 3:00 p.m.
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Many scholars consider that early states were integrated by political or religious leaders and were stable until something catastrophic happened, usually climate change or invasion, causing their collapses. New research, however, shows that intra-community struggle was a persistent theme of ancient urban life. Rulers who attempted to "simplify" their societies by instituting mechanisms of control did not usher in successful integration, but rather laid the conditions for resistance and societal disintegration. Anthropologist and scholar of the ancient Near East Norman Yoffee takes a closer look at archaeological and historical evidence for the impact of rapid urbanization and its consequences.

About Norman Yoffee
Norman Yoffee is professor emeritus in the departments of Anthropology and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan, and Senior Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Ancient World at New York University. His most recent academic posting was Mercator Fellow in 2016-17 in the Universities of Bonn and Cologne, Germany. He is an Assyriologist, chiefly studying law and society in the Old Babylonian period, ca. 2000-1600 B.C. When he lifts his eyes from cuneiform tablets, he also studies the evolution (rise and collapse) of the earliest cities and states globally. His principal publications include Early Cities in Comparative Perspective (editor, vol. 3 of the Cambridge World History, 2015); Questioning Collapse: Human Resilience, Ecological Vulnerability, and the Aftermath of Empire (co-editor, 2010); Myths of the Archaic State: Evolution of the Earliest Cities, States and Civilizations (author, 2005), and The Collapse of Ancient States and Civilizations (co-editor, 1988). He is also senior editor of the Cambridge World Archaeology series in which more than 30 volumes have been published.

Planning your visit
The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center is open Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. The Museum Lecture Hall opens at 3:30 p.m., and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Parking is $15, and $10 after 3:00 p.m. The Café is open from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Additional information to help plan your visit is available here.


How to Get Here
The Getty Center is located at 1200 Getty Center Drive in Los Angeles, California, approximately 12 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for maps and driving directions.