What does it mean to be a village?


Longest lasting form of human civilization (millions of years vs thousands)

Rarely autonomous

–          Often depend on trade with other villages or contemporary economies

–          Have chosen the degree to which they interact with other groups

Level of ‘affluence’ depends on surrounding resources and partnership.

Term ‘hunter-gatherer’ is a misnomer, the daily lives offer far more complexity.

People have daily ‘roles’ but often less mechanical than larger settlements, fewer systems in place to ensure compatibility to role.  Also more ‘low risk’ than larger settlements and cities.

The village is a “machine that operates within a series of realities.”

–          Location in a specific climatic zone is important

–          Villages are never placed against the grain of the local ecology

–          Must straddle several different ‘zones’ of land fertility, economy, and life.

Villages have a tipping point where, once too large, they break into multiple villages rather than creating a larger settlement.

This is, by no means, meant to be a complete and conclusive list.


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