一、 人类历史上的第一个城市乌鲁克兴起。

  Some of the earliest human civilizations arose in southern Mesopotamia, in what is now southern Iraq, in the fourth millennium B.C.E. In the second half of that millennium, in the south around the city of Uruk, there was an enormous escalation in the area occupied by permanent settlements. A large part of that increase took place in Uruk itself, which became a real urban center surrounded by a set of secondary settlements. While population estimates are notoriously unreliable, scholars assume that Uruk inhabitants were able to support themselves from the agricultural production of the field surrounding the city, which could be reached with a daily commute. But Uruk’s dominant size in the entire region, far surpassing that of other settlements, indicates that it was a regional center and a true city. Indeed, it was the first city in human history.一些人类最早的文明崛起于公元前四千年的米索达比亚的南部(如今的伊拉克南部)。在公元前四千年的后半期,在乌鲁克城的南部附近被永久定居点占据的区域急剧的增加, 大部分的增长都发生在乌鲁克城内,使其成为了一个真正的城市中心并被一些次要的定居点包围着。虽然众所周知人口估计数是不可靠的,学者们认为乌鲁克居民每天往返城市和城市周边的田地,可以通过周边田地的农业生产来养活自己。但是乌鲁克在整个区域拥有压倒性的面积优势,远远超过了其他的定居点,这说明它是这个地区的中心,是一个真正的城市。事实上,它是人类历史上的第一个城市。

  二、 乌鲁克中专门从事非农业的工作的人及其考古证据

  The vast majority of its population remained active in agriculture, even those people living within the city itself. But a small segment of the urban society started to specialize in nonagricultural tasks as a result of the city’s role as a regional center. Within the productive sector, there was a growth of a variety of specialist craftspeople. Early in the Uruk period, the use of undecorated utilitarian pottery was probably the result of specialized mass production. In an early fourth-millennium level of the Eanna archaeological site at Uruk, a pottery style appears that is most characteristic of this process, the so-called beveled-rim bowl. It is a rather shallow bowl that was crudely made in a mold; hence, in only a limited number of standard sizes. For some unknown reason, many were discarded, often still intact, and thousands have been found all over the Near East. The beveled-rim bowl is one of the most telling diagnostic finds for identifying an Uruk-period site. Of importance is the fact that it was produced rapidly in large amounts, most likely by specialists in a central location.乌鲁克的绝大部分的人口甚至包括住在城市里面的人仍然从事农业活动。但是由于这个城市是地区的中心,城市社会中的小部分人开始专门从事非农业的工作。在生产部门内部,专业工匠的类型有了增加。在乌鲁克时期早期,未装饰的实用陶器的使用可能就是大量专业化生产的结果。在公元前四千年早期的乌鲁克的考古遗址Eanna中,有一种陶器风格出现了,它是这个时期的最大特点,这种陶器被叫做“斜面边碗”。这种在模具中粗糙的制作而成的碗相当的浅,因此只有有限的几种尺寸。 由于一些未知的原因,很多碗都被丢弃,通常这些碗都是完整的,在近东已近发现了数千只。斜面边碗是鉴别是否属于乌鲁克时期遗址的最具标志性的发现之一。一个重要的事实是斜面边碗是被大规模生产出来的,极有可能是专业工匠在集中在一个区域进行生产。


  A variety of documentation indicates that other goods, once made by a family member as one of many duties, were later made by skilled artisans. Certain images depict groups of people, most likely women, involved in weaving textiles, an activity we know from later third-millennium texts to have been vital in the economy and to have been centrally administered. Also, a specialized metal-producing workshop may have been excavated in a small area at Uruk. It contained a number of channels lined by a sequence of holes, about 50 centimeters deep, all showing burn marks and filled with ashes. This has been interpreted as the remains of a workshop where molten metal was scooped up from the channel and poured into molds in the holes. Some type of mass production by specialists was involved here.各种文件材料说明,曾经作为家庭义务而制作的其他商品后来被有技术的工匠的生产替代。一些图片描绘了数群人,很有可能是女人,在从事于纺织的活动,从公元前三世纪的资料中我们得知这一活在经济中起着重要的作用并且在管理中处于中心的地位。同样,一个专门生产金属的作坊在乌鲁克被挖掘出来,它包含许多水渠,一系列洞穴成线状排列在水渠边。这些洞大约有50厘米深,都有燃烧的痕迹,里面填满了灰烬。这些遗迹被解释为作坊的遗迹,融化的金属从水渠中舀出来倒入洞中的模具,专业工匠的大规模生产被用到了这里

  四、 乌鲁克的滚筒印章及其艺术品

  Objects themselves suggest that they were the work of skilled professionals. In the late Uruk period (3500-3100 B.C.E.), there first appeared a type of object that remained characteristic for Mesopotamia throughout its entire history: the cylinder seal. This was a small cylinder, usually no more than 3 centimeters high and 2 centimeters in diameter, of shell, bone, faience ( a glassy type of stoneware), or various types of stones, on which a scene was carved into the surface. When rolled over a soft material---primarily the clay of bullae (round seals), tablets, or clay lumps attached to boxes, jars, or door bolts---the scene would appear in relief, easily legible. The technological knowledge needed to carve it was far superior to that for stamp seals, which had happened in the early Neolithic period (approximately 10,000-5000 B.C.E.). From the first appearance of cylinder seals, the carved scenes could be highly elaborate and refined, indicating the work of specialist stone-cutters. Similarly, the late Uruk period shows the first monumental art, relief, and statuary in the round, made with a degree of mastery that only a professional could have produced.这些物品说明这些是熟练的专业人员的作品。在后乌鲁克时期(公元前3500—3100年),第一次出现了一种在整个美索不达米亚历史时期都是很有特色的物品—滚筒印章。它是个小的圆筒,通常不到3厘米长,直径2厘米,材料为贝壳,骨头,彩陶(一种玻璃质的粗陶器)或是各种石头,在其表面刻着一个场景。当滚筒印章滚过柔软的材料(主要是被系在箱子、罐子或是门栓上的圆玺黏土,石碑,粘土板)时,这个场景就会简单清晰的以浮雕的形式出现在上面了。雕刻滚筒印章所需的技术知识远高于雕刻在新石器时代早期(大约公元前1万 到5千年)出现的图章封印的技术知识。首次出现的滚筒印章,雕刻的场景图像非常的细巧精致,显示出这是专业的石头雕刻者的作品。同样的,在乌鲁克时期晚期出现的第一个石碑艺术品,浮雕,和圆形雕塑艺术,只有专业人士用较高程度的熟练技术才能制作出来。