The development of a civilization

Overview The term civilization refers to complex societies, but the specific definition is contested. The advent of civilization depended on the ability of some agricultural settlements to consistently produce surplus food, which allowed some people to specialize in non-agricultural work, which in turn allowed for increased production, trade, population, and social stratification. The first civilizations appeared in locations where the geography was favorable to intensive agriculture.

The development of a civilization

Enjoy the Famous Daily The ingredients of civilization Many different elements must come together before a human community develops to the level of sophistication commonly referred to as civilization.

The first is the existence of settlements classifiable as towns or cities. This requires food production to be efficient enough for a large minority of the community to be engaged in more specialized activities - such as the creation of imposing buildings or works of art, the practice of skilled warfare, and above all the administration of a centralized bureaucracy capable of running the machinery of state.

Civilization requires at least a rudimentary civil service. In the organization of a civil service, a system of writing is an almost indispensable aid. This is not invariably the case because at least one civilization, that of the Incas in Peru, will thrive without writing.

But the development of writing greatly enhances civilization.

The development of a civilization

And with a script comes history. Our knowledge of prehistory derives from surviving objects - the evidence of archaeology. History, by contrast, is based on documents. These various interconnections mean that history, civilization and writing all begin at the same time.

That time is about BC. Great rivers are a crucial part of the story. The Sumerians settle in what is now southern Iraq, between the mouths of the Euphrates and the Tigris. Egypt develops in the long narrow strip of the Nile valley. Rivers offer two main advantages to a developing civilization.

They provide water to irrigate the fields, and they offer the easiest method of transport for a society without paved roads. Rivers will play an equally important role in two other early civilizations - those of the Indus and of northern China.

The Indus civilizationwith its two large cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, expands over a larger region than Egypt and Mesopotamia combined.

It will survive, in a remarkably consistent form, for about years. The bays and inlets of the rugged coastal regions of Greece, and the many small islands strung like pearls across this relatively sheltered sea, combine to make this an ideal area for trade and piracy among people whose levels of nautical skill make short hops a necessary precaution.

The Aegean civilization stands at the start of the very lively tradition of Mediterranean culture. It begins in the large island which is perfectly placed to guard the entrance to the Aegean - Crete. This vast eastern empire seems set apart from the rest of the world, fiercely proud of its own traditions, resisting foreign influences.

Its history begins in a characteristically independent manner. There are no identifiable precedents for the civilization of the Shang dynasty, which emerges in China in about BC.

Its superb bronze vessels seem to achieve an instant technological perfection. Its written texts introduce characters recognizably related to Chinese writing today.

This is a civilization which begins as it will continue - with confidence. Both these cultures develop large towns, centred on temples. Both are now famous for their sculpture. And each, in its own region, is at the start of a succession of civilizations leading directly to the two which are discovered and destroyed in the 16th century by the Spanish - the Aztecs in central America and the Incas in the Andes.

Some years later an energetic seafaring people, the Phoeniciansbecome extensive traders. From their base in Lebanon they establish colonies along the coast of Africa and even into the Atlantic. Their example, as Mediterranean imperialists, will be followed by the Greeks and then by the Romans.

AD - With the dominance of Greece and Rome in the west both successfully managing a transition from pagan to Christian empiresof China in the east, and of strongly individual cultures in central and south Americaeach successive civilization in any region tends at this time to be a variation on local traditions.

But sometimes there are upheavals which introduce an entirely new culture within already long-civilized parts of the world.

One such is Islam.Development of Civilization Civilizations expand through trade, conflict, and exploration. Usually, all three elements must be present for a civilization to grow and remain stable for a long period of time.

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The development of a civilization

Jun 02,  · Development of Ancient Civilizations Posted on June 2, by ACW In this article, we will discuss the concepts of civilization and culture to help us understand how the development of ancient civilizations took place throughout history.5/5(3).

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A civilization or civilisation (see English spelling differences) is any complex society characterized by urban development, social stratification imposed by a cultural elite, symbolic systems of communication (for example, writing systems), and a perceived separation from and .

Civilization requires at least a rudimentary civil service. In the organization of a civil service, a system of writing is an almost indispensable aid. This is not invariably the case because at least one civilization, that of the Incas in Peru, will thrive without writing.

Civilization - Wikipedia