Civilization


The ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia were the oldest civilisation in the world, beginning about 4000 BCE.
Ancient Egypt provides an example of an early culture considered a civilization.[1]

A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society characterized by the development of the state, social stratification, urbanization, and symbolic systems of communication beyond natural spoken language (namely, a writing system).[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]

Civilizations are additionally characterized by specialization of labour, agriculture, architecture, infrastructure, technological advancement, taxation, and regulation.[3][4][5][7][8][9]

Historically, a civilization has often been understood as a larger and "more advanced" culture, in implied contrast to smaller, supposedly less advanced cultures.[2][4][5][10] In this broad sense, a civilization contrasts with non-centralized tribal societies, including the cultures of nomadic pastoralists, Neolithic societies or hunter-gatherers; however, sometimes it also contrasts with the cultures found within civilizations themselves. Civilizations are organized densely-populated settlements divided into hierarchical social classes with a ruling elite and subordinate urban and rural populations, which engage in intensive agriculture, mining, small-scale manufacture and trade. Civilization concentrates power, extending human control over the rest of nature, including over other human beings.[11]

Civilization, as its etymology suggests, is a concept originally associated with towns and cities. The earliest emergence of civilizations is generally connected with the final stages of the Neolithic Revolution in West Asia, culminating in the relatively rapid process of urban revolution and state formation, a political development associated with the appearance of a governing elite.

  1. ^ "Chronology". Digital Egypt for Universities. University College London. 2000. Archived from the original on 16 March 2008.
  2. ^ a b Adams, Robert McCormick (1966). The Evolution of Urban Society. Transaction Publishers. p. 13. ISBN 9780202365947. Archived from the original on 30 December 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b Haviland, William; et al. (2013). Cultural Anthropology: The Human Challenge. Cengage Learning. p. 250. ISBN 978-1285675305. Archived from the original on 13 July 2019. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Wright, Ronald (2004). A Short History anthropological. ISBN 9780887847066.
  5. ^ a b c Llobera, Josep (2003). An Invitation to Anthropology. Berghahn Books. pp. 136–137. ISBN 9781571815972. Archived from the original on 30 December 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  6. ^ Fernández-Armesto, Felipe (2001). Civilizations: Culture, Ambition, and the Transformation of Nature. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9780743216500. Archived from the original on 1 April 2021. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  7. ^ a b Boyden, Stephen Vickers (2004). The Biology of Civilisation. UNSW Press. pp. 7–8. ISBN 9780868407661. Archived from the original on 30 December 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  8. ^ a b Solms-Laubach, Franz (2007). Nietzsche and Early German and Austrian Sociology. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 115, 117, and 212. ISBN 9783110181098. Archived from the original on 30 December 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  9. ^ a b AbdelRahim, Layla (2015). Children's literature, domestication and social foundation : narratives of civilization and wilderness. New York. p. 8. ISBN 9780415661102. OCLC 897810261.
  10. ^ Bolesti, Maria (2013). Barbarism and Its Discontents. Stanford University Press. ISBN 9780804785372. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  11. ^ Mann, Michael (1986). The Sources of Social Power. Vol. 1. Cambridge University Press. pp. 34–41.

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