Civilization: Which Aspects Define

1491 WordsApr 27, 20096 Pages
Alex Hummel World Civilization 1 Midterm Paper Civilization is a word that cannot be used too loosely. How then, is civilization defined? It is difficult to define in one word or phrase because a complex society or “civilization” depends on many different aspects. There are characteristics of a civilization that are more essential than others, some of which may be more important to one group than to another. However, a definition for civilization can be narrowed down to a few fundamental aspects that are necessary for one to exist. For a complex society to exist, it must have means to provide for a growing population. Acquiring resources is vital for a civilization to flourish. Next, the earliest civilizations all seemed to…show more content…
Kings considered themselves as gods and took the position to create justice and order. As stated earlier, writing may not be essential for civilization but it defiantly gives us evidence of a civilization by providing a written record. Egypt too created and independent writing system called hieroglyphics. It is similar to Mesopotamian cuneiform but it is unique enough to be considered independent. Some scholars believe that hieroglyphics may even predate cuneiform. Egypt and Mesopotamia possess similar characteristics for civilization and it is amazing how different the two cultures are. To contrast Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations, we take a look at West Africa and the Niger River Valley. The Niger River Valley may have become civilized much later than Mesopotamia and Egypt. Because of this the first cities of West Africa were thought to be trade centers. Archeologists once thought that trade had originally brought cities to West Africa and outsiders had introduced city building. However, upon further investigation, this viewpoint is challenged. Technology was much more advanced by the time African cities were constructed. Iron smelting had been developed and introduced to the people of the region. The Bantu people of lower Niger had begun giving up nomadic herding and are responsible for spreading their knowledge of agriculture to the tip of South Africa. It appears that the Bantu people had not built cities but someone must
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