THE 8 FEATURES OF CIVILISATION.
Map locating the Four River Valley Civilisations.
This consists of eight aspects of civilisation that historians use to distinguish between the oldest civilisations and what came before. Scholars measure how advanced a society is by examining the traits of the civilisation using these eight features.
As farmers settled in fertile river valleys, they began to grow surplus or extra food. This extra food increased the population of the settlements. In time, the settlements grew into cities, such as Ur in Sumer or Babylon in Mesopotamia.
Examples: (Modern day)
• Paris, London, Dublin, Rome, Lima, Los Angele & Beijing
Organised Central Governments:
As cities developed and expanded, the food supply and irrigation systems needed to be maintained. Governments, such as councils or religious leaders, began to oversee the business and existence of the cities.
• Cuba (Communism) ,Great Britain (Constitutional Monarchy),
Roman Empire (Emperor, Senate), Ireland (Democracy)
As civilizations became more complex, artisans and craftsmen were needed to maintain specific items and tasks. No longer could individuals do all the work. Now some concentrated on teaching, scribing, stonecutting, and so forth.
• Chef, Doctor, Teacher Engineer, Scribe, Warrior & Artist.
Religious leaders would conduct elaborate ceremonies to appease the gods (polytheism) and insure a bountiful harvest. Floods and droughts were blamed on the gods’ Abger so rituals were conducted in the temples.
• Christianity, Buddhism Judaism & Islam
As jobs became specialized so did the status and needs of certain individuals. The need for a knowledgeable and educated religious leader was more respected than an unskilled worker. Herders were needed and respected for the food, while masons were needed for building. The slave was on the lowest rung of the social ladder warriors and kings were on top.
Upper Class (Wealthy), Middle Class (Doing Okay) & Lower Class (Struggling to get by)
Records were needed to keep accounts on trade goods and food storage. Writing was needed because the information became too great. In addition, one needed to express more complex ideas such as "belief" and "social order" where pictures and words simply would not suffice.
• Pictogram, Hieroglyphics, Spanish,, Latin & Cuneiform.
Art and Architecture:
This expressed the beliefs and values of a civilization. Different styles were developed and copied by societies. Often the art was used to impress visitors and people about the beauty and power of a king or a community.
• Eiffel Tower, Pyramids, The Coliseum, The Great Wall of China & Cathedral of Notre Dame
The government would order these, although costly, to aid and benefit the community. Such things as a wall to protect from attack or a canal to aid in irrigation would help insure the survival of a people.
• Building Roads, Bridges, Water Treatment Plants, Sewer Systems.