A civilization is a group of people who share a complex way of life. This way of life includes urban settlements, shared methods of communication, administrative infrastructure and division of labor.
When the human species first began to develop urban settlements, they learned how to replicate Nature’s methods of crop production, based on careful observation. This allowed them to learn about the relationship between crops, soil types, rain, sunlight, temperature and season changes. This led to the development of sophisticated cognitive skills for planning, organization and the timely execution of complex sequences of activities.
Eventually, the population of cities increased so that they needed to organize a government to control their resources and make laws for their citizens. The first governments, often led by monarchs (kings or queens who rule a kingdom), protected their people from robbers and organized armies to fight in wars against other cities.
As civilizations developed, they also started to build temples and to write about the gods and beliefs that governed their lives. These structures became a place where the people could express their feelings, and they were also where they could communicate with the gods.
Early civilizations developed religions to explain how the world worked and to help the people understand their place in it. Priests – people who performed religion ceremonies for the society and prayed to the gods – were very important in early civilizations.
People also became able to explore art and design buildings and other objects. Some of these people were able to become potters, weavers and other craftspeople who were ranked in society according to their skill.
These artisans made things that were useful for the society, and these items were sold to others in trade. This created a trade of goods, and it also helped to spread the culture amongst the different communities within the civilization.
Another characteristic of civilizations is that they developed writing, which was a way to maintain business agreements with other groups in the society. It also helped to organize their thoughts and ideas into a form that was easily readable and digestible.
Other characteristics of civilizations include that they had a system of government that centralized their authority, and they had a division of labour that ensured the availability of goods to everyone. This helped to keep the population of a civilization safe from robbers and other people who might want to harm them, and it also kept the economy moving smoothly.
It is important to note that some civilizations did not have all of these qualities, but they are still considered to be civilized. For example, the Incan Empire was a civilization that had many of these characteristics, but they were not unified or had a written language.
The reason that these five characteristics are so important to the study of civilization is because they provide a framework to help people think about how a city can turn into a civilization. The six characteristics that we list here, however, are only a short list of the features that make up a civilization. The characteristics of a civilization will be constantly changing, and new developments may emerge as well.