What is a Civilization?
A civilization is a group of people who live in an organized community. They may share a language, religion and art. Civilization is usually characterized by cities, complex systems of government and a division of labor.
The first civilizations appeared in Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China, Central and South America. They grew out of the Neolithic Revolution, when crops and animal domestication were introduced into the world.
During this time, a growing population required the establishment of cities and their accompanying systems of government. These systems would keep order in cities and protect citizens from others who might try to do them harm. They also provided for a smooth flow of information and interaction between individuals and groups.
Early civilizations were unified by religion, a set of beliefs and practices about the world. As a result, people who did not know each other could find common ground and build mutual trust and respect.
They were also able to learn how to write and use technology, such as a wheel, to carry out tasks. A civilization may also have mastered the arts, including woven baskets, jewelry and painting or sculpture.
There are many different ways to define civilization, but the modern definition, which came into vogue in the 18th century, is that it is a group of people who have developed advanced political, economic and social institutions.
The word comes from the Latin adjective civilis, which means “citizen.” It can be used to refer to a specific region or people (European civilization), or to a period of time.
A civilization begins when a group of people, who previously relied on hunter-gathering and primitive ways of living, become enlightened. This happens when they organize themselves and the resources they have in a way that helps them to be more productive.
As a result, they have more time to develop their knowledge and skills. The result is that they can build homes, grow food, build roads and aqueducts and spread their culture to other parts of the world.
These advances, together with the introduction of a written alphabet and standards of measurement, are believed to have brought about civilization. They have given rise to philosophy, religion, the arts and science.
In most cases, civilization was the result of a long, slow process of learning how to better mimic Nature’s processes. It was necessary for humans to closely observe their environment, especially rain, temperature, sunlight and the changing seasons. This led to the development of sophisticated cognitive skills for planning, organization, specialization of function and timely execution of complicated sequences of activities.
This knowledge was then transferred to other areas, and it became important to be able to communicate. The development of writing and the use of technology, such as a wheel to add to carts, made it possible for these specialized craftsmen to communicate with other civilizations.
Another aspect of civilization is the development of a system of money. This is a way to record what people have and to exchange it for other goods and services.