What is a Civilization?
A civilization is a complex way of life that developed as people began to live together in cities. Historians have identified six things that are considered evidence of civilization: cities, government, religion, social structure, writing and art. The first civilizations grew in river valleys, where they had abundant food from farming and could support large populations. People built things that everyone could use and developed religions to explain the forces of nature that shaped their lives. They also created governments to regulate their activities, defend them against attack and ensure a smooth relationship between different groups.
Early human fossils and archaeological remains are the best clues about how people lived in the past. The size and shape of bones, and marks on them made by muscles, tell scientists how the body changed over time.
Scientists use a variety of techniques to find out more about early humans and their environment. They look at fossilized teeth and bones, for example, to learn what they ate, how they moved around, what they used to carry their tools and the shape of their brains. They also study artifacts such as stone tools, beads, pots and jewelry, to understand what people made and why.
The earliest cities were founded by farmers who wanted to produce more food than they could grow themselves. Cities were a good place to live, as they offered protection and a chance to trade for things that they didn’t have. The need for defense led to the development of government, which organized armies and made laws to control behavior and allow for trade. People at the dawn of civilization also created religions to help them cope with the problems and stresses of everyday life.
Writing systems developed as civilizations grew bigger and more populated, making it easier to keep track of taxes, laws, trading agreements and the storage of grain. Ancient people were polytheistic (believing in many gods) and had temples, where priests performed rituals to keep their gods happy and their crops plentiful. They also invented cuneiform, a wedge-shaped system of writing that became the basis for modern languages such as Egyptian hieroglyphs and the alphabet we still use today.
Civilization games are a fun and addictive way to explore the history of the world and see how much you can achieve. When playing a new game, try starting on a small map, so that you can get to grips with the diplomacy and combat more quickly. Then ramp things up when you are comfortable. This will help you become a master of the game and win the highest ratings. Alternatively, you can play on the hardest difficulty, to test your mettle and see how far you can go. But always remember that long-term progress is more important than short-term glory. Good luck!