Civilization is a social phenomenon that encompasses many aspects of human life. Among the most significant elements of civilization are cities, government, religion, art, and writing. Ancient civilizations grew out of the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, and their growth was due to trade. People bought goods to maintain their non-nomadic lifestyles and to obtain currency.
These societies varied widely from those of foragers 11,000 years ago to the city-dwelling Proto-Indo-Europeans of the steppe and the nonliterate Neolithic peoples of the Andes. However, in general, these civilizations had many similar traits. Their societies grew to include religious and craft specialists, soldiers, and political elites.
In addition to the development of cities, civilization also led to the development of complex institutions. With large populations, city-dwelling communities needed a government and system of law. In addition, religion became a formal institution. As a result, people’s lives changed. Humans developed specialized skills and created centralized systems for trade and commerce.
Some of the earliest human settlements were in river valleys, where the climate was hospitable for agriculture. Access to rivers was also essential for transportation, food, and trade. These early civilizations include the Nile valley in Ancient Egypt and the Huang He valley in China. The Aegean Sea and Central America were also home to early civilizations. These societies built cities, learned to use metals and pottery, domesticated animals, and developed complex social structures with a class system.
Until the 20th century, some civilizations went unrecognized. One such civilization was the African Kingdom of Zimbabwe, which had the Great Zimbabwe ruins constructed between 1100 and 1550. Other kingdoms in West Africa were ignored as they did not fit the definition of civilization. However, as more information has become available, many of these civilizations have been re-discovered and studied. This has shifted the definition of civilization and made it much more inclusive.
There is a large amount of artistic activity in these civilizations. These civilizations had painters and sculptors who crafted structures for worship, sacrifice, and burial. They also had artists and craftsmen who painted depictions of their rulers and gods. These artists are important for the development of civilizations.
The concept of a higher being is important because it enables people to share a common worldview. In addition, the concept of time links a society to the past and to the future. This concept also allows a civilization to advance its art and science. This allows the people to contemplate change from within. It is important to understand the history of a civilization before making predictions about the future.
A civilization’s culture is complex and intricate. It influences other cultures in the region. For example, the Chinese civilization influenced nearby civilizations. As a result, many civilizations have large cultural spheres. Therefore, a person’s broad cultural identity will be shaped by the civilization in which he or she lives.