Portal:Civilizations

Introduction

Ancient Egypt provides a canonical example of an early culture considered a civilization

A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society characterized by urban development, social stratification, a form of government, and symbolic systems of communication (such as writing).

Civilizations are intimately associated with and often further defined by other socio-politico-economic characteristics, such as centralization, the domestication of both humans and other organisms, specialization of labour, culturally-ingrained ideologies of progress and supremacism, monumental architecture, taxation, societal dependence upon farming and expansionism.

Historically, "a civilization" has often been understood as a larger and "more advanced" culture, in implied contrast to smaller, supposedly primitive cultures. In this broad sense, a civilization contrasts with non-centralized tribal societies, including the cultures of nomadic pastoralists, Neolithic societies or hunter-gatherers, however sometimes it also contrasts with the cultures found within civilizations themselves. Civilizations are organized in densely-populated settlements divided into hierarchical social classes with a ruling elite and subordinate urban and rural populations, which engage in intensive agriculture, mining, small-scale manufacture and trade. Civilization concentrates power, extending human control over the rest of nature, including over other human beings. (Full article...)

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Selected civilizations

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