Portal:Civilizations

The Civilizations Portal

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

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

Civilizations are intimately associated with additional characteristics such as centralization, the domestication of plant and animal species (including humans), specialization of labour, culturally-ingrained ideologies of progress, 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 less advanced 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 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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