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Civilization

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Civilization what defines civilization ? whose definition counts ? and what does civilization mean, anyway? – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Civilization


1
Civilization
  • what defines civilization ?
  • whose definition counts ?
  • and what does civilization mean, anyway?

2
Whose Definition?
  • 18th Century European
  • primitive vs. civilized
  • white vs. everyone else
  • beginnings of the concept of race

3
General characteristics
  • urbanization people living in cities
  • surplus agriculture more than you can eat now
  • metal technology not rocks
  • writing words in a row

4
A modern definition
  • Urban cities
  • Surplus agriculture stored food
  • Political/military system governments and armies
  • Social stratification differences in status
  • Economic specialization different jobs
  • Religion religious structures/persons
  • Communications oral or written records
  • Higher Culture art, literature, etc.

5
Earliest Civilizations
  • in the Near (Middle) East
  • three primary centers of origin and diffusion
  • Mesopotamia, Egypt, India

6
Primary Phase Civilizations
  • ca. 3000-2500 B.C. to about 1800-1500 B.C.
  • either disappeared or changed by 1500 B.C.
  • enjoyed contact with one another

7
Mesopotamia
  • centrally located Tigris-Euphrates River valley
  • oldest
  • chief beneficiary of interaction between the three

8
Mesopotamia The Land between the Rivers
  • Between the Rivers
  • Tigris and Euphrates
  • Contemporary Iraq, and a bit of Iran and Syria
  • Cultural continuum of fertile crescent

9
Other Centers
  • Egypt around the Nile River
  • Indus civilization around the Indus River
  • China

10
The Nile River
11
The Indus and its tributaries
12
Yangtze and The Yellow Rivers
13
Common Characteristics ??
  • water
  • water
  • water
  • water
  • water

14
Other Characteristics
  • opportunity to adapt the environment
  • suitable for domesticated plants and animals
  • relatively stable (a bit hot) climate

15
Other Characteristics, cont.
  • adjustments in the environment create surplus
    grain
  • surplus food allows the expansion of trade and
    commerce
  • deserts of the riverine cultures are short on
    resources

16
Primary Phase Cultures
  • have common characteristics
  • these define a primary phase culture
  • they are consistent, worldwide

17
No. 1 Agriculture
  • cereal crops, especially barley
  • bread and beer
  • herd animals cattle, sheep, goats
  • meat, milk, cheese
  • leather and natural wool for clothing

18
No. 2 Planned economies
  • require organized, mass labor (corvee)
  • contruction and repair of canals and irrigation
    ditches
  • community labor, by central authority
  • control of production and storage of grain
  • dispersion of foodstuffs among the population
  • Redistributive economy

19
No. 3 Theocracies
  • mobilized and directed by a ruling class of
    priests, who control the society by blessings
    and by threats
  • the god(s) talks to us...not you! If you dont
    do what we tell you to do, and if you dont give
    us all your stuff, horrible things will happen to
    you!!
  • theocracy a god-ruled state

20
Theocracies, cont
  • priests function as an organized central
    government, as earthly representatives of the god
  • the king is regarded as a god or as a gods agent
  • an earthly representative of the god

21
Theocracies, cont
  • palace and temple (Church and State) are
    combined
  • power is derived from an unchallengable, higher
    reality...unquestionable authority
  • the gods will must be done for the community to
    survive
  • priestly class holds unlimited power

22
No. 4 Social Classes
  • priestly class is part of the beginning of social
    differentitation
  • that is, class stucture
  • class structure based on specialization of labor
  • generated class differences

23
Class structure
  • priests (We talk to god, you dont.)
  • aristocrats/warriors (We have weapons, you
    dont.)
  • common people- workers
  • slaves

24
No. 5 Industury
  • pottery, textiles, beer, woodworking, and so
    forth
  • production of luxuries (Things You Dont Really
    Need)
  • development and improvement of metal technology
  • at this stage BRONZE

25
No. 6 Architecture
  • monumental architecture
  • pyramids, ziggurats, big cities
  • hugh temples and associated structures
  • to fill the needs of a god-oriented state
  • under the control of the priestly class

26
No. 7 Writing
  • perhaps the most important invention EVER
  • record keeping, literature
  • land tenure
  • religious documents
  • political and religious propaganda

27
No. 8 Organization of Knowledge
  • learning becomes cumulative, not
    start-from-scratch
  • perpetuates the level of achivement
  • scribes and schools
  • medicine, astronomy, calendars, mathematics,
    divination

28
The Information Age
  • This is the beginning of the Information Age
  • Whoever controls the information can make whoever
    produces
  • worship like they want, tell you which gods are
    real and which arent, and make you suffer or die
    if you object
  • work like they want, and tell you what system is
    best, and then make you pay them your money and
    thank them for the privilege
  • And make you go where they want, kill who they
    want for the stuff those people have, and tell
    you Its all for you! I am nothing but your
    servant!! And Gods servant, too, of course!!

29
Books to read
  • Robert J. Wenke. Patterns in Prehistory
    Humankinds First Three Million Years
  • Charles Keith Maisels. The Emergence of
    Civilization From Hunting and Gathering to
    Agriculture, Cities, and the State in the Near
    East
  • The Cambridge Ancient History Prolegomena and
    Prehistory
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