Portal:Civilizations

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The Civilizations Portal

The ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia were the oldest civilisation in the world, beginning in 6500 BCE.

A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society characterized by the development of a state, social stratification, urbanization, and symbolic systems of communication beyond natural spoken language (namely, a writing system).

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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