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 hierarchicalsocial 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...)
The concept of the "middle power" dates back to the origins of the European state system. In the late 16th century, Italian political thinker Giovanni Botero divided the world into three types of states: grandissime (empires), mezano (middle powers), and piccioli (small powers). According to Botero, a mezano or middle power "has sufficient strength and authority to stand on its own without the need of help from others." (Full article...)
Ecological civilization is the hypothetical concept that describes the alleged final goal of social and environmental reform within a given society. It implies that the changes required in response to global climate disruption and social injustices are so extensive as to require another form of human civilization, one based on ecological principles. Broadly construed, ecological civilization involves a synthesis of economic, educational, political, agricultural, and other societal reforms toward sustainability.
Although the term was first coined in the 1980s, it did not see widespread use until 2007, when “ecological civilization” became an explicit goal of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In April 2014, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the International Ecological Safety Collaborative Organization founded a sub-committee on ecological civilization. Proponents of ecological civilization agree with Pope Francis who writes, "We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature." As such, ecological civilization emphasizes the need for major environmental and social reforms that are both long-term and systemic in orientation. (Full article...)
A great power is a sovereign state that is recognized as having the ability and expertise to exert its influence on a global scale. Great powers characteristically possess military and economic strength, as well as diplomatic and soft power influence, which may cause middle or small powers to consider the great powers' opinions before taking actions of their own. International relations theorists have posited that great power status can be characterized into power capabilities, spatial aspects, and status dimensions.
The planetary phase of civilization is a term created by the Global Scenario Group (GSG) to describe the contemporary era in which increasing global interdependence and risks are binding the world into a unitary socio-ecological system. Characteristics of this phase include economic globalization, biospheric destabilization, mass migration, new global institutions, the Internet, new forms of transboundary conflict, and shifts in culture and consciousness. (Full article...)
Energy consumption in three types of civilization as defined by Sagan's extended Kardashev scale
The scale is hypothetical, and regards energy consumption on a cosmic scale. Various extensions of the scale have since been proposed, including a wider range of power levels (types 0, IV to VI) and the use of metrics other than pure power (e.g., computational growth). (Full article...)
A planetary or a Type I civilization is a civilization that would be global, having a tolerant worldwide society that functions through science and reason, and is capable of consuming all of the incoming energy from its neighboring star, or about 1017 watts for Earth.
Among the various cradles of civilization is Ancient Egypt. Pictured are the Giza Pyramids.
A cradle of civilization is a location and a culture where civilization was created by mankind independent of other civilizations in other locations. The formation of urban settlements (cities) is the primary characteristic of a society that can be characterized as "civilized". Other characteristics of civilization include a sedentary non-nomadic population, monumental architecture, the existence of social classes and inequality, and the creation of a writing system for communication. The transition from simpler societies to the complex society of a civilization is gradual.
Scholars generally acknowledge six cradles of civilization. Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Ancient India, and Ancient China are believed to be the earliest in the Old World. Cradles of civilization in the New World are the Caral-Supe civilization of coastal Peru and the Olmec civilization of Mexico. All of the cradles of civilization depended upon agriculture for subsistence (except possibly Caral-Supe which may have depended initially on marine resources). All depended upon farmers producing an agricultural surplus to support the centralized government, political leaders, priests, and public works of the urban centers of the civilization. (Full article...)
A superpower is a state with a dominant position characterized by its extensive ability to exert influence or project power on a global scale. This is done through the combined means of economic, military, technological, political and cultural strength as well as diplomatic and soft power influence. Traditionally, superpowers are preeminent among the great powers. While a great power state is capable of exerting its influence globally, superpowers are states so influential that no significant action can be taken by the global community without first considering the positions of the superpowers on the issue.
The civilization was rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century through the work of British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans. The name "Minoan" derives from the mythical King Minos and was coined by Evans, who identified the site at Knossos with the labyrinth of the Minotaur. The Minoan civilization has been described as the earliest of its kind in Europe, and historian Will Durant called the Minoans "the first link in the European chain". (Full article...)
The Parthenon, a temple dedicated to Athena, located on the Acropolis in Athens, is one of the most representative symbols of the culture and sophistication of the ancient Greeks.
A river valley civilization is an agricultural nation or civilization situated beside and drawing sustenance from a river. A "civilization" means a society with large permanent settlements featuring urban development, social stratification, specialization of labour, centralized organization, and written or other formal means of communication. A river gives the inhabitants a reliable source of water for drinking and agriculture. Additional benefits include fishing, fertile soil due to annual flooding, and ease of transportation. The first great civilizations, such as those in Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt, all grew up in river valleys. Mesopotamian civilization flourished near the Tigris River and the civilization of Egypt flourished near the river Nile. (Full article...)
Late Postclassic Huastec temple at Castillo de Teayo
Surviving remains from the Huastec civilization include several large archaeological sites, a well-preserved temple, and a large amount of stone sculpture. By the Late Postclassic (c. AD 1200–1521), the Huastecs had developed metallurgy and were producing copper alloys. The Aztec Empire conquered the Huastec region around the 15th century, and probably demanded tribute payments. (Full article...)
Following the 5th century Fall of Rome, Europe entered the Middle Ages, during which period the Catholic Church filled the power vacuum left in the West by the fall of the Western Roman Empire, while the Eastern Roman Empire (or Byzantine Empire) endured in the East for centuries, becoming a Hellenic Eastern contrast to the Latin West. By the 12th century, Western Europe was experiencing a flowering of art and learning, propelled by the construction of cathedrals, the establishment of medieval universities, and the reemergence of Greek texts in math, natural science, and philosophy, translated into Latin from Arabic. Some of these Greek masterpieces, like Ptolemy's Almagest, still bear the Arabian translation as a working title. Christian unity was shattered by the Reformation from the 16th century. A merchant class grew out of city states, initially in the Italian peninsula (see Italian city-states), and Europe experienced the Renaissance from the 14th to the 17th century, heralding an age of technological and artistic advance and ushering in the Age of Discovery which saw the rise of such global European Empires as those of Portugal and Spain. (Full article...)
Women in Aztec civilization shared some equal opportunities. Aztec civilization saw the rise of a military culture that was closed off to women and made their role more prescribed to domestic and reproductive labor and less equal. The status of Aztec women in society was further altered in the 15th century, when Spanish conquest forced European norms onto the indigenous culture. However, many pre-Columbian norms survived and their legacy still remains. (Full article...)
An ancient mound at the city of Kish, Mesopotamia, Babel Governorate, Iraq.
The Kish civilization or Kish tradition was a concept created by Ignace Gelb and discarded by more recent scholarship, which Gelb placed in what he called the early East Semitic era in Mesopotamia and the Levant, starting in the early 4th millennium BC. He attributed to it the sites of Ebla and Mari in the Levant, Nagar in the north, and the proto-Akkadian sites of Abu Salabikh and Kish in central Mesopotamia, which constituted the Uri region as it was known to the Sumerians.[better source needed]The East Semitic population migrated from what is now the Levant and spread into Mesopotamia, and the new population could have contributed to the collapse of the Uruk period c. 3100 BC. This early East Semitic culture was characterized by linguistic, literary and orthographic similarities extending from Ebla in the west to Abu Salabikh in the East. The personal names from the Sumerian city of Kish showed an East Semitic nature and revealed that the city population had a strong Semitic component from the dawn of recorded history,and since Gelb considered Kish to be the center of this civilization, hence the naming.
The similarities included the using of a writing system that contained non-Sumerian logograms, the use of the same system in naming the months of the year, dating by regnal years and a similar measuring system among many other similarities. However Gelb didn't assume the existence of a single authority ruling those lands as each city had its own monarchical system, in addition to some linguistic differences, for while the languages of Mari and Ebla were closely related, Kish represented an independent East Semitic linguistic entity that spoke a dialect (Kishite), different from both pre-Sargonic Akkadian and the Ebla-Mari language. The Kish civilisation was considered to end with the rise of the Akkadian empire in the 24th century BC. (Full article...)
The Zapotec civilization (Be'ena'a(Zapotec) "The People"; c. 700 BC–1521 AD) was an indigenouspre-Columbian civilization that flourished in the Valley of Oaxaca in Mesoamerica. Archaeological evidence shows that their culture originated at least 2,500 years ago. The Zapotec archaeological site at the ancient city of Monte Albán has monumental buildings, ball courts, magnificent tombs and grave goods, including finely worked gold jewelry. Monte Albán was one of the first major cities in Mesoamerica. It was the center of a Zapotec state that dominated much of the territory which today is known as the Mexican state of Oaxaca. (Full article...)
The Quimbaya (/kɪmbaɪa/) were a small indigenous group in present-day Colombia noted for their gold work characterized by technical accuracy and detailed designs. The majority of the gold work is made in tumbaga alloy, with 30% copper, which imparts meaningful color tonalities to the pieces. (Full article...)
The Nuragic civilization, also known as the Nuragic culture, was a civilization or culture on Sardinia (Italy), the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, which lasted from the 18th century BC (Middle Bronze Age) (or from the 23rd century BC ) up to the Roman colonization in 238 BC. Others date the culture as lasting at least until the 2nd century AD and in some areas, namely the Barbagia, to the 6th century AD or possibly even to the 11th century AD.
The adjective "Nuragic" is neither an autonym nor an ethnonym. It derives from the island's most characteristic monument, the nuraghe, a tower-fortress type of construction the ancient Sardinians built in large numbers starting from about 1800 BC. Today more than 7,000 nuraghes dot the Sardinian landscape. (Full article...)
Maritime Trade Goods of the Maya
The extensive trade networks of the Ancient Maya contributed largely to the success of their civilization spanning three millennia. The Maya royals control and wide distribution of foreign and domestic commodities for both population sustenance and social affluence are hallmarks of the Maya visible throughout much of the iconography found in the archaeological record. In particular, moderately long distance trade of foreign commodities from the Caribbean and Gulf Coasts provided the larger inland Maya cities with the resources they needed to sustain settled population levels in the several thousands. Though the ruling class essentially controlled the trade economy, a middle merchant class supervised import and export from cities and trade ports. Not much is known of the Maya merchant class; however, merchants of royal lineage are sometimes represented in the iconography. Notably, a canoe paddle often accompanies the royal merchant depictions, signifying their association with marine resources.
Water lilies are also a recognizable feature of Maya iconography, appearing on ceramics and murals in landlocked cities like Palenque where the lilies cannot grow, further indicating the important political symbolism of water connections. The dugout style canoes of the Maya and other small watercraft are also represented in various codices, sometimes ferrying royal figures or deities. The rich tradition of maritime trade has continued into the modern era, exemplified by the resource exploitation of the coastal lagoons and cay locations along the Caribbean coast of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. Eventually, the intensification of maritime trade reliance aided in the collapse of interior Maya power regimes, shifting political influence to coastal polities such as Uxmal and Chichen Itza in the Terminal Classic. A seaborne trade economy would continue to dominate the Maya civilization until the period of European Contact. (Full article...)
A fresco found at the Minoan site of Knossos, indicating a sport or ritual of "bull leaping". The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that arose on the island of Crete and flourished from approximately the 27th century BC to the 15th century BC.
The history of Maya civilization is divided into three principal periods: the Preclassic, Classic and Postclassic periods; these were preceded by the Archaic Period, which saw the first settled villages and early developments in agriculture. Modern scholars regard these periods as arbitrary divisions of chronology of the Maya civilization, rather than indicative of cultural evolution or decadence. Definitions of the start and end dates of period spans can vary by as much as a century, depending on the author. The Preclassic lasted from approximately 3000 BC to approximately 250 AD; this was followed by the Classic, from 250 AD to roughly 950 AD, then by the Postclassic, from 950 AD to the middle of the 16th century. Each period is further subdivided: (Full article...)
The book is Kaplan's most notable work and has influenced a number of American Jewish thinkers. Kaplan's work centers around the concept that Judaism ought not to be defined as the religion of the Jews, but the sum of Jewish religion, culture, language, literature and social organization. (Full article...)
Chief staples of Maya economic activities were centered primarily around foods like fish, squash, yams, corn, honey, beans, turkey, vegetables, salt, chocolate drinks; raw materials such as limestone, marble, jade, wood, copper, and gold; and manufactured goods such as paper, books, furniture, jewelry, clothing, carvings, toys, weapons, and luxury goods. The Maya also had an important service sector, through which mathematicians, farming consultants, artisans, architects, astronomers, scribes and artists would sell their services. Some of the richer merchants sold weapons, gold and other valuable items. (Full article...)
Indus Valley civilisation, mature phase (2600–1900 BCE)
According to consensus in modern genetics, anatomically modern humans first arrived on the Indian subcontinent from Africa between 73,000 and 55,000 years ago. However, the earliest known human remains in South Asia date to 30,000 years ago. Settled life, which involves the transition from foraging to farming and pastoralism, began in South Asia around 7000 BCE. At the site of Mehrgarh presence can be documented of the domestication of wheat and barley, rapidly followed by that of goats, sheep, and cattle. By 4500 BCE, settled life had spread more widely, and began to gradually evolve into the Indus Valley civilisation, an early civilisation of the Old World, which was contemporaneous with Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. This civilisation flourished between 2500 BCE and 1900 BCE in what today is Pakistan and north-western India, and was noted for its urban planning, baked brick houses, elaborate drainage, and water supply.
Early on in the second millennium BCE, persistent drought caused the population of the Indus Valley to scatter from large urban centres to villages. Around the same time, Indo-Aryan tribes moved into the Punjab from Central Asia in several waves of migration. Their Vedic Period (1500–500 BCE) was marked by the composition of the Vedas, large collections of hymns of these tribes. Their varna system, which evolved into the caste system, consisted of a hierarchy of priests, warriors, and free peasants. The pastoral and nomadic Indo-Aryans spread from the Punjab into the Gangetic plain, large swaths of which they deforested for agriculture usage. The composition of Vedic texts ended around 600 BCE, when a new, interregional culture arose. Small chieftaincies, or janapadas, were consolidated into larger states, or mahajanapadas, and a second urbanisation took place. This urbanisation was accompanied by the rise of new ascetic movements in Greater Magadha, including Jainism and Buddhism, which opposed the growing influence of Brahmanism and the primacy of rituals, presided by Brahmin priests, that had come to be associated with Vedic religion, and gave rise to new religious concepts. In response to the success of these movements, Vedic Brahmanism was synthesised with the preexisting religious cultures of the subcontinent, giving rise to Hinduism. (Full article...)