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Yes, it's a higher standard than a lot of people around here use, but that IS the standard and has been for a century. Misuse of the word "civilization" is rampant on boards like this. And that's okay sometimes.
But not when somebody tries to compare an ancient culture to an ancient civilization, thinking they've "disproven the experts."
If a person wants to claim the experts are wrong about the rise of civilizations and which are the oldest, that person is obligated to use the same standard as anthropologists use.
If they don't, it's like saying "My chicken is a horse, and that proves that not all horses have four legs."
I understand it's frustrating but it shows the need for a clear definition. The average person, like Tim and Heatherlee Hooker, doesn't understand the difference.
If you are a researcher, exact definitions are a necessary tool to make sure you are comparing two things that are alike. The definition I use comes from researchers... specifically anthropology and archaeology.
If an English speaking person was asked today and presented part of Beowulf's manuscripts, will that person recognize that it was Old English? How about manuscripts of The Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer or a specimen of Shakespeare's handwritting?
I think that we can all agree that it is a contentious topic but can't we at least agree that there might be some artifacts out there that could be older than what is presently generally accepted? If not from the Ukraine, maybe in Iran, Turkey or even China?
The awl suggests people in the area started using metals as early as 5100 B.C., several centuries earlier than previously thought.