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How Old is Civilization

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posted on Nov, 9 2008 @ 09:18 AM
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Originally posted by christianpatrick



One of the criteria a culture must meet to be considered a civilization is that of a written language. Sumerian Cuneiform tablets represent the earliest written language anyone has found to date. Thus by default they are the earliest known.

If I understand you correctly, then there was no such thing as an inca civilisation?

Depends on how far you wish to go with the definition of "written". I believe the incans used the knot system, no? That's a sort of writing, in a mathematical sense.

Either way, there IS obviously a line between what is a civilization and what is not, by definition of said definition.




posted on Nov, 10 2008 @ 11:42 AM
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Originally posted by christianpatrick



One of the criteria a culture must meet to be considered a civilization is that of a written language. Sumerian Cuneiform tablets represent the earliest written language anyone has found to date. Thus by default they are the earliest known.

If I understand you correctly, then there was no such thing as an inca civilisation?


Depending on the previously-agreed-to definition, the Incas might or might not be called a "civilization."

This is why I stated early on that no reasonable discussion of this topic can ensue until a definition of civilization is agreed upon by the posters.

Here are some characteristics of a civilization:


All human civilizations have depended on agriculture for subsistence...
Civilizations have distinctly different settlement patterns from other societies....
Compared with other societies, civilizations have a more complex political structure, namely the state...
Economically, civilizations display more complex patterns of ownership and exchange than less organized societies...
Writing, developed first by people in Sumer, is considered a hallmark of civilization and "appears to accompany the rise of complex administrative bureaucracies or the conquest state."[10]

Source: Wiki

Here's some more:


Taking various anthropological and historical definitions into account, we can come up with some common properties of civilizations (as opposed to indigenous groups).

People live in permanent settlements, and a significant number of them in cities.
The society depends on large-scale agriculture (which is needed to support dense, non-food-growing urban populations).
The society has rulers and some form of "aristocracy" with centralized political, economic, and military power, who exist by exploiting the mass of people.
The elite (and possibly others) use writing and numbers to keep track of commodities, the spoils of war, and so on.
There is slavery and forced labour either by the direct use of physical violence, or by economic coercion and violence (through which people are systematically deprived of choices outside the wage economy).
There are large armies and institutionalized warfare.
Production is mechanized, either through physical machines or the use of humans as though they were machines (this point will be expanded on in other writings here soon).
Large, complex institutions exist to mediate and control the behaviour of people, through as their learning and worldview (schools and churches), as well as their relationships with each other, with the unknown, and with the nature world (churches and organized religion).

Source

And yet even more:


What is a civilization? Is it a human community - a society - located in a particular place and time with continuity of government and social order; or is it a more abstract cultural configuration that describes the state of society at particular times? I subscribe to the latter view. Arnold Toynbee (my chief inspiration in this field) and most others subscribe to the former view.

In my view, human society in all parts of the world go through similar stages of development. In all cases, there is “pre-civilized” society when humanity is organized in small tribes, engaged in hunting-and-gathering activities or simple agriculture, and is possessing an unwritten or oral culture with ritualistic religion. Acquisition of the art of written language is a prerequisite for civilization in its initial stage.

My theory of civilizations extends this distinction to societies as they acquire other communication technologies. And so, the first civilization (Civilization I) would be a society that employs writing in its most primitive, ideographic form. The second civilization (Civilization II) would describe a society where written language advances to an alphabetic script. The third civilization (Civilization III) would describe a society where printed literature replaces handwritten manuscripts. The fourth civilization (Civilization IV) would be a society where the media of electric or electronic communication have added a culture to that based upon printed literature, or, some would say, have replaced it. The fifth civilization (Civilization V), now on the horizon, would be a culture created by the computer, as in the Internet or in future forms of computer-based communication.

Source: World History Site

As you can see, anthropologists and historians differ on the precise definition, but writing is in almost every case a part of it, along with agriculture.

Note that agriculture means planting and reaping, not foraging for berries, fruit and roots.

Harte



posted on Feb, 20 2009 @ 04:28 PM
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I was born in a protestant family myself. And I didn't understand much about it either, but their are so many things that happen in life, some many questions answered from this fact. So I research and study, like what I was doing until I saw this comment ad. I encourage you to keep on searching in your original endeavor, and I meant the christian way. You just had a big block to surpass, find that answer first before anything else. History does change a lot of things, but so does faith. Please consider, and if you want to debate on some issues. I'll try my best to answer, and lets search for answers together. This is reality, and I am being realistic when I say please mail me some time and answer my own questions.
adalawas@yahoo.com
I'm not some shrink or religious preacher by the way. Well, not yet. But I search and wander for now, to anyone out there reading this too. I'd like some feedback on what you think.



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