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How old is civilization?

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posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 12:18 PM
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As far as I can find the oldest know settlements were found in the middle East and date to around 8000 B.C. This area is associated with the first agriculture as well. Also around the same time 7000 B.C. the first agriculture was being developed in India and around 6500 B.C. the Chinese were starting to farm as well.
Does anyone have any insight as to any older civ.?
I would appriciate any feedback on this subject you can provide!




posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 12:36 PM
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Originally posted by BroonStone
Does anyone have any insight as to any older civ.?
I would appriciate any feedback on this subject you can provide!


That would probably be the Shoosh.

dooroodiran.blogspot.com...

There may have been some slightly older cultures that existed but didn't leave behind many artifacts because they may have constructed their houses out of dirt or wood or animal hides, so nothing much would be left of them. Archeologists are always digging around trying to find them.

Otherwise, there are some theories about an earlier, relatively advanced civilization existing 12,000 to 14,000 years ago, coinciding with the rapid end of the last Ice Age. But the evidence is scant and circumstantial. This civilization was supposed to be interested in widespread seafaring and trading, astronomy/astrology, and was the first to define laws and lay the foundations for large stone monuments in various parts of the world.

That's a lot for a culture to do and not leave behind much of anything in the form of good evidence. But it was a really long time ago, and there may have been some major catastrophes like large regional floods and asteroid strikes that might have destroyed a lot of the available evidence.

www.robertbauval.co.uk...
www.grahamhancock.com...

Small fragments of strange out of place objects have also been found at odd layers supposedly millions of years old. But these vastly pre-date when humans are agreed to have evolved, and some of them might be natural objects that only appear to be manufactured artifacts.

www.mcremo.com...



posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 03:12 PM
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Originally posted by Nohup

That would probably be the Shoosh.

dooroodiran.blogspot.com...

There may have been some slightly older cultures that existed but didn't leave behind many artifacts because they may have constructed their houses out of dirt or wood or animal hides, so nothing much would be left of them. Archeologists are always digging around trying to find them.

Nohup,

The usual definition of civilization cannot be applied in the case of the Susa because they had no writing, as far as we know.

Your linked site says:

By civilization, we mean civilized city government or city state or Empire or Kingdom or any type of local civilized system.


Most anthropologists require quite a bit more from a culture than this before they can classify it as a civilization.
I sort of like a combination of these:


In 1936, the archeologist V. Gordon Childe published his book Man Makes Himself. Childe identified several elements which he believed were essential for a civilization to exist. He included: the plow, wheeled cart and draft animals, sailing ships, the smelting of copper and bronze, a solar calendar, writing, standards of measurement, irrigation ditches, specialized craftsmen, urban centers and a surplus of food necessary to support non-agricultural workers who lived within the walls of the city. Childe's list concerns human achievements and pays less attention to human organization.

Another historian agreed with Childe but added that a true definition of civilization should also include money collected through taxes, a privileged ruling class, a centralized government and a national religious or priestly class. Such a list, unlike Childe's, highlights human organization. In 1955, Clyde Kluckhohn argued that there were three essential criteria for civilization: towns containing more than 5000 people, writing, and monumental ceremonial centers. Finally, the archeologist and anthropologist Robert M. Adams argued for a definition of civilization as a society with functionally interrelated sets of social institutions: class stratification based on the ownership and control of production, political and religious hierarchies complementing each other in the central administration of territorially organized states and lastly, a complex division of labor, with skilled workers, soldiers and officials existing alongside the great mass of peasant producers.

Source

Agreement must be reached on the definition before one can argue for or against a "lost civilization," right?

Funny how that criterion is rarely met here at ATS. Makes me wonder sometimes if people arguing about lost civilizations realize that their opinions may not be all that different, just their definitions!

Anyway, if you like really old artifacts for "proof" of civilization, you could do worse than to consider the Jomon. As far as we can tell, they invented pottery. Read the following and be astonished:


It has long been known that the Jomon pottery of Japan goes back a very long way. (Jomon means Twisted cord, so this is the pottery made with twisted cord decoration.)

Recently however pottery has been found that dates back to 13,000 years ago, which, if you use the latest radiocarbon calibration, gives a date of 16,000 years ago. (or 14,000 BC).

Source

Holy crap - middle of the end of the last Ice Age!

Harte

[edit on 3/28/2008 by Harte]



posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 03:39 PM
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I am convinced that there is a missing time period.

The Piri Reis map conspiracy www.world-mysteries.com... must prove that a civilization existed a long time before anyone thinks.




posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 03:43 PM
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reply to post by gingern
 


Run a search on the Piri Reis map right here at ATS to see why you're wrong.

Harte



posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 04:02 PM
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reply to post by Harte
 


I'm not going to lie. I have looked at some of the stuff on ATS as you suggested.

However I still believe, and so do some of people who have posted on said forums, that this map throws up more questions than answers.

It's not just this map that that makes me think there is a missing time period.

I believe, just for starters, that the Indus valley holds secrets as well.



posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 04:24 PM
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reply to post by BroonStone
 





As far as I can find the oldest know settlements were found in the middle East and date to around 8000 B.C. This area is associated with the first agriculture as well. Also around the same time 7000 B.C. the first agriculture was being developed in India and around 6500 B.C. the Chinese were starting to farm as well.
Does anyone have any insight as to any older civ.?


BroonStone,

Here are several settled areas that may be of interest to you. Each has an interesting story of its own.


Tel Aby Hureyra, Syria
Pulli Settlement, Sindi, Estonia
Gobekli Tepe, Turkey
Jericho - Pre- Pottery Neolithic A
Deepcar, England
Catal Huyuk, Turkey
Ain Ghazal, Jordan
Cayonu, Turkey
Jhusi, India
Mehrgarg, Pakistan
Jiahu, China
Tel Megiddo, Israel
Susa, Iran
Knossos, Crete
Lepenski Vir, Serbia
Atlit Yam, Israel
Yesilova Hoyuk, Turkey
Tell Halaf, Syria
Vinca Culture, Serbia
Sialk, Iran
Sesklo, Greece



posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 10:40 PM
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Other than small villages of hunter-gatherers/farmers, the first known large scale town with permanent residents is Jericho, which being inhabitance in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic (8500-7300 B.C)

The earliest civilization by archaeological standards was the city states of Sumer, in lower Mesopotamia, modern Iraq. These people are considered to have the first form of writing (c. 3400 B.C. 200 years before the earliest in Egypt and many think is was trade is Sumer that got the Egyptians thinking about writing) They also invent the wheel and the plow.

Someone mention the Indus valley as a potential for this. Well very little is known of its early civilization, the Harappans, mainly due to no surviving records, and the inability to decipher what little is left of their language, such as on walls palaces and other large structures. This is made more difficult as unlike the Egyptians, they did not write very much. What little is left is likely to be names of people or locations, or other short nouns, which are near impossible to decipher. We are still waiting for the "Rosetta Stone" for the Harrapans. (Interestingly enough, this may be found in Bahrain of all places, due to this being a nexus of trade between Harrapa and the city states of Mesopotamia, and if we can find something with matching writing in both languages there, it would be the key). The one thing that is not seriously debated is age. Although there were large villages in late 4th and early third centuries B.C. found there, general consensus is that mature Harrapan civilization was c. 2500-2050 BC after which they basically ceased to exist. This is the earliest known Indus valley civilization.

Now, this was all taken from my university textbook, so don't go all crazy asking for sources, I'm not pulling this out of thin air tho
.

Complex chiefdoms, like those of the Great Lakes, or the Pacific islands can get incredibly advanced and complex. There is no doubt many of these existed back then. Due to there very nature however, they leave very little evidence, as most of what they worked with, produced and lived in was bio-degradable.



posted on Apr, 2 2008 @ 01:43 AM
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Howdy Gingen

Reference Piri Reis



However I still believe, and so do some of people who have posted on said forums, that this map throws up more questions than answers.


Probably not, an analysis of the maps shows nothing unordinary and the written descriptions on it pinpoint its origin and who made it and why.



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 02:41 PM
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This list has been of great use. There were six on it I was unfamilar with.

Tel Aby Hureyra, Syria
Pulli Settlement, Sindi, Estonia
Gobekli Tepe, Turkey
Jericho - Pre- Pottery Neolithic A
Deepcar, England
Catal Huyuk, Turkey
Ain Ghazal, Jordan
Cayonu, Turkey
Jhusi, India
Mehrgarg, Pakistan
Jiahu, China
Tel Megiddo, Israel
Susa, Iran
Knossos, Crete
Lepenski Vir, Serbia
Atlit Yam, Israel
Yesilova Hoyuk, Turkey
Tell Halaf, Syria
Vinca Culture, Serbia
Sialk, Iran
Sesklo, Greece


It might be useful to build a thread on a few of the lesser known ones. Since it was your list would you care to do any? If not I'll pick out a few and do them. (others are invited to do so also) I'll start with Pulli, which I had somehow not heard of before.



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 02:54 PM
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Hi Hanslune,

Go for it.

I am just happy enough to keep up with my map on Google Maps. I keep it, my list and other files in my database to help show that besides the well known settled areas, i.e. Egypt, Sumer and the Indus Valley, there were other signs of settlement/civilization that show that they weren't started ALL AT ONCE or created in a vacuum.

cormac



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 03:32 PM
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I suspect more "wood" based civilizations will be found in central Europe and elsewhere.

The wood having rotted away leaves only a trace for archaeologists to find, more of these are showing up as Archaeologists have gotten better at detecting and understanding these. Awhile ago they found Woodhenge which was bigger than Stonehenge.

Okay I'll start on those in due course.



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 04:07 PM
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I think there might have been civilisations older than 16K BC. The sea level used to be alot lower, in fact it has gone up and down throughout Earths History. Civilisations hugging the coast could easily be wiped out by rising sealevels and have the traces of their culture erased.

Glaciers are even more destructive. Any culture that had a glacier ride over it is effectively erased. Impacts and volcanoes could have destroyed or buried cultures as well. Not to mention fires, wars and decomposition and erosion.



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 04:26 PM
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Define civilization. What separates it from culture? Are they the same or does one grow out of the other?

According to Oswald Spengler in his 1918 tome "The Decline of the West" (a must read for anyone who wants some idea of what is happening today in regards to terrorists from 3rd world countries) a culture is a living and breathing organism or system that continues to grow and adapt developing new cultural levels whereas a civilization is a culture which has ossified into a semi permanent form such as ancient Egypt after the New Kingdom, and in such a form can last thousands of years before finally dying from its own dead weight.

While there are some flaws in that argument its still a good analogy. Culture has been with us since homo erectus anyway... Some anthropologist commented recently (or I read it recently) that the first cultural act was cleaning oneself after defecating.



posted on Apr, 6 2008 @ 01:19 AM
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Civilization: potty-training for adults


Define civilization.

A civilization is a culture that builds or is based on cities.

Civilization is the process of becoming civilized, i.e. fit to live in cities.


What separates it from culture?

Specialization in terms of occupation.


Are they the same or does one grow out of the other?

They are not the same. Culture is primarily what farmers and hunter-gatherers do in their spare time. Civilization takes hold when an agricultural surplus enables a substantial fraction of population to get involved in occupations unrelated to food production. These occupations are 'cultural' in nature, but the point is that when civilization takes hold, culture becomes more professionalized, less of an amateur thing.


Some anthropologist commented recently (or I read it recently) that the first cultural act was cleaning oneself after defecating.

Yes, that is culture. Civilization consists of not talking about such repellent necessities in public, out of consideration for your fellow-citizens.



posted on Apr, 6 2008 @ 06:11 AM
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you are wrong on all counts.

The historian Felipe Fernandez Armesto in his book "Civilizations: Culture, Ambition and the Transformation of Nature" defines civilization in terms of how it interacts with nature not in terms of cities or written language etc.

I will post his civilization checklist after I walk the dog, or he walks me as the case may be.


[edit on 6-4-2008 by grover]



posted on Apr, 6 2008 @ 07:49 AM
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Originally posted by BroonStone
As far as I can find the oldest know settlements were found in the middle East and date to around 8000 B.C. This area is associated with the first agriculture as well. Also around the same time 7000 B.C. the first agriculture was being developed in India and around 6500 B.C. the Chinese were starting to farm as well.
Does anyone have any insight as to any older civ.?
I would appriciate any feedback on this subject you can provide!


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posted on Apr, 6 2008 @ 07:49 AM
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Originally posted by BroonStone
As far as I can find the oldest know settlements were found in the middle East and date to around 8000 B.C. ...

Does anyone have any insight as to any older civ.?



google up the cave paintings, France has several famous ones,

whatever civilization made the cave art, they met the definition of civilization some 30,000 years ago.


see: education.yahoo.com...


NOUN:

1. An advanced state of intellectual, cultural and material development in human society, marked by progress in the arts and sciences, and extensive use of record-keeping, including writing,
and the appearance of complex political and social institutions.



the pre-historic cave art, was also meant as a type of record keeping, and a sort of naturalists list of migrating herd animals...
the specialization of people allowed for artists to record the world around them, and not be primarily concerned for food or safety... now that sounds like civilization to me.

of course the academics will say the cave painters of some 30,000 years ago were only a part of a Culture,
such as a clovis culture, a neo-lithic culture, but surely not a Neanderthal culture.



posted on Apr, 6 2008 @ 11:21 AM
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reply to post by grover
 

The historian Felipe Fernandez Armesto in his book "Civilizations: Culture, Ambition and the Transformation of Nature" defines civilization in terms of...

Oh, there are plenty of definitions of civilization. At the end of the day, most of them boil down to 'civilized is what I am'.

However, the word is derived from the Latin civis, i.e. 'citizen'; the same root, via the Latin civitas (a derivation, according to my Shorter Oxford Dictionary), gives us 'city'.

The earliest meaning of 'civilization' (early 18th century) was 'the assimilation of common law to civil law', which rather suits my definition, don't you think?



posted on Apr, 6 2008 @ 12:22 PM
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I enjoyed the mention of the Indus valley and the French Cave paintings. Both of these examples show a level of habitation beyond hunter/gatherer.

Thinking of only of the mideast as the cradle of civilization is a thought process that is hard to overcome by many educated people. Even the Clovis people of North America date back some 13,000 - 14,000 years. Do you honestly think some people in Iraq decided to take a walk one day?

How many generations do you think this trip encompassed? Would the people have stayed in hunting/gathering mode the whole time, or would settlements be established in the "better" areas. This get to the core of the wood based argument mentioned in Central Europe. (Good idea on that one - Hanslune)

As for the Indus Valley. Only in the very recent past have serious science been performed. I think many people will be very surprised at the outcome of this research. There are more than several archaeological sites under more than several feet of water in the Indian Ocean. Sea levels had to much lower for this to happen. Now we are clearly outside the norms for accepted time frames of a mideast cradle of civilization.

I don't really know if modern science will accept these changes within my lifetime. I do think my kids will see ancient history rewritten to a certain extent.



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