Flashcards in Prep For Test Deck (8):
1. Stable food supply
This underlies all others. A complex society can thrive only if its members have the food that they need to survive.
2. Social Structure
Civilizations have complex social structures. Specialization of labor gave rise to new occupations, some of which accumulated great wealth and power. Often those at the top included religious leaders and large landowners.
All civilizations develop a system of government. Increasing population density, and the need to distribute resources and provide defense gave rise to governments. Most ancient civilizations were ruled by monarchies.
Ancient civilizations developed complex sets of belief systems and forms of worship. Most religions were polytheistic, usually with a patriarchal structure. A priestly class developed that often had great power. Early monument building was often dedicated to religious purposes. Some rulers also associated themselves with religion, some as high priests, some claiming to be gods.
5. The Arts
Civilizations expand the human propensity for creative expression. Artisans practiced and developed their crafts in music, sculpture, pottery and metalwork and calligraphy.
Civilizations created new problems to solve and human ingenuity brought solutions. These developments increased efficiency or production and new inventions often led to fundamental changes in society.
Most civilizations developed a form of written communication, but not always for the same reasons. In Mesopotamia, writing arose out of trade and record keeping. In China, writing arose for use in oracles and religious ceremonies.