Although the elements of civilization and the emergence of civilization have been studied extensively, I never gave the topic much thought. That is, until I was tasked with finding at least five elements that are characteristics of a civilization that make it different from non-civilized peoples. Initially, this seemed like a daunting task, but upon viewing the video “Iraq: The Cradle of Civilization” (Wood) and reading the assigned portion of “Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics, and Society, 1” (Perry), it was apparent that there are a number of distinct elements which characterize every civilization. Namely, large population centers in cities, writing, ceremonial buildings, or ritual centers, continuity, and the arts. Each of these characteristics of civilization works synergistically, making civilized societies stand out in stark contrast from those non-civilized societies which preceded them. A brief overview of some of these vital components will demonstrate their importance.
Firstly, large population centers in … Read More