A.P. Summary

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Identify and analyze the criteria necessary for a community of people to be characterized as a civilization by comparing and contrasting how well the societies of the Indus River Valley and the Huanghe (Shang Dynasty) River Valley meet the criteria. Use the PERSIAN charts to guide your comparative analysis of these similarities and differences.

The term civilization refers to a complex human society, in which people live in groups of settled dwellings. Growth and decline of civilizations depended on several traits such as complex government, religion, and religious rituals, presence of writing and record keeping, advanced science and technology, advanced artistic and intellectual skills, city planning and monumental buildings, division of social classes, and specialization of labor. The Huanghe River Valley (China) could be characterized as a civilization. This early civilization had one monarch (Shang) that regulated irrigation. They praised the god like kings of early civilizations starting with P’anku. Haunghe River Valley formed an alphabet based on ideographic symbols. The use of writing allowed them to record part fact and part fiction knowledge of early kings. Artistically, the Chinese emphasized delicate designs. Shang ruled and constructed some impressive tombs and palaces. The Indus River Valley shared many characteristics of a civilization. This civilization had political ideas and religious views combined with Indo-European migrants. The Indus River Valley developed their own alphabet (Harappan), which was never deciphered. Indians pride became an important part of their main identity. Overall, the Huanghe and Indus River Valley had qualities that could characterize them as civilizations. Even though there were differences, it was still considered a complex human society in which people lived in groups of settled dwellings.
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