Essence of Ancient Civilization

Topics: Ancient Egypt, Ancient history, Sumer Pages: 5 (1667 words) Published: November 24, 2008
The term civilization basically means the level of development at which people live together peacefully in communities. Ancient civilization refers specifically to the first settled and stable communities that became the basis for later states, nations, and empires. The study of ancient civilization is concerned with the earliest segments of the much broader subject called ancient history. The span of ancient history began with the invention of writing in about 3100 BC and lasted for more than 35 centuries. Mankind existed long before the written word, but writing made the keeping of a historical record possible and previous civilizations have had a major impact on the modern world especially on agriculture, machineries, science, and literature and most importantly on socio political and economical development. Other civilizations also contributed to modern world development. A few of the most important time periods that affected today’s society are Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greek, Rome and so on.

The first ancient societies arose in Mesopotamia and Egypt in the Middle East, in the Indus Valley region of modern Pakistan, in the Yellow River valley of China, on the island of Crete in the Aegean Sea, and in Central America. All of these civilizations had certain features in common. They built cities, invented forms of writing, learned to make pottery and use metals, domesticated animals, and created fairly complex social structures with class systems and diverse types of work.

All of the major ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus Valley, and China emerged in the 4th millennium BC. Historians still debate over which one emerged first. It may well have been the Middle East, in an area called the Fertile Crescent. This region stretches from the Nile River in Egypt northward along the coast of former Palestine, then eastward into Asia to include Mesopotamia. In this area people settled along the riverbanks and practiced field agriculture. This kind of farming depended on the reproduction of seed, normally from grain crops and they not only totally depended on agriculture, slowly they started trading business, tailoring, making pottery to enrich their living. It also should be noted that for agriculture lot of labour was to be put in. The people were very much hard working and to make life little bit easier they started to invent lot of machineries that are required for agriculture and these machineries are now modernized in our present society.

The past civilizations not only contributed on agricultural sectors they have also played a big role in creation of alphabets, architecture, color and so on. The Sumerians invented the first form of writing, which is known as cuneiform. They engraved pictures on clay tablets in a form of writing known as cuneiform (wedge-shaped). The tablets were used to keep the accounts of the temple food storehouses. By about 2500 BC these picture-signs were being refined into an alphabet and later on Egyptians invented Hierography. The Sumerians also developed the first calendar, which they adjusted to the phases of the moon. The lunar calendar later was adopted by the Semites, Egyptians, and Greeks and slowly slowly its has been modernized. Like other ancient peoples, the Chinese developed unique attributes. Their form of writing, developed by 2000 BC, was a complex system of picture writing using forms called ideograms, pictograms, and phonograms. Such early forms of Chinese became known through the discovery by archaeologists of oracle bones, which were bones with writings inscribed on them. They were used for fortune-telling and record keeping in ancient China. Ancient civilizations also played a big role in Science. Egyptians invented mathematics, which was greatly required for agriculture, making roads. They also invented geometry, as they needed to dig up canals and even astrology, medication. The Sumerians contributed to the development of metalworking, wheeled carts, and...
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