Civilization or civilisation (in British English) generally refers to state polities which combine these basic institutions: a ceremonial centre (a formal gathering place for social and cultural activities), a system of writing, and a city. The term is used to contrast with other types of communities including hunter-gatherers, nomadic pastoralists and tribal villages. Civilizations have more densely populated settlements divided into social classes with a ruling elite and subordinate urban and rural populations, which, by the division of labour, engage in intensive agriculture, mining, small-scale manufacture and trade. Civilization concentrates power, extending man's control over both nature, and over other human beings.
The emergence of civilization is generally associated with the final stages of the Neolithic Revolution, a slow cumulative process occurring independently over many locations between 10,000 and 3,000 BCE, culminating in the relatively rapid process of state formation, a political development associated with the appearance of a governing elite. This neolithic technology and lifestyle was established first in the Middle east (for example at Göbekli Tepe, from about 9,130 BCE), and Yangtze and later in the Yellow river basin in China (for example the Pengtoushan culture from 7,500 BCE), and later spread. But similar "revolutions" also began independently from 9,000 years ago in such places as Mesoamerica at the Balsas River and in Kuk Swamp at Papua New Guinea. This revolution consisted in the development of the domestication of plants and animals and the development of new sedentary lifestyles which allowed economies of scale and productive surpluses.
Towards the end of the Neolithic period, various Bronze Age civilizations began to rise in various "cradles" from around 3300 BCE. Civilizations, as defined above, also developed in Pre-Columbian Americas and much later in Africa. The Bronze Age collapse was followed