Historically, a civilization has often been understood as a larger and "more advanced" culture, in implied contrast to smaller, supposedly less advanced cultures. In this broad sense, a civilization contrasts with non-centralized tribal societies, including the cultures of nomadic pastoralists, Neolithic societies or hunter-gatherers; however, sometimes it also contrasts with the cultures found within civilizations themselves. Civilizations are organized densely-populated settlements divided into hierarchicalsocial classes with a ruling elite and subordinate urban and rural populations, which engage in intensive agriculture, mining, small-scale manufacture and trade. Civilization concentrates power, extending human control over the rest of nature, including over other human beings. (Full article...)
A superpower is a state with a dominant position characterized by its extensive ability to exert influence or project power on a global scale. This is done through the combined means of economic, military, technological, political and cultural strength as well as diplomatic and soft power influence. Traditionally, superpowers are preeminent among the great powers. While a great power state is capable of exerting its influence globally, superpowers are states so influential that no significant action can be taken by the global community without first considering the positions of the superpowers on the issue.
The scale is hypothetical, and regards energy consumption on a cosmic scale. Various extensions of the scale have since been proposed, including a wider range of power levels (types 0, IV to VI) and the use of metrics other than pure power. (Full article...)
The planetary phase of civilization is a term created by the Global Scenario Group (GSG) to describe the contemporary era in which increasing global interdependence and risks are binding the world into a unitary socio-ecological system. Characteristics of this phase include economic globalization, biospheric destabilization, mass migration, new global institutions, the Internet, new forms of transboundary conflict, and shifts in culture and consciousness. (Full article...)
A planetary or a Type I civilization is a civilization that would be Global having a tolerant worldwide Society that functions through science and reason is capable of consuming all of the incoming energy from its neighboring star, or about 1017 watts for Earth.
The concept of the "middle power" dates back to the origins of the European state system. In the late 16th century, Italian political thinker Giovanni Botero divided the world into three types of states: grandissime (empires), mezano (middle powers), and piccioli (small powers). According to Botero, a mezano or middle power "has sufficient strength and authority to stand on its own without the need of help from others." (Full article...)
Ecological civilization is the hypothetical concept that describes the alleged final goal of social and environmental reform within a given society. It implies that the changes required in response to global climate disruption and social injustices are so extensive as to require another form of human civilization, one based on ecological principles. Broadly construed, ecological civilization involves a synthesis of economic, educational, political, agricultural, and other societal reforms toward sustainability.
Although the term was first coined in the 1980s, it did not see widespread use until 2007, when “ecological civilization” became an explicit goal of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In April 2014, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the International Ecological Safety Collaborative Organization founded a sub-committee on ecological civilization. Proponents of ecological civilization agree with Pope Francis who writes, "We are faced not with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature." As such, ecological civilization emphasizes the need for major environmental and social reforms that are both long-term and systemic in orientation. (Full article...)
A great power is a sovereign state that is recognized as having the ability and expertise to exert its influence on a global scale. Great powers characteristically possess military and economic strength, as well as diplomatic and soft power influence, which may cause middle or small powers to consider the great powers' opinions before taking actions of their own. International relations theorists have posited that great power status can be characterized into power capabilities, spatial aspects, and status dimensions.
Among the various cradles of civilization is Ancient Egypt. Pictured are the Giza Pyramids.
A cradle of civilization is a location and a culture where civilization was created by mankind independent of other civilizations in other locations. The formation of urban settlements (cities) is the primary characteristic of a society that can be characterized as "civilized". Other characteristics of civilization include a sedentary non-nomadic population, monumental architecture, the existence of social classes and inequality, and the creation of a writing system for communication. The transition from simpler societies to the complex society of a civilization is gradual.
Scholars generally acknowledge six cradles of civilization. Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Ancient India, and Ancient China are believed to be the earliest in the Old World. Cradles of civilization in the New World are the Caral-Supe civilization of coastal Peru and the Olmec civilization of Mexico. All of the cradles of civilization depended upon agriculture for subsistence (except possibly Caral-Supe which may have depended initially on marine resources). All depended upon farmers producing an agricultural surplus to support the centralized government, political leaders, priests, and public works of the urban centers of the civilization. (Full article...)
The Zapotec civilization (Be'ena'a(Zapotec) "The People"; c. 700 BC–1521 AD) was an indigenouspre-Columbian civilization that flourished in the Valley of Oaxaca in Mesoamerica. Archaeological evidence shows that their culture originated at least 2,500 years ago. The Zapotec archaeological site at the ancient city of Monte Albán has monumental buildings, ball courts, magnificent tombs and grave goods, including finely worked gold jewelry. Monte Albán was one of the first major cities in Mesoamerica. It was the center of a Zapotec state that dominated much of the territory which today is known as the Mexican state of Oaxaca. (Full article...)
The Quimbaya (/kɪmbaɪa/) were a small indigenous group in present day Colombia noted for their gold work characterized by technical accuracy and detailed designs. The majority of the gold work is made in tumbaga alloy, with 30% copper, which imparts meaningful color tonalities to the pieces. (Full article...)
The expansion of Greek culture into the Hellenistic world of the eastern Mediterranean led to a synthesis between Greek and Near-Eastern cultures, and major advances in literature, engineering, and science, and provided the culture for the expansion of early Christianity and the Greek New Testament. This period overlapped with and was followed by Rome, which made key contributions in law, government, engineering and political organization. (Full article...)
The Archaic period, before 2000 BC, saw the first developments in agriculture and the earliest villages. The Preclassic period (c. 2000 BC to 250 AD) saw the establishment of the first complex societies in the Maya region, and the cultivation of the staple crops of the Maya diet, including maize, beans, squashes, and chili peppers. The first Maya cities developed around 750 BC, and by 500 BC these cities possessed monumental architecture, including large temples with elaborate stucco façades. Hieroglyphic writing was being used in the Maya region by the 3rd century BC. In the Late Preclassic a number of large cities developed in the Petén Basin, and the city of Kaminaljuyu rose to prominence in the Guatemalan Highlands. Beginning around 250 AD, the Classic period is largely defined as when the Maya were raising sculpted monuments with Long Count dates. This period saw the Maya civilization develop many city-states linked by a complex trade network. In the Maya Lowlands two great rivals, the cities of Tikal and Calakmul, became powerful. The Classic period also saw the intrusive intervention of the central Mexican city of Teotihuacan in Maya dynastic politics. In the 9th century, there was a widespread political collapse in the central Maya region, resulting in internecine warfare, the abandonment of cities, and a northward shift of population. The Postclassic period saw the rise of Chichen Itza in the north, and the expansion of the aggressive Kʼicheʼ kingdom in the Guatemalan Highlands. In the 16th century, the Spanish Empire colonised the Mesoamerican region, and a lengthy series of campaigns saw the fall of Nojpetén, the last Maya city, in 1697. (Full article...)
Maritime Trade Goods of the Maya
The extensive trade networks of the Ancient Maya contributed largely to the success of their civilization spanning three millennia. The Maya royals control and wide distribution of foreign and domestic commodities for both population sustenance and social affluence are hallmarks of the Maya visible throughout much of the iconography found in the archaeological record. In particular, moderately long distance trade of foreign commodities from the Caribbean and Gulf Coasts provided the larger inland Maya cities with the resources they needed to sustain settled population levels in the several thousands. Though the ruling class essentially controlled the trade economy, a middle merchant class supervised import and export from cities and trade ports. Not much is known of the Maya merchant class; however, merchants of royal lineage are sometimes represented in the iconography. Notably, a canoe paddle often accompanies the royal merchant depictions, signifying their association with marine resources.
Water lilies are also a recognizable feature of Maya iconography, appearing on ceramics and murals in landlocked cities like Palenque where the lilies cannot grow, further indicating the important political symbolism of water connections. The dugout style canoes of the Maya and other small watercraft are also represented in various codices, sometimes ferrying royal figures or deities. The rich tradition of maritime trade has continued into the modern era, exemplified by the resource exploitation of the coastal lagoons and cay locations along the Caribbean coast of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. Eventually, the intensification of maritime trade reliance aided in the collapse of interior Maya power regimes, shifting political influence to coastal polities such as Uxmal and Chichen Itza in the Terminal Classic. A seaborne trade economy would continue to dominate the Maya civilization until the period of European Contact. (Full article...)
An ancient mound at the city of Kish, Mesopotamia, Babel Governorate, Iraq.
The Kish civilization or Kish tradition is a concept created by Ignace Gelb and discarded by more recent scholarship, which Gelb placed in what he called the early East Semitic era in Mesopotamia and the Levant, starting in the early 4th millennium BC. He attributed to it the sites of Ebla and Mari in the Levant, Nagar in the north, and the proto-Akkadian sites of Abu Salabikh and Kish in central Mesopotamia, which constituted the Uri region as it was known to the Sumerians.[better source needed]The East Semitic population migrated from what is now the Levant and spread into Mesopotamia, and the new population could have contributed to the collapse of the Uruk period c. 3100 BC. This early East Semitic culture is characterized by linguistic, literary and orthographic similarities extending from Ebla in the west to Abu Salabikh in the East. The personal names from the Sumerian city of Kish show an East Semitic nature and reveals that the city population had a strong Semitic component from the dawn of recorded history, Gelb consider Kish to be the center of this civilization, hence the naming.
The similarities included the using of a writing system that contained non-Sumerian logograms, the use of the same system in naming the months of the year, dating by regnal years and a similar measuring system among many other similarities. However Gelb doesn't assume the existence of a single authority ruling those lands as each city had its own monarchical system, in addition to some linguistic differences for while the languages of Mari and Ebla were closely related, Kish represented an independent East Semitic linguistic entity that spoke a dialect (Kishite), different from both pre-Sargonic Akkadian and the Ebla-Mari language. The Kish civilisation is considered to end with the rise of the Akkadian empire in the 24th century BC. (Full article...)
The civilization was rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century through the work of British archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans. The name "Minoan" derives from the mythical King Minos and was coined by Evans, who identified the site at Knossos with the labyrinth of the Minotaur. The Minoan civilization has been described as the earliest of its kind in Europe, and historian Will Durant called the Minoans "the first link in the European chain". (Full article...)
Women in Aztec civilization shared some equal opportunities. Aztec civilization saw the rise of a military culture that was closed off to women and made their role more prescribed to domestic and reproductive labor and less equal. The status of Aztec women in society was further altered in the 15th century, when Spanish conquest forced European norms onto the indigenous culture. However, many pre-Columbian norms survived and their legacy still remains. (Full article...)
Extent of Etruscan civilisation and the twelve Etruscan League cities.
Despite severe environmental challenges, the Andean civilizations domesticated a wide variety of crops, some of which became of worldwide importance. The Andean civilizations were also noteworthy for monumental architecture, textile weaving, and many unique characteristics of the societies they created. (Full article...)
Ancient Rome began as an Italic settlement, traditionally dated to 753 BC, beside the River Tiber in the Italian Peninsula. The settlement grew into the city and polity of Rome, and came to control its neighbours through a combination of treaties and military strength. It eventually dominated the Italian peninsula, and acquired an Empire that took in much of Europe and the lands and peoples surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. It was among the largest empires in the ancient world, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants, roughly 20% of the world's population at the time. It covered around 5 million square kilometres (1.9 million square miles) at its height in AD 117. (Full article...)
A fresco found at the Minoan site of Knossos, indicating a sport or ritual of "bull leaping". The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that arose on the island of Crete and flourished from approximately the 27th century BC to the 15th century BC.
Magan (also Makkan) was an ancient region in what is now modern day United Arab Emirates and Oman, it was referred to in Sumeriancuneiform texts of around 2300 BC and existed until 550 BC as a source of copper and diorite for Mesopotamia. There is also evidence to support the idea that the Magan people were actually Sumerian. As discussed by The Archeology Fund founded by Juris Zarins, "The Sumerian cities of southern Mesopotamia were closely linked to the Gulf. Archaeologists and historians have linked sites in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar to the Sumerian geographical term of Dilmun. Oman, was most likely the Sumerian Magan". (Full article...)