There are seven characteristics of civilization.docx by cuiliqing


									Ariana Afrakhteh

November 11, 2010

Social studies

The seven characteristics of civilization

       There are seven characteristics of civilization. The seven characteristics of civilization

are social structure, stable food supply, religion, the arts, technology, writing, and government.

The first characteristic of civilization is social structure. A Social structure includes different

jobs and social levels. People at higher levels have greater status than other. Evidence that

archeologist have discovered shows that several classes of people lived in Sumer. At the top

was an upper class, which includes government officials, land owners, and priests. In the middle

is the common class. That includes merchants and craftspeople. That also included craftsman

how were highly skilled mental workers. The common class also Included Farmers and

Fisherman. At the very bottom is the slaves they live with their owners they have no property

of their own.

       The second characteristic of civilization is stable food supply. The civilization needs a

stable food supply. Sumerians invented two things to help them have a stable food supply.

They had an irrigation system and a plow. The plow is to turn the soil and prepare it for

planting. They built dams, canals, and reservoirs to provide their crops with a regular supply of
water. The Sumerians built the first plow out of wood. Farmers pushed and pulled the plow

along the ground themselves, or they used animals such as oxen to pull it. Today families in

Iraq still farm the land using ox-drawn plows.

       The third characteristic of civilization is Religion. A religion includes a set of beliefs,

usually in a god or gods together with forms of worship. Sumerians expressed their religious

beliefs by building temples and religious towers called ziggurats (an ancient Mesopotamian

temple tower. The Sumerians believed that the gods lived in ziggurats and they built special

temples at the top for them. Sumerians statues also expressed their religious beliefs. Many of

these statues were detailed and lifelike. Sumerians had many kinds’ o religious ceremonies.

Often musicians played at these ceremonies.

       The fourth characteristic of civilization is The Arts. All civilizations have a highly

developed culture, including the arts. Arts include creative forms of expression such as

paintings, architecture, and music. There were many kinds of artists and they made practical

objects such as cups and weapons. Music was another important art in Sumer. The Sumerians

believed that music brought joy to the gods and people alike. The musician splayed many

instruments such as the drums and pipes. One of the Sumerians favorite instrument is a small

harp called a lyre. Lyres are small instruments made of a sound box and strings. The Sumerians

valued music.

       The fifth characteristic of civilization is Technology. All civilizations create new forms of

technology, or practical tools and inventions. The Sumerians made a couple technological

advances. Sumerians most important invention is the wheel. Before the wheel was invented
people had to drag things. Wheeled carts make it much easier to carry things around and the

wheeled cart wasn’t the only thing they used wheels on, they also used it on a lot of different

things. Sumerians discovered that a wheel that was flipped on to its edge could be rolled

forward or back. They built a wheel by clamping pieces of wood together. Another

technological advance is the arch. Arches added strength and beauty to buildings. They

became common features of temple entrances and upper-class homes.

       The sixth characteristic of civilization is the Government. All systems of government are

to direct people’s behavior. Sumerian city-states were ruled by kings. A king also led his city-

states army. All the city state needed an army because they were constantly fighting over land

and water. Leading the army was one of the king’s most important jobs. A Sumerian army

included both professional solders and citizen-soldiers that were temporary. Kings had officials

under them to help them get organized and help them with their duties. One special group of

officials patrolled the canals. They made sure that nothing is or gets damaged. Also they made

sure that farmers did not take water illegally.

       The seventh characteristic of civilization is writing. A final characteristic of civilization is

a highly developed writing language. The Sumerians created a written language called

cuneiform. This name comes from the Latin word for “wedge”. Cuneiform was based on a

earlier, simpler writing that used pictograph (a symbol that stands for a real object). Scribes

drew the symbols with a sharpened reed on wet clay. When the clay dried, the marks became

permanent records. Those are all seven characteristic of civilization.

       Credits-History alive book(social studies)

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