Civilization Essay

Submitted By 05222015
Words: 627
Pages: 3

Civilization is a complex concept that is interpreted differently by many. Taking the origin of the word into consideration, a civilization is officially defined as a society that has cities. This may not seem like much to go off of, but having cities implies some form of order and organization among this society, and that is what makes it a civilization. There are many common characteristics found between modern civilizations that can be traced all the way back to the very first civilizations in Mesopotamia and Egypt.
Clearly, one of the main characteristics of a civilization is that it has cities. Developed cities have matured social and economic institutions, and a well­structured foundation. They all have some system of organization, and serve as political, economic, and cultural centers for surrounding areas. These traits have remained consistent since the dawn of civilization.
Bloomington, Indiana is one of many examples of a city. It is well developed socially and economically, built from a strong base, and draws people from surrounding communities in with it’s political and economic impact, and it’s cultural diversity.
Another trait of a civilization is an organized government. To keep order in a civilization, there needs to be an individual or group of individuals who make decisions such as creating laws, establishing the system of justice, etc. In the past, these people of authority were often elders or religious leaders, but in many modern civilizations such as Bloomington, Indiana, the leaders are appointed by a vote. However, they all served a similar roles as leaders: planning, making decisions, creating laws and enforcing punishment for disobedience of these laws.
Specialization of labor also began around when civilizations began to take off. As agriculture became wildly popular, for the first time there was a surplus of food, meaning that not all people had to work on obtaining food all the time. This allowed for some to specialize in other categories such as officials who would gather taxes, engineers who would plan irrigation systems,

and artisans who were skilled craftspeople. Today, in a city like Bloomington, we have ophthalmologists like my father who fixes eyes, baristas who work at coffee shops and make complex drinks, etc. Evidently, times have changed, but job specialization remains extremely relevant. There are many other aspects of ancient civilizations that remain extremely relevant such as the arts, record keeping, and writing. Early Mesopotamian civilizations are credited with the first writing system, and since then writing has evolved tremendously. The alphabet we