7 CHARACTERISTICS OF A CIVILIZATION

Mesopotamia

Language

People need language to communicate.

Language is a means to communicate information.

Cuneiform is an example of language in Mesopotamia.

It is their first writing.

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Art

Art is a way to express feelings and emotions.

Art is a way to connect with people.

People today can get an idea of how people lived in Mesopotamia by studying their art.

A person can get an idea of what people were feeling in any point in history by examining the art from that time.

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Religion

Religion sets a moral guideline for people.

Religion has the ability to bring people together.

Some religions worship only one God, but the people of Mesopotamia were polytheists, and they worshiped many Gods.

Believing in something gives people hope, and in a civilized society, people may be more motivated to work for a better tomorrow if they believe that a brighter future is possible.

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Goverment

Governments can protect people from harm.

Civilizations need organization, and governments help direct how people behave.

A government is formed when a group of people come together to make laws and enforce laws to keep order in a society.

Every civilization has a style of government, and in Mesopotamia, city-states were formed, and each of those had its own government.

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Technology

Technology helps civilizations advance.

Many people think of electronics when they hear the word technology, but technology can also be tools or inventions.

One of the best examples of technology is the wheel, an invention from Mesopotamia that helped many civilizations progress.

When civilizations create new technology, they not only help themselves, but they also help other societies in their time, and in the future.

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Surpluses of food

It is better for a society to have too much food, rather than not enough.

Civilizations seem to advance when there is plenty of food for everyone.

In a society where all the food comes from farms, a surplus of food would be great because there would be enough food for everyone, and a surplus of food can always be helpful in emergencies.

Food on Mesopotamia came from farmers, but not everyone had to be a farmer if they wanted to eat because farmers were willing to sell or trade what they produced.

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Social Class

Social classes are important in all civilizations.

Everyone has different skills and interests, and there are people needed for every job, so in order for a society to function properly, everyone needs to figure out where they belong in order to advance as a whole.

In Mesopotamia, people were born into a social class, so the child of a farmer in lower class would grow up to become a farmer.

Today, there are still three three social classes in most civilizations (the lower, the middle, and the upper), but people have more of a choice about what class they want to belong to when they grow up.

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