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Markers of "Civilization"
Collection of dwellings forming a community.
Art of designing structures.
The practice of farming, including the cultivation of the soil (for raising crops) and the raising of domesticated animals. Agriculture developed in the Middle East and Egypt at least 10,000 years ago.
In agriculture, artificial watering of the land. Early improvements for raising water included counterbalanced poles with attached water vessels, and adaptations of the wheel and of a pump called the Archimedes' screw.
The baked-clay wares of the entire ceramics field. Pottery is one of the most enduring materials known to humankind; in most places it is the oldest and most widespread art.
Alcoholic fermentation is a process that was known to antiquity. Before 2000 B.C. the Egyptians apparently knew that crushed fruits stored in a warm place would produce a substance with a pleasant intoxicating power. By 1500 B.C. the production of beer from germinating cereals (malt) and the preparation of wines from crushed grapes were established arts in most of the Middle East.
Originally an oral tradition, poetry was a method of story-telling and communication in non-literate societies and held much cultural significance as a method of spreading mythologies and religions
Practically all existing alphabets are believed to be commonly descended from a Semitic alphabet used by the Syro-Palestinian Semitic peoples in the last centuries of the second millennium BC and during the first millennium.
Deductive study of numbers, geometry, and various abstract constructs. The earliest records of mathematics show it arising in response to practical needs in agriculture, business, and industry.
Science and technology of metals and their alloys.
Institution based on a relationship of dominance and submission, whereby one person owns another and can exact from that person labor or other services. The institution of slavery extends back beyond recorded history.
Act of force, usually on behalf of the state, intended to compel a declared enemy to obey the will of the other.
Evidence of the existence of empires dates back to the dawn of written history in Egypt and in Mesopotamia, where local rulers extended their realms by conquering other states and holding them, when possible, in a state of subjection.
The developmental stage of humans in prehistory before the use of metals, when tools and weapons were made chiefly of stone, especially flint.
Stage of prehistory and early history when copper and bronze (an alloy of tin and copper) became the first metals worked extensively and used for tools and weapons.
Developmental stage of human technology when weapons and tools were made from iron.
Family of languages having more speakers than any other language family.
Language belonging to the Indic group of the Indo-Iranian subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Indo-Iranian).
Any of a number of languages belonging to the Indic group of the Indo-Iranian subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Indo-Iranian).
Subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages, spoken by more than a billion people, chiefly in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka
Subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages; the term "Anatolian languages" is also used to refer to all languages, Indo-European and non-Indo-European, that were spoken in Anatolia in ancient times.
Family of languages spoken by more than 250 million people in N Africa; much of the Sahara; parts of E, central, and W Africa; and W Asia
Mythology and Religion
[Greek,=the telling of stories], the entire body of myths in a given tradition, and the study of myths. Although there is no specific universal myth, there are many themes and motifs that recur in the myths of various cultures and ages.
Belief in a plurality of gods in which each deity is distinguished by special functions. Polytheistic worship does not imply equal devotion or importance to each deity.
Name used to denote any system of belief or speculation that includes the teaching "God is all, and all is God." Pantheism, in other words, identifies the universe with God or God with the universe.
From Bloomsbury Guide to Human Thought
Monotheism means belief in one all-powerful God who is distinct from the world but at the same time involved in it.
In religious devotion or service, the practice of certain set formulas that either mark a particular important event in a person's life - such as birth rituals or death rituals - or form a patterned daily, weekly, or annual cycle. Rituals are usually understood to hold deep symbolic meaning.
Study of the relative position of the planets and stars in the belief that they influence events on Earth. A strongly held belief in ancient Babylon, astrology spread to the Mediterranean world, and was widely used by the Greeks and Romans.
From The Columbia Encyclopedia
Practice of foreseeing future events or obtaining secret knowledge through communication with divine sources and through omens, oracles, signs, and portents.
A system of thought, feeling, and action that is shared by a group and that gives the members an object of devotion; a code of behavior by which individuals may judge the personal and social consequences of their actions; and a frame of reference by which individuals may relate to their group and their universe.
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
From Science in the Ancient World: An Encyclopedia
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World were selected by the ancients themselves as being astonishing examples of human creativity and construction.
An independent political unit consisting of a city and surrounding countryside. The first city-states were in Sumer, but they reached their peak in Greece.
Government in which a single person holds a varying degree of legislative (law-making) and executive (administrative) power. Where such government has no constitutional checks or limits, it is known as absolutism, or absolute monarchy.
[Gr.,=flesh-eater], name given by the Greeks to a special marble found in Asia Minor, near the territory of ancient Troy, and used in caskets. It was believed to have the property of destroying the entire body, except for the teeth, within a few weeks. The term later generally designated any elaborate burial casket not sunk underground.
A sepulchral structure or tomb, especially one of some size and architectural pretension, so called from the sepulcher of that name at Halicarnassus, Asia Minor, erected (c.352 B.C.) in memory of Mausolus of Caria.
Disposal of a corpse by fire. It is an ancient and widespread practice, second only to burial. It was noted in Greece as early as 1000 B.C. and was the predominant mode of corpse disposal by the time of Homer.
Alcoholic beverage made by the fermentation of the juice of the grape. So ancient that its origin is unknown, wine is mentioned in early Egyptian inscriptions and in the literature of many lands.
Ancient art of obscure origin that sought to transform base metals (e.g., lead) into silver and gold; forerunner of the science of chemistry.