In field of history, people often recognize concept of "civilization". The original meaning of word "civilization" refers to educated, cultured, polite, etc. The word "civilization" in Chinese first appeared in Book of Changes, such as "seeing dragon in field, world is civilized", "his virtue is strong and civilized, it must be at level of sky, and this is based on "Yuanheng", "starting from civilization, humanism." In addition, all these "civilizations" have meaning of enlightenment, cultural management and enlightenment, and they are relative concepts in relation to barbarism.
In Europe, etymology of Civilization also means educated, polite and cultured. The etymology of "Civilization" is Latin word "Civilis", which has three meanings: most basic meaning is urban and civil, second is social and political, and derivative is polite. All words derived from Civilis refer to cities and townspeople. In ancient Greece and Rome, people believed that those who lived in cities and city-states were civilized, while other areas were barbaric. In 1765, Mirabeau, a statesman during French Revolution, first used concept of "Civilization" in "Friends of Humanity" (civilized society). Since then, word has become widespread. During Qing Dynasty, Civilization was translated as "civilization", which corresponded to its enlightened meaning.
The "country" and "state" used in English today mean "castle", which is very different from city-state concept. In Chinese, word "country" has little to do with word "civilization." The ancient Chinese used to say that country is "city", "bang", "country" and "i", etc., which are actually related to city. also from mouth to Ge. The big "mouth" here means city wall. During Western Zhou Dynasty, people who lived in city were called "countrymen", which is similar to Civis (citizen) in Latin, and people in countryside were called "savages".
Summarizing, "Civiliz(s)ation" in English actually has two meanings "civilization" and "country" in Chinese. Also, due to problems with translation, word "civilization" in field of history mainly uses meaning of "country" and "city". The American scholar Morgan divided history of mankind into a wild society, a barbarian society and a civilized society in "Ancient Society", among which civilized society is divided into an ancient civilized society and a modern civilized society. The "civilized society" proposed by Morgan is stage at which man entered state.2. The emergence and standards of civilization
This word also means "country" and "city". The word civilization in field of history has meaning of "enlightenment" and "civilization" in both China and West, and Chinese and Europeans at first considered citizens to be civilized people and citizens. This is not an accident, but an inevitable law of historical development.
In earlier times, people mainly lived by fishing, hunting and gathering, with very low productivity and lack of material accumulation. In this era, human social groups are called "primitive groups", living in caves, and society is very backward, not far from animals. In Neolithic era, in connection with invention of agriculture and cattle breeding, economic production began to stabilize, and a slight material accumulation began to occur. Human settlements began to evolve from natural cave dwellings to nest dwellings, that is, to construction of houses. In China, there is a legend "You are Nest." With settlement, primitive villages began to appear, and society improved a lot compared to what it used to be. In this era, agricultural production was still unstable, and collection still occupied an important place. In addition, population was of great importance, and reproductive cult prevailed, so that this was a period of prosperity for matrilineal clans.
Once agricultural production stabilizes, population of tribe will increase, and conflict between tribes will also increase. At this time, status of men began to rise, transition to a patrilineal tribal society began. In era of patrilineal clan, private property sprouted within clan, classes began to differentiate, and hierarchical management appeared. In a long development, villages turned into cities, upper stratum of society (the ruling class) mainly lived in city, and bottom of society lived in countryside. The population in city is larger than in village, and structure is more complex, a number of state institutions have arisen to manage. Most importantly, cities are foundation of a country, and before there can be countries, there must be cities. But this does not mean that there should be a country if there is a city. The period when city arose and country has not yet appeared, there is a transitional period to countryside. Therefore, earliest countries are small city-states.
The emergence of cities has very clear signs in archeology, but emergence of countries (civilizations) is difficult to determine archaeologically. In 1958, American scholar Clark Hong put forward three archaeological standards for origin of civilization, namely cities, characters, and complex ceremonial buildings. In 1977, Shigeru Kaizuka of Japan named bronzes, palace foundations, and writing as three standards of civilization in his supplemental notes to The Development of Ancient Chinese Historiography. In 1983, in a lecture on "The Origin of Chinese Civilization" in Japan, Xia Nai proposed country, city, characters, and bronze as criteria for origin of civilization, and believed that symbols were most important. Today, cities, characters, and bronzes are commonly used as symbols of the rise of civilization.
In any case, city is most basic symbol of birth of civilization, and rest are optional. For example, bronze utensils originated in Western Asia, and then spread beyond its borders, and closer place of origin, earlier they began to use bronze, and in China bronze appeared later, and in America it did not even appear. As for writing, this is also a derivative product of country. In some places, cities have been discovered, but there are also written languages that have not been found. For example, Inca Empire in America did not have a written language. Thus, writing and bronze are not suitable for studying whether a civilization originated in region, but absence of writing or bronze also shows that development of this civilization is still very backward, far from reaching a mature state.
Narmer palette front and back
Theoretically, a country is product of one class oppressing another class, so checking if a nation is in a country can be done in terms of power. Once a nation enters a state, it must have power of state power. In agricultural and civilized countries, earliest national authority is royalty. The original "kings" were warlords, not clan leaders. In process of long-term development, king gradually became supreme ruler. In archeology, royal symbols such as ax and ax have been discovered, indicating that royal power has sprouted. If royal power is deified, this means that royal power has already been formed. In maritime civilized countries, royal power is often unable to defeat power of council of elders, so appearance of royal power cannot be used as a symbol, and loss of power by an assembly of citizens must be used as a symbol.Thirdly, time when various regions of world entered era of civilization.
The earliest cities in world also appeared in Western Asia and North Africa. Eridu, earliest city in Western Asia, emerged during Mesopotamian period (5300-3000 BC) and entered city-state stage during Uruk period (3500-3000 BC). In Egypt, earliest cities appeared during Negad I culture period (4000 BC - 3500 BC), and symbols of royal power have been found. During Negad II culture period (3500-3100 BC), it entered stage of city-states. At that time, there were 16 city-states of Nome in Ancient Egypt. Each city-state had a certain territory, coats of arms and worshiped gods. That is, Ancient Egypt and Lianghe entered era of civilization almost 3500 years ago, 5500 years ago.
Influenced by Mesopotamian civilization, many of surrounding ethnic groups entered era of civilization very early. For example, Phoenicia on Mediterranean coast emerged as a city-state in 3000 BC. and became earliest maritime civilization in world. The ancient state of Elam in southwest of Iranian Highlands was also founded in 3000 BC. The Assyrian kingdom in north of two rivers began to emerge in 3000 BC. After that there were Hittites, Jews, Medes, Lydia, Persia and other countries, and time was later.
The time of emergence of cities in Indus Valley is second only to North Africa and Western Asia. Since 1921, archaeologists have discovered two major ancient cities in Indus Basin, Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro (both with populations of over 40,000), as well as over 100 smaller towns and villages. Over 30,000 seals were also found in these ruins, and seals had letters, but were no longer legible. Later, Aryans went south and destroyed Indian civilization.
Europe's earliest city arose on island of Crete in Greece around 2000 BC, as evidenced by archaeological discovery of a Minoan palace. Troy is located on peninsula of Asia Minor. According to archaeological finds, ruins of city of Troy were first laid in 3000 BC, and ended in 400 AD. They are divided into nine periods, one of which is ruined city of Troy in Homeric epic. Neither Trojan civilization nor Cretan civilization was created by Indo-Europeans, it was created by Mediterranean peoples who had close ties with ancient Egyptians and inhabitants of Mesopotamia. Therefore, European civilization is a derivative civilization.
China entered civilization later than Western Asia, North Africa and South Asia, but it must be earlier than Europe. According to archaeological finds, earliest cities in China include Simao in Shaanxi, Shenmu in Shanxi, Liangzhu in Zhejiang, and Lingjiatan in Anhui. The Lingjiatan urban site in Anhui Province is 5500 years old and is earliest urban site in China. Liangzhu site may be successor and development of Lingjiatan site from about 3300 BC. to 2000 BC However, these cities have not yet entered city-state stage, like Negada I culture period (4000–3500 BC) in ancient Egypt and Ubaid culture period (5300–3000 BC) in Mesopotamia. .
Liangzhu Ancient City Ruins
The earliest urban settlement with clear national or civilizational characteristics discovered in China is site of Erlitou. The time of Erlitou culture is from about 1800 BC. to 1500 BC, equivalent to Xia and Shang dynasties. Palaces, residential quarters, pottery workshops, copper casting workshops, cellars, tombs and other relics were discovered at this place. A large number of relics have been discovered, such as stone tools, pottery, jade, bronze, bone and horn items, and shellfish items, among which bronze jue is earliest known bronze vessel in China. The earliest urban civilization in China, marked by site of Erlitou, appeared 3,800 years ago. Many scholars believe that Erlitou site is a Xia dynasty site, but evidence is insufficient. The Erlitou site may also be a pre-Shan site. Of course, 3,800 years of civilization is really short, and Chinese archaeologists need to keep working hard to discover sites of an earlier civilization.
Due to limited geographical environment, period of civilization in America and Sub-Saharan Africa was much later than in Eurasia and North Africa, while Australia was still in primitive society before Great Navigational Movement. The earliest civilized country in Black Africa was Ethiopia, where in 12th century before that, kingdom of Kush was founded, which was formed under influence of ancient Egypt. Ghana, Mali and Songhai did not appear in West African countries until 8th century. The earliest civilized country in Central Africa was established in Zimbabwe in 13th century. The earliest civilization in Americas was Mayan civilization, which arose in 6th century and died out in 15th century. Subsequently, Aztec civilization appeared in Mexico, and in South America - Andean civilization (Inca Empire). The development of African civilization and American civilization is not high, and they are usually at an early stage in development of country. For example, Maya were at an early stage of city-state, and "Inca Empire" is like a powerful union of tribes.