How Human Civilization Starts?

A long, long time ago, thousands and thousands of years ago, people lived very differently than they do today. Instead of living in a house or a city and buying their food at a store, people lived in small groups hunting animals for meat and gathering wild food like vegetables, berries, and fruits. We call these people hunter-gatherers, which is easy to remember because that’s what they did. Most hunter-gatherers lived so long ago that we have no written record, or history, of them. Since they lived before written history began, we call them ‘prehistoric.’ Most of what we know about prehistoric people was learned by archaeologists. Archaeologists are scientists who study humans by looking at what people have left behind. Archaeologists discovered that at some point the hunter-gatherers learned to grow their own food and domesticated animals like cows, pigs, chickens and goats. This is called ‘agriculture.’ Agriculture helped provide a steady source of food. People were even able to grow and store more food than they needed. Hunter-gatherers needed to move around to find animals and food, but in order to farm, people needed to stay in one place. Staying in one place, with extra food, people started to build villages. More and more people were able to live together because there was enough food. There was so much food available that some people began to be able to do work that was not directly related to getting enough food to eat. Those people started to specialize, or concentrate on becoming experts in, one kind of work. That meant that one person could learn how to make really good pottery, and another person could learn to weave better cloth, and they could trade those things to the people growing food and get what they needed to eat. As technology improved and inventions like wheels and irrigation allowed people to grow even more food, villages grew bigger and became towns and cities. People began trading with people from other cities, and then with places very far away. In order to keep track of these trades and their increasingly complicated lives, people began to develop writing. Several different systems of writing began as something called ‘pictograms,’ or pictures of things, and then gradually changed to represent ideas and then sounds. Through all of these changes, people developed societies known as ‘civilizations.’

A civilization is a culture and a way of life that usually has a few specific characteristics. Number one, civilizations need to have agriculture and extra food available. They have large cities filled with lots of people. They have specialized labour and well-developed trade. In almost all cases, they have a written language. Civilizations have strong governments. They have shared values, in ancient times usually a shared religion. As well, they have their own style of architecture and artwork. The first known civilization developed over seven thousand years ago, in Mesopotamia. Since then, many different and fascinating civilizations began popping up all over the world, and there are still many today. Do you think you can name any civilizations?