Today we are going to take a close look at civilisation and a closer look at the oldest civilisation of them all, the Indus Valley Civilisation.
A civilisation is any complex society characterized by urban development, social hierarchy which is controlled by a social elite, symbolic systems of communication such as writing and a supposed separation from and command over the natural environment. You will recall from the last instalment of the Human Story series that the proto-cities of Jericho in the Levant and Jiahu in the far east had some of these characteristics but failed in possessing all of them: hence why they are not considered civilisations. Another way to look at the prerequisites for the status of civilisation is whether a society possess at least four of the following:
• Surplus of food
• Specialisation of labour
• Social stratification and centralised government
• Shared values (e.g. religion)
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