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Questions tagged [civilizations]

Civilizations refers to a means to organize groups of people around common: culture, race, ethnicity, language, religion, national boundaries, etc. The organizing principles are not concrete. Questions about civilizations should be definite in scope, and related to the particular characteristic(s) ...

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What is a good introduction into (western) civilization?

I recently asked this question: How can we be certain of customs in the primitive age? Here it was stated that the Durants' work is flawed and outdated to a certain extent. Is there a more modern ...
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why were animals domesticated? (for meat and fur) [closed]

So my understanding is that it was not until the industrial revolution until people could eat farm animals commonly, while hunter gatherer groups subsisted on meat as the main part of their diet, so I ...
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Did Egyptian civilization start from North to South or vice versa?

I've been reading archeological claims that say that the ancient Egyptians came from the South and that the first chiefdoms and kings were in the south. Some also claim that there is a crown of ...
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Were there any ancient civilisation that functioned without currency or bartering? [closed]

As required here is how I define the terms used in this question: • money/currency: is something that has little use to the individuals (such as metal coins) but has a commonly recognized value the ...
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2answers
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What is the difference between a culture and a civilization?

This is my first question on this site. So, I just hope I would be helped here. As used by historians, what is the difference between a 'civilization' and a 'culture'? I used Google to find some ...
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Was feudalism a necessary step on the path to modern political and economic systems? [duplicate]

There is no one commonly accepted definition of Feudalism, but we can broadly define it as a system of reciprocal obligations between landowners and serfs. It was the dominant system of politics and ...
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2answers
177 views

How is it determined what Culture is Period/Dynasty/Civilization part of?

I'm trying to make a fairly complete history for a con world and I'm looking at historical groups to make the history more realistic and I noticed something... At some point the names of these groups ...
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Why were there no agricultural, city-state forming civilizations in the Ice Age?

In spite of various fringe historians claiming to have found remains of Ice Age civilizations on lost continents, Atlantis and what not, there is - to the best of my knowledge - no tangible evidence ...
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Is there an accepted explanation for multiple independent “cradles of civilization”?

Human history begins with millions of years of hunter-gathering and lithic technology: The Paleolithic ... is ... distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools ... and covers ...
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1answer
461 views

Why hasn't Sub-Sahan African developed as fast as other regions between the beginning of civilisation and European colonialism? [closed]

First I asked the following question: How much contact did Sub-Saharan Africa actually have with the rest of the world since the beginning of civilization? I was expecting answers such as 'not much ...
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How advanced were the people of Indus valley civilization in engineering? [closed]

How advanced were the people of Indus valley civilization in engineering aspects compared with other civilizations during or before their time?
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How much contact did Sub-Saharan Africa actually have with the rest of the world since the beginning of civilization?

The book 'Guns, germs and steel' introduced me to the fact that the Sahara desert actually isolated Sub-Saharan Africa from the developments elsewhere since the beginning of civilization until ...
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302 views

Which country traces its roots back to the oldest civilization? [Reliable sources only] [closed]

I've searched a lot to find any reliable and trustworthy source of information about this and found this on this very site. My questions is, can we essentially agree that the oldest countries by ...
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Has a plague ever caused a civilization to collapse?

It is a fairly common trope in apocalyptic fiction to imagine a plague to cause modern civilization to completely collapse. (c.f. Stephen King's "The Stand" ). But has this ever actually happened in ...
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How do archaeologists prove that two settlements belonged to the same civilization?

Suppose I found two different settlements named A and B. These settlements are located near the river X. The distance between A and B is so that it would take at least M months of continuous travel to ...
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2answers
677 views

Were there more than 4 River Valley Civilizations? [closed]

If you graduated U.S. Public School education system(k-12), you might have learned about the 4 great River Valley Civilizations: Indus, HuangHe, Nile, Euphrates. They were basically the birthing ...
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1answer
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What was the primary reason for the rise and success of the Roman republic / empire? [closed]

The Roman republic and its successor, the Roman empire, were extremely successful. The territory of the empire did encompass several times the size of the early republic. What was the primary cause ...
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When did the last Terra Nullius vanish from the earth?

By "Terra Nullius" or "white spot" I mean a place where you (if you were so inclined) could "legally" settle and live in some wilderness as a trapper or farmer without having to ask for permission, ...
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1answer
556 views

What evidence do we have that historical accounts we've found of ancient civilizations weren't fictional? [closed]

How do we know that the accounts we've found of civilizations (E.g.Egypt) weren't actually fictional literature in the way that Plato's Timaeus and Critias mentioned the island of atlantis as an ...
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2answers
425 views

Is Sumer considered by historians as a part of Western Civilization? [closed]

Well is it?It seems to me that a continuing cultural thread runs from Mesopotamia passing through Europe and finally arriving in North America.Or Greece and Rome are a breaking point with "Oriental" ...
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1answer
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Is there evidence in Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel that supports his “due not to innate differences in the peoples” conclusion? [closed]

This is an except from the epilogue of Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. New York London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2005 I would say to Yali: the striking differences between the long-term ...
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3answers
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Why weren't Harappan homes built of stones?

I was reading about the Harappan (Indus valley) civilization, their architecture, in my History book when I came across this line: Stones were not used in building houses. Seriously? Why? What ...
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6answers
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What factors enabled Europe to conquer almost the whole world? [closed]

As we probably all know, after ancient and medieval times European countries traveled to almost every part of the Globe. Today's heritage are, among many others, Roman law and alphabet, Gregorian ...
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5answers
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Was there a single ancient religion that all others sprang from?

Many religions share same stories, Christianity, Judaism and Islam for example (the ones I know of at least). Some of those stories could even be traced to earlier civilizations in the Middle East ...
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What is the first known organized religion in the world?

Which were the first religions to be created with well known scriptures, ceremonies and traditions? Was it that of the ancient Egyptians or the old kingdoms of the Middle East? What about Africa or ...
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Finding reviews of academic books?

I find it quite diffucult to find reviews of academic books on various subjects, especially for books in the english language. In Denmark we have a service where we can search almost any book academic ...
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Historical examples of significant no man's lands between states in perpetual conflict

What are some historical examples, if any, of large-scale (say > 100 square kilometers) "no-man's lands" between states in perpetual conflict? These states would be mutually hostile, firmly divided ...
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1answer
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How many hours per day did a Sumerian farmer sleep?

I wonder about the life-styles of the inhabitants of ancient civilizations. As a particular case, if we consider the era of Sumer, what are the significant diversities compared to rural life today?
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How does Göbekli Tepe fit into the current picture of society development?

Göbekli Tepe is a huge archaeological site in Eastern Turkey, currently under excavation (make sure you click on "Pictures"). It is one of the oldest architectural complexes in the world, possibly the ...
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8answers
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How common are major cities not built by abundant water?

When you look at the biggest cities in the world, they all tend to be built on a major body of water, either a coast, a large lake, or a major river. This made sense in ancient times, as abundant ...
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3answers
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Is there a student of Arnold J Toynbee with an opinion about the state and fate of Western Civilization?

Toynbee studied history centering his work on the life and death of civilizations. As Wikipedia says: Toynbee argued that "Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder." For Toynbee, ...
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1answer
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Did all writing civilizations eventually produce cryptography?

I know some of the ancient civilizations did encrypt their messages. Did it happen everywhere where writing was known? If it didn't happen somewhere, what were the reasons?
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556 views

Continent-wide common languages in human history?

My question on rpg.stackexchange.com seems to have reached a point where a "history-person" would be quite suitable to answer it. So let me rephrase it, so as to be at least marginally suitable for ...
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1answer
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Why did civilisation/city states never take root in Australia and North America?

I recently read that the Australian Aborigines numbered close to a million during the time of Botany Bay and comprised of ~250 tribes/nations. The Native Americans of North America also boasted ...
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Is there a majority viewpoint for the fall of the ancient Egyptian civilization?

This article on the end of the ancient Egyptian civilization posits four different points at which the civilization ended: Is it the definitive end of native Egyptian rule (at least until the 20th ...
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492 views

Resources on the History of African Civilization

I was wondering if anyone might be aware of any good resources on the history and development of African civilizations? I will of course be seeking council from the Most Wise and Great God Google, ...
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What is the contemporary knowledge of the theoretical history?

I have noticed, that posts here do not use in their argumentation the terminology and thoughts of the theories that attempted to make history more scientific, tried to put a base under it. I mean ...
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1answer
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What are the social preconditions for division of labour, when compared in different emerging civilizations?

I would like to know if historians/economists/sociologists agree on the preconditions required for division of labour in ancient and/or earlier societies. Are there any common preconditions and ...
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Which country traces its roots back to the oldest civilization? [closed]

Which country is recognized or documented as having the first prominent civilization? After reading so many articles, I couldn't determine which country should be acknowledged as having the oldest ...
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What makes a distinct civilization?

Inspired by this question, I have a more general one: What is, historically speaking, a civilization? We can identify broad traits that make a society a civilization- agriculture, city building, ...