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The Developement of Civilization

According to Websters Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, civilization is a relatively high level of cultural and technological development, specifically the stage of cultural development at which writing and the keeping of written records is attained. Other sources trace the meaning of civilization to political, economic, military and social structures as well as the heightened intellectual and artistic aspects of life (Spielvogel,xxxi). Civilization developed as the crises of everyday life necessitated change. As history progresses, we study our past in search of guidance and other crucial information to help us along the way. The study of civilization also plays as an agent to defer us from duplicating past blunders.Before recent finds in East Africa, paleoanthropologists thought civilization began in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley, often referred to as the fertile crescent. In the year 1959, Mary Leaky, coming from a prestigious paleoanthropological family, found a nearly complete human like skull which dated back to before the fossils of any Southeast Asian finds. In 1972, a team led by her son Richard found the remains of a skeleton over 200,000 years older (Lerner,4-5). These ancient people are known as Australopithecines and wandered through East and South Africa (Spielvogel,3) The tools of these people were very crude. They seem to have been made for agricultural purposes. From this human like species, also referred to as Homo habilis, another group sprouted. They represent the second stage of human life and are called Homo erectus (Lerner,6-7).The finds in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley date at about 1.5 million years old. Migrants from Africa, also part of the Homo erectus group, they began to apply the use of larger and more sophisticated tools (Spielvogel,3). They were not only physically advancing in their height, compared to the pygmy sized Homo habilis, but had an increased brain capacity as well. It is taken from...

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