8-2 Social Studies Discussions

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Can the society of any agricultural settlement (such as Çatal Hüyük p.43 in textbook) before about 5000 BCE be described as a “civilization?”?

 Why or why not?

Here was our definition of civilization.

Should contain all or most of the following characteristics:

  • Cities.
  • The state: a central governing authority in which a relatively small group of people exercised, to some extent, command over the economic and political life of everyone else.
  • Job specializations (Part of the population have jobs or professions other than growing food or herding animals.)
  • Institutions for collecting, storing, and distributing surplus products, staffed by officials and managers.
  • Social class hierarchy – Typically, a small privileged elite occupied the top rank, the vast majority of farmers, herders, and laborers the bottom.
  • Institutionalized religion.
  • Monumental public architecture.
  • Writing.
  • Creation and accumulation of knowledge in mathematics, engineering, astronomy, and other technical and scientific fields.

Also see Google Classroom for the notes written by Alex during our class discussion.