What Are the Basic Characteristics of a Civilization?

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The basic characteristics of a civilization include population centers, monumental architecture, written language, distinct art styles, division of labor, a system of administering territories and division of social classes.

Population centers are generally large areas populated by people. They are known as urban areas, and these centers help civilizations develop.

Civilizations attempt to preserve their legacy by constructing large structures or monuments, such as Mount Rushmore, the Eiffel Tower and the pyramids.

Written communication is an important characteristic of civilization. This characteristic helps create systems of trade and government. Writing allows people to express thoughts and record history.

A system of administering territories is another basic characteristic of civilization. This allows the civilization to rule over a large area. Historically, there were a variety of methods used in this system such as building a network of roads to improve communication between distant territories. The creation of roads also made travel for the military easier.

Divisions of labor require different people within the civilization to perform specialized tasks. For example, some members of the community might farm, while others hunt, and both farmers and hunters might rely on others in the community to provide the clothing..

Division of social classes is another basic aspect of civilization. Social classes are classified by either income or the type of work one does. For example, Western civilization breaks economic classes up into a wealthy class, middle-class and poor.