Secondary Characteristics Of Civilization

Powerful Essays
By Alyx Shepherd
Anthropology 327: Origins of Civilization
Instructor: Dr. Steven R. James
Thursday, April 24, 2014

When thinking of Egypt one may conjure up images of pyramids, the Great Sphinx, hieroglyphs, mummies and the Nile. To understand how such a great civilization came to be, one must first become familiar with what it means to be a civilization. There are several characteristics, outlined by British archeologist V. Gordon Childe, that act as a checklist for what constitutes a civilization. Childe’s list was restructured by Charles Redman into Primary characteristics and secondary characteristics of civilization. By examining long distance trade and writing in ancient Egypt one will be able to see how these secondary characteristics were the foundation for a number of the primary characteristics present in Egypt.
Before Egypt established its’ many dynasties the ancient Egyptians lived in small groups along the Nile until they realized that the only way to sustain life in such a rough environment would be to work together.“We may assume that up to 6000 B.C. the inhabitants of the Nile Valley were engaged in a mixed economy of food extraction with variable degrees of reliance on fishing, hunting, and plant collecting” (Hassan 146).After these small bands merged together the dynasties of Egypt began. The history of Egypt is divided into a number of dynasties which are marked by three specific periods of development starting about 2650 B.C. There's an Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom and the New Old Kingdom.
King Menes unified the fi...

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