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Name:__________________________ Date:

Characteristics of civilizations activity

1.List at least three characteristics of early cities. (For help, refer to your textbook on
pages 24-26.)

2.Now you need to research the characteristic of civilizations that you were assigned.
Every person should fill out these notes and each person will create a picture. You will
be able to talk with your group and share ideas about what to include.

• Name of characteristic (Front of Paper)

• Four to five major points based off your research. (Back of
▪ After doing your research, what are the five most important
things to know about this characteristic, that you can share with
the class?
• How this characteristic shows human advancement. (Front of
▪ Think about advancement in terms of allowing people to become
increasingly better in terms of science, technology,
modernization, quality of life, etc.
• A sentence that relates this to present day. (Back of Paper)
▪ For this question, you need to write an example of how this
characteristic is relevent and still expressed in the present day.
• An illustration. (Front of Paper)
▪ Draw a picture of a human either using or being apart of the
characteristic you researched. This picture should take of most
of your page and should be colored. ** You can takes notes on
a seperate sheet of lined paper or on the back of this sheet.
The paper that you draw your picture is what you will turn in
with your workbook on Friday.
Characteristic #1
Organized Government. As cities grew, governments formed. Building large
irrigation systems and feeding a growin population required planning, decision
making, and cooperation. Early governments probably formed in response to such
needs, The governments in the first civilizations created laws and established
systems of justice. To help coordinate people's efforts, government officials
supervised food production and building projects. In addition, officials gathered
taxes and organized a defense or military system for protection from dangerous
people both within and outside the community. In some early civilizations, religious
leaders such as priests held government power, while in other early civilizations,
influential elders (older,wiser people) warriors, or even certain families held power.

Characteristic #2
Formalized Religion. Early civilizations had formal religious institutions that
included ceremonies, rituals, and other forms of worship. To gain the gods' favor,
priests and other religious leaders performed rituals, such as religious leaders
performed rituals such as sacrificing animals or offering gifts for food. To honor
the gods, people built large temples and participated in a variety of ceremonies.

Because religious leaders often interpreted, or gave explanation, for the will of the
gods, priests became powerful figures in many early civilizations. At the same
time, priests and rulers competed for power. To prove their authority, some
leaders claimed that they ruled by the will of the gods or that they represented
one o fthe gods on Earth. As a result, governments and religious institutions were
often closely connected in early civilizations.
Characteristic #3
Specialization of Labor. As cities became more complex, the division of labor
increased and many new jobs developed. For instance, officials gathered taxes,
engineers planned irrigation systems, and soldiers defended city walls. While some
people farmed, others built large public works, such as temples and roads.
Artisans, or skilled craftspeople, devoted their time to crafts such as basketry
(making baskets), carpentry (a builder who makes things out of timber) metalwork,
or pottery. Merchants (who trade goods that they do not necessarily make
themselves) and traders exchanged the products that artisans made and brought
back things they got from other areas.

Characteristic #4
Social Classes. As urban (or city) societies developed institutions and
specialized labor, a social order developed as well. This social order was based on
people's occupations, wealth, and influences. In early civilizations, wealth, and
influence. In early civilizations, rulers, priests, and nobles had the most power and
ranked highest in the social order. Merchants and artisans usually ranked next.
Below them were farmers and unskilled workers, who made up the majority of
people. At this time, some slaves were people who had been captured in war, while
others had been sold into slavery; these innocent people were often captured from
their communities and taken as hostage.
Characteristic #5
Record Keeping and Writing. As life in early cities grew increasingly complex,
people needed ways to keep permanent records. For example, merchants needed to
keep records of trade goods, and officials need to track tax payments. Some
people kept records by using clay tokens and pouches to keep records. The shape
of each token and the markings on it represented a specific item, such as a goat or
a piece of pottery. The tokens were scored in a clay pouch. The first writing
systems used pictur symbols to represent objects or ideas. In time, people created
more advanced writing systems that used abstract symbols to express a wider range
of ideas. With the development of writing, early civilizations began to create a
written record of their society.

Characteristic #6
The Arts. The people in early civilizations produced amazing works of art. The
styles and technique that artists used reflected each civilization's culture. Early
artists created statuses and paintings of gods and goddesses, heroes, and rulers.
As the use of bronze spread, some artisans created intricate art pieces in bronze.
Works of art often adorned city squares, public buildings and royal tombs. The
most elaborate pieces of art, such as monumental statues of rulers, were meant to
reflect a civilization's power and bring its ruler prestige.