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Centuries of study coupled with modern technology have enabled historians to provide our modern society with a relatively clear in-depth image of the conditions which caused the emergence of civilization on earth There is evidence that civilization began in Mesopotamia with the abandonment of the huntergather lifestyle around 4000 BC though there are suspicions that earlier civilizations may have been present in India The exact reason why people abandoned the huntergather lifestyle is unknown but there are many theories as to the contributing factors We do know that people lived in bands or groups prior to the emergence of civilization and that people that lived in these groups worked in concert with each other to improve the welfare of the group Though cooperation and group living arrangements do not constitute a civilization A true civilization employs the use of agriculture tools script religion establishes cities and has a division of labor Civilizations are able to support a non-food producing population such as nobility religious officials artisans and architects China Mesopotamia Egypt and the Indus River Valley have been identified as true early civilizations These early civilizations shared many similarities as well as many distinct differences The most predominant characteristic shared by the four civilizations is that they were all riverine Chinese civilization emerged near the Yellow River Mesopotamian civilization along the Tigris and Euphrates Egypt along the Nile and in the Indus River valley the population lived in relative close proximity to the Indus River Access to water was an essential element for the mass production of food crops All four civilizations were forced to deal with flooding and droughts because of the weather patterns of their regions of the world To be able to produce food in these lands the ancient people had to develop flood control irrigation systems and to learn to use the silt from the riverbed as fertilizer Although each civilization had to contend with the same issues floods and droughts
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