Ancient Culture and Civilizations

In order to have proper knowledge of reality, people should find the answers to the most important issues of human existence in the past. This statement is supported by a number of the ancient world’s researchers. Vindoladna, Timgad, Herculaneum and Pompeii, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Mayas, and Aztecs remain interesting objects of scientific studies.

Vindolanda

The lives of the soldiers of Vindoladna were rather different. The matter is that the army consisted of people who, instead of the performance of their military service duties, were involved into diverse activities, such as shoe repairing. As the soldiers of Vindoladna were the frontiersmen, their service was rather calm and peaceful. Despite the order within the army, people managed to entertain themselves and take care of their families. For example, the letter of an officer asking the authorities to send more beer means that the soldiers could afford relaxation. All the people had special diet, which was changed from time to time. As it has been proven, the army was not static and located in one place. It was always moving, and the soldiers were not allowed to live in their native territory. This information was collected after certain researches. For example, in the ruins of the city, archeologists found some Vindoladna tablets. Each of them contained written evidence of the true needs and condition of the soldiers. The researchers found hundreds of letters written on the wooden tablets. The life in Vindolanda can be studied with the help of the analysis of the architecture, silver tablets and other examples of cultural development.

Timgad

Timgad was built around 100 AD by the Emperor Trajan. It is located on the territory of the modern Algeria. The city was aimed to be a bastion against the Berbers, but this plan was not realized. Timgad embodied the magnificence of the Roman Empire. It was a colonial town, which was built for the soldiers who served in the Roman army for more than 25 years and their sons. However, the building of this city had a political purpose as well. For example, people who lived there were able to gain citizenship through the fighting for the Romans. Nevertheless, they cheated the military system in order to gain the privileges and advantages of living in Timgad. The city represented the traditions of the Ancient Roman Empire which included grid plan, developed sewerage and water system, the equality of all houses’ size and places for entertainment. Its residents could enjoy comfortable and bright life guaranteed by the Empire. The fantastic living conditions, the impressive architecture and the availability of arenas made sure that the citizens were able to combine noble feeling with the entertainment and rest. Thus, former soldiers could enjoy the fruits of their service by living in Timgad.

Herculaneum and Pompeii

Both Herculaneum and Pompeii were ancient Roman cities which were destroyed by the volcano. These towns were the samples of the culture of the Roman Empire since they had developed infrastructure, architecture and social order. As the researchers claim, the ruins of Herculaneum demonstrate the lifestyle and customs of the Romans from inside. The scientists managed to find out what the last minutes of the inhabitants before the volcano’s eruption were. For example, there is a fact that two artists were painting one of the city walls when the earthquake begun. The stark colors and plaster prove that master and his assistant were working on the wall when the disaster started. Their destiny remains unknown, though they had time to survive. The other elements which describe the Roman culture are the frescoes. These pieces of art are everywhere including the walls and the floor of the destroyed city. Every object found in Herculaeum and Pompeii is priceless for modern historians and culture researchers. The cities are full of eloquent evidence that clearly represents true historical events. The main feature of such facts is that they are grounded on empirical data that is a solid base for reliable researches and studies in numerous areas of scientific knowledge. After the excavations of Herculaneum, the historians started modeling the life of the city before the disaster. They analyzed the ruins and identified the cultural period the city belonged to. The methods of synthesis and comparison allowed the researches to find the similarities and differences of the city compared with the other representatives of the Roman culture. After the chemical analysis of the ruins, the scientists stated the material and time of their construction and collapsing. Essentially, the researchers wanted to find out the reason of such a dangerous location of Herculaneum. They managed to prove that the Romans did not even know that their mountain was a volcano. People were unaware of a possible danger, they respected nature and its every manifestation. When the earthquake began, people did not pay much attention to it. The Romans thought that the gods were angry, which made the earth shake. When the dogs wanted to run away from the city, the citizens did not take it into consideration and did not let them rescue. When magma was erupting, the inhabitants did not realize that its extremely high temperature may destroy everything. Because of these factors, the scientists have found many people’s remains.

The Origins of Civilization

The characteristics of civilization include many factors of the society’s development. First of all, civilization is characterized by the availability of cities. Moreover, the community should be mentally developed in order to use the scripts which form the words. The advanced social structure implies the society’s division into political, economic and cultural spheres, which create the levels of society. Central governments and law codes are the attributes of civilization. The civilization involves organized religious system, the division of labor and the use of complex technologies. Undeniably, some researchers list other characteristics, but the features mentioned above may be found in all the civilizations including the one of Mesopotamia that is considered the most ancient civilization. It was spread in the territory of the modern Iraq between the rivers Tigris and the Euphrates. The first inhabitants of this civilization were Sumerians. This “cradle of civilization” was divided into three main states, such as Sumer-Akad, Babylonia and Assyria. The myth about the man’s creation from red clay originated in Sumer. Ritual centers were built in the places where people felt the flow of power. Since such sites were believed to provoke the improvements and inspiration, important government buildings were constructed near them.

It is hard to estimate the positive and negative aspects of civilization as history is not aimed to ethically evaluate the events. The main advantage is that civilization provokes human development. Human activity may be harmful to the nature; nevertheless, mankind owes civilization its existence. Ancient civilizations have determined the further destiny of people. For example, Mesopotamian civilization gave mankind writing, technologies and rules of farming, cultural artifacts and religious beliefs. The civilization of Maya demonstrated a difficult system of sky observations known as the Mayan Calendar. Egyptians developed the cult of death that was expressed in great pieces of architecture, such as Pyramids and temples. They also created interesting mythology and a burial system. The civilizations which originated in India developed the world religions such as Hinduism and Krishna worshipping that remain popular in the 21st century. The civilization of Aztecs invented a system of difficult mathematical calculations, which are not completely understood by the contemporary scientists.

It may be concluded that the ruins of ancient cities may provide the researchers with the reliable facts. The first civilization originated in Mesopotamia and may be characterized by the developed social structure, divided labor, the availability of technologies, writing, recording, government and religious systems. The civilization can not be explained in terms of its positive and negative aspects because its impact on further mankind’s development is undeniable.

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