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Cradle of civilization facts for kids

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The cradle of civilization refers to locations where, according to current archaeological data, civilization is understood to have emerged. Current thinking is that there was no single "cradle", but several civilizations that developed independently, with the Fertile Crescent (Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt) understood to be the earliest. Other civilizations arose in Asia among cultures situated along large river valleys, notably the Indus River in the Indian subcontinent and the Yellow River and Yangtze River in China. The extent to which there was significant influence between the early civilizations of the Near East and those of East Asia is disputed. Scholars accept that the civilizations of Mesoamerica, mainly in modern Mexico, and Norte Chico in present-day Peru emerged independently from those in Eurasia.

Scholars have defined civilization using various criteria such as the use of writing, cities, a class-based society, agriculture, animal husbandry, public buildings, metallurgy, and monumental architecture. The term cradle of civilization has frequently been applied to a variety of cultures and areas, in particular the Ancient Near Eastern Chalcolithic (Ubaid period) and Fertile Crescent, Ancient India and Ancient China. It has also been applied to ancient Anatolia, the Levant and Iran, and used to refer to culture predecessors—such as Ancient Greece as the predecessor of Western Civilization—even when such sites are not understood as an independent development of civilization, as well as within national rhetoric.

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