Episode number 3 of Series “The World: A Television History”.
The birth of civilisation (6,000 BC - 2,000 BC) was first recognised in Mesopotamia, Egypt, India and China. These four different civilisations were distinguishable from other cultures by several special features: the rise of cities and urban centres, craftsmanship, writing, a calendar, and mathematical skills. Dams and irrigation, also a feature, were set up to cultivate vast, dry lands. These were great achievements but with civilisation came the end of democracy, and although it was a decisive turning point in the advance of civilisation, it was at great human cost. Based on The Times atlas of world history.