Human history may be viewed from various angles. The easiest history to write concerns the doings of a few well known people and their involvement in some memorable events. History may also concern itself with inventions and discoveries: the use of fire, of the wheel or smelting metals. It may center around sources of food, means of shelter, or the making of records. It may be concerned with the construction and decoration of cities, kingdoms and empires.
red sequentially in the course of its life cycle.
These thoughts about culture and civilization should be supplemented by noting the relationship between civilizations and empires. An empire is a center of wealth and power associated with its economic and political dependencies. A civilization is a cluster or a succession of empires and/or former empires, co-ordinated and directed by one of their number which has established its leadership in the course of survival struggle.
The total body of historical evidence bearing on human experiments with civilization is extensive and impressive. It covers a large portion of the Earth's land surface, includes parts of Asia, Africa and Europe and extends sketchily to the Americas. In time it covers many thousands of years.
Experiments with civilization have been conducted in highly selective surroundings possessing the volume and range of natural resources and the isolation and remoteness necessary to build and maintain a high level of culture over