The cornerstones of civilization–war, religion, cities and trade–are explored in “First Civilizations”

The inevitability of war. A need for religion. The lure of the city.
A love of trade. Discover how our ancestors were motivated by the same impulses that persist today to create the first civilizations and empires.

Witness the facts in First Civilizations, available on DVD June 12 by PBS Distribution.

How did humans advance on the road to civilization despite having lived as mobile foragers for 99 percent of their time on Earth? How did they create villages, towns, cities and states and establish the blueprint for the modern world?

This series identifies four cornerstones of civilization–war, religion, cities and trade–and explores each in the context of different civilizations in Mesoamerica, the Middle East and the Indus Valley. Crisscrossing the globe, camera crews traveled to Mexico, Guatemala, Iraq, Turkey, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Oman, Morocco, France, Germany, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. They recorded the latest archaeological discoveries, tested new theories and uncovered original information.

Dramatic reconstructions and computer graphics are used to visualize the lost world of the first civilizations. In each episode, the ancient story is also complemented by a modern-day analog, with an expert interviewee connecting the dots between past and present. Their story is our story.

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