Lewis Henry Morgan and Edward B. Tylor came up with the idea of unilineal evolution of civilization in the 1800s. In this scheme humans start out as primitive savages and work their way up to civilization.

Lewis Henry Morgan went so far as to divide the earlier two stages into three sub-stages. Each of his stages are defined by some development of technology. So, here are his 'official' definitions of civilization, barbarism and savagery.


Upper: Iron
Middle: Stone and adobe buildings, domesticated animals
Lower: Pottery

Upper: Bow and Arrow
Middle: Fire, fishing
Lower: Language

This idea is outdated! Anthropologists no longer consider society to 'evolve' in the way biological animals do. A society without iron isn't 'less developed' than one with iron. This node is here as a historical curiosity, not a study guide for racism.

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