Cultural Diffusion Essay

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Cultural Diffusion in Western Civilization Cultural diffusion is defined as “the spreading out of culture, culture traits, or cultural pattern from a central point”. This tends to happen just about anytime two different cultures have contact with each other. There are two major ways that culture can be diffused, which are through war and through trade. When two civilizations are at war they are introduced to the opponents culture and some aspects tend to fuse together. Civilizations set up trade relations between each other because they can’t produce everything that they need to survive. When this happens they trade different items or ideas, which results in cultural diffusion. Cultural diffusion is played quite a huge part in the development of the Western civilization. An early example of cultural diffusion involves the first civilization forms, which was the Sumerians. The Sumerians were the first to develop writing around 5,000 BC. This type of was called cuneiform. This form of writing was formed from the Sumerians by making pictographic carving on clay tablets using reeds with wedge-shaped tips. After the impression was made they heated the tablets until they were hardened. Years later in 1849 Archaeologist were excavating and discovered King Assurbanipal’s, Assyrian king, library of these clay tablets. Preserving the Sumerian culture is the only way we know of this civilization, and since it was the Assyrians who preserved it the culture was diffused. Another contributor to cultural diffusion was Phoenicia. Having lived on a coastal port the Phoenicians made their living from the sea. They used ships that they constructed themselves to travel up and down the coast trading with others. We know trade equals cultural diffusion. Since they traveled by sea they needed a way to communicate with the people that spoke different languages. To do this

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