Primary vs. Secondary Characteristics

A civilization is a social system or culture defined by specific characteristics; both primary and secondary.  There are six primary characteristics that make up all civilizations which include: urbanization, agriculture, specialization, complex economy, stratification, and state authority. These characteristics in my opinion are more important in characterizing a civilization compared to the secondary characteristics. The secondary characteristics of a civilization are: monumental public works, writing, metallurgy, tribute & taxation, mass production of goods, state religion, state art, and epidemic disease & malnutrition. The reason I think that primary characteristics are more important than secondary characteristics is because while primary characteristics are shared among all civilizations secondary characteristics are not. They are used merely to help strengthen the identification of a civilization. The secondary characteristics make up the parts of the primary characteristics that can be used to describe them. For instance the secondary characteristics monumental public works, writing, tribute & taxation, mass production of goods, state religion, and state art can all be used to describe how  a civilization demonstrates the primary characteristic of state authority. This reinforces the fact that primary characteristics are general ways of describing a civilization and that secondary are more detailed characteristics. The primary are basic general characteristics that are more important because they make classifying a civilization easier and as you want to began to describe a civilization more specifically the primary characteristics break down into more specific parts in the secondary characteristics that are used to continue to describe how complex a society is. The secondary characteristics describe more the specific parts of a civilization that make it complex while the primary are better for generalizing what a typical civilization looks like thus making them more important when trying to describe a civilization. You can use the primary characteristics as check list for what a society needs to be considered complex then use the secondary characteristics as a way to further describe a civilizations complexity and compare which areas of the civilization is it more complex in than another. Overall both sets of characteristics are useful in describing a civilization; however, primary characteristics are more important because of their ability to describe exactly what characteristics a typical complex civilization has. Secondary characteristics are only important in comparing two complex civilizations and showing the more specific areas of complexity within a civilization.