Morgan believed (1877) that all cultures passed through these stages of development, although some became "stuck" in a stage. A simpler explanation is that these 'stages' are levels of understanding achieved by a civilisation.
|Level Of Understanding||Characteristic|
|Civilisation||Alphabet and writing|
|Middle||Domestication of plants and animals|
|Savagery||Upper||Bow and arrow|
|Middle||Fish subsistence and fire|
|Lower||Fruit and nut subsistence|