It took enormous efforts and research to bring most authentic history of 10 Ancient Civilizations that ever exits in human history with references. All scientific studies and authentic references are given at the end of this post. This article contains infographic and texts that give you better insights of these 10 ancient civilizations.
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Thanks to Archeologist and Historians that made possible for us to know the events and cultures that shape our modern society. By discovering fossils, artifacts, and ruins of the cities that related with our ancestors, we have known what actually happened ages ago and how these events shape our modern society. Hence, knowing history is essential and learning from it is wise. Therefore;
Let’s look our (humans) history at glance.
Human evolution begins around 55 million years ago. First prosimians evolve. Later, Gorillas, Chimp, and then humans. But yet we were not able to walk on two Feet. It was 5.8 million years ago, our oldest ancestor start walking on two feet. And the same way we evolve for further millions of years. However in 5,500 years ago, agriculture develops and spread. This enable humans to get out from caves and settle in small clans and groups. However, the first civilizations developed in Asia and Africa after people learn how to farm. These civilizations begins in river valleys, which were perfect places for people to grow crops. With the development of farming, people no longer had to travel in search of food. Instead, they could settle down in one place. Eventually, people built the towns and cities and invented government, writing and wheel. It is where civilizations starts!
The following 10 ancient civilizations consider ancient and oldest in the history of mankind.
10) Chivain Civilization: 900 BC – 250 BC
Chavin is one of the oldest pre-Columbus civilization of South America located in Peru. The way Middle East had been the hub of many great civilization, the same way South America had been the hub of civilizations in American continents. Like many other ancient cultures, Chavin was also a religious society. In fact, the culture’s named after their holy site Chavín de Huantar, which was also the capital of the society. According to archeologist, Chavin’s unique geography helped them to grow variety of crops like, maize, potatoes, and quinoa. Additionally, their architectural mind-set can clearly be seen through the temples they build for worship. The temples were suitable for highlands of Peru. To avoid flooding destruction during the rainy season, Chavins build drainage with canals passing under temples.
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9) Olmec Civilization: 1200 BC – 400BC
The Olmec lived in tropical areas of Mexico: modern-day Tabasco and Veracruz. Olmec is consider among earliest civilization of South America, prospered from 1200 BC to 400BC. Olmecs last till weather factors go unfavorable to them. The word Olmec meaning rubber because of their rubber trade throughout Mesoamerica. Olmec was an artful society created some remarkable monuments and artifacts like; hollow baby, fish vessels, and face mask in jade.
8) Hittite Civilization: 1600 BC – 1178 BC
Hittites were the people introduced the use of iron. They were the pioneer of Iron Age. Basically, Hittites belong to ancient Anatolian (modern-day Turkey) people establishment an empire from 1600BC to 1178 BC. They invent techniques to transform iron into weapons. By doing so they manage to form a stronger army. Furthermore, in 1,285 – at the peak of Hittite power – King of the Hatitte Muwatalli II launch military campaign against Egypt. War lasts one and half decade and finished by signing world’s first peace treaty. Finally, Hittite empire came to end when Phrygians conquer the empire in 1200 BC.
7) Maya Civilization: 1200 BC – 900 AD
These were American Indian people formed Maya civilization in Mesoamerica. The Maya culture prospered during 1200 BC – 250 BC in the region of Mexico and Central America – present-day Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, and Honduras. Maya excelled at hieroglyphic script – the only fully known writing system of Mesoamerica. Besides scripts. Maya culture is also famous for its calendar – Mayan Calendar, it is said to be finished in 2012 December, which is nothing but a myth. Additionally, Maya people believe in many gods and goddesses related to different aspects of the daily life. Around 160 gods and goddesses named in Maya manuscript.
Finally, between 800AD – 900AD most stone cities were abandoned and the reason is still debatable. However, in 900AD Maya civilization had collapsed but left behind state-of-the-art architectures and artwork. Three civilizations in 10 ancient civilizations are Mesoamerican.
6) Nubian Civilization: 2000 BC – 1000 BC
Nubia located in South of Egypt, Sudan, and South Sudan. It is place of African civilization – the first large kingdom of Interior Africa. Egyptian call them Kush – Kush Kingdom. It is counterpart civilization to Egypt. Once Egypt conquer Kingdom Kush’s capital, later Kush conquer Egypt. Today Nubia is covered in desert but in ancient time it was fertile land, located near Nile River. Therefore, ancient Nubia was rich in minerals like, gold and copper. Unlike Egypt, Kushite women were active member in their society. They participate in politics, war, and trade. Several Queens ruled over Kush, hence, women in Kush seem to have been more important than Egypt.
5) Ancient Chinese Civilization: 2070 BC – 500 AD
China is not just populous nation in the world but oldest also. Yellow Rives is recognize as cradle of Chinese civilization. Hence, this Neolithic civilization sometimes called Yellow River civilization..
Ancient Chinese civilization prospered near the banks of Yellow River and Yangtze River. In 2070 BC, Chinese small villages formed central government – Xia dynasty. It was founded by Yu the Great – among few Chinese emperor with epithet the Great – who worked thirteen years to control the flooding of Yellow River. And for this he gained mass following, which ultimately leads to the formation of Xia dynasty. The Dynasty ruled ancient China for more than 400 years. In 1600 BC Xia’s ruler, Jei, was overthrown by Tang who established Shang dynasty. From here China has stream of dynasties till 1912 when the last Dynasty collapsed. However, Collapse of Han dynasty is consider end of Ancient China.
4) Minoan Civilization (Greece): 2600 BC – 1450 BC
Minoan was ancient Greek bronze age civilization on the island of Crete. Their major city were Knossos where ruins of Minoan found. The archeologist Sir Arthur Evans was first to discover the possible presence of civilization in Crete island. Basically, Minoans were expert sailors and seafarers – they sail for trade throughout the eastern Mediterranean. Furthermore, their major trades were olive oil and pottery. They traded these goods for elements such as gold, copper, and silver. Finally, Minoans civilization collapsed with putting reasons on the table of debate. Some historians consider the rise of Mycenaean civilization effects trade and culture of Minoan. While other blame natural disasters for the collapse of Minoan. It is only European civilization to fall in 10 ancient civilizations.
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3) Egyptian Civilization: 3100 BC – 332 BC
Egyptian Civilization is world’s most famous and admired culture. They developed their booming culture along the banks of River Nile, which is world’s largest river. Their arts, medicines, and architects shows their supremacy and intelligence. Their culture has significant impact on modern societies as well like, preserving bodies in the shape of Mummies. The Mummification process is called embalming. However, being a mummy after dead was not cheap, only kings and elites can afford such status.
Pyramids is another landmark of Egyptians. Pyramids were built for burial of Royals. Pyramid’s mass and complex designs hints that Egyptian culture set higher importance for burial sites. The largest pyramids – Great Pyramid of Khufu for the King Khufu – took 20 years to build with thousands of workers and 2 million limestone block.
In a word, Egyptians were the people took humanity to complete next level.
2) Indus Valley Civilization: 3300 BC – 1300 BC
Yes it is Indus Valley that is older than Egypt enough older to hold 2nd position in 10 ancient civilizations list. Indus Valley civilization – also called Harappan civilization – started nearly 5300 years ago. The civilization arose as river valley that reached at maturity by the year of 2600 BC. Indus Valley’s existence and ruins spread all over Pakistan, Southern Afghanistan, and Northern India. The largest settlements of Indus Valley Civilization is Mohanjo-Daro (the mound of dead), which is located in present day Sindh province of Pakistan. The city is one of the earliest urban center in human history. The city sheer size spanned nearly 500 acres, about 5x the size of Vatican City. Indus Valley was consist of two districts with state-of-the-art derange system, public baths, and nearly 700 fresh water wells. Hence, the diverse social and economic system of Indus Valley can be seen in Mohenjo-Daro.
1) Mesopotamian Civilization: 3500 BC – 500 BC
Mesopotamia – modern-day Iraq and Kuwait – was oldest and ancient civilization in human history. Mesopotamia has title of cradle of civilizations because most influential ancient cultures, cities and empires first emerged there. The word Mesopotamia means “between the rivers” in Greek. It was the area between two rivers: Tigris and Euphrates. It lies between Asia Minor and Persian Gulf.
The region is a part of Fertile Crescent, a fertile rich land of farming. This allow civilizations to develop near Fertile Crescent. In fact, rather then a single civilization, Mesopotamia is a set of different civilizations like, Babylonian, Assyrian, Sumerian, and Akkadian. Among them Sumerians were the oldest one. Their invention were remarkable, they were the first to build ship and wheel. With such technology they start trading, which ultimately leads to the concept of writing down record of sales and purchases. Hence, they invented such things that were still in use of modern humans – wheels and ships.
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