The Oldest Civilization in the World | Ancient Times

Civilization
Civilization

Civilization | If you want to find out the concrete details of the oldest civilization in the world then that will be a bit difficult because there are no clear records of a single civilization. In this article, I will talk to you about the five civilizations that flourished around the same time and could be the candidate for the title of the oldest civilization in the world.



The concept of “cradle of civilization” is the subject of many debates and varied opinions. Figuratively, the use of the cradle in the sense of the place or region in which everything is fed, educated, built in its primary stage is attributed to Spencer in Rollin’s Ancient History which thus describes Egypt.

Civilization is defined as a society that has a complex agricultural and urban culture that differentiates itself from other cultures as a result of social complexity as well as various economic and cultural activities that are an integral part of society. This is why, when we talk about the oldest civilization in the world, we refer to those societies that have developed socially, economically and culturally, and not to those settlements of human beings who have lived a nomadic existence.

The cradle of Civilization

Archaeologists have begun a research to discover it. But few wondered if there was only one. Hence possibilities have become unlimited.

They attest to the fact that there was not only one cradle, but some independent developments of civilizations, of which the one nearest to the Eastern Neolithic would be the first. The importance that there was a strong mutual influence between early civilizations in the Horn of Abundance (including Mesopotamia and Levant) and East Asia is controversial, while the Andes and Mesoamerica civilizations are accepted as being independent of those in Eurasia. If the writing is taken as the premise of civilization, then the youngest swing is in the Early Dynasty of Egypt and Sumer (jemdet Nasr).

The cradle of civilization can be one of the five locations presented in the first civilization. According to many experts, civilizations, as we know and understand today, were born as a form and concept in what is called the Fertile Crescent (Mesopotamia), and then expanded to other areas due to a nomadic lifestyle. But this traditional view was disputed by many scientists and archaeologists.

From their point of view, there is no single cradle of civilization because the independent development of civilization took place in several geographic areas such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus Valley, Shang (Yellow River Valley), and South American Mesoamerica and Andes. The reason for this belief in several cradles of civilization led to the observation and study of the relics of that period. These relics highlight how different characteristics have developed irregularly and independently in these different civilizations.


The interaction between the various communities due to the nomadic lifestyle has led to the development of common and technical systems in agriculture, metal and ceramics, etc. It is therefore difficult to specify what is the oldest civilization in the world because there was no clear answer to the question. The five civilizations discussed below are competitors for the title of the oldest civilization on Earth.

Gordon Childe defined the development of civilization as a result of two successive revolutions: the Neolithic Revolution (triggering the development of the stable communities) and the Urban Revolution, which increased the tendencies towards dense settlements, occupational specialized groups, social classes, exploitation of surplus, monumental public buildings and writing.

Mesopotamia

Civilization

Credit: Danita Delimont Gallo Images Getty Images

Many experts, as mentioned above, believe that Mesopotamia being located in Fertile Crescent is the oldest civilization in the world. The reason for this is that Mesopotamia is in the place where the Tiger and Euphrates converge, making it extremely suitable for agriculture. Many agrarian societies, therefore, settled here. Also from Ubaid, Sumerian civilization, Akkad, Babylon, and Assyrian civilizations are all located in this area, Mesopotamia is thus considered to be the oldest civilization in the world. Settlements can be traced to Mesopotamia at the beginning of the Bronze Age, dating back to 7000 BC. The oldest sites were in Jarmo, and the oldest cities were established in Sumer during the Uruk period. Mesopotamia, over the years, was led by the Greeks, Persians, Mongols and Turks, is the area we are currently identifying with Iraq.

Egypt

Civilization

Pyramids at the Giza plateau

One of the oldest civilizations in the world, with archaeological and anthropological evidence, showing the existence of settlements in the area since 10,000 BC, but there is no clear evidence of continuity. Considering agriculture as their main source of food, but it remains a problem-solving – namely sites found in another area, which can be dated in the same period and that show the practice of hunting and fishing. This is indicated by studies showing that the land around the Sahara was not so arid as it is today, and it was perfect for agriculture and grazing.

This was about 2500 BC  when the settlements moved to the Nile because of climate change and unpredictable conditions when civilization was established as a more complex society. The ancient Egyptian civilization was responsible for several lasting inheritances for all of the humanity, including pyramids, mathematical systems, medical practice, glass processing techniques, and also the paper in its primary form.

Ancient India

Civilization

Taj Mahal, India

Settlers existed in the area before 6000 BC, because there is evidence from this period. Studying the history of the Indus Valley civilization, we find it a well-developed society. These settlements have been effective cultivating enough to be able to maintain and trade – here have been found cereal remains, funerary tombs, stone and copper drills, etc. found in the area that is currently Pakistan. The civilization in the Indus valley has historically seen complex social structures from 4000 BC, the most important cities being Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro – its name means “the chalice of the dead.” The Decimal Faction System is one of the gifts of the Indus Valley’s civilization for the modern world. Here are also found the first scales, sewer systems and irrigation, seals and other crafts sculptures. Excavation from sites began in 1920 and the latest discovery was in 1999.


China

Civilization

The Ancient China Great Wall

China is already announced as the world’s oldest civilization. Relics dating back to 7000 BC were discovered in China. In fact, in some cases, reference dates vary between 9,000 BC. and 5500 BC. There is evidence of agricultural practice, ceramics, tools, even animal husbandry. Civilization can be traced back to the establishment of the city-states in the Yellow River Valley around 2200 BC. But this claim is being disputed by the first dynasty, which is archaeologically defined by the ancient Shang Chinese dynasty that began its reign somewhere around 1750. There are very few verifiable data about previous settlements in the area due to lack of written records or any such documents.

Mesoamerican and South American

Civilization

Mesoamerican Pyramids

In America, the oldest civilizations were located in South America and the Mesoamerican. The oldest Mesoamerican civilization was the Olmec civilization that was established around 1200 BC. The settlements were traced back to 5100 BC, following records of the cultivation of corn from that time. Some of the main cities that were established under the Olmec rule were San Lorenzo and La Venta, which, like other cities, are said to have giant statues of the Emperor.

In South America, the oldest civilization was Norte Chico, which was a group of connected settlements with large cities at Aspero and Caral.

There are still no clear records or dating methods that can give us an exact time for the time of these civilizations. But these five civilizations were our predecessors. No matter which of them is the oldest civilization in the world, some of the most important inventions and discoveries such as agriculture or ceramics can be accredited to them.


References:

  1. http://www.descopera.org

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