list of ancient civilizations and cultures

The terrible fates of most great civilizations of the past were brought about by themselves or by others looking to destroy them. Between 1438 and 1532, the Inca people blossomed from a small tribe to being South America’s largest empire in the pre-Columbian era, and during its zenith, their borders even crept well into Ecuador and Chile. A typical trademark of many ancient cultures is pottery and art, but this unique society has never produced a single shard that’s been found, nor did they seem inclined to pick up a paintbrush. Settlements mushroomed alongside the river, and the earliest agricultural villages date back 7,000 years, setting the scene for the country of Egypt that still exists today. Instead, they enjoyed plenty of food, big spacious cities, modern-looking streets with drains, and sewage systems that kept the cities clean. The culture perished under the pressure to convert to Christianity and from the rampant spread of European diseases, but the Maya themselves never went completely extinct, as millions of their descendants exist across the world today and continue to speak several Mayan languages. It’s both a creation story and a destination after death, a sort of blueprint for a prosperous life. – 1900 B.C.Original Location: Around the basin of the Indus riverCurrent Location: Northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan, and Northwest IndiaMajor Highlights: One of the most widespread civilizations in history. This area, comprised of modern-day Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada, and the states of Sonora and Chihuahua in northern Mexico, has seen successive prehistoric cultural traditions since approximately 12,000 years ago. Ranging from Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, and Engineering, numerous ancient cultures had amazing knowledge thousands of years ago which we have not managed to understand, despite a great effort by mainstream scholars. and declining by about 1600 B.C.The Indus, also known as the Harappans, developed sewage and drainage systems for their cities, built impressive walls and granaries, and produced artifacts like pottery and glazed beads. Putting aside the invasions and the many conflicts that followed, the fruitful soil of the region allowed those who settled Mesopotamia to reach levels beyond mere survival, using it to rise to their full potential. The purpose of the terracotta statues remains unsolved, but historians speculate that they likely celebrated female strength and beauty. Despite this, the regional culture was able to develop its own flavor — with hallmarks such as using clay tablets for record keeping and communication, known as “cuneiform” writing — before everything was snuffed out of existence by the Persians when they seized Mesopotamia in 539 B.C. This neolithic society is a great window into studying the human transition from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to settling and staying in one place long enough to farm. Much like the Polynesian people of Easter Island, they also … The site also produced what could be the most ancient sample of Chinese writing ever found. Egyptians are perhaps the most well known of the ancient civilizations and while they made several social, cultural, and political advancements, they are best known for creating The Great Pyramids, whic… – 1,800 B.C.Original Location: PeruCurrent Location: Andean Plateau along Peru’s west coastMajor Highlights: Monumental architecture. Mesopotamia is credited with the beginnings of human civilization and many things that would change the world — the invention of time, the wheel, mathematics, maps, writing, and sailboats. He gave the last emperor the boot and settled as king of Italy, ending the Roman civilization in 476 A.D. Period: 550 B.C. After dominating for nearly 1000 years, they were conquered by the Akkadian Empire in 2334 B.C. Alexander was met with fierce resistance, but knuckled Persia into submission and ended its long and brutal reign. Alexander the Great from Macedonia used the convenient roads to trot along, conquering the Persians who were financially exhausted from the suppression of revolts among their captured states. A… Sensing blood, Rome’s adversaries gathered, and having to fight them off left the once incredibly wealthy culture broke. – 1046 B.C.Original Location: Yellow River and Yangtze regionCurrent Location: Country of ChinaMajor Highlights: Invention of paper and silk. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. And, in 1274 B.C., Pharaoh Ramses II ended a bloody 200-year-old conflict with the Hittites when the two kingdoms agreed to be allies, signing one of the world’s first peace treaties. In addition, their economy was an ever-healthy beast; during a good day, Tenochtitlan’s marketplace bustled with the activity of 50,000 people looking for a bargain. Meaning the “Land Between Rivers” in ancient Greek, Mesopotamia was a region — not a single civilization — and several cultures benefited from the fertile lands that today includes southwest Asia and swathes along the eastern Mediterranean ocean. The Spanish arrived on ships in 1517 and sparked epidemics, battles, and death with the locals. Ancient Egypt was one of the ... Kerma. Natural resources made them wealthy enough to achieve this, and they lived in peace due to their neighbors preferring to trade for Indus specials like copper, timber, and semi-precious stones. The Vinca culture is the oldest Neolithic civilization in Southeastern Europe dating back to between 5500 and 4500 BC. Ancient American Civilizations Cultural development can be separated into three categories of increasing intellect and complexity. During the time of the Greek Dark Ages, only a few villages toiled the earth; by the time Ancient Greece was in full swing in 700 B.C., these villages had buffed up into entire city-states. Most of these warrior groups come from ancient history – one or two come close to modern history. Period: 1438 A.D. – 1532 A.D. Achievements of Ancient Civilizations In 3500 B.C early civilizations started in the river valleys of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and India. 1. and settled along a dry and hostile strip of land. Nobody knows for sure where they came from, but, ultimately, the Aztecs planted their flag in the south-central region of pre-Columbian Mexico. – 900 A.D.Original Location: Around present-day YucatanCurrent Location: Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco, and Chiapas in Mexico; south through Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, and HondurasMajor Highlights: Complex understanding of astronomy. to 331 B.C., this royal hobby of collecting new territories granted the Persians the largest empire recorded in ancient history. Roma - Gypsies. Literally, thousands of gods are named in Sumerian and Akkadian, some of the oldest writing on the planet. Or even that they practiced inequality, racial or through social class, amongst themselves. Besides acing agriculture, art, and architecture, their political and military excellence won the Aztecs nearly 6 million subjects from 500 city-states — each consisted of its own territory, and many that were conquered paid a tribute that boosted the Aztecs’ wealth. The Spanish conquistadors that walked off of ships and onto South American soil brought with them a serious case of gold fever, as well as influenza and smallpox. The Royal Road helped to establish an express mail service as well as control over a vast territory. Inner conflict, drought, and their conquest by the Spanish in the 16th century all conspired to boot this stunning civilization straight off a metaphorical cliff. TIME-LINE OF ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS Comparing by geographical region. Ancient Egypt. Although she left out Kush, Nubia and the other African civilizations concurrent with Egypt. The world-view of the early civilizations was an authoritarian, or top-down, world-view, rooted in the idea that power, privilege, control, and even knowledge, flowed down from the priests and kings to the common people. The oldest of these settlements was found near the town of Jiahu, in today’s Henan Province of Eastern China. And just for extra measure, the Chinese also invented and perfected porcelain-making, a thousand years before European craftsmen figured out their secret. Between 1438 and 1532, the Inca people blossomed from a small tribe to being South America’s largest empire in the pre-Columbian era, and during its zenith, their borders even crept well into Ecuador and Chile. Arts of the ancient world refers to the many types of art that were in the cultures of ancient societies, such as those of ancient China, Egypt, Greece, India, Persia, Mesopotamia and Rome. The people who settled the banks of Italy’s Tiber River then exploded, growing into the most powerful ancient empire ever seen. Among the most ancient of cultures, the people of Babylon developed a diverse melting pot of deities, derived from the older Mesopotamian cultures. For thousands of years, Mesopotamia was prime real estate, and every surrounding culture and group wanted it. – Present DayOriginal Location: AustraliaCurrent Location: AustraliaMajor Highlights: The first known human civilization. The ancient Greek civilization was one of pure invention — they polished the concepts and theories of art, science, technology, and literature; they planted the seeds for democracy, the American Constitution, and governments driven by the idea of freedom the world around. The Spanish used their superior weapons and strategies to steamroll over the fragile resistance that remained, and once the last emperor, Atahualpa, was executed, all that remained of the Inca was a page in history. 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