There are some ancient first civilizations that remain popular until today – whether it is because of their advanced technologies or because of their unique way of living. Our world is quite old – it has undergone millions of years in its existence. During those times, humans evolved. They started forming a group – mostly because of mutual understanding. From that point, they became dependant of each other and it was viewed as a practical (and safe) lifestyle.
From individuals, humans grow to small (but isolated) groups. From those groups, they grew again to communities, and then societies were formed, leading to a creation and existence of civilization. Civilization andcommunities (as well as societies) have shaped and formed human psychology and mentality – including some of the popular changes that are constantly evolving from time to time. These have always become interesting topics for anthropologists and historians.
For that, we are going to talk about some real ancient first civilizations whose facts have been recorded by many old manuscripts. Unlike Rama, Lemuria, or Atlantis civilizations that were believed to be real but whose evidence isn’t still found until today, these real civilizations have helped shaping the world we know today. They have helped shaping and forming cultures, ideas, and concepts – most of them still exist until today. We have our own cradle of civilization and these civilizations have become the witness of the time and history as they unravel.
This is one of the oldest and yet also most popular civilizations in the world. It lasted from 1438 AD to 1532 AD. It is believed that this civilization existed in the exact location of present Peru – most likely around the area of Peru, Chile, and Ecuador. What makes this civilization special is the fact that it was the biggest empire in South America, believed to take place during the pre-Columbian era.
Besides being the biggest empire in South America, it is also believed that the civilization had their own impressive and pretty advanced military forces and administrative management – at least for that time. They had their own political, military, and administrative center at Cusco, right in Peru (present time). The communities and societies somewhat had an established foundation. Since the beginning, the empire was rapidly growing and developing.
Each civilization had their own belief or religion. For the Incas, they believed in Inti, the Sun God. Their king was called ‘Sapa Inca’ which means the Sun’s child. Pachuti was the first Inca king who had managed to transform a modest and regular village to a great and developing city within the unique shape of an animal – a puma, to be exact. Pachuti was the one who also expanded the ancestor worship tradition.
Later on, when he died, his son got the power, but all of Pachuti’s fortune and wealth was distributed to other relatives. They, in return, would preserve the king’s mummy and also sustain his political view and influence. This has lead to an increase of power of the communities significantly. The Incas were also known as great builders. They had built sites and fortresses – some of which still exist until today. Cusco city or MachuPicchu, for instance, are the perfect examples of how great they were to build things. No wonder if the Incas are included within the popular and ‘successful’ ancient first civilizations whose influence still remain.
Most people think that this civilization is similar to the Incas.They are completely different, mind you. Whereas the Incas civilization happened during the pre-Columbian era, this one took place in pre-Columbian Mexico. Aztecs civilization lasted from 1345 AD to 1521 AD in southern central area of Mexico. The biggest highlight of this civilization was the Nahuatl language which became a major influence.
You could say that during the Incas period of ruling, the Aztecs civilization was considered a powerful and strong contender – especially since they both took place in North America despite the different areas. In the year 1200 AD and to the beginning of 1300s, people could live in 3 big cities rivaling to each other: Tlacopan, Texcoco, and Tenochtitlan. In 1325, these rivaling cities decided to create an alliance and join forces together. As the result, a new state was formed and it was ruled under the name of the Valley of Mexico. At that time, people liked Mexica (as their name) better than the Aztecs. And then the Aztecs were rising after the Mayans (another civilization that influenced Central America and Mexico) fell. It took a century for the Aztecs to rise after the Mayans fell.
One of the reasons by the Aztecs could be strong and powerful was because of the Tenochtitlan. It was their military power base that would play an important role in every new territory conquest. The ruling method was quite unique. The Triple Alliance would hold on the power while local governments (or governors) would be in charge for every city or area. They would have to pay a tribute to the main government (the Triple Alliance). The amount was various.
In the beginning of 1500s, the civilization was hugely growing. In fact, they were at the peak of power. But the Spanish then arrived and they had their own expansion plans in mind. This event had led to a big fight and battle between the Spanish alliance and the Incas in 1521. The Spanish alliance was led by Hernan Cortes. When the Spanish won the battle, it was followed by the fall of the Aztec empire.
Who has never heard about this civilization before? This is one of the ancient first civilizations that would create a base in the modern civilization. The era was from 550 BC to 465 BC within the Latini village or Rome, as we know in the present day. The major thing we know about this civilization is how powerful it is despite the ancient period – and how advanced they were for that time period.
Although the origin of Rome was somewhat legendary and surrounded by mythical belief, its existence wasn’t. The Roman civilization began in the 6th century BC. It became one of the biggest civilizations during the ancient time that managed to cover a big area of land. Even the countries in Mediterranean sea (modern time) were only a part of the Roman Empire.
Early Rome was ruled by kings, but then only 7 of them had ruled the city. Later on, the Romans took over with their power and ruled themselves. Then they created ‘the senate’ a council ruling over them. And since then, Roman Republic was formed. During this time, some of the greatest Roman emperors had ruled and fallen. Whether they were famous or notorious, the world’s history had witnessed their greatness and failure. We may be familiar with names as Augustus, Trajan, or Julius Caesar.
Why did the empire fall, after all? Simple. It had become so big and vast that it would be impossible to monitor and rule by only one single ruler. And in the end, the empire was overrun by millions of eastern and northern Europe’s barbarians.
This is another great ancient first civilizations that managed to cover a very wide area. During its period of 550 BC to 465 BC, the empire was able to conquer modern day Egypt (located in the west) to Turkey (in north), and then Mesopotamia to the Indus River (in east). The empire was in modern day Iran, expanding their territory and areas. They were the first to introduce the concept of the Olympics, as well as Senate and Democracy.
Despite their short ruling period (that ‘only’ lasted for 200 years), the ancient Persian empire was considered one of the most powerful ones. They managed to conquer and then cover 2 million squares of miles areas – stretching from Egypt to Greece and India. They were also known for their wise rulers and military strength.
The Persis (they were called that way) originally was divided intoareas and factions with different leaders. Later, King Cyrus II (or Cyrus the Great) was ruling the area and unified the entire kingdom – creating a magnificent force and power. Afterwards, he conquered the ancient Babylon. The conquest was so quick and efficient that he already conquered (and invaded) India by 533 BC. The next generations (after Cyrus passed away) had followed Cyrus’ ruthless expansions. Among many of their battles, they were involved in the legendary battle with Spartans.
During its peak of power, the Persian Kingdom managed to be one of the most influential first civilizations that ruled central Asia and some parts of Egypt and Europe. But then Alexander the Great, the legendary Macedon soldier, managed to defeat this kingdom. As the result, the civilization ended around 530 BC.
This may not be the oldest civilizations we know, but they definitely one of the most influential ones in the world. Just like the Romans, some of their inventions still exist today – and they have remarkably set up a great foundation in the world. The civilization took place from 2700 BC to 1500 BC with locations in Sicily, Italy, North Africa, and western France. They also the one created the concept of senate, democracy, and the Olympics.
Thereis historical evidence that this civilization had been scattered within a very wide time period. Because of it, historians had to create different categories and divide them into various periods. Among the most popular periods, we are familiar with Hellenistic, Classical, and Archaic period. During these periods, there were many inventions created. The world had witnessed them to existence – and how they changed the world forever. For instance, they Greeks created the ancient Olympics, along with the concept of senate and democracy. They also laid down foundation in education, especially for modern physics, biology, geometry, math, and even astronomy. The names Archimedes, Aristotle, Euclid, Alexander the Great, Socrates, Pythagoras, and Plato are some names that remain popular for their beliefs, inventions, heroic acts, and theories even until today. When we are talking about the most influential first civilizations, Greek civilization should be included within the list.
This is another ancient and influential first civilizations that originated from Yangtze and Yellow River region. The period lasted from 1600 BC to 1046 BC. Han China was the name for the Ancient China, and this civilization had their own historical journey. The time period was vast and huge if you consider all of the dynasties ruling the area.
It is believed that the Yellow River was the ‘cradle of life’ for Chinese civilization – meaning that they started here. It is also believed that the early dynasties formed and based here. And then there was Yellow Emperor legend in 2700 BC that started his ruling, and since then many dynasties rise to cover the mainland of China. The first dynasty to rule the whole China in 2070 was Xia Dynasty. Since then, many rulers and dynasties had come and go within different time periods – and it ended in 1912 AD during Qing Dynasty and Xinhai revolution. Since then, the history covering four millennia of Chinese civilization ended. What happened during those times still marvel historians and anthropologists – even until today. Not to mention that the Chinese civilizations had contributed some of the most important and also useful inventions, such as compass, cannons, paper, gunpowder, alcohol, silk, printing, and so much more.
The period lasted from 2600 BC to 900 AD. This is one among the ancient first civilizations that set up the basic understanding of astronomy. Thanks to them, we can understand astronomy and the system – although they managed to come up with the complex concept before the modern era. The civilization took place in Yucatan (present day), covering the area of Tabasco, Capeche, Quintana Roo, and also Chiapas in Mexico strength southward through Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
This civilization developed and flourished especially in Central America. What makes them popular until today is their calendar system. When the civilization was at its peak, it was one of the most sophisticated ones with booming population reaching 19 million of people. In 700 BC, they had developed their own writing system, which they later used to create and invent their solar calendars – and they would carve it in stone. According to them, August 11 3114 BC as the time when world was created (based on their calculation). They also predicted that it should end on 21st December2012. From this ‘prophecy’ the popular movie ‘2012’ was created – you probably have watched it.
In terms of culture, the ancient Mayans were rich – even when compared to the contemporary civilizations. Both the Aztecs and Mayans built bigger pyramids than the ones in Egypt. But their sudden end and decline have remained a mystery to today’s modern scientists and historians. Why would such a sophisticated civilization with a huge number of people suddenly stop and collapse during the 8th century? They didn’t entirely disappear but it seemed that they just suddenly stop and vanished. Some of the descendants still inhabit different areas of Central America but the mystery still remains.
The civilization that started from the Nile River bank had flourished and developed fro 3100 BC to 2686 BC. The greatest achievement they had made was the Pyramid. When we are talking about the ancient first civilizations, the Egyptian civilization would pop. After all, they are known for their pyramids and sphinx, the majestic civilization, and their unique culture.
It is believed that there had been early settlers in Nile Valley in 3500 BC. Later on, the Upper and Lower Egypt was unified and ruled under the first Pharaoh in 3150 BC. The ancient Egyptian histories are pretty long and wide, divided into Intermediate Periods (the time where stable kingdoms took place). These periods cover the era of Old Kingdom (Early Bronze Age), Middle Kingdom (Middle Bronze Age), and New Kingdom (Late Bronze Age). Thanks to them, we know things like the mummies, Hieroglyphics, the pyramids, the first solar calendars, and much more. Egypt civilization had reached its peakduring the New Kingdom era where great pharaohs ruled the land. Rameses the Great is one of the pharaohs from New Kingdom time. He managed to rule the Nubians, another contemporary societies and civilization.
This is the civilization dated back to 3300 BC to 1900 BC at the Indus River Basin. It is now known as the area of the northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan that also covers the northwest of India. It is important because it is one of the civilizations with most widespread span, covering around 1.25 kilometers in size. This is one of the oldest ancient first civilizations along the Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. Known as the Old World early civilizations, this one had set up a foundation for the next civilizations.
The population was located in Indus River basin and also in another river ran through northeast of India and eastern of Pakistan, named Ghaggar-Hakra. This civilization was also known as Harappan and Mohenjo-Daro civilizations. The names were given based on the sites where the civilization remains are buried and found. It is believed that this civilization was once technologically advanced with sophisticated urban culture. It means that they were the first urban center ever existed in the world. The people had great accuracy in measuring time, mass, and length. Based on the archeological evidence, they had a rich culture in crafts and arts.
This is another ancient first civilizations, along the Indus Valley, dated back to 3500 BC to 500 BC. The area is now known as Iraq, Turkey, and Syria. When the time human had existed in the world, this was the first civilization that emerged. It was a very old and ancient civilization – so old that the exact time of the beginning is still unknown. Before the time evidence, there had been no records of any earlier civilization before them. Around 8000 BC people started to understand the concept of agriculture and also domesticated animals. They started to learn that domesticated animals could be used to help in agriculture and also for food. They also started to form the concept of art as a part of civilization and culture.
The modern civilizations and cultures we know today are the results of the ancient civilizations – civilizations that started millions of years ago. Human history evolved and grew. Human had developed from the time where hunting was the only way for them to get food to the era where agriculture had given them stable source of foods. Societies were created and formed. They also changed along the way as time passed. Each civilization had contributed their own parts – new lifestyle, new philosophies, new ideas, new inventions. What we are today have been shaped for millennia – starting from the first civilizations.