Throughout history, different civilizations have been established on all continents except Antarctica. Each established civilization played an important role in the development of humanity in general. Humanity has reached today’s level of knowledge and culture thanks to ancient civilizations that emerged thousands of years ago! Many scientists believe that the structures that emerged on the stage of history and can be called civilizations in the real sense were established between 3000 and 4000 BC. These civilizations arose in present-day Iraq, Egypt, India, Mexico, China, and Peru! However, Mesopotamia had a different importance among the oldest civilizations in human history! Because Mesopotamia, which refers to the region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers today, was a region where many civilizations emerged and humanity developed for thousands of years. Here are the 6 oldest civilizations, which are of great importance for the history of humanity…
Mesopotamia, which means “between two rivers” in Greek, was home to many of the most important civilizations in human history! This civilization, which emerged between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, continued to evolve despite the never-ending wars! Many vital developments such as writing, astronomy, law, architecture and agriculture first appeared in this region! The first modern cities of human history such as Babylon, Assyria and Akkad were also established in Mesopotamia! The discovery of writing by the Sumerians, one of the most important civilizations in Mesopotamia, was the biggest step taken by humanity.
The “Laws of Hammurabi” of Babylon, another Mesopotamian civilization, became a very important turning point for human civilization. However, the contributions of civilizations in Mesopotamia to humanity were not limited to law or writing! Important developments in the fields of astronomy and mathematics also appeared here for the first time! Today, civilizations in the Mesopotamian region are responsible for making 1 minute 60 seconds, 1 hour 60 minutes, 360 degree circle and 12 months in a year. In short, it is possible to find traces of Mesopotamia, which is called the “Cradle of Civilizations”, in almost every aspect of modern life.
2. Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was destroyed by Alexander the Great in 322 BC and took its place on the dusty shelves of history! However, this extinction did not take away from the importance of Ancient Egypt. Ancient Egypt, which became the most magnificent and rich civilization of its time thanks to the fertile Nile River, spread over a wide geography from today’s Syria to Sudan. Today, this ancient civilization is mostly remembered for its unique pyramids. However, it is not hard to imagine that they developed a civilization that was quite competent in many respects even to be able to build such magnificent structures! It is known that thousands of people work at the same time in the construction of such large structures. This means that Ancient Egypt had advanced organizational skills, something unique to true civilizations…
Ancient Egyptian civilization had a highly developed agricultural and medical system as well as a high organizational ability. The 24-hour day and 365-day calendar system for agricultural activity was developed by this civilization. Another development that emerged in the field of agriculture was the invention of length and measurement units! In addition, thanks to the famous mummies, they had a very high knowledge of medicine and anatomy. They established a pictorial writing system called hieroglyphs. It was they who wrote in ink on the papyri.
3. Ancient India
Ancient Indian civilization dates back to 3300 BC. This deep-rooted civilization also has very important contributions to humanity. Ancient Indian civilization stands out with its advanced city layouts and incredible infrastructure projects. Also, this belief system had a huge impact on Ancient Indian civilization, as evident from Hindu texts written thousands of years ago. For this reason, Ancient Indian communities, which made great progress in the construction of religious buildings, made an extremely important contribution to humanity in terms of architecture.
4. Ancient China
Ancient Chinese civilization, with its history dating back to 2000 BC, is one of the oldest civilizations in human history! Surrounded by the Himalayas, the Gobi Desert, and the Pacific Ocean, Ancient Chinese civilization was sheltered and isolated for hundreds of years. Thus, this ancient civilization could only focus on developing its own civilization, away from invasions or wars! From compass, gunpowder, map to irrigation canals, many things originated in Ancient China! However, this ancient civilization pioneered many military and economic developments that are still used today.
5. Ancient Peru
The region where today’s Peru is located was home to countless civilizations thousands of years ago. Peru, Chavin, Paracas, Nazca, Huari and Moche civilizations were some of them. These civilizations have made very important applications especially in the fields of architecture, ceramics, agriculture and medicine. However, among this civilization, there was a community that emerged first: the Incas! The civilization founded by the Incas covered a vast area from present-day Colombia to Chile! The Incas did not use any writing system! Instead, they developed a form of communication that included pictures and symbols. They built highly developed roads connecting cities and towns. They developed a complex accounting system. They established a unique agricultural system and most importantly produced incredible architectural works. The Incas occupied an extremely important position among the civilizations in Peru. Unfortunately, this ancient civilization was destroyed by the epidemics brought to the region by the Europeans.
6. Ancient Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica was a region where civilizations such as the Olmec, Zapotec, Maya, Toltec and eventually Aztec emerged from 1200 BC. Mesoamerica is a region that includes present-day Mexico and parts of Central America. The fertile agricultural lands here allowed many agricultural products to be grown in the region. Therefore, almost all of the civilizations in the region were quite competent in the field of agriculture. Another common feature of the civilizations in the region was that they built pyramid-shaped temples. In addition, the civilizations in this geography had many artists who produced products such as sculpture, pottery and jewelry!
Scientists think the Zapotec civilization developed Mesoamerica’s first calendar and writing system. The Mayans were the pioneers of mathematics, astronomy and architecture in the region. The Aztecs, who had a nomadic lifestyle, later established a settlement called Mexico City today. And they enabled the city to become an important trade center. Also, the Aztecs used a 260-day religious calendar alongside the 365-day solar calendar. This interesting civilization also had unusual traditions such as “human sacrifice”. With the invasion of Mesoamerica by the Spaniards, the Aztecs disappeared from the scene of history.
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