Ancient World Civilizations
The term civilization is a historical term, that describes the peoples that inhabited the world in antiquity, whose function is to describe the level of economic, cultural and scientific progress achieved by a society of people in an earlier era.
The term “Ancient Civilizations” is the name that history books have written on the first human peoples that laid the foundation of civilization, and which is the basis of the modern world.
The Emergence of Ancient Civilizations
The beginning of the Ancient Civilizations history in the world was with the invention of the first system of writing, and that was about 3100 BC somewhere in modern Iraq.
Although man lived on earth before the invention of writing for a very long time, the description of ancient civilizations begins from this event, because it made the codification and preservation of historical events for future generations possible.
Ancient Civilizations have appeared in many parts of the world, at varying times throughout the last 3,000 years BC.
The first civilizations appeared in the ancient world continents, of Egypt, Mesopotamia in the Arab world, the Indus Valley in the Indian subcontinent, the Yellow River Valley or Huang-Hu in China, and the island of Crete in Greece.
Features of Civilization
According to National Geographic, a number of characteristics can be mentioned for civilization, which the most important are:
- There are large populations, where a large number of people reside next to each other in a village, town or large city.
- The uniqueness of distinctive cultural features, such as: building houses and palaces in a specific way, and possess a special artistic taste.
- Possessing a writing system that allows recording of the spoken language in order to preserve the history for subsequent generations.
- Jurisdiction of a political system for the management of the lands, such as provinces, cities, towns, and those who govern them.
- Specialization in a system that defines the occupations and functions of people in society.
- Divide the population into social strata, such as aristocrats and peasants, or bourgeois and workers.
Ancient World Civilizations
Civilizations of Asia
The Indus Valley civilization
It was originated in the region that now lies between the borders of the States of India and Pakistan, one of the world’s first and largest civilizations, with an area of over one million square kilometers.
A great number of people lived in this era around the banks of the Indus River. It is believed that the golden age of this civilization was between the years 2600 and 1900 BC, and was known for the flourishing of art and culture.
Ancient China Civilization
It was originated on the banks of two great rivers, which are: The Yangtze River, the third longest river in the world and the Yellow River, the sixth longest in the world.
It emerged about two thousand years BC, Chinese society was divided mainly into two classes: the educated rich, and the peasants who make food.
Chinese civilization originated in 1766 BC when the Shang dynasty appeared, and the end of this era was when the Han dynasty fell in 220 AD.
It was known for many features, such as:
- Eating with sticks, which began more than four thousand years ago.
- Practice the habit of drinking tea.
- Innovate unique ways in medicine and treatment.
- The use of the symbol of the dragon, which indicates power, authority and good luck.
- Celebrate the beginning of each New Year.
- They have been using a unified writing system for thousands of years, despite their different spoken languages.
The Nabataean Civilization
They are Arab people who came from the Arabian Peninsula to the Levant and northern Hijaz.
They relied on commerce and used the Aramaic language to write, but they spoke Arabic.
Their religion was based on the sanctification of natural phenomena like other Arab religions before Islam.
Their architecture was influenced by art in the south of the Arabian Peninsula and Mesopotamia because of its proximity to these areas and its political and economic relations with them.
One of the most important civilizations of the Middle East is the one that took place in Mesopotamia, which is now located in the State of Iraq.
Is the first and oldest civilization in the history of man since its appearance on the ground, because it was the place of birth of the first written language.
The most famous historical kingdoms were Babylonian, Sumerian and Assyrian.
Most historians tend to consider that the era of Mesopotamia began in 3300 BC and ended around 750 BC.
It was originated on the land of Palestine, where their migration to Palestine was one of the first human migrations at the beginning of the third millennium BC.
The Canaanites knew for the name of the places where they lived, and the name of the land of Canaan was the oldest name for the land of Palestine.
The Canaanites built many cities in Palestine, and that was before the arrival of the Hebrews in hundreds of years, and from the cities built by Ariha, Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Nablus, Besan, Askelan, Aaca, Haifa, Al-Khalil, Ashdod, Beer Al-sabae and Bet-lehem.
Civilizations of Africa
Ancient Egypt Civilization
One of the first civilizations in the history of the world and culturally richest, the early humans settled around the Nile around 3500 BC.
The era of Egyptian civilization began at the union of the two kingdoms of Egypt in the Lower Nile and Upper Nile in 3150 BC.
This civilization has left many cultural and architectural monuments, the most famous of which are the three pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx.
It originated from the Old Kingdom, which appeared during the early Bronze Age, and its end was in the New Kingdom during the Late Bronze Age.
Kingdom of Axum Civilization
It is an important focus in the history of the Horn of Africa, where it was originated in the present state of Ethiopia in the Christian era.
The Kingdom was founded around 100 AD and reached its peak between the 3rd and 6th centuries AD.
It had a very essential role in trade in the East African continent; traders from Axum reached the Upper Nile in the city of Alexandria.
It spread throughout the Red Sea since the establishment of the Kingdom until the end of the ninth century AD, with the emergence of strong Islamic countries around.
Civilizations of Europe
Ancient Greece Civilization
One of the most important and famous ancient civilizations, and it is more influential on modern man culturally.
The first civilization was established in Greece around 2700 BC with the founding of the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete.
The most important periods in its history according to the division of historians were in the classical and Hellenistic periods, which were in the last centuries BC.
Among the most famous flags of this civilization: Alexander the Great, Aristotle, Talis, Socrates, Pythagoras, Archimedes, and Euclid.
Ancient Rome Civilization
Is one of the latest Ancient Civilization and one of the most important ancient empires in human history.
It began from the small town of Rome on the banks of the Tiber but quickly expanded to occupy most of Italy and became the Roman Republic in 509 BC. Since then, it has expanded and prospered until it became an empire in 27 BC.
It succeeded in controlling most of the countries of the Mediterranean Basin. Unlike the Greeks, whose historical influence on the world was culturally and scientifically, Roman influence was military and political in essence.
The Western Roman civilization ended in 476 CE, but it remained in the East, becoming the Byzantine Empire for more than a thousand years after that date.
Civilizations of America
Originated before the Spanish occupation of Mexico and Central America in the sixteenth century, where the original Maya peoples inhabited the present southern regions of Mexico (Yucatan and Chiapas), Guatemala, Belize, western Honduras, and El Salvador.
Archaeologists divided the history of Mayan civilization into three time periods, namely:
- The Pre-Classical period 2000 BC-250 AD where agriculture and trade developed.
- The classical period of 250 AD – 900 AD, more than 40 cities were built during this period.
- The post-Classical period was 900 AD – 1500 AD when each city in the Mayan civilization had a hereditary system of government.