15 Things to Know About Early World History Facts

4. Ancient Mesopotamian civilizations

After Sumeria came a long succession of Mesopotamian civilizations that vied against one another in near-constant warfare. By around 4,300 years ago, the Akkadian Empire was in ascendance and militarily expanding to the west and southeast. Other important early civilizations of this region include Elam, Amorite, Babylon, Hittite, Assyrian, and others. These cultures had a foundational impact on the cultural development of Eurasia as a whole.

5. Ancient Chinese civilizations

China has been occupied by human ancestors for more than a million years. The earliest known Chinese civilization is the Xia dynasty, which ruled from around 2100 B.C. and lasted approximately 500 years. Xia was succeeded by the Shang dynasty, which is supported by more archaeological evidence. During this period, which lasted 600 years, some 31 kings reigned. Other Chinese civilizations include the Zhou dynasty, the Han dynasty, and the Qin dynasty—the period during which construction of the Great Wall of China began.

6. Ancient Egypt

ancient Egyptian markings

We’re all probably more familiar with the Ancient Egyptian civilization than with others on this list. Ancient Egypt (lasting roughly from 3200 B.C. to 330 B.C.) was built around agriculture on the floodplains of the Nile River, which provided a steady supply of food. Known largely for the Great Pyramids of Giza and other monumental architecture, Egyptian society was also characterized by a high level of social stratification (including slavery), warfare, and a highly developed writing system (hieroglyphics).

7. Ancient Indian civilizations

The first known civilization to arise in the Indian subcontinent was the Indus Valley Civilization, which is estimated to have begun around 5,300 years ago and lasted for 2,000 years. This was the largest early civilization, and may have included some 5 million people. More than 1,000 archaeological sites from this period have been found. This civilization is noted for its relatively low levels of social stratification, developments in science, measurements, art, and more. The Indus Valley Civilization was followed by the Vedic civilization.

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