30 July 2022

Top 5 oldest civilization in the world

 Top 5 oldest civilization in the world

While the earliest hominid or human like species first appeared around 2 million years ago, early homo sapiens, or modern humans, are relatively young – they first appeared in Africa around 200,00 years ago.
For thousands of years after homo sapiens first appeared, early man laid the foundations for what would eventually become human civilization by developing agriculture, weaponry, art, social structure, and politics.
Although the Mesopotamians are typically considered the very first urban civilization in the world, several earlier peoples developed complex societies and cultures that can also be classified as civilizations and they have been included on this list.

1. San People

The San People of Southern Africa trace their history directly to ancient peoples who lived around 140,000 to 100,000 years ago. In fact, the San are the direct descendants of one of the original ancestral human groups (haplogroup), making the San the oldest civilization in the world.

In the past, the San were semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers, but today many San work as farm laborers, run nature conservancies, and other various small jobs as hunting and gathering alone is no longer sustainable.

Recent archaeological finds have uncovered the oldest known ritual ceremonies, which have been been attributed to the San.

Archaeologists discovered 70,000-year old spearheads in a cave in the Tsodilo Hills of Botswana that were sacrificed to the python. The Tsolido Hills are also notable for being the site of the world’s largest concentration of rock paintings. This art was also made by ancient San people.

2. Aboriginal Australians

Although the people who settled in Mesopotamia are often credited as the first civilization, new research shows that Aboriginal Australians are one of the oldest known civilizations on Earth.

The Aborigines can trace their ancestries back to about 75,000 years ago, but became a distinct genetic group around 50,000 years ago.

It is believed that this ancient group of Aboriginal Australians first settled in Australia between 40,000 – 31,000 years ago. They are the direct ancestors of today’s remaining Aboriginal tribes and their culture has largely remained the same.

The discovery of the human remains from Lake Mungo in New South Wales, Australia in 1969 show signs of being one of the oldest known cremations. The remains, which are known as the Mungo Woman, have been dated to about 24,700 – 19, 030 years ago.

3. Çatalhöyük (c. 7,500 BCE – 5,700 BCE)

The settlement of Çatalhöyük is one of the oldest urban settlements and one of the most well-preserved Neolithic settlements. Excavations of the site have revealed evidence of prehistoric social organization and cultural practices.

The people of Çatalhöyük were one of the earliest people to adapt to a sedentary life and practice agriculture. It is estimated that the average population of Çatalhöyük was between 5,000 – 7,000.

The settlement has no streets or footpaths, instead the houses were clustered together with roof access. There is also evidence that the people of Çatalhöyük kept their living spaces clean and disposed of their sewage and food in an area outside of the ruins of the settlement.

The people of Çatalhöyük also buried their dead, painted murals, sculpted figurines, and even plastered and painted skulls to recreate faces.

4. ‘Ain Ghazal (c. 7,200 BCE – 5,000 BCE)

‘Ain Ghazal was an early farming community and its people are known for creating some of the earliest  statues of the human form. The figures are made out of plaster and consist of full statues and busts that depict men, women, and children. A total of 15 statues and 15 busts were found in two separate caches, separated by about 200 years.

In addition to creating the statues, the people of ‘Ain Ghazal were farmers who domesticated wheat, barley, peas, lentils, and chickpeas. They also hunted wild animals such as gazelle, deer, pigs, foxes, and hares. For the time period, the people of ‘Ain Ghazal had ate a wide variety of food.

5. Jiahu (c. 7,000 BCE – 5,700 BCE)

Jiahu was a settlement located in the central plain of ancient China and the people who lived there developed some of the earliest aspects of Chinese culture. The Jiahu culture is often mentioned with the Peiligang culture, as archaeologists cannot agree whether or not the Jiahu people were a part of the larger group of Peiligang.

However, there is evidence that they were two seperate cultures that developed around the same time. For example, the people of Jiahu cultivated rice while the Peiligang did not and the Jiahu settlement existed for several hundred years before the first Peiligang settlements popped up.

The Jiahu are also known for producing the world’s oldest wine, some of the earliest playable music (lots of flutes have been found at Jiahu), and perhaps the earliest example of Chinese writing.

The Jiahu symbols are 16 distinct markings found on prehistoric artifacts and are believed to have been indicative of sign usage rather than systematic writing.


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