84 Ancient Civilizations in the World

The cradles of Civilizations

Though all cradles did not fructify into large cities yet the effort was made by humans at various places.

The cities, as we know, came into being only 5000 years back i.e. around 3000 BCE, as far as our discovery of ancient cities is so far made. Small settlements with or without buried corpses of earlier time period show that human civilization existed for far longer period and only thereafter developed enough technology to build big cities.

Small settlements are mostly from stone age and the cities show signs of metallurgical knowledge which was called as copper age. The places where human settlements of stone age were found are called cradles of civilisation for here human civilisation was in nascent stage from which it grew up later to adolescence age or copper age.

It may be noted that there are 84 ancient settlements of civilisations are listed in Encyclopedia Britannica. These are:

Abbevillian industry:

700,00 years settlement discovered in old lower Somme valley, in a suburb of Abbeville, France, existed prehistoric stone tool tradition with bifacial (hand axe) technology.

Acheulean industry:

1.5 million to 200,000 years old settlements existed in Saint-Acheul, in Somme département, in northern France. Acheulean tools were made of stone with good fracture characteristics

Aegean civilisations:

In 7000–3000 bc and about 3000–1000 bc in Aegean sea near Greek mainland there existed a civilisation on Crete island which was first high civilisation on European soil, with stately palaces, fine craftsmanship, and writing, developed on the island of Crete. Later, the peoples of the mainland Greece adapted the Cretan civilisation to form their own. The term Mycenaean is also sometimes used for the civilisations of the Aegean area as a whole from about 1400 bc onward.

Amratian culture:

Numerous sites, dating to about 3600 bce, have been excavated and reveal an agricultural way of life in Al-ʿĀmirah near modern Abydos, Egypt. Pottery characteristic of this period includes black-topped red ware and a dark-red burnished ware, occasionally decorated with bold linear designs in white slip depicting human or animal figures; on an Amratian shard excavated at Naqādah, the earliest known representation of the pharaonic red crown is drawn. Amratian culture is also called Naqādah I culture.

Ancestral Pueblo culture:

Ancestral Pueblo culture, also called Anasazi, prehistoric Native American civilization that existed from approximately ad 100 to 1600, centring generally on the area where the boundaries of what are now the U.S. states of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah intersect. The descendents of the Ancestral Pueblo comprise the modern Pueblo tribes, including the Hopi, Zuni, Acoma, and Laguna. As farmers, Ancestral Pueblo peoples and their nomadic neighbours were often mutually hostile.

Ancient Egypt:

Ancient Egypt, civilisation in northeastern Africa that dates from the 4th millennium bce. It was unified under Menes (Narmer) in the 3rd millennium bce—sometimes used as a reference point for Egypt’s origin—and up to the Islamic conquest in the 7th century ce

Ancient Greek civilisation:

Ancient Greek civilisation, the period following Mycenaean civilisation, was a period of political, philosophical, artistic, and scientific achievements. This civilisation ended about 1200 bce, to the death of Alexander the Great, in 323 bce but it had deep impact on western civilization.

Persia or the Ancient Iran

Parsa was the name of an Indo-European nomadic people who migrated into the region about 1000 bc. Later the term extended to whole of Persia where Persian language was spoken. This civilisation ended with conquest by Arabs in 7th Century.

Ancient Italic people

Etruscans of Italy who taught the Romans the alphabet and numerals, along with many elements of architecture, art, religion, and dress. As distinguished by its unique language, this civilization endured from before the time of the earliest Etruscan inscriptions (c. 700 BC) but was later subsumed by Roman Empire.

The toga was an Etruscan invention, and the Etruscan-style Doric column (rather than the Greek version) became a mainstay of architecture of both the Renaissance and the later Classical revival. Etruscan influence on the ancient theatre survives in their word for “masked man”, phersu, which became persona in Latin and person in English. Thus the Italian had sufficient influence on Latin as well. The end of the 6th century and the beginning of the 5th marked end of Etruscan civilization. Rome cut off their land route to city of Campania without which they were unable to prevent a takeover of this area by restless Umbro-Sabellian tribes moving from the interior toward the coast.

Ancient Middle East:

There is evidence of simple agriculture as far back as the 8th or 9th millennium bc, especially in Palestine, where more excavating has been done in early sites than in any other country of the Middle East. Many bone sickle handles and flint sickle edges dating from between c. 9000 and 7000 bc have been found in Palestinian sites.

In Mesopotamia (Iraq) and Iran remains of this period appear in caves on the lower slopes of the Zagros Mountains between western Iran and Iraq.

The oldest known urban and literate culture in the world was developed by the Sumerians in Mesopotamia beginning in the late 4th millennium bc. About 2300 bc a Semitic leader, Sargon I, conquered all of Babylonia and founded the first dynasty of Akkad (Akkadu), which held power for about a century and a half.

After the fall of the dynasty of Akkad there was a Sumerian revival under the 3rd dynasty of Ur (Ur III [21st–20th centuries]), followed by another influx of Semites. These people founded the first dynasty of Babylon (19th–16th centuries), whose most important king was Hammurabi. In the 17th century new ethnic groups appeared in both Babylonia and Syria-Palestine: Kassites from the Zagros Mountains, Hurrians from what is now Armenia, and Indo-Europeans from Central Asia. This period marked the end of the formative phase of Mesopotamian civilization.

Ancient Rome:

Ancient Rome, the state centred on the city of Rome. The founding of the city and the regal period, which began in 753 bc The republic of Rome was founded in 509 bc and the establishment of the empire in 27 bc. The final eclipse of the Roman Empire of the West took place in the 5th century ad. The eastern empire of Rome became Byzantine Empire.

Andean cultures:

Andes Mountains extend from Venezuela in Latin America but Andean culture is very vast and may include Equador. In a way most of the populations and civilizations of Bolivia and Peru are Andean. The stereo type image of Andean culture is contradictory. At one place the beauty of Andean textiles or ceramics in museums the world over, the reported concern of the Inca kings for the welfare of their subjects, and the mostly abandoned large-scale irrigation works or terraces constructed by these peoples draws attention. At another places living in mountainous ranges with no resources , in extreme poverty is also apparent which surprises as to how these people survived thousands of years in such situation. European invasion in 1532 took 40 years to completely end the supremacy of Inca tribe and thus ending the culture.

Archaic culture:

Archaic culture existed in North or South America that developed from Paleo-Indian traditions and led to the adoption of agriculture. Paleo-Indian predecessors were highly nomadic, specialized hunters and gatherers who relied on a few species of wild plants and game, but Archaic peoples lived in larger groups, were sedentary for part of the year, and partook of a highly varied diet that eventually included some cultivated foods. Archaic cultures existed from approximately 8,000–2,000 bc. Basketry and netting augmented the collection and storage of new plant foods, while grinding stones made hard seeds readily edible. Hunting was augmented with the development of tanged and side-notched projectile points. Later Archaic people began to tend plants too of smaller variety. They are also called as American Indians or Native Americans.

Assyria:

Assyria, kingdom of northern Mesopotamia that became the centre of one of the great empires of the ancient Middle East. It was located in what is now northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey. Assyria was a dependency of Babylonia and later of the Mitanni kingdom during most of the 2nd millennium bce. It emerged as an independent state in the 14th century bce, and in the subsequent period it became a major power in Mesopotamia, Armenia, and sometimes in northern Syria. It was conquered by Islam in the 7th Century AD.

Aterian industry:

Aterian industry, stone tool tradition of the Middle and Late Paleolithic, found widespread in the late Pleistocene throughout northern Africa. The Aterian people were among the first to use the bow and arrow. Aterian stone tools are an advanced African form of the European Levalloisian tradition, adapted to desert use. A distinctive Aterian sign is the formation of stems, or tangs, on tools to facilitate hafting; this was done on spearheads, arrowheads, and scrapers. Bifacial spearheads were produced with a very fine pressure chipping technique

Aurignacian culture:

The type site of the Aurignacian is near the village of Aurignac (Haute-Garonne) in southern France. At many sites it is found intervening between horizons referable to the Lower and the Upper Périgordian, a fact that is considered to indicate that more than one cultural element was present in western Europe at the beginning of Upper Paleolithic times. The tool types include various kinds of steep-ended scrapers, nose scrapers, blades with heavy marginal retouch, strangulated blades, busked gravers (or burins), and split-base bone points. Bone was extensively used, mainly for javelin points, chisels, perforators etc. or arrow straighteners. Articles of personal adornment, probably worn as necklaces, such as pierced teeth and shells, as well as decorated bits of bone and ivory, appear for the first time in the Aurignacian.

Azilian industry:

The Azilian is a name given by archaeologists to an industry in the Franco-Cantabrian region of northern Spain and southern France. It probably dates to the period of the Allerod Oscillation around 14,000 years ago (uncalibrated) and followed the Magdalenian culture. It can be classified as part of the Epipaleolithic or the Mesolithic periods, or of both

Stone tools of the Azilian were mostly extremely small, called microliths, and were made to fit into a handle of bone or antler. Projectile points with curved backs and end scrapers were used; bone tools included punches, “wands” (of uncertain use), and flat harpoons often made of red-deer antler. Art was confined to geometric drawings made on pebbles using red and black pigments. The big game of the Fourth Glacial Period had disappeared, and the Azilian people and their contemporaries ate mollusks, fish, birds, and small mammals that were probably trapped and snared.

Badarian culture:

Al-Badārī, is situated on the east bank of the Nile River in Asyūṭ muḥāfaẓah (governorate) in upper Egypt. It flourished between 4400 and 4000 BC. The Badari culture is primarily known from cemeteries in the low desert. The deceased were placed on mats and buried in pits with their heads usually laid to the south, looking west. This seems contiguous with the later dynastic traditions regarding the west as the land of the dead. The pottery that was buried with them is the most characteristic element of the Badarian culture. It had been given a distinctive, decorative rippled surface.

The Badarian economy was based mostly on agriculture, fishing and animal husbandry. Tools included end-scrapers, perforators, axes, bifacial sickles and concave-base arrowheads. Remains of cattle, dogs and sheep were found in the cemeteries. Wheat, barley, lentils and tubers were consumed.

Banpo culture:

Banpo (Bànpō) (also called Pan-p’o or Pan-p’o-ts’un0 is an archaeological site discovered in 1953 and located in the Yellow River Valley just east of Xi’an, China. It contains the remains of several well organized Neolithic settlements, like Jiangzhai, carbon dated to 6700–5600 years ago.

The settlement was surrounded by a moat, with the graves and pottery kilns located outside the moat perimeter. Many of the houses were semisubterranean with the floor typically 1 meter (3 ft) below the ground surface. The houses were supported by timber poles and had steeply pitched thatched roofs. Each hut had one to six pillars to support a thatched roof, which was reinforced with clay. All dwellings contained several fireplaces and a number of storage areas. Several kilns were found on the site, as well as a number of fine specimens of coloured red and gray bowls and jars. Some coarse sandy ware decorated with black geometric figures has also been found.

Big-Game Hunting Tradition:

The term is historically associated with the hunting of Africa’s “Big Five” game (lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros), and with tigers and rhinoceroses on the Indian subcontinent.

But here it is referred to several ancient North American cultures that hunted large herd animals such as mammoth and bison. The archetypal cultures of the Big-Game Hunting Tradition are the Clovis and Folsom complexes, the remains of which have been found throughout North America and date, respectively, to approximately 9,500/9,050–8,850/8,800 bce and 9,000–8,000 bce. The tradition ended with the extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna. Although human predation contributed to these extinctions, habitat destruction was the driving force—between about 40,000 and 6,000 years ago, for instance, climate change caused the elimination of an estimated 90 percent of all mammoth habitat in North America.

Boian culture:

The Boian culture (dated to 4300–3500 BC), also known as the Giuleşti–Mariţa culture or Mariţa culture, is a Neolithic archaeological culture of Southeast Europe. It is primarily found along the lower course of the Danube in what is now Romania and Bulgaria, and thus may be considered a Danubian culture.

Capsian industry:

Capsian culture was a Mesolithic culture centered in the Maghreb that lasted from about 8,000 to 2,700 BC. It was named after the town of Gafsa in Tunisia, which was called Capsa in Roman times. The Capsian diet included a wide variety of animals, ranging from aurochs and hartebeest to hares and snails; there is little evidence concerning plants eaten.

Given the Capsian culture’s timescale, widespread occurrence in the Sahara, and association with modern speakers of the Afroasiatic languages, historical linguists have tentatively associated the industry with the Afroasiatic family’s earliest speakers on the continent.

An interesting theory is that for several hundred thousand years, the Sahara has alternated between desert and savanna grassland in a 41,000 year cycle caused by changes (“precession”) in the Earth’s axis as it rotates around the sun, which change the location of the North African Monsoon. It is next expected to become green in about 15,000 years (17,000 AD).

Carthage:

Carthage (Latin Carthago) great city of antiquity on the north coast of Africa, now a residential suburb of the city of Tunis in Tunisia Africa. Carthage was founded by the Phoenicians of Tyre in 814 bce; its Phoenician name means “new town.”

On top of Byrsa hill, the location of the Roman Forum, a residential area from the last century of existence (early second century BCE.) of the Punic city was excavated by the French archaeologist Serge Lancel. The neighborhood, with its houses, shops, and private spaces, is significant for what it reveals about daily life there over 2100 years ago.

By Christian Manhart – This place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed asArchaeological Site of Carthage., CC BY-SA 3.0-igo, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58154746

The habitat is typical, even stereotypical. The street was often used as a storefront/shopfront; cisterns were installed in basements to collect water for domestic use, and a long corridor on the right side of each residence led to a courtyard containing a sump, around which various other elements may be found. In some places, the ground is covered with mosaics called punica pavement, sometimes using a characteristic red mortar.

Chavín:

The Chavín culture is an extinct, prehistoric civilization, named for Chavín de Huantar, the principal archaeological site at which its artifacts have been found. The culture developed in the northern Andean highlands of Peru from 900 BCE to 200 BCE.
Chavín people also successfully cultivated several crops, including potatoes, quinoa, and maize. They developed an irrigation system to assist the growth of these crops. They domesticated camelids such as llamas. Camelids were used for pack animals, for fiber, and for meat. There is an absence of written language.
The site uses both internal and external architecture. Internal architecture refers to galleries, passageways, rooms, staircases, ventilation shafts and drainage canals. External architecture refers to plazas, platform mounds and terraces. Construction of the “Old Temple” took place from around 900 to 500 BCE, and construction of the “New Temple”, the structure that was constructed and added on to the “Old Temple”, took place from around 500 to 200 BCE. The lack of residential structures, occupational deposits, generalized weaponry and evidence of storage further make the site’s architecture more interesting, as it focuses mainly on the temples and what lies inside of them.

Chellean industry:

Chellean industry, an early Stone Age industry characterized by crudely worked hand axes. The implements from Chelles in France that gave the industry its name are now grouped with the Acheulian industry. The term Chellean, in the sense of earliest hand-ax culture, has been replaced by Abbevillian industry.

Choukoutienian industry:

Choukoutienian industry, tool assemblage discovered along with cultural remains at the Chou-k’ou-tien (Pinyin Zhoukoudian) caves near Peking, China site of Homo erectus finds. Many of the tools that were found in Asia, they were found in the Choukoutienian caves. The Choukoutienian industry is where a lot of the stone tools in Asia started. The caves are filled with many artifacts and the early chopping tool is one of the many artifacts found.

Clactonian industry:

The Clactonian is the name given by archaeologists to an industry of European flint tool manufacture that dates to the early part of the interglacial period known as the Hoxnian, the Mindel-Riss or the Holstein stages (c. 400,000 years ago). Clactonian tools were made by Homo heidelbergensis.

It is named after 400,000-year-old finds made by Hazzledine Warren in a palaeochannel at Clacton-on-Sea in the English county of Essex in 1911. The artefacts found there included flint chopping tools, flint flakes and the tip of a worked wooden shaft along with the remains of a giant elephant and hippopotamus.

Dawenkou culture:

The Dawenkou culture is a name given by archaeologists to a group of Neolithic communities who lived primarily in Shandong, but also appeared in Anhui, Henan and Jiangsu, China. The culture existed from 4100 to 2600 BC, co-existing with the Yangshao culture. Turquoise, jade and ivory artefacts are commonly found at Dawenkou sites.

The warm and wet climate of the Dawenkou area was suitable for a variety of crops, though they primarily farmed millet at most sites. Their production of millet was quite successful and storage containers have been found that could have contained up to 2000 kg of millet, once decomposition is accounted for, have been found. For some of the southern Dawenkou sites, rice was a more important crop however, especially during the late Dawenkou period. Analysis done on human remains at Dawenkou sites in southern Shandong revealed that the diet of upper-class Dawenkou individuals consisted mainly of rice, while ordinary individuals ate primarily millet.

Desert of Nevada and Utah:

The Great Basin is the largest area of contiguous endorheic watersheds in North America. It spans nearly all of Nevada, much of Oregon and Utah, and portions of California, Idaho, and Wyoming.

In North America, ancient cultures centred on the Great Basin in the area of Nevada, Utah, and Arizona; they lasted from about 7000 or 8000 bc to about 2000 bc. Subsistence was based on gathering wild seeds and plants and on hunting small game; social groups were probably small and nomadic. The people used baskets, nets, crude milling stones, simple bone tools, and stemmed or notched chipped-stone projectile points

Paleo-Indian habitation by the Great Basin tribes began as early as 10,000 B.C. (the Numic-speaking Shoshonean peoples arrived as late as 1000 A.D.). Archaeological evidence of habitation sites along the shore of Lake Lahontan date from the end of the ice age when its shoreline was approximately 500 feet (150 m) higher along the sides of the surrounding mountains. The Great Basin was inhabited for at least several thousand years by Uto-Aztecan language group-speaking Native American Great Basin tribes, including the Shoshone, Ute, Mono, and Northern Paiute.

Dong Son culture:

Dong Son culture  is named for a village in northern Vietnam where many of its remains have been found. The Dong Son site shows that bronze culture dating probably about 300 bc, the date of the earliest Dong Son remains. It was not solely a bronze culture; its people also had iron implements and Chinese cultural artifacts. However the bronze work, especially the production of ritual bronze kettle drums, was of a fine quality. The Dong Son culture is also distinguished by great stone monuments, built for religious functions, which are similar to monuments found in Polynesia.

The Dong Son were a seafaring people who apparently traveled and traded throughout Southeast Asia. They also cultivated rice and are credited with originating the process of changing the Red River delta area into a great rice-growing region.

The Dong Son culture, transformed earlier by Chinese and then Indian influence, became the basis of the general civilization of the region. Remnants of the culture have been found dating from as late as the 16th century, though most of it disappeared after the region was conquered by China in the 2nd century bc.

Dorset culture/ Greenland:

In prehistoric times, Greenland (in Greenlandic called Kalaallit Nunaat) was home to several successive Paleo-Eskimo cultures known today primarily through archaeological finds. The earliest entry of the Paleo-Eskimo into Greenland is thought to have occurred about 2500 BC. From around 2500 BC to 800 BC, southern and western Greenland were inhabited by the Saqqaq culture. Most finds of Saqqaq-period archaeological remains have been around Disko Bay, including the site of Saqqaq, after which the culture is named.

El Argar or Argaric culture:

The Argaric culture, named from the type site El Argar near the town of Antas, in what is now the province of Almería in southeastern Spain, is an Early Bronze Age culture which flourished between c. 2200 BC and 1550 BC.
It was known mining and metallurgy were quite advanced, with bronze, silver and gold being mined and worked for weapons and jewelry.

Erlitou culture:

The Erlitou culture was an early Bronze Age urban society and archaeological culture that existed in the Yellow River valley from approximately 1900 to 1500 BC. The culture was named after the site discovered at Erlitou in Yanshi, Henan, China. Around 1450-1300 BC the palaces built at the site were abandoned.

Ertebolle industry:

The Ertebolle culture (ca 5300 BC – 3950 BC) is the name of a hunter-gatherer and fisher, pottery-making culture dating to the end of the Mesolithic period. The culture was concentrated in Southern Scandinavia, but genetically linked to strongly related cultures in Northern Germany and the Northern Netherlands. It is named after the type site, a location in the small village of Ertebølle on Limfjorden in Danish Jutland. In the 1890s, the National Museum of Denmark excavated heaps of oyster shells there, mixed with mussels, snails, bones and bone, antler and flint artifacts, which were evaluated as kitchen middens, or refuse dumps. Accordingly, the culture is less commonly named the Kitchen Midden. As it is approximately identical to the Ellerbek culture of Schleswig-Holstein, the combined name, Ertebolle-Ellerbek is often used. The Ellerbek culture (German Ellerbek Kultur) is named after a type site in Ellerbek, a community on the edge of Kiel, Germany.

Fauresmith industry:

The Fauresmith consists of Middle Stone Age technology such as blades, points and prepared core technology as well as retaining handaxes from the Acheulian and is dated from about 75,000 to 100,000 years ago. It was a sub-saharan Culture that existed in open steppe areas of Sahara in Africa. It is named after the town of Fauresmith in South Africa

Gerzean or Gerzeh culture:

Gerzeh (also Girza or Jirzah) was a prehistoric Egyptian cemetery located along the west bank of the Nile. The necropolis is named after el-Girzeh, the nearby present day town in Egypt. Gerzeh is situated only several miles due east of the oasis of Faiyum.

The Gerzeh culture is a material culture identified by archaeologists. It is the second of three phases of the prehistoric Nagada cultures and so is also known as Naqada II. The Gerzeh culture was preceded by the Amratian culture (“Naqada I”) and followed by the Naqada III (“protodynastic” or “Semainian culture”).

Ghassulian culture:

Teleilat Ghassul (Teleilat el-Ghassul, Tulaylat al-Ghassul), is located in the eastern Jordan Valley near the northern edge of the Dead Sea, in modern Jordan. 8 successive layers of occupation from the Chalcolithic have been excavated, of which 6 are considered Ghassulian and the earlier, pre-Ghassulian, layers are thought to belong to the Besorian culture. The total depth of these layers is 4.5 meters. The dates for Ghassulian are dependent upon 14C (radiocarbon) determinations, which suggest that the typical later Ghassulian began sometime around the mid-5th millennium and ended ca. 3800 BC. The transition from Late Ghassulian to EB I seems to have been ca. 3800-3500 BC.

People of the Beersheba Culture (a Ghassulian subculture) lived in underground dwellings – a unique phenomenon in the archaeological history of the region – or in houses that were trapezoid-shaped and built of mud-brick. Those were often built partially underground (on top of collapsed underground dwellings) and were covered with remarkable polychrome wall paintings. Their pottery was highly elaborate, including footed bowls and horn-shaped drinking goblets.

Hohokam culture:

The Hohokam were an ancient Native American culture centered in the present US state of Arizona. The Hohokam are one of the four major cultures of the American Southwest and northern Mexico in Southwestern archaeology. Considered part of the Oasisamerica tradition, the Hohokam established significant trading centers such as at Snaketown, and are considered to be the builders of the original canal system around the Phoenix metropolitan area. The hoho kam in O’odham language mean “all used up” or “those who have gone/vanished”.

The culture is customarily divided into four developmental periods: Pioneer (200–775 ce), Colonial (775–975), Sedentary (975–1150), and Classic (from approximately 1150 to sometime between 1350 and 1450).

Hongshan culture:

Hongshan (also called Hung shan) sites have been found in an area stretching from Inner Mongolia to Liaoning, to China and are dated from about 4700 to 2900 BC. It appears to have had a three-tiered elite whose members were honoured with complex burials. Painted pottery found there may link it to Yangshao culture, while its beautiful jade artifacts link it to other jade-working cultures on the eastern coast, such as Liangzhu (c. 3300–2200 bce).

Ibero-Maurusian industry:

The Ibero-Maurusian industry, (8000–2700 bc), is found along the entire coastline of North Africa and inland as well as in Morocco, Tunisia, and the Cyrenaica (Barqah) region of Libya. It is characterized by a great many small-backed blade. The industry does bear a close resemblance to the late Magdalenian culture in Spain, which is broadly contemporary (c. 15,000 bc)

Its name, meaning “of Iberia and Mauritania”, is based on (Pallary’s 1909) belief that it extended over the strait of Gibraltar into the Iberian peninsula, a theory now generally discounted (Garrod 1938)

Indus civilization:

Indus civilization is also called Indus valley civilization or Harappan civilization, the earliest known urban culture of the Indian subcontinent (3300 BC to 1300 BC). Along with Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, it was one of three early cradles of civilisations of the Old World, and of the three, the most widespread and which has continued till today as India.

Inugsuk/Ipiutak culture:

Inugsuk, Intuit or Eskimo Culture traditionally inhabited the northern circumpolar region from eastern Siberia (Russia) to across Alaska (of the United States), Canada, and Greenland. It existed during the 12th and 13th centuries. It was distinguished by an increased dependence on hunting by means of a kayak (a one-man skin boat) and implements associated with this development. Dog-drawn sleds and umiaks (large, open skin boats) also provided transportation. Bone, wood, whalebone, and stone were used in manufacture. There were distinctive types of harpoon heads as well as articles that show a Norse influence.

The word “Eskimo” derives from phrases that Algonquin tribes used for their northern neighbors. The Inuit and Yupik peoples generally do not use it to refer to themselves, and the governments in Canada and Greenland have ceased using it in official documents treating it as pejorative and has been widely replaced by the term “Inuit” or terms specific to a particular group or community. Alternative terms, such as Inuit-Yupik, have been proposed but is not popular.

Jōmon culture:

Jomon culture was in existance between 13000 BC to 1000 BC in Japan. The Jōmon period was rich in tools and jewelry made from bone, stone, shell, and antler; pottery figurines and vessels; and lacquerware. The pottery style characteristic of the first phases of Jōmon culture was decorated by impressing cords into the surface of wet clay and is generally accepted to be among the oldest in East Asia and the world. The majority of Japanese scholars believed, and still believe, that pottery production was first invented in mainland Asia and subsequently introduced into the Japanese archipelago.

Kachemak culture:

Kachemak City, is a small city in the southern portion of the Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, United States. The ancient culture was found near Kachemak Bay of the southern Kenai Peninsula in central southern Alaska. It existed about 800 BC.

The Kachemak people lived in coastal settlements and hunted caribou, moose, bears, seals, and other sea mammals. They caught fish, birds, and mollusks. Whaling was probably practiced, although perhaps not at the beginning of the first phase. In the early period, stone (including slate) implements were usually retouched; later they were ground. Round or oval stone lamps and realistic human figures of carved stone are found. Copper tools and pottery appeared in the third stage. Rock paintings were generally highly stylized representations of men and animals.

Kurgan culture:

The term kurgan is a loanword from East Slavic languages (and, indirectly, from Turkic languages), equivalent to the archaic English term barrow. Kurgan culture, seminomadic pastoralist culture that spread from the Russian steppes to Danubian Europe about 3500 Bc, . By about 2300 bc the Kurgans arrived in the Aegean and Adriatic regions. The Kurgans buried their dead in deep shafts within artificial burial mounds, or barrows.  Kurgans were built in the Eneolithic, Bronze, Iron, Antiquity and Middle Ages, with ancient traditions still active in Southern Siberia and Central Asia.

Lapita culture:

The term ‘Lapita’ was coined by archaeologists after mishearing a word in the local Haveke language, xapeta’a, which means ‘to dig a hole’ or ‘the place where one digs’. The Lapita archaeological culture is named after the type site where it was first uncovered in the Foué peninsula on Grande Terre, the main island of New Caledonia.

The Lapita culture was a prehistoric Pacific Ocean people who flourished in the Pacific Islands from about 1600 BCE to about 500 BCE. Archaeologists believe that the Lapita are the ancestors of historic cultures in Polynesia, Micronesia, and some coastal areas of Melanesia.

The Lapita were expert seafarers and navigators, reaching out and finding islands separated from each other by hundreds of miles of empty ocean. ‘Classic’ Lapita pottery was produced between 1350 and 750 BCE in the Bismarck Archipelago. A late variety might have been produced there up to 250 BCE. Local styles of Lapita pottery are found in Vanuatu and New Caledonia. Pottery persisted in Fiji, whereas it disappeared completely in other areas of Melanesia and in Siassi.

LBK culture:

LBK culture, formerly Danubian Culture, Neolithic culture that expanded over large areas of Europe north and west of the Danube River (from Slovakia to the Netherlands) about the 5th millennium BC. The name LBK derives from an abbreviation of the German Linienbandkeramik, or Linearbandkeramik, a reference to the culture’s characteristic pottery, which was ornamented with pairs of parallel lines arranged in spiral or meander patterns.

Longshan culture:

Longshan or Lung-shan, Neolithic culture of central China, named for the site in Shandong province where its remains were first discovered by C.T. Wu. Dating from about 2600 to 2000 bce, it is characterized by fine burnished ware in wheel-turned vessels of angular outline; abundant gray pottery; rectangular polished stone axes; walls of compressed earth; and a method of divination by heating cattle bones and interpreting the cracks.

Lupemban industry:

Lupemban is central African culture which, though once thought to date between c. 30,000 and 12,000 BC, is now generally recognised to be far older (dates of c. 300,000 have been obtained from Twin Rivers, Zambia and Muguruk, Kenya, respectively). The Lupemban industry was derived from and replaced the Sangoan industry, which is found in forested areas of sub-Saharan Africa.

Magdalenian culture:

Magdalenian culture is named after the type site of La Madeleine, a rock shelter located in the Vézère valley, commune of Tursac, in the Dordogne department of France.  The culture spans from approximately 19,000 to 14,000 BC. The Magdalenians lived at a time when reindeer, wild horses, and bison formed large herds; the people appear to have lived a semi settled life surrounded by abundant food. They killed animals with spears, snares, and traps and lived in caves, rock shelters, or substantial dwellings in winter and in tents in summer. The great increase in art and decorative forms indicates the Magdalenians had leisure time.

Maglemosian industry:

The Maglemosian people lived in forest and wetland environments, using fishing and hunting tools made from wood, bone, and flint microliths. It appears that they had domesticated the dog. The Maglemosian industry was named after the bog (magle mose, “big bog,” in Danish) at Mullerup, Den., where evidence of the industry was first recognized.

Some may have lived settled lives, but most were nomadic. Huts made of bark have been preserved, and the tools were made of flint, bone, and horn. A characteristic of the culture are the sharply edged microliths of flintstone, used for spear and arrow heads. Another notable feature is the leister, a characteristic type of fishing spear. Maglemosian culture existed from 9000BC to 6400 BC.

Magosian industry:

The Magosian is the name given by archaeologists to an industry found in southern and eastern Africa. It dates to between 10,000 and 6,000 years BC and is distinguished from its predecessors by the use of microliths and small blades.The site is located in northern Uganda. Other sites in central and southern Africa that are dated to the Pleistocene Epoch (i.e., about 2,600,000 to 11,700 years ago) are often considered to represent the same material culture and hunting-and-gathering adaptation.

Mesopotamia:

Mespotamia name comes from a Greek word meaning “between rivers,” referring to the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, but the region can be broadly defined to include the area that is now eastern Syria, southeastern Turkey, and most of Iraq. The region was the centre of a culture whose influence extended throughout the Middle East and as far as Egypt and the Mediterranean. It has a long history dating 10,000 BC (Pre-pottery neolithic) and lasted till 700 AD when it was conquered by Muslim Arab world.

In modern days roughly corresponding to most of Iraq, Kuwait, parts of Northern Saudi Arabia, the eastern parts of Syria, Southeastern Turkey, and regions along the Turkish–Syrian and Iran–Iraq borders.

Agriculture throughout the region has been supplemented by nomadic pastoralism, where tent-dwelling nomads herded sheep and goats (and later camels) from the river pastures in the dry summer months, out into seasonal grazing lands on the desert fringe in the wet winter season. The area is generally lacking in building stone, precious metals and timber, and so historically has relied upon long-distance trade of agricultural products to secure these items from outlying areas. In the marshlands to the south of the area, a complex water-borne fishing culture has existed since prehistoric times, and has added to the cultural mix.

Minoan civilization:

Minoan civilization, Bronze Age civilization of Crete (Greece) that flourished from about 3000 bc to about 1100 bc. The term “Minoan”, which refers to the mythical King Minos, originally described in the pottery of the period. Minos was associated in Greek mythology with the labyrinth and the Minotaur, which Evans identified with the site at Knossos (the largest Minoan site).

Mississippian culture:

The Mississippian culture was a mound-building Native American civilization existed from approximately 800 CE to 1600 CE, varying regionally and ended on European (Spanish) invasion. It spread over a great area of the Southeast and the mid-continent, in the river valleys of what are now the states of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, with scattered extensions northward into Wisconsin and Minnesota and westward into the Great Plains.

The culture was based on intensive cultivation of corn (maize), beans, squash, and other crops, which resulted in large concentrations of population in towns along riverine bottomlands. Politically and culturally each large town or village dominated a satellite of lesser villages; government was in the hands of priest-rulers. Thus the complexes might be called theocratic village-states.

Moche:

Moche or Mochica culture flourished from the 100 AD to 800 AD on the northern coast of what is now Peru. Moche, is the name of river valley, which appears to have been the capital or chief city of the Moche peoples. Their settlements extended along the hot, arid coast of northern Peru from the Lambayeque River valley south for more than 215 miles (350 km) to the Nepeña River valley.

Moche society was agriculturally based, with a significant level of investment in the construction of a network of irrigation canals for the diversion of river water to supply their crops. Their culture was sophisticated; and their artifacts express their lives, with detailed scenes of hunting, fishing, fighting, sacrifice, sexual encounters and elaborate ceremonies. The Moche are particularly noted for their elaborately painted ceramics, gold work, monumental constructions (huacas) and irrigation systems.

Two giant structures, known as the Temple of the Sun (Huaca del Sol) and the Temple of the Moon (Huaca de la Luna), dominate the site, though there is no evidence that they were ever so dedicated.

Mogollon culture:

Mogollon culture, prehistoric North American Indian peoples who, from approximately ad 200–1450, lived in the mostly mountainous region of what are now southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. Their name derives from the Mogollon Mountains in New Mexico.

Ceramics, especially bowls, produced in the Mimbres region is distinct in style and painted with geometric designs and representational images of animals, people, and cultural icons in black paint on a white background. Some of these images suggest familiarity and relationships with cultures in northern and central Mexico. The elaborate decoration suggest the Mimbres Mogollons enjoyed a rich ceremonial life.

Mousterian industry:

Mousterian culture was named after the type site of Le Moustier, a rock shelter in the Dordogne region of France. Tools included small hand axes made from disk-shaped cores; flake tools, such as well-made sidescrapers and triangular points, probably used as knives; denticulate (toothed) instruments produced by making notches in a flake, perhaps used as saws or shaft straighteners; and round limestone balls, believed to have served as bolas (weapons of a type used today in South America, consisting of three balls on the end of a thong

(Following incomplete sections shall be completed soon.)

Mycenaean civilization:

Mycenaean civilization was discovered near Mykines in Argolis, north-eastern Peloponnese, Greece. It is located about 90 kilometres (56 miles) south-west of Athens; 11 kilometres (7 miles) north of Argos; and 48 kilometres (30 miles) south of Corinth.

In the second millennium BC, Mycenae was one of the major centres of Greek civilization, a military stronghold which dominated much of southern Greece, Crete, the Cyclades and parts of southwest Anatolia. The period of Greek history from about 1600 BC to about 1100 BC is called Mycenaean in reference to Mycenae. At its peak in 1350 BC, the citadel and lower town had a population of 30,000 and an area of 32 hectares.

Lion Gate By David Monniaux – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=89139

According to the Greek mythology that Mycenae was founded by Perseus, grandson of king Acrisius of Argos, son of Acrisius’s daughter, Danaë and the god Zeus. Having killed his grandfather by accident, Perseus could not, or would not, inherit the throne of Argos. Instead he arranged an exchange of realms with his cousin, Megapenthes, and became king of Tiryns, Megapenthes taking Argos. After that, he founded Mycenae and ruled the kingdoms jointly from there.

Nachikufan industry:

Nachikufan sites are located in Zambia , Africa. It is marked by presence of a large number of microliths and other flaked stone articles. The Nachikufan tool industry is characterized by projectiles with several kinds of microlithic heads, heavy stone scrapers that were probably used for working wood and its by-products, flattish stones with centre-bored holes that served either as parts of a spring trap or for digging-stick weights, edge-ground axes, and grindstones for the preparation of wild foodstuffs. It is dated to be around 18000 BC to 12800 BC.

Natufian culture:

Natufian was Mesolithic culture of Palestine and southern Syria dating from about 9000 bc. Mainly hunters, the Natufians supplemented their diet by gathering wild grain; they likely did not cultivate it. They had sickles of flint blades set in straight bone handles for harvesting grain and stone mortars and pestles for grinding it.  Mesolithic, is a transitional period between the Palaeolithic and the Neolithic which was well-represented in Europe but had not yet been found in the Near East.

The habitations of the Natufian were semi-subterranean, often with a dry-stone foundation. The superstructure was probably made of brushwood. No traces of mud-brick were found. The round houses have a diameter between three and six meters, and they contain a central round or sub-rectangular fireplace.  Villages can cover over 1,000 square meters. Smaller settlements have been interpreted by some researchers as camps. Traces of rebuilding in almost all excavated settlements seem to point to a frequent relocation, indicating a temporary abandonment of the settlement.

Nazca:

Nazca or Nasca culture flourished from c. 100 BC to 800 AD beside the arid, southern coast of Peru in the river valleys of the Rio Grande de Nazca drainage and the Ica Valley. It was marked by the art of polychrome painting on the pottery. It is dated 400 BC to 200 BC. From 500 AD, the civilization started to decline and by 750 AD the civilization had fallen completely. This is thought to have occurred when an El Niño triggered widespread and destructive flooding.

Nok culture:

The Nok culture is an early Iron Age population whose material remains are named after the Ham village of Nok in Kaduna State of Nigeria, where terracotta sculptures were first discovered.

However the purpose of these sculptures are not yet known. Apart from it, domestic pottery like bowls etc. was also discovered. In addition furnace wall and  similar anomalies are also suspected to be existing at site.

Old Cordilleran culture:

The Old Cordilleran Culture, also known as the Cascade phase, is an ancient culture of Native Americans that settled in the Pacific Northwestern region of North America that existed from 9000 or 10000 BC until about 5500 BC. They originated in Alaska, and migrated to occupy a wide area as far as Idaho and the plateaus of California, but they are generally not considered to be a maritime society. However, their spear points, or points resembling theirs, have been found as far south as Mexico and South America.

There subsistence was based on hunting, fishing, and gathering. Simple willow-leaf-shaped, bipointed projectile points are characteristic artifacts.

Oldowan industry:

Oldowan Tools

The term Oldowan is taken from the site of Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, where the first Oldowan lithics were discovered by the archaeologist Louis Leakey in the 1930s. However, some contemporary archaeologists and palaeoanthropologists prefer to use the term Mode 1 tools to designate pebble tool industries (including Oldowan), with Mode 2 designating bifacially worked tools (including Acheulean handaxes), Mode 3 designating prepared-core tools, and so forth.

The Oldowan (or Mode I) is the earliest widespread stone tool archaeological industry (style) in prehistory. These early tools were simple, usually made with one or a few flakes chipped off with another stone. Oldowan tools were used during the Lower Paleolithic period, 2.6 million years ago up until 1.7 million years ago, by ancient hominids (early humans) across much of Africa, South Asia, the Middle East and Europe. This technological industry was followed by the more sophisticated Acheulean industry.

Osteodontokeratic tool industry:

The Osteodontokeratic   means literally “bone-tooth-horn” which is a Greek and Latin derivation. Source of this industry is Makapansgat Limeworks in Limpopo, South Africa, a number of fossil remains, including those of extinct baboon species were found, which originated from the Australopith-bearing.

One view is that these repeated pattern of depressed fractures on the cranial vaults of a number these specimens was purposeful violence…inflicted by implements held in the hands,” suggesting that southern African Australopiths used long bones (e.g. femurs and humeri), mandibles, horn cores, etc. as hunting weaponry to satisfy their hyper-carnivorous diets. This hypothesis implied that the rise of the Australopithecus genus from ‘hominoid’ to ‘hominin,’ meaning from an ‘ape-adaptive grade’ to a more ‘human-adaptive grade,’ was borne from the ability of early hominin species to use tools, more specifically weapons. The critics of this theory point out that hyenid species transport and accumulate bone material within cave systems used as dens, which can ultimately result in fossil assemblages. The jury is  still out on the subject.

Paracas:

Paracas, culture centred on the peninsula of the same name, located in present-day southern Peru in the vicinity of Ica, during the Early Horizon and the Early Intermediate periods (c. 900 BC to 400AD).

The Paracas culture was an Andean society existing between approximately 800 BCE and 100 BCE, with an extensive knowledge of irrigation and water management and that made significant contributions in the textile arts.

 

Perigordian industry:

 

Phoenicia:

(Details for following shall be supplied soon.)

Pre-Columbian civilizations

Qijia culture

Recuay

Sangoan industry

Solutrean industry

Stillbay industry

Tasian culture

Tayacian industry

Teotihuacán civilization

Thule culture

Trypillya culture

Urnfield culture

Villanovan culture

Woodland cultures

Yangshao culture

Yayoi culture

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One thought on “84 Ancient Civilizations in the World

  1. Wow, a lot of research went into that post. I applaud how comprehensive the list is, not leaving out cultures which are often downplayed in the Americas and in Africa. Well done.

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