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Which country is recognized or documented as having the first prominent civilization? After reading so many articles, I couldn't determine which country should be acknowledged as having the oldest civilization. According to Puranas of India, it seems to be the oldest country with a prominent civilization. However, while searching Google, I found that Egyptians existed at the same time as the earliest Indian civilization. Can anybody clarify this?

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Very good question!!! ( i would say I couldn't have said it better myself but I really could not –  Napoleonothecake Oct 31 '11 at 22:17
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Define Civilization. –  Lennart Regebro Nov 1 '11 at 8:44
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I really think Lennart's question is essential in this matter. "Civilization" is hardly an academically fixed concept. –  Cerberus Nov 1 '11 at 12:15
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I'd also ask what is meant by prominent, are we talking the first, earliest civilization that can be detected with current methods and tools? –  MichaelF Nov 1 '11 at 17:24
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Yes, but not in a useful way. If we can restrict ourselves to the original definition, which basically means "having cities" then it can be answered. –  Lennart Regebro Nov 2 '11 at 10:32
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up vote 27 down vote accepted

The Sumerians are widely credited with being the first real civilisation on Earth, beginning in around the 5th millennium BC. Cities and agricultural communities existed before this time, but are generally not considered to have constituted a civilisation. The Sumerians, who were situated in modern-day lower Iraq and Kuwait, are widely believed to have invented the wheel, writing, government, law, systematic agriculture, and irrigation, among various other early innovations and marks of civilisation.

Although the dates of the start of these civilisations are generally not well-defined, the order of the appearance of "civilisations" is often accepted as the following:

  • Ancient Sumerians

  • Ancient Egyptians

  • Akkadians -- arguable since they largely took over everything from the Sumerians in the same region

  • Ancient Indians / Indus Valley Civilisation

  • Ancient Chinese

  • Ancient Greeks (Minoans and then Myceneans) -- arguably older than the above

  • Phoenicians/Caananites

  • Ancient Romans

  • Ancient Persians/Iranians

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What about the Maikop culture? –  Anixx Dec 17 '12 at 20:42
    
@Anixx: Too little is known about that culture, I believe. It would be too much of a stretch to call it a genuine civilisation, in any cases, at present. Most likely what "civilised" aspects it did pick up were from the contact of Indo-European peoples with the advanced Middle-Eastern cultures at the time. –  Noldorin Dec 17 '12 at 21:18
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The major sites of the Indus Valley Civilization imposed over modern borders

After contenders like Sumerians, Egyptians, there is another forbidden world which was ruined because of earthquake or may be foreign invasion (some estimate this). Here i am talking about Indus Valley Civilisation who trace back its root since 3300 - 1300 B.C and was the most advanced among all the ancient settlements at that time.

Excavated ruins of Mohenjo-daro, with the Great Bath in the front - Handicrafts - In Mettalurgy - City Planning - Great sewage and drainage systems - Baked bricked walls

The civilisation was alien to us but came to known after britishers (colonists) discovered the ruins and clusters of city buried under the earth.

The civilisation was based on the land which is modern day punjab of pakistan. The Harrappa and Mohenjadaro were the major cities of those times.

Ten Indus Signs, dubbed Dholavira Signboard Ancient Art of MohenJoDaro For More information, follow this link : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indus_Valley_Civilization

Sources: www.wikipedia.com/ indus valley civilisation www.google.com / search engine

{Apologizes for bigger than size images}

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If you use the term civilization with the connotations of culture than the first pieces of art were found in South Africa from more than 60,000 years ago. In an even broader sense apes are now known to possess culture, by teaching technological tricks to their siblings and newcomers in their group.

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