If you graduated U.S. Public School education system(k-12), you might have learned about the 4 great River Valley Civilizations: Indus, HuangHe, Nile, Euphrates. They were basically the birthing ground for Modern Eurasian and African (and American) history.

There are a lot of other river valleys in the world and I was wondering if anyone here knows a thing or 2 about them. If you do, can you provide any articles (or internet links) that has evidence indicating the existence of other Early River Valley Civilizations.

--Also is this a question I can ask on this Stack Exchange? Thanks in advance.

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    You could look at any populated river valley and define that as a civilisation... the distinction of the Nile, the Yellow River, the Tigris and Euphrates, and the Indus Rivers were that they were also considered the cradles of civilisation. Is that what you're really asking? – Semaphore Jan 6 '16 at 18:54
  • When I mentioned that they were the birthing ground of modern Eurasian and african (and American) history, yes I was referring to them as the Cradle of civilization. In a sense, yes I am asking if other River Valley Civilizations Exited and whether or not there is evidence that they existed. – pacman2 Jan 6 '16 at 19:14
  • Yes thanks @semaphore Anything I looked for on the internet concerning "river civilizations" always would return the 4 great ones and explain their importance, which I totally understand. I am interested in the "unimportant" ones I guess. – pacman2 Jan 6 '16 at 19:17
  • apologies, Yes I am interested in evidence for any river valley civilizations. – pacman2 Jan 6 '16 at 20:21
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    I answered as if it was asking about areas (river valleys) where agriculture and multi-city societies were independently developed (not borrowed from elsewhere). Seems a legit question to me, and IMHO Wikipedia's one page that purports to cover this currently has issues. – T.E.D. Jan 6 '16 at 21:37

China actually had two separate ones: The Yellow river and the Yangtze. The Yellow river is likely the initial homeland of the Han people. However, the Yangtze is where the staple crop of rice was most likely domesticated. Eventually the Han expanded and overran the Yangtze basin as well, supplanting the locals. However, they kept their rice.

Other places that seemed to have developed native agriculture independently were the Olmec in the Coatzacoalcos River basin (staple - corn), the Caral in Peru in the Supe river valley (domesticated potatoes, Quinona, and a variant of cotton), and the New Guinea highlands (sugar cane for sure, not sure what else)*.

Wikipedia as always, has a list. However its not complete (no New Guinea), and there of course may be others that expired and have not been discovered yet.

* - Currently the oldest site found is at Kuk, on the Wahgi river valley, with evidence of sugarcane, taro, and banana cultivation. The irrigation works there date back 9000 years (!)

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  • Okay thanks this does help. I guess the wiki does answer my question in that they list 6 Sites where civilization rose though we are unsure if they arose from river valleys. – pacman2 Jan 6 '16 at 20:35
  • 6 sites, 2 of which have two river valleys, and one of those of which may have agriculture independently developed on each of the two rivers. And they missed New Guinea. So I'd just try to remember the places/cultures, rather than run around blindly saying "6, because Wikipedia says so". – T.E.D. Jan 6 '16 at 20:39
  • As for the actual sites, the Olmec were in a lowland (swamp) area, so lots of rivers. However, the Coatzacoalcos river seems to be the likeliest original river. The Caral seem to have originated in the Supe river valley. We aren't sure about the New Guineans. There could easily have been a mother river valley, we just don't know. – T.E.D. Jan 6 '16 at 20:52
  • Running around saying Wikipedia says so is not that bad anymore! Okay maybe not lol. I am more interested in the sources that wikipedia requires us to list because that's where the evidence lies. Thanks @t.e.d. – pacman2 Jan 6 '16 at 21:32

There was the Indus, the Mesopotamian, the Yellow, and some might even say the Yangtze. Also, there is a debate whether the Nile civilization counts as an independent invention of civilization because people don't know for sure if they created the civilization themselves or if people from the Mesopotamian civilization migrated there as the Nile civilization appears to have formed a full 300 years after the one in Mesopotamia.(A long time to migrate south). Also, some as well consider the Mesoamerican civilization as being one of the early river valley civilizations.

--Overall, there might be 3 or 4 or 5. It all depends on which professor you ask.

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