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The World

The World

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Published by: dogar153 on Dec 17, 2010
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The World's Oldest Civilization
cradle of civilization
is one of the five possible locations where civilization first emerged.According to many experts, civilization began in what is called the Fertile Crescent(Mesopotamia), and then spread to other areas due to a nomadic lifestyle. But this traditionallyheld view is disputed by several scholars andarchaeologistswho support the view point thatthere is no single cradle of civilization, but independent development of civilization occurred inseveral areas, which were Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus Valley, Shang (Yellow River Valley), andMesoamerica and Andean South America. The reason for this belief in multiple cradles of civilization has resulted from observation, and study of relics of the period that point out howdifferent features developed irregularly and independently in these different civilizations. Theinteraction between different communities due to nomadic lifestyles led to the development of common systems and techniques in agriculture, pottery, metal work, etc. It is therefore difficultto specifically state which is the oldest civilization in the world, as there is no definite answer tothe question. The five civilizations discussed below are the contenders for the title of the oldestcivilization in the world.
Many experts, as mentioned above, believe that Mesopotamia, being located in the FertileCrescent, is the oldest civilization in the world. The reason for this is that Mesopotamia is wherethe Tigris and the Euphrates rivers converge, making the area extremely suitable for agriculture.Many agrarian societies are therefore believed to have been established here. Also since theUbaid, Sumerian, Akkad, Babylon, and Assyrian civilizations are all located in this area,Mesopotamia is widely considered to be the oldest civilization in the world. Settlements can betraced in Mesopotamia to the start of the Early Bronze age, which is much before 7000 BC. Theearliest sites were in Jarmo, and the earliest cities were established in Sumer under the Uruk  period. Mesopotamia, over the years, has been ruled by the Hellenists, Persians, Mongols andTurks. Mesopotamia is the area that we now identify as Iraq.
One of the oldest civilizations in the world, there is archaeological and anthropological evidencethat point towards the existence of a settlement in the area as early as 10000 BC, but there is nodefinite evidence to determine the time period. The settlement then took to farming as their mainsource of sustenance, but remains of another settlement found in the area, that can be dated back to the same period, shows practice of hunting and fishing. It is indicated by studies that the landaround Sahara was not as arid as it is today and was perfect for grazing ground. It was around2500 BC that the settlements moved towards the Nile due to change in climate and inhospitableconditions, where the civilization was established as a more complex society. The civilization of Ancient Egypthas been responsible for several lasting legacies for humankind as a whole,including pyramids, mathematical systems, practice of medicine, glass making techniques, andalso paper, in its earliest form.
Ancient India
Settlements have known to exist in the area since before 6000 BC, as there is evidence that has been found that dates back to this period. These settlements were very self sufficient with
remains of granaries, burial tombs, drills for stones and copper, etc., found in the area near  present day Balochistan in Pakistan. The Indus Valley Civilization, which saw complex societalstructures, have known to exist since 4000 BC, with the major cities being Harappa andMohenjo-daro. Both these cities have been discovered to be large cities with many structures of great magnitude inside city limits. The decimal fraction system is one of the gifts of the IndusValley Civilization to the modern day world. Excavation of the sites that are believed to be a partof the civilization have been on since 1920 and the most recent discovery was in 1999.
Along with being a contender for the title of the oldest civilization in the world, China is alreadyheralded as the world's oldest continuous civilization. Pre-civilized settlement relics dating back to 7000 BC have been found in China. In fact, in some cases, the date variance ranges between9000 BC and 5500 B. There is evidence of agricultural practice, pottery, craft work and evenanimal husbandry. The civilization can be traced back to the establishment of city states in theYellow River Valley around 2200 BC. But this claim is disputed with the first dynasty that isarchaeologically definable being traced to the Shang Dynasty of Ancient Chinawhich started itsreign somewhere around 1750 BC. There is very little verifiable data about earlier settlements inthe area due to the lack of written records or any such documents.
Andean South America and Mesoamerica
 In the Americas, the oldest civilizations were located in South America andMesoamerica. The oldest Mesoamerican civilization was the Olmec Civilization whichwas established sometime around 1200 BC, but settlements have been traced backto 5100 BC, due to records of maize cultivation from then. Some of the main citiesthat were established under the Olmec rule were San Lorenzo and La Venta, whichlike other cities, are said to have had giant statues of the then Emperor. In SouthAmerica, the oldest civilization was the Norte Chico that was a group of connectedsettlements, with huge cities at Aspero and Caral.It is difficult to answer a question like what is the oldest civilization and how old is itbecause there are no definite records or dating methods that can give us an exacttime period for when these civilizations existed. But these five civilizations were thepredecessors to our modern day countries and geographical demarcations.Regardless of which of these is the oldest civilization in the world, some of the mostimportant inventions and discoveries, like farming or pottery can be credited tothese civilizations.
What are Some of the Oldest Countries in the World
The list given below mentions the approximate date from which the country came into existenceas mentioned in historical literature. You may also like to know on theoldest city in the worldinaddition to the oldest countries.
3200BCMesopotamia(Present dayIran)The whole of present day western Iran came under the influence of theProto-Elamite's and they had their capital at Susa. This dynasty had agreat influence on other dynasties which followed and over time the
first Iranian empire was established by the Indo-European Medes andthey ruled till about 550 BC. The modern day Iran was set up onFebruary 11,1979 after the struggle to overthrow the Pahlavi dynasty.3100BCEgyptIt was Pharaoh Narmer who is credited with unification of upper andlower regions of present day Egypt in 3100 BC. There were severalconquests and subsequent change of regimes inancient Egypt,and later  due to a series of events led to the British conquering large parts of thecountry. Over the years, the people of Egypt struggled for freedomfrom the and eventually on February28, 1922, the country was declaredindependent.2879BCVietnamThe rise of the Van Lang tribe in 2879 BC led to the formation of Vietnamas a single country. Regime change continued over thecenturies and was later ruled by the Japanese rulers, who later left thecountry after the Second World War on September 2, 1945.2333BCKorean PeninsulaHistorical records say that it was in 2333 BC that Korea was foundedBy King Dangum. In the latter centuries the country was divided andreunified several times, besides being invaded by the Russians andMongols. The Japanese ruled the country from 1910 till the end of theSecond World War, after which Korea was divided into two differentcountries - North Koreaand South Korea. 2070BCChinaOne of the oldest countries in the world,Chinawas first founded byXia Dynasty and it was in 221 BC that the Qin Dynasty unified most parts of present day China and it was only in 1949 that the Republic of China came into existence in its current form.337BCGreeceThe country was unified for the first time in 337 BC under King PhilipII of Macedon. The modern day republican form of government inGreecewas formed in 1821.322BCIndianSubcontinentMajority of the Indian subcontinent comprising most parts of presentdayIndia, Pakistan and Bangladesh was unified by Emperor Chandragupta Maurya of the Maurya Dynasty in 322 BC. The nextseveral centuries saw several dynasties come and go, and the last rulersof present day India, Pakistanand Bangladesh were the British, before India and Pakistan (Bangladeshwas included as a part of Pakistan)gained independence and later declared republic.The oldest countries in terms of current form of government include:
San Mario which was established on September 3, 301 AD.
United Kingdom wherein the representatives of the people were elected for the first timein 1688.
The United States of America wherein after the American Revolution,the people started electing their representatives.

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