What Is the Oldest Ancient Civilization?

When we talk about ancient civilizations, the first thing that comes to mind is the sheer amount of time that has passed since they existed. It’s hard to imagine how people lived back then, what they believed in, and how they managed to build such incredible structures without modern technology.

But which civilization holds the title of being the oldest? Let’s take a look.


Throughout history, there have been many great civilizations that have risen and fallen. Some were more advanced than others, but all played a crucial role in shaping our world today. In this article, we will explore the oldest ancient civilization and delve into its unique characteristics and notable achievements.

The Oldest Ancient Civilization

The title for the oldest ancient civilization goes to the Sumerians who lived in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) around 4000 BCE. They were one of the earliest societies to develop agriculture, which led to the growth of cities and trade. The Sumerians were also known for their written language – cuneiform – which was one of the earliest forms of writing in human history.


The Sumerians had a polytheistic religion with over 2000 gods and goddesses. They believed that these deities controlled every aspect of their lives from fertility and agriculture to war and death. Temples were built in honor of these gods where offerings were made by priests on behalf of the people.


The Sumerians had a complex system of government with different city-states ruled by kings. These kings were seen as representatives of the gods on earth and held immense power over their subjects. They also had an advanced legal system with laws written down on clay tablets.


The Sumerians are famous for their impressive architecture, including ziggurats – towering structures made of mud bricks that were used as temples and administrative centers. These structures were built in a stepped pyramid shape and were an impressive feat of engineering considering the limited technology available at the time.

Mathematics and Science

The Sumerians made significant contributions to mathematics and science, including the development of a number system based on 60 (which is still used for measuring time today) and the invention of the wheel. They also had an advanced knowledge of astronomy, which they used to create calendars and predict eclipses.


The Sumerian civilization may have existed over 6000 years ago, but its influence can still be felt today. From their system of writing to their impressive architecture, the Sumerians were truly ahead of their time. While they may not be as well-known as some other ancient civilizations like the Egyptians or Greeks, they are undoubtedly one of the most important societies in human history.