What Was the First Civilization in World History?

The history of human civilization is a fascinating topic that has intrigued scholars and common people alike for ages. As we delve into the past, we find that there is no single answer to the question, “What was the first civilization in world history?”.

However, based on archaeological evidence and historical records, it is widely believed that the first civilization in world history emerged in Mesopotamia, around 4000 BC. Mesopotamia was an ancient region that encompassed parts of modern-day Iraq, Kuwait, and Syria.

The Emergence of Civilization

Before the rise of civilization, humans lived as hunter-gatherers, moving from place to place in search of food and shelter. However, with the discovery of agriculture and domestication of animals, people began to settle down and form communities.

Over time, these communities grew into cities with complex social structures and sophisticated technologies. These early civilizations developed systems of writing, laws, religion, arts and architecture. They also created trade networks with other civilizations.

The Sumerians

The Sumerians are considered to be the first civilization in world history as they were the first to develop a system of writing known as cuneiform. Cuneiform was a script made up of wedge-shaped marks on clay tablets that were used for record-keeping.

The Sumerians lived in city-states such as Uruk and Ur which had populations numbering in tens of thousands. They built monumental structures such as ziggurats (pyramid-like structures) which served as temples to their gods.

Government and Society

The Sumerian society was divided into different social classes such as priests, nobles, commoners and slaves. The government was a monarchy with a king at its head who ruled over his subjects with absolute power.


Apart from developing writing systems, the Sumerians also made significant advancements in mathematics, astronomy, and agriculture. They invented the wheel and plow which helped in farming and transportation. They also developed a system of canals for irrigation which helped in increasing agricultural productivity.

The Legacy of the First Civilization

The legacy of the first civilization is still evident today. Many modern technologies such as writing, mathematics, astronomy, and architecture have their roots in these early civilizations. The systems of government and law that were developed during this time have influenced political systems around the world.

In conclusion, the first civilization in world history emerged in Mesopotamia around 4000 BC with the rise of the Sumerians. Their contributions to human civilization are immeasurable and continue to influence our lives today.