Which Ancient Civilization Came First?

When we think of ancient civilizations, we often wonder which one came first. The answer to this question is not entirely straightforward as different cultures developed in various parts of the world at different times. However, historians and archaeologists have been able to piece together a rough timeline of the rise and fall of various ancient civilizations.

The Oldest Civilization: Mesopotamia

The oldest civilization that we know of is Mesopotamia, which means “the land between rivers.” This civilization was located in the region that is now modern-day Iraq and Kuwait. The Sumerians were the first people to settle in Mesopotamia around 4000 BCE, followed by the Babylonians and Assyrians.

The Mesopotamian civilization is known for its many achievements, including inventing the wheel, developing a system of writing known as cuneiform, and building massive structures such as ziggurats.

Ancient Egypt: A Contemporary Civilization

At around the same time that Mesopotamia was developing, another ancient civilization was taking shape in Egypt. The Egyptians are known for their impressive pyramids and sphinxes. They also developed a complex system of religion and mythology, with deities such as Ra, Osiris, and Isis playing prominent roles in their culture.

The Indus Valley Civilization

Around 2600 BCE, another ancient civilization emerged on the Indian subcontinent – the Indus Valley Civilization. This culture was located in what are now Pakistan and India. Little is known about this civilization because their written language has not yet been deciphered.


While there were likely other civilizations that existed before these three cultures emerged, they are the oldest that we have evidence for today. Each civilization contributed greatly to human history by developing complex social structures, inventing new technologies, creating art and literature, and exploring the mysteries of the cosmos. By studying these ancient cultures, we can gain a greater understanding of our own place in the world and how we can continue to build upon the achievements of those who came before us.

  • Mesopotamia: The oldest civilization that we know of.
  • Egypt: Known for their impressive pyramids and sphinxes.
  • Indus Valley: Located in what are now Pakistan and India.

So, it’s safe to say that Mesopotamia was the first civilization that came into existence.