Which Ancient Civilization Lasted Longest?

Throughout history, there have been many great civilizations that rose to power and then eventually fell. However, some ancient civilizations lasted much longer than others. In this article, we will explore which ancient civilization lasted the longest.

The Olmec Civilization

The Olmec civilization is considered by many to be the first major civilization in Mesoamerica. The Olmecs lived between 1400 BCE and 400 BCE, and their culture had a significant impact on subsequent Mesoamerican civilizations such as the Maya and Aztecs.

Despite only lasting for around a thousand years, the Olmec civilization is considered to be one of the most influential ancient civilizations in the Americas. They were known for their impressive architecture, including large stone heads that still stand today.

The Zhou Dynasty

The Zhou Dynasty in China ruled for an impressive 790 years from 1046 BCE to 256 BCE. The dynasty is divided into two periods: the Western Zhou (1046-771 BCE) and the Eastern Zhou (771-256 BCE).

During this lengthy period of rule, the Zhou Dynasty saw significant advances in technology, literature, and philosophy. They developed irrigation systems to improve agriculture and made important contributions to Chinese literature with works such as ‘The Book of Songs’ and ‘The Analects of Confucius’.

The Ancient Egyptians

When it comes to longevity among ancient civilizations, it’s hard to beat the Ancient Egyptians. Their civilization lasted for over three thousand years from around 3100 BCE until the annexation of Egypt by Rome in 30 BCE.

Ancient Egypt was known for its impressive pyramids, complex religious beliefs, and sophisticated writing system. During their long reign, the Egyptians developed a strong monarchy and a complex bureaucracy that allowed them to maintain their power for centuries.

The Incas

The Inca civilization is one of the most impressive ancient civilizations in South America. They ruled from the early 13th century until the Spanish conquest in 1572, making their reign last over three hundred years.

The Inca Empire was known for its impressive road system, advanced agricultural techniques, and intricate social hierarchy. They also built impressive stone structures such as Machu Picchu that still stand today.


While there were many ancient civilizations that lasted for hundreds or even thousands of years, these four are considered to be some of the longest-lasting and most influential civilizations in history. From their impressive architecture to their technological advances and complex social structures, these ancient civilizations continue to fascinate us today.