What was the first Civilization?

Mar 2012
2,335
#31
Originally Posted by Lucius

"I had always understood "civilization" to mean a culture with writing.

Then they can speak for themselves across the millennia."



That's an interesting exception. Writing allows for written law which is important for maintaining order in a city. Writing also allows for records of who owns what. If the Inca were like other Native American peoples, they may have owned property communally so written records were less necessary. A society can get along with oral law for a little while before the law gets so complex that it needs to be written down.

If the Incas were illiterate, (and there's some debate about whether or not they had a proto record keeping system or not) I consider them an excepton rather than the rule.
Except that the Inca did have some form of "writing."

http://historum.com/american-history/62927-south-america-did-have-form-pictographic-writing.html

Read though the above thread. I started it when I discovered that the Aymara had a pictographic writing. After going to Peru, I read some of the works of the Spanish who recorded Inca history, and found that universally, they based their work on now extinct Peruvian records.

The records themselves were kept by a combination of the Quipu, a device made for accounting and record keeping, and "painted boards." No one now knows what these painted boards looked like, possibly Tocopu symbols demonstrated in thread, but what is certain is that these various Spaniards came up with remarkably consitent histories, differing only as much as Polybius might differ from Livy.

Read through if interested. Lots of good quotes about it from the authors themselves.
 
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Naima

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
2,321
Venice
#32
The Mesopotamian Civilization is said by this site to be the oldest:

World History Timeline | Essential Humanities

Wikipedia produces the following:


Bronze Age and Early Iron Age
  • c. 3200 BC: Sumerian cuneiform writing system.
  • 3200 BC: Newgrange built in Ireland.
  • 3200 BC: Cycladic culture in Greece.
  • 3200 BC: Norte Chico civilization begins in Peru.
  • 3200 BC: Rise of Proto-Elamite Civilization in Iran.
  • 3100 BC: Skara Brae in Scotland.
  • 3100 BC: First dynasty of Egypt.
Note the Norte Chico civilization in Coastal Peru:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norte_Chico_civilization



Europe oldest civilization 4800BC and 4600BC.
 
Jan 2015
866
England
#34
I thought that there was some evidence that the Chinese civilisation arose from the Mesopotamian one? Something about similarities between the very early temples used by the Chinese and the ones used in Mesopotamia.

Here's what I was thinking of:

The French magazine Courrier International reports that at a site near Ch’eng-tu, in the Szechwan Province of China, a team of archaeologists has uncovered the vestiges of what appears to be an ancient temple built within a walled enclosure. The archaeologists report that the temple’s structure and configuration are very reminiscent of the ziggurats of ancient Mesopotamia. Professor Ichiro Kominami, of the University of Kyoto, stated that “it is possible that [Szechwan] was the cradle of a unique ancient Chinese civilization that had close links with those of the Indus and of Mesopotamia.”
 
Sep 2016
350
India
#36
I thought that there was some evidence that the Chinese civilisation arose from the Mesopotamian one? Something about similarities between the very early temples used by the Chinese and the ones used in Mesopotamia.

Here's what I was thinking of:

The French magazine Courrier International reports that at a site near Ch’eng-tu, in the Szechwan Province of China, a team of archaeologists has uncovered the vestiges of what appears to be an ancient temple built within a walled enclosure. The archaeologists report that the temple’s structure and configuration are very reminiscent of the ziggurats of ancient Mesopotamia. Professor Ichiro Kominami, of the University of Kyoto, stated that “it is possible that [Szechwan] was the cradle of a unique ancient Chinese civilization that had close links with those of the Indus and of Mesopotamia.”
I don't know about your claim, but in my humble opinion, I don't see the quote you have provided as proof because it is possible that the Chinese built temples like this simply due to their links with the Mesopotamians and Indians. Remember, Indus Valley civilization had trade links with Mesopotamia.
 

Fantasus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2012
2,381
Northern part of European lowland
#37
Why not be cautious and make the remark to this discussion about the "oldest civilization": "oldest found, so far"? By making such a statement I am not saying we indicate there is older ones, only that there could very well be some older. Then there is the very problem of defining a civilization, but is it not a bit premature to think we know about "everything"?
 

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