Ancient Civilizations Timeline: 16 Oldest Known Cultures From Around The World

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I used to believe my great-grandmother was the first person on earth. She was so old, she HAD to be. Those deep lines carved around her eyes and mouth were a dead giveaway.

Turns out I was wrong. Unbelievably wrong. People have graced the vast grassy plains of this planet since long before even Nana’s great grandparents were alive (and there’s even a tortoise that’s older than her!).

Who knew? Well, I do now, and you can as well.

Here’s a complete ancient civilizations timeline — their names, dates, locations, and some bizarre bits of trivia about them — starting with one that was still flourishing only 600 years ago, and concluding with one still powering forward today.

Table of Contents

16. The Incan Civilization 

15. The Aztec Civilization

14. The Roman Civilization

13. The Persian Civilization

12. The Ancient Greek Civilization

11. The Chinese Civilization

10. The Mayan Civilization

9. The Ancient Egyptian Civilization

8. The Norte Chico Civilization 

7. The Danubian Culture, or Linearbandkeramik Culture

6. The Mesopotamian Civilization

5. The Indus Valley Civilization

4. The Jiahu Culture

3. ‘Ain Ghazal

2. The Çatalhöyük Settlement

1. Australian Aboriginals

Other Notable Civilizations

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