What Were the Seven Ancient Civilizations?

The Ancient world encompassed seven civilizations.

The Ancient culture featured seven empires and societies that set a precedent for a plethora of modern-day advancements and foundations in culture, politics, technology and art. Dating from approximately 3,000 B.C. through the 5th century A.D., the Ancient world spanned many centuries and starred different leaders and empires throughout.

1 Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt dates back to circa 3100 B.C. and remained intact for almost 3,000 years, until Alexander the Great conquered it in 332 B.C. With such a long and illustrious history, ancient Egypt spawned its own field of study, known as Egyptology. The pyramids were first built in Egypt in the Old Kingdom period, and served as burial grounds for the Pharaohs. The artistry of this period is represented in hieroglyphics, which were drawings that depicted stories about the culture and religion of ancient Egypt. Other accomplishments of the ancient Egyptians include contributions to writing and building irrigation systems.

2 Ancient Greece

Also referred to as "classical Greece," the period of ancient Greece spanned from the 5th century B.C. through the rule of Alexander the Great. Plagued by repetitive wars with Persians and Spartans, this culture also contributed advancements in politics, including the basis for modern-day democracy. The Greek tragedy was also created during this era.

3 Mesopotamia

Located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, Mesopotamia was settled by the Sumerians and is the earliest ancient civilization, dating before 4000 B.C. Organized farmer groups led by a priest farmed the land and shared crops communally. Ziggurats, or towers used as temples, were created by the Sumerians to serve local god worship, which was central to the Mesopotamian culture. Achievements of the Mesopotamians include the first form of writing and advancements in metalworking.

4 Babylon

The end of the Mesopotamian civilization heralded the start of Babylonian culture. Around 1800 B.C. Babylonian civilization was fully established and the Code of Hammurabi was written, which served as the first significant law code in the world.

5 Ancient Rome

Expanding from one town in the 8th century B.C., the ancient Roman Empire expanded at its peak to include Britain, the majority of western Asia and continental Europe, the Mediterranean islands and north Africa. French, Italian and Spanish languages are among the languages descended from Rome, also referred to as the Romance languages. The fall of Rome occurred in A.D. 500.

6 Ancient China

With accomplishments including the wheel, farming techniques and the creation of silk by their initial establishment in 3000 B.C., the Chinese settled in northern China. The society centered around a very complex hierarchy of citizens. Some key inventions linked to this culture include explosives, printing and the compass.

7 Ancient India

The Indus civilization dates back to 4000 B.C. with prominent cities established by 2700 B.C. The ancient Indian society included well organized cities with public buildings and palaces. Overtaken by the Aryans in 1300 B.C. the Indus culture had the caste system imposed by their captors, which prevails in modern day India.

Melissa Sabo is an occupational therapist who started writing professional guidebooks for all Flagship Rehabilitation employees in 2009. Specializing in applied therapy and exercise for non-medical readers, she also coauthored a manual on wheelchair positioning. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science in occupational therapy.