Humanity's story stretches back millennia. Let's explore the ten earliest civilizations that laid the foundation for the world we know today.

Flourishing in present-day Iraq, Mesopotamia ("land between rivers") is widely recognized as the birthplace of civilization.  It emerged around 3500 BCE, marked by innovations in agriculture, writing, and urban planning.

Along the Nile River in Egypt, a remarkable civilization thrived from around 3100 BCE. Egyptians are renowned for their monumental pyramids, hieroglyphic writing, and advancements in mathematics and astronomy.

The Indus Valley Civilization, flourishing in parts of modern-day Pakistan and India (3300-1300 BCE), remains somewhat enigmatic.  They built sophisticated cities with impressive drainage systems and are known for their distinctive Indus Valley seals.

Chinese civilization boasts one of the longest continuous histories, dating back to around 1600 BCE along the Yellow River.  They made significant contributions in areas like bronze casting, papermaking, and gunpowder.

The Maya civilization flourished in Mesoamerica (present-day Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras) from around 2000 BCE to 900 CE. They were skilled mathematicians, astronomers, and architects,  renowned for their complex calendar system and towering pyramids.

Emerging in mainland Greece around 3000 BCE,  Ancient Greece is known for its advancements in philosophy, mathematics, and drama.  They laid the groundwork for democracy, a system of government where citizens hold power.

Emerging in mainland Greece around 3000 BCE,  Ancient Greece is known for its advancements in philosophy, mathematics, and drama.  They laid the groundwork for democracy, a system of government where citizens hold power.

The Caral-Supe civilization, located in present-day Peru, dates back to around 3200 BCE.  They are  considered one of the earliest urban settlements in the Americas,  known for their large-scale public buildings and complex social organization.

The Olmec civilization, flourishing in southern Mexico from around 1800 to 400 BCE, is  considered the "mother culture" of Mesoamerica.  They  left behind massive carved heads, intricate jade sculptures, and  laid the foundation for later Mesoamerican cultures like the Maya and Aztecs.