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Old 03-29-2011, 09:22 AM
 
Location: NY, NY
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So I was just thinking about early human civilization, say 5000 BCE - 2000 BCE. There were lots of areas around where human civilization was beginning to take off and people around the world were discovering the benefits of agriculture.

With this in mind, I started to wonder which early human civilization had the greatest impact and really changed the way humans lived. Of course Egypt comes to mind right away but I actually think the Sumerians (wheel, writing, and mysticism all came from Sumer) had far more influence then the Egyptians, just that their civilization did not last nearly as long as Egypt.

Im curious what other civilizations people think had great and long lasting impacts on human that are no longer around (Nubia, Mohenjo-Daro, Babylonia, Israel, Assyria, etc.). Also, what were the accomplishments of these people?
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:37 PM
 
Location: On the periphery
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The contributions of the Sumerians probably laid the foundation for all succeeding civilizations. Their contributions were many and later civilizations like the Assyrians and others built on their achievements. Sumeria was where the world's first urban civilization evolved in about twelve city-states.

The outstanding Sumerian authority was Samuel Noah Kramer, who made it his life study. Kramer wrote several books on the Sumerians. Unfortunately, we don't know a lot about the day-to-day life of the Sumerians, except that they were a gifted and relatively peaceful people.
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Miami, FL
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I always found the Indus Valley peoples to be very interesting. I believe they developed what we know as mathematics.
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Old 03-31-2011, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
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When you get that far back, there just isn't much left today to learn from. We know so much about Egypt and Sumer because they are in arid, dry locations that tend to preserve objects well. Any traces of civilizations that may have existed before in more verdant areas would have been pretty much wiped out over the millenia. (especially if they were along coastal areas which are now flooded).

Sumer seems too advanced to have arrived there on it's own. I suspect they got at least some of their tech from an earlier civilization(s), the evidence of which is now totally gone (note this does not require aliens or Atlantis to be plausable ).
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Old 03-31-2011, 03:39 PM
 
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
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I'd thought you were meaning the really early days. If it was so, I'd say "American civilization". But, being serious, I think the greek civilization was the smartest one that have ever lived on this Earth. Their legacy is too impressive for me to say it otherwise.
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Old 03-31-2011, 05:31 PM
 
Location: On the periphery
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
When you get that far back, there just isn't much left today to learn from. We know so much about Egypt and Sumer because they are in arid, dry locations that tend to preserve objects well. Any traces of civilizations that may have existed before in more verdant areas would have been pretty much wiped out over the millenia. (especially if they were along coastal areas which are now flooded).

Sumer seems too advanced to have arrived there on it's own. I suspect they got at least some of their tech from an earlier civilization(s), the evidence of which is now totally gone (note this does not require aliens or Atlantis to be plausable ).
Good point! There was at least one earlier civilization in Mesopotamia. They were called the Ubaidians. Not much is known about their language or culture, except they were thought to have cleared and drained some of the swampland for agriculture. It would be difficult to say how much influence they had on the Sumerians. The story would be endlessly fascinating if we only knew the details.

In the 1920s, archaeologist C. Leonard Woolley headed up a project that excavated at the site of ancient UR. In archaeological terms they went down to the deepest level of known human habitation in that area. Royal tombs were opened and artifacts were found that now reside in the British Museum.

About 25 years ago, we had the pleasure of visiting the museum and seeing a princesses' headdress (jewelry) that had been taken from what was called the "Great Death Pit at UR." A helmet worn by a king, whose remains were found in the grave, was made in exquisite detail described by Woolley as follows: "It was a helmet of beaten gold made to to fit low over the head with cheek pieces to protect the face, and it was in the form of a wig, the locks of hair hammered up in relief, the individual hairs shown by delicate, engraved lines. Parted down the middle, the hair covers the the head in flat wavy tresses ...."

Woolley's description goes on in some detail to show that these were a highly advanced people capable of extraordinary accomplishments. He summarizes: "The contents of the tombs illustrate a very highly developed state of society of an urban type, a society in which the architect was familiar with all the basic principles of construction known to us today."

A couple related links follow:

Sumerian Culture

Sumeria, The City Of Ur
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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To me, the one that came to mind was the Minoan.
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricardobrazil View Post
I'd thought you were meaning the really early days. If it was so, I'd say "American civilization". But, being serious, I think the greek civilization was the smartest one that have ever lived on this Earth. Their legacy is too impressive for me to say it otherwise.
their legacy on western civilization. for eastern, i would say china.
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricardobrazil View Post
I'd thought you were meaning the really early days. If it was so, I'd say "American civilization". But, being serious, I think the greek civilization was the smartest one that have ever lived on this Earth. Their legacy is too impressive for me to say it otherwise.
westren civilization is very close to the roman empire in more ways then we want to admit since we are pretty much repeating their mistkes which lead to the downfall of rome.
The Roman Empire (Latin: imperium romanum) was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean.[5] The term is used to describe the Roman state during and after the time of the first emperor, Augustus.

The 500-year-old Roman Republic, which preceded it, had been weakened and subverted through several civil wars.[nb 2] Several events are commonly proposed to mark the transition from Republic to Empire, including Julius Caesar's appointment as perpetual dictator (44 BC), the Battle of Actium (2 September 31 BC), and the Roman Senate's granting to Octavian the honorific Augustus (4 January 27 BC).[nb 3]

Roman expansion began in the days of the Republic, but the empire reached its greatest extent under Emperor Trajan: during his reign the Roman Empire controlled approximately 6.5 million km2[6] of land surface. Because of the Empire's vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of Rome had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, religion, architecture, philosophy, law, and forms of government in the territory it governed, particularly Europe, and by means of European expansionism throughout the modern world.

In the late 3rd century AD, Diocletian established the practice of dividing authority between four co-emperors, in order to better secure the vast territory, putting an end to the Crisis of the Third Century. During the following decades the empire was often divided along an East/West axis.

they are alot like modren day america
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