Ancient civilizations were much more technologically advanced than we used to think. The more our science progresses, the more discoveries we make proving just how unbelievably awesome ancient people were. We may not know much about the philosophy and way of life of the civilizations that existed thousands of years ago, but we can easily tell that their knowledge of Astronomy, Medicine, Geography, and Engineering surpassed many of modern day’s sciences. From the intricate city architecture of the Indus Valley civilization to the sophisticated pyramids of the South-American Caral civilization, here are 5 most advanced ancient civilizations in the world.
Indus Valley Civilization
The Indus Valley civilization is believed to be around 8,000 years old, which makes it one of the oldest civilizations in the world, predating those of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. If you take a look at the cities of Mohenjo Daro and Harappa, it will become clear that they were meticulously planned before any construction started. They were also equipped with well-engineered sewage system, brick houses, and metal money was used for commerce.
Among the most interesting findings are animal seals with inscriptions, which indicate there was some kind of language and writing system back then, long before Mesopotamian cuneiform system was invented. It is yet to be deciphered! All the Indus Valley houses sport sophisticated drainage systems that carried the dirty water out of the city, while the clean water was supplied from wells. To top it all, archaeologists found no evidence of violence or warfare – this was obviously an extremely peaceful civilization.
The ancient civilization of Caral, which existed in the location of modern-day Peru in the Supe river valley, is believed to be the oldest civilization in the Americas. There’s evidence that the main city of Caral was pre-designed, which signifies there was a complex hierarchy and a labour force that could pull off the design. It is around 5,000 years old, which makes it the contemporary civilization of Ancient Egyptians, who were building their pyramids at the time, and ancient Sumerians. Caral is packed with gigantic pyramids that are placed inside a complex covering around 165 acres of land along with other structures and intricately made staircases.
It was the main city of 19 populated villages that together formed the Caral- Supe civilization. Historians believe this civilization was the root of Incan and Mayan cultures that followed! Their scientific knowledge was also striking – they constructed elaborate irrigation systems and agricultural terraces, used plants for medicinal purposes, built huge public plazas for religious ceremonies and pyramids of huge size. According to historians, there is no evidence of wars or human sacrifices, which makes the Caral civilization very different from all other South-American cultures that came after.
Ancient Egyptian Civilization
Ancient Egyptian civilization that flourished on the River Nile around 5,000 years ago had developed its own complex writing system consisting of hieroglyphs and had profound knowledge in all fields of science including Math, Engineering, Astronomy, Medicine, Astrology, and more. Their incredible understanding of the workings of a human body not only let them create incredibly complex mummifications to preserve bodies for afterlife, but also allowed them treat various diseases, dental problems, and even perform operations, including complicated ones one like trepanation.
Ancient Egyptians are also known to have used cosmetics, female hygiene products for menstruation, and medicinal plants. Women were regarded as equals in the Ancient Egyptian society and could even become pharaohs themselves. Ancient Egyptians also had incredible understanding of time and space – they invented their own calendar and used water and sun clocks to measure time.
The spectacular civilization of Tiahuanaco appeared around 1700 years ago, reaching its peak around 700 AD, when it dominated the vast area of modern Bolivia, Chile, Peru, and Argentina. They are known for developing complex farming techniques and irrigation systems that brought water to faraway locations. The population of ancient Tiahuanaco reached up to 1.5 million people!
The megalithic structures built by the Tiahuanaco civilization are known all across the globe. The constructions of Puma Punku, Akapana, Kalasasaya and Kheri Kala are among the most famous, including the mysterious Gateway of the Sun carved from a single huge block of stone. On top it holds an image of the Sun-God or Weeping God as they call him due to tear-like carvings on his face. There are number of mythical creatures carved there as well. Some historians believe it was used as a calendar, although the year was different to ours and had only 290 days in it. The stone cutting of this ancient civilization was so precise that archaeologists believe they used some kind of unknown technique to perform it.
Ancient Chinese civilization
One of the most long-lasting civilizations on Earth, Ancient Chinese civilization formed around 4,000 years ago, becoming one of the biggest world culture influencers of all time. Their technological prowess is simply legendary: not only did they invent things like kites, toilet paper, crossbows, and paper money, but also highly-functioning earthquake detectors (Zhan Heng’s seismoscope), printing, compass, and gunpowder for cannons. They were great philosophers and warmongers, developing some of the most advanced war strategies the world has ever known, and at the same time they gave the world the healing science of Acupuncture and Chikong, as well as a number of different fighting styles that date back hundreds upon hundreds of years.
Ancient Chinese people were amazing architects, constructing the Great Wall of China and the largest palace in the world – The Forbidden City. They were also among the first astronomers to observe and document sunspots, comets, and the birth of new stars. Doctor Hua Tuo of the Late Easter Han Dynasty was a masterful surgeon and the inventor of an anaesthetic drug that allowed him performing complex surgeries with complete anaesthesia.