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5 Ancient Civilizations You Don’t Know
When we talk about ancient civilizations, we normally think about the Vedic civilization, Egyptian Civilization or the Mayan civilization. But there are certain unknown ancient civilizations very few people may have heard about. Here are 5 such civilizations which you may have seldom heard of.
1) Olmec Civilization
You may know the Mayan civilization as probably the oldest civilization in Mesoamerica. However, very few know that the Olmec civilization predated the Mayan civilization. The civilization was at its peak during 1200 – 400 BC. The key centres of this civilization were Mexican cities of Veracruz and Tabasco, the Yucatan peninsula and the east of Oaxaca. Olmec is a civilization that is shrouded in mystery to this day. The Olmecs have known to have built giant pyramids.
But the main reason for the mysterious nature of this civilization is the enormous stone heads made of white and black stones which seem to be representing white and black people with some kind of helmets. Naturally, the first question that would come to anyone’s mind is how African people were represented by the Olmecs thousands of years ago even before African slaves were brought to America.
2) Hittite Empire
The Hittite empire was established by the ancient Anatolian people around 18th century BC and reached its zenith during the mid-14th century BC. It encompassed most of Asia Minor, and parts of northern Levant as well as upper Mesopotamia. The Hittites had a very able army which made efficient us of chariots for their era. Though they belonged to the Bronze Age, they can be considered as the forerunners of the Iron Age. They manufactured iron artefacts and goods during 14th century BC. This empire came to an end around 1180 BC during the collapse of the Bronze Age amidst general turmoil and the sudden appearance of the Sea Peoples. The empire split into various Neo-Hittite city-states.
This is another unknown ancient civilization and is considered to be the world’s oldest city (which keeps changing due to newer discoveries). It is considered to have belonged to a large unknown ancient agricultural civilization thriving in what is today south-central Turkey. The civilization’s existence has been dated back to 9,000 – 7,000 years. The structures at this city appear quite interesting. According to excavations, no roads were built. The houses were built next to each other, and they were entered through holes in the rough by the help of ladders or sidewalks that traversed their roofs. The people were known to have cultivated everything, from wheat to almonds. The civilization was pre-literate and pre-Iron age, but shows signs of a sophisticated society. What happened to the civilization? No one knows.
4) Moche Civilization
The Moche civilization, also called Mochica was a pre-Columbian culture that flourished in the Northern part of Peru. The culture flourished from 100 – 800 AD, though some scholars give it a wider time span. The cultural sphere is found to be centred around several valleys on Peru’s northern coast. There is contention among scholars that the culture wasn’t politically organized under one monolithic empire, but existed as autonomous polities that shared a common culture. The culture was specifically noted for their painted ceramics, irrigation systems, gold work and monumental constructions. The real time and reason for the demise of the culture is unknown. But it said that some of the Moche poilities survived in Moche valleys and Jequetepeque valley beyond 650 AD. The possible cause of demise is found to be climatic changes and fights within factions to gain control over scarce resources.
5) Osirian Civilization
We have read that before Egypt was ruled by pharaohs, it was ruled by gods. No one knows for sure who these “gods” were, though the most common guess would be that they were Osiris, Isis, Horus, Seth and the lot. Whether there were gods or not, there did exist a pre-dynastic civilization in Egypt and the Mediterranean. This was called the Osirian civilization. It is believed that the floods that destroyed Atlantis slowly flooded the Mediterranean basin, destroying some of Osirian’s greatest cities. The theory is known to have explained the existence of some strange megalithic remains in the Mediterranean. Whatever the truth be, archaeological studies have shown that there are more than 200 sunken cities in the Mediterranean region. According to this theory, the Egyptian civilization along with Minoan and Mycenean cultures were remnants of this great civilization.
These are just a fraction of many unknown ancient civilizations that have been discovered. Older cultures keep surfacing with newer archaeological discoveries.