4 forgotten (but important) ancient civilizations

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIVIA GENIUS)

 

History

4 forgotten (but important) ancient civilizations

The history of humankind is incomplete without honoring some of our ancestral elders. Civilizations move forward and evolve when we work together to solve the challenges and problems of the day. The practice of living in groups with mutual respect and reliance on one another triggered the metamorphosis of isolated groups to large communities, to societies, and finally to civilizations.

The world has since witnessed the rise and fall of several great civilizations. Some ancient civilizations stand out more than others in terms of their enduring influence, power, reach, and lasting contributions to human development. Many ancient civilizations are lost to time, decay, and the lack or loss of historical written chronicles. However, four forgotten but important ancient civilizations serve as a testament to the human spirit, inspiration, and the grace of time.

The Mesopotamian civilization

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Historical location: Sumer in southern Mesopotamia and the land between rivers (ancient Greece)

Present-day location: Turkey, Iraq, and Syria

Major highlights: First known civilization in the world

Timeline: 3500 BC–500 BC

Why the Mesopotamian civilization is important

The concept of urbanization first started with this civilization. Mesopotamia remains the source of the largest set of ancient artifacts, knowledge, and writings. It was the first city built with sun-dried bricks. History records three significant contributions by the Mesopotamian civilization: the invention of the wheel, large-scale agriculture, and the present-day number system technology based on 60.

The Indus Valley civilization

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Historical location: The basin of the Indus river

Present-day location: Northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India

Major highlights: One of the most widespread civilizations

Timeline: 3300 BC–1900 BC

Why the Indus Valley civilization is important

Thanks to the Indus Valley, or Harappa, civilization, the present world has many things that we take for granted. Their people’s expertise and development of water management systems, drainage methods, town planning, and harvesting practices remain incomparable. Despite the fact that it was one of the earliest civilizations with a huge land mass, the Harappa civilization arose independently.

The Ancient Egyptian civilization

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Historical location: Nile River banks

Present-day location: Egypt

Major highlights: Construction of pyramids

Timeline: 3150 BC–30 BC

Why the Ancient Egyptian civilization is important

Egyptian civilization is widely known and respected based on their artifacts, construction acumen, inventions, art, pharaohs, and culture. Sometimes called the Kemet or Black Land civilization, the ancient Egyptians looked to the heavens and cultivated stargazing into a practical science. Egyptian astronomers used their knowledge to predict many things, such as when to expect the flooding of the Nile and the correct time to sow seeds and harvest.

Ancient Egyptians were also great mathematicians. They expanded the understanding of mathematics and geometry by building the Pyramids. This serves as an enduring tribute to not only the Egyptian kings and queens but also to their engineering prowess.

The Maya civilization

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Historical location: Around the Yucatan Peninsula

Present-day location: Campeche, Yucatan, Tabasco, Quintana, and Chiapas in Mexico and passing through Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador

Major highlights: Advanced knowledge of astronomy and calendar creation

Timeline: 2600 BC–900 AD

Why the Maya civilization is important

The Maya civilization dominated the Mesoamerican societies of the era. Their distinguished achievements include three accurate calendars. In addition, they are widely respected for their writing system, flourishing trade route, and engraved stone architecture. In order to sustain a viable food supply, the Mayans fostered crop cultivation of beans, vegetables, and maize. There is evidence of their domestication of dogs and turkeys during this time.

We share a modern-day connection and knowledge with those that have come before us. They laid the foundations that we have the privilege to magnify, improve, and create our own legacies from.

Six Geography Facts That Will Change The Way You Look At The World

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

As an avid explorer and Travel Trivia reader, you probably know a lot about the world. Well, this planet hides a few surprises. Here are six geography facts that will change the way you see the world.

Around 90% of the Planet’s Population Lives in the Northern Hemisphere

Around 90% of the Planet's Population Lives in the Northern Hemisphere

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When we think about where people live, we assume each hemisphere has a good number of residents. In reality, most of the world’s population is located in the Northern Hemisphere, leaving the Southern Hemisphere nearly uninhabited by this study’s standards. Around 90% of the people on the planet live in the Northern part of the world in countries such as the U.S. and China, making the rest of the world look a bit sparse.

Continents Shift at the Same Speed That Your Fingernails Grow

Continents Shift at the Same Speed That Your Fingernails Grow

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If you were awake during social studies class, you will remember that the planet’s tectonic plates are in a state of near-constant movement. This is how the earth went from having basically one big continent to having seven. For around 40 million years, the continents were in a slow phase, moving away from each other at a rate of about one millimeter per year. Then, about 200 million years ago, things got kicked into high gear and the plates began to move at 20 millimeters per year, which, scientists say, is equivalent to the speed at which fingernails grow.

Reno, Nevada, Is Farther West Than Los Angeles

Reno, Nevada, Is Farther West Than Los Angeles

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Los Angeles is typically seen as the West Coast city. It is right next to the ocean and it has all those beaches, so it would make sense for it to be farther west than a desert city like Reno, Nevada, right? Wrong! Reno is actually around 86 miles farther west than Los Angeles, due to the curve of California and the placement of the states.

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Asia Is Bigger Than the Moon

Asia Is Bigger Than the Moon

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Continuing on this same shocking track, the moon isn’t as big as it looks either. Still, though, it is around 27 percent of the size of Earth and has 14.6 million square miles of surface area. Although this seems like a lot, it is significantly less than the total surface area of Asia, which is 17.2 million square miles, meaning that Earth’s biggest continent is actually bigger than the moon.

Mount Everest Is Not the World’s Tallest Mountain

Mount Everest Is Not the World's Tallest Mountain

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If someone asks you “What is the tallest mountain in the world?” you will surely answer, “Why, Mount Everest, of course! Everyone knows that!” But sadly, you would be wrong. Technically, Mount Everest is the tallest mountain above sea level, but it isn’t the tallest in the world. This honor goes to Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Mauna Kea rises up 13,796 feet above sea level (compared to Everest’s 29,035 feet), but it also extends down an additional 19,700 feet below sea level, into the Pacific Ocean. To make this mountain even cooler, it is actually a volcano, whose last eruption was 4,600 years ago.

Alaska Is the Westernmost, Easternmost and Northernmost State in the U.S.

Alaska Is the Westernmost, Easternmost and Northernmost State in the U.S.

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This sounds impossible, but I assure you it is true. From looking at a map, it is pretty obvious that Alaska is the northernmost state in the country. What’s surprising? The Aleutian Islands between Russia and Alaska boast the westernmost point of the United States, but in what seems like some sort of geographical oxymoron, they are also home to the easternmost point of the U.S. too. An island called Semisopochnoi (which just so happens to be a collapsed volcano) has a spot that sits so far to the west (around ten miles west of the Prime Meridian) that it actually becomes easternmost spot in the U.S.