The Most Ancient Countries In The World
The first forms of civilizations started millions of years after human life appeared on Earth. Only around 6500 BCE people stopped living nomadic lives and decided to settle in a single area. This is how their knowledge and energy accumulated into one place which enabled them development which gave birth to many cities. While people were grouping themselves around these centers, the idea of countries and the borders of one’s territory started spreading.
Today, the concept of a country and nation are more than familiar to all of us. In the end, each of our continents except for Arctic and Australia is divided by numerous borders. But what are the countries that were the first ones to develop? We’re telling you about 7 most ancient countries that formed thousands of years ago.
Let’s start with the least old country – Ancient Iran, also known as Persia. The country was founded around 550 BCE under the rule of the Achaemenid Empire. Before it became the powerful Persian Empire, the area was home to two groups of people – Elamites and Medes. The Elamites were a pre-Persian civilization that settled in the far West and Southwest region of today’s Iran, while the Medes had the control of the almost entire territory of Iran until the Persians arrived.
The Persian Empire was established around 550 BCE by Cyrus the Great who then gained control of Iran. Iran was guided by a series of imperial dynasties that stretched until the 20th century AD, from the Achaemenid Empire era to the Qajar dynasty era.
The first Emperor of Japan, Emperor Jimmu founded Japan around 660 BCE. As tradition usually goes, he established his imperial dynasty. The birth of Japan is so far in the history that first emperors of Japan are seen as mythic, legendary individuals because there is so little evidence that they actually existed. However, Emperor Jimmu is still celebrated in today’s Japan. In fact, February 11th, Emperor Jimmu’s ascension was taken as the date for their National Foundation Day.
Whether the very first emperors of Japan are just a myth or not, it is sure that people started migrating to Japan around 13000 BCE. However, the first records of Japan occurred during the Kofun period that took place between 250 and 538 AD.
Of course, it would be impossible to picture this list without Greece on it. Thanks to Ancient Greece and it’s Classical Period, the foundations of modern western civilization were established. Greece started rising from the Dark Ages around 800 BCE and developed many ideas that were unique to this part of the world. People started living in polis, or what is also known as the city-state. Many poleis emerged throughout the modern greek territory, defining the political life of Greece for hundreds of years.
After Ancient Greece, followed Roman Greece, Byzantine Greece, Ottoman Greece and Modern Greece from 1821. This magnificent country left so much in heritage in art, poetry, science, politics that it’s quite clear that it had to be one of the oldest countries in the world.
Here’s a country that you probably didn’t expect to see on this list. However, multiple discoveries have shown that some form of apelike creatures (that may be our ancestors) were found in the are of Ethiopia and that is believed to be about 3.4 – 2.9 million years old. As time passed by, people started gathering into complex societies that formed one of the first kingdoms – D’mt.
This occurred around 980 BCE to 400 BCE, and apparently, numerous investigations show that people living in the Kingdom were quite developed. They had irrigation schemes, used plows, grew millet and made tools and weapons out of iron.
It looks like Asia has some pretty old roots in history. The Indian subcontinent has been home to people since 3300 BCE, when the first form of Indus Valley Civilization emerged. Although they represented one of the world’s earliest urban civilizations, the birth of India as a country/nation coincides with the Vedic Period that started around 1500 BCE and lasted until 600 BCE.
This period was characterized by Vedic texts that laid the foundation to Hinduism, Sanskrit and the overall Vedic culture. When the Vedic period ended, Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism in India saw a huge raise. In the same time, new dynasties overtook the rule of India and lead the country for the next three millennia.
The written history of China dates back to 1600 BCE when the Shang Dynasty was leading the Chinese Empire. However, recently, historians proved that Chinese country dates back to the Xia Dynasty which emerged in 2070 BCE and lasted until 1600 BCE.
Until these important excavations that took place in the 1960s and 1970s, many people believed that the Xia Dynasty was more a myth than a fact.
The oldest country that traces back its roots to 3100 BCE is Egypt. The first emergence of Egyptian civilization occurred even before, around 6000 BCE, when various hunters settled in the Nile River Valley. The kingdom of Egypt was born when King Menes unified Upper and Lower Egypt into a single kingdom. He managed to control the entire territory along the length of the Nile and made Memphis its capital.
The dynasty of King Menes was the first dynasty that ruled over 3 millennia before Alexander the Great conquered Egypt in 332.