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Ancient Civilizations

- Mesopotamia -

- Indian Civilizations -

- Roots of Chinese Civilization -

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The earliest known civilizations arose in the great river valleys of southwest Asia, northwest India, and northern China. Despite differences, these cultures had some similar characteristics. All were agricultural societies that depended on advanced social and political structures to maintain irrigation and flood control systems. Raids by nomadic herders forced farmers to live in walled cities for defense and to entrust their protection to aristocratic leaders. The invention of the plow about 3000 bc increased farm productivity and reduced the need for farm labor, freeing workers to become artisans. An increased agricultural yield and the work of the artisans provided trade goods that could be exchanged with people from other cultures.

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