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Forgotten ancient civilizations

Forgotten ancient civilizations

A typical history textbook has a lot of ground to cover, and many times, ancient civilizations are not thoroughly described. Most people know about Rome, Greece and Egypt as the main ancient civilizations, but there were plenty of fascinating cultures which thrived in ancient times, but weren't as emphasized on as those aforementioned,

Forgotten ancient civilizations Aksum

This Ethiopian Kingdom was an international trading power due to its access to the Nile and the Red Sea. Its prosperity allowed it to expand into Arabia and adopted Christianity not long after the Roman Empire. Its downfall started after the Arabian conquest of the Red Sea coastline.

Forgotten ancient civilizations Greco-Bactria

In the thrid century B.C., the Kingdom of Bactria (nowadays Afghanistan and Tajikistan) was so powerful that it proclaimed its independence. It was a unique center where different cultures such as the Persian, Indian and Scythian merged, but its wealth attracted unwanted attention and it was forced to withdraw to the south of India by nomadic people.

Forgotten ancient civilizations Indo-Greeks

Unlike the Greco-Bactrians, the Indo-Greeks thrived for another two centuries in northwest India. The most famous Indo-Greek king, Menander, suppsedly converted to Buddhism and Greek statues depicting Buddhist monks were found in the area. Its downfall was caused by the Yuezhi encroachment from the north and the native Indian expansion from the south.

Forgotten ancient civilizations Kush

Ancient Egyptian sources confirm its wealth in natural resources, especially gold. Kush was conquered and ruled by Egypt for about half a millenium, but regained its independence due to Egypt’s later instability. In an ironic twist of fate, conquered Egypt in 750 B.C. and revived the construction of pyramids across Sudan.

Forgotten ancient civilizations The Mauryan Empire

Chandragupta Maurya was the king who united the bulf of India and defeated all comers on the subcontinent. After Alexander the Great’s death, it was the Mauryan Empire which prevented its successors from expanding further into India. The empire didn’t survive the 175 B.C. coup when India was left divided, weak and open to Greek invasions.

Forgotten ancient civilizations The Mitanni Kingdom

This state existed from about 1500 B.C. up to 1200 B.C. and it consisted of nowadays Syria and Iran. Queen Nefertiti was born in this Mesopotamian state and was married to the Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep IV, possibly in an effort to improve relations between the two kingdoms.

Forgotten ancient civilizations Tuwana

When the Hittite Empire had to face its downfall, Tuwana was one of the city-states which contributed to the filling of the power vacuum in nowadays Turkey. This civilization thrived and amassed significant wealth, being a trade facilitator in Anatolia. However, they were conquered by the Assyrian Empire in its westward expansion.

Forgotten ancient civilizations The Xiongnu Empire

This Empire was a confederation of nomadic peoples which dominated the north of China. It is believed to have been such a destructive invader, that the Chinese emperor, Qin ordered the first work on the construction of the Great Wall.

Forgotten ancient civilizations Yam

The Kingdom of Yam existed as a trading partener and possible threat to Egypt and its location was confirmed in the area of nowadays northern Chad.

Forgotten ancient civilizations Yuezhi

The Yuezhi originated as a confederation of nomadic peoples in the steppes of northern China and played a great trading role until they came across the interests of the Xiongnu civilization. They were forced to leave the Chinese trading game and headed west where they encountered and defeated the Greco-Bactrians.

 

 

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