Humans have a long and mysterious history. Many different types of people have worked together to figure out the mysteries of our past. Archeologists study early human history and ancient history by discovering artifacts that give us clues about our past. Historians study primary and secondary resources and connect ideas and make theories. Scientists use experiments to examine artifacts and test historical theories. Students, teachers, and citizens around the world study all the published work of archeologists, historians, and scientists to develop the current theories we have today. Millions of people of all ages have explored the past and tried to make new connections to understand our history. All of this work has put together a more clear idea of our past, but there are still many mysteries left to solve! New artifacts and discoveries are made every year, some of them make huge changes to our knowledge of the past.
Usually, the farther we go back in history the more mysterious the story. Humans lived for hundreds of thousands of years before civilization. Our pre-human ancestors lived for millions before that. Civilization was a new way of life. A civilization is an advanced society with agriculture, division of labor, multiple cities, organized religion, science/technology, some form of government, and a written language.
The achievement of "Civilization" happened at different times in different places around the world. There is not an official date when a group of people become a "civilization", so historians often choose different start dates, but most of them are close. The timeline above show the four earliest places where civilization began. The modern countries of Iraq, Egypt, India/Pakistan, and China became ancient cultural hearths that still influence life peoples' lives today. A cultural hearth is a place where a culture first developed. This website is designed for kids. Ancient history for kids tries to provide a consistent history of early civilizations in basic language for students to understand. Hope you enjoy!