The world's earliest civilizations were formed on fertile river plains. We will look at the 4 ancient river valleys civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indian & China. This book describes the origins of civilized life and early human efforts in shaping the environment. Advances in technology, such as the invention of stone and iron tools, made this possible. With improved tools, human society evolved, the first civilizations begin built in river valleys in South-west Asia, Egypt, India and China. Mesopotamia was the Fertile Crescent and described by many scholars as the 'Cradle of civilization'. The convergence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers produced rich fertile soil and a supply of water for irrigation.
The Basic element in the lengthy history of Egyptian civilization is geography. The Nile River rises from the lakes of central Africa as the White Nile and from the mountains of Ethiopia as the Blue Nile. The White and blue Nile meet at Khartoum and flow together northward to the Nile delta, where the 4000 mile course of this rivers spills into the Mediterranean Sea. The earliest traces of civilization in the Indian subcontinent are to be found in places along the Indus River. Excavations first conducted in 1921-22, in the ancient cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, both now in Pakistan, pointed to a highly complex civilization that first developed some 4,500-5,000 years ago, and subsequent archaeological and historical research has now furnished us with a more detailed picture of the Indus Valley Civilization and its inhabitants. Indus Valley people were most likely Dravidians, who may have been pushed down into south India when the Aryans, with heir more advanced military technology, commenced their migrations to India around 2,000 BCE. The Indus Valley script remains undeciphered down to the present day. China's strengh lied in the fact that it was cut off from the rest of the world. Surrounded by oceans, mountains, and by the Gobi Desert, their homeland was virtually inaccessible to outside invaders. Having little contact with the outisde world, the Chinese Civilization grew a strong sense of nationalism. They believed that China was the most important and greatest of all civilizations, and that they were the Centre of the Earth.