Ancient Civilizations Worksheets

Which Were the Most Significant Ancient Civilizations?

Human history has gone through quite a transformation. Golden age, bronze age, heroic age, and whatnot! We have had civilizations in history prior to the time when historians got the chance to record them. Let us just say there were civilizations that existed before historical record-keeping methods were introduced. If you want to know which were the most significant ancient civilizations to have walked the earth, below are a few mentioned to guide you through. Mesopotamia, Babylon, Ancient Egypt, Ancient India, Ancient Crete, Ancient China, Ancient Meso- America and South America These are the most important and the earliest civilizations that came into existence in different parts of the world.

The Persian Empire

The heart of the Persian Empire, also called the Achaemenid Empire, was located in the modern country of Iran. Modern Iran and the Persian Empire are located on the east side of the Persian Gulf, part of the Indian Ocean.


Perhaps the very first great civilization in world history, the kingdom of Sumer was located in the ancient region called Mesopotamia. The ancient land of Mesopotamia was located in the large valley between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers which join together and flow to the Persian Gulf. All of ancient Mesopotamia lies within the borders of the modern country of Iraq.

The Celts

In modern times the term Celtic refers to the remains of Celtic culture that are found primarily in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Even present-day Americans are influenced this culture when they buy CD's of Celtic music or wear jewelry with Celtic crosses or other symbols.


The Aztec civilization flourished the area known as the Valley of Mexico in North America. The Aztecs were the last group of native people to have control of the Valley of Mexico. The group, also called the Mesheeca or Mexica people, had been wandering throughout central Mexico seeking a homeland.

Ancient Egypt

Millions of tourists continue to visit modern Egypt in order to experience the wonders of Ancient Egypt in person. The artifacts of this civilization which dates back 6,000 years amaze archaeologists, engineers and tourists alike. No one knows how the Ancient Egyptians were capable of constructing the pyramids that served as burial chambers for their kings, called pharaohs. Equally impressive are the remains of complex temples filled with vast statues and secret chambers that were accessible only to Ancient Egyptian priests.

Ancient Greece

The Ancient Greek civilization has had a profound influence on the culture of Europe and later on North America when European settlers colonized the continent. The first Greek society, also the first major culture of Europe, was the Minoan civilization that developed on the island of Crete around 2,000 BCE.


The Inca civilization developed in the western sections of the continent of South America where the modern countries of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina are now located. The Inca tribe first came to that part of South America between 1150 and 1250 CE. The Incas believed they were Children of the Sun and their civilization flourished quickly because it was based on the developments of previous tribes who occupied the area.

Ancient India

The most famous civilization of Ancient India is the Maurya Empire which existed from 322 until 185 BCE. At its largest extent the Maurya Empire covered the Indian subcontinent which is home to the modern countries of India and Pakistan. Portions of the huge Maurya Empire had previously been conquered by Alexander the Great of Ancient Greece. Alexander’s empire splintered into pieces shortly after his death and this turn of events allowed the new empire to begin.

Indus Valley Civilization

The Indus Valley is located along the Indus River which flows through the Indian Subcontinent of Asia. The Indus River runs from the Himalayan Mountains to the Arabian Sea through the modern country of Pakistan. The Indus Valley Civilization is an ancient culture that occupied this region for two thousand years, from 3300 to 1300 BCE.

The Islamic Empire

Islam is the religion founded by the prophet Muhammad around 600 CE. Muhammad was both a religious and political leader. Around 622 CE he wrote the Constitution of Medina uniting Arab tribes living near the city of Medina in the westcentral Arabian Peninsula.

Ancient Japan

Modern Japan is an island nation composed of about 3,000 islands with 600 being inhabited. Almost all the population lives on the four main islands of Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku, and Hokkaido. The archaeological record shows that the first civilization on the Japanese islands began around 30,000 BCE.


Archaeologists aren't completely certain when the Mayan civilization first arose but they can date some ancient Mayan buildings to about 2,600 BCE. The Mayans are one of the greatest civilizations to appear in southern North America and northern Central America.


The ancient Mongols included nomadic tribes of people who lived in Central Asia in areas north of ancient China. These independent tribes were united by a common language. The country of Mongolia continues to exist between China and Russia and is sometimes referred to as Outer Mongolia. Another area occupied by people of Mongolian descent is called Inner Mongolia.

Ancient Rome

Roman civilization and the Roman Empire controlled much of Europe and the Mediterranean region for centuries, from 625 BCE until 476 CE. The Empire began in the west with Britain and Spain to Turkey in the east, southward through Syria and Israel, and along the entire Mediterranean coast of Africa. This vast area now has thirty countries. All of the Roman Empire was ruled from the city of Rome, located in central Italy.


The Zapotecs are one of the civilizations that arose in the North American continent in the land occupied by southern Mexico today. The Zapotec civilization began about 700 BCE in the Oaxaca Valley in the Sierra Madre Mountains in what is now the Mexican state of Oaxaca. While the Olmec civilization developed on the Atlantic Ocean side of this part of Mexico, the Zapotec civilization arose on the Pacific side of this narrow part of southern North America.


The Vikings lived on the Scandinavian Peninsula of northwestern Europe. This huge peninsula looks like an inverted (upside down) thumb that is attached to the main European continent by three small strips of land. Like any other peninsula, the Scandinavian Peninsula is surrounded by water, waters of the Atlantic Ocean: the Baltic Sea to the east; the North Sea to the south; the Norwegian Sea to the west; and the Barents Sea to the north.

Ancient Babylon

Ancient Babylon, the capital of Babylonia, was a famous city which was located on the Euphrates River in what is now southern Iraq. The city was located just 55 miles south of Baghdad and nothing remains of the city but some remnants of ancient buildings. Earlier in history the area of Babylonia and its surroundings was called Mesopotamia.

Ancient China

The beginning of Chinese civilization dates back 4,000 years and China has remained a unified culture since these ancient times. With its vast size and resources China has been a prosperous area for much of its history. China existed in isolation, not trading with other parts of the world for long periods of time, yet modern China is rapidly becoming one of the world's economic leaders.


Historians date the beginning of the Olmec civilization to 1500 BCE and their society lasted until about 400 BCE. The Olmecs were an ancient people who lived in what is the southeastern part of Mexico today. They lived inland from the Gulf of Mexico, a part of the Atlantic Ocean, in the narrowest piece of land in that area between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.


The Phoenicians were another of the many ancient civilizations that once lived on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The Phoenicians occupied a tiny narrow area at the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea where the countries of Syria, Lebanon and Israel are today. The Phoenician civilization lasted from 1200 BCE until 539 BCE. Like the nearby Ancient Greeks, the Phoenician government was organized as city-states each with its own ruler.