How Old Is Human Civilization Really?


Human existence and human civilization has always had a disconnect to me. According to our modern records, modern human civilization developed 4,000 years ago after the Ice Age, and suddenly every significant population around the globe developed agriculture, without any sort of interaction, which to me is amazing in itself. Why didn’t this happen sooner?

Here’s the thing- The earliest conclusive evidence of homo sapien sapiens (not a typo) is is at least 195,000 years ago. After much thought, it just seems odd that we as humans didn’t think of seed germination, cultivation, or architecture until 191,000 years later. I am inclined to believe that humanity might have had complex civilizations before (maybe not as complex as our own) but due to global natural disasters, erosion, and other factors, has made their whereabouts elusive.

Now, playing Devil’s Advocate, I tried to create counterarguments as to why humans didn’t create civilization. The main 3 reasons were limited populations, lack of written language, and the fact that creatures back then were much larger in general than now.

The problem with these points is that humans today have created civilizations from small populations, have cultures without written languages, and live in undesirable places with huge and dangerous creatures and still thrived. The Aborigines have lived in Australia for 60,000 years and their oral traditions and religion is surviving, a marvel considering they have no written language other than the pictographs they use on caves.

Based on the cyclical natural disasters and the inherent nature of man, I could envision that civilizations have simply propagated and died out within certain timeframes (100-1000 years) that would be a blip on the geologic timescale. If they used wood tools and frameworks for their buildings, or mud and stone, the natural degradation would make it nearly impossible to find, or even recognize what you have found. This is main issue in proving prehistorical civilizations.

Thoughts, comments?