Which is older: Egypt or Sumeria? Watch

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Martyn*
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#1
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There is some debate about which of the two - Egyptian civilisation and Sumerian civilisation (Mesopotamian) - is the oldest. According to my knowledge relating to the orthodox view, Sumeria is the oldest civilisation at a date of 4000BC, but according to other experts Egypt was the first truly organised civilisation albeit not as old as the Sumerian.

One group of experts suggest that ancient Egypt is much older than we think, and that the chronological timeline of Egyptian history from the reference point of the first Dynasty c. 32-3100BC (sourced in Manetho's histories, and the various kinglists from temples and tombs) may be biased and incorrect. Indeed some Egyptologists have pushed back Egyptian history much further to about 6000BC neck-and-neck with the rise of Sumerian civilisation.

Some experts prefer to see Egyptian civilisation in separate parts relating to periods of "cultures", such as the "Sudanese Civilisation", the Kerma culture. But I doubt whether the Kerma culture is truly ancient.

Because no-one can come up with a satisfactory answer as to who, out of Sumeria and Egypt, is the oldest civilisation, I believe that the two started their civilisations at about the same time, except that Egypt was perhaps more organised than their Sumerian brothers.

For Sumeria I would posit a date of 3800BC for the rise of its civilisation alongside the Tigris and Euphrates; for Egypt I would posit a date of 5000BC - a predynastic civilisation that begun in the savanah along the Wadis.

Of course, it is very possible that there were older civilisations (older than Sumeria and Egypt) still yet undiscovered. As for the oldest civilisation in Europe? I would guess that we have not yet found it, but I think Germany might be a good place to start.

What do you think? Which of the two is more older? Egyptian or Sumerian?
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FadeToBlackout
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Putting on my cynical teacher hat, I will ask in response:

Why does it matter? What is to be gained by calling one civilisation older than another?

:p:
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OneEyedYellowIdol
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Knowledge for knowledge sake.

OP I don't know but find this quite interesting. I'll read up a little later but doubt I'll be able to contribute anything; will listen closely to this thread though (if it starts at all, you have chosen quite an esoteric subject, which though interesting is unlikely studied by many).
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matt1991
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(Original post by Martyn*)
There is some debate about which of the two - Egyptian civilisation and Sumerian civilisation (Mesopotamian) - is the oldest. According to my knowledge relating to the orthodox view, Sumeria is the oldest civilisation at a date of 4000BC, but according to other experts Egypt was the first truly organised civilisation albeit not as old as the Sumerian.
I agree with you that Sumer came about earlier than Egypt. I believe also that they were the first people to whom we would award the title 'civilised' due to the fact that they were first practicing sustained agriculture c.5000BC, which I believe is the mark of a civilised people. After all, to have any sort of real agricultural output you need cooperation. Places to store your produce? Well, they slowly develop from simple storage places to become centres of commerce and administration and before you know where you are you have places like Ur and Uruk springing up all over the place. The evidence testifies to this; by c4000-3500BC such mechanisms of administration, bureaucracy, and kingship had developed. Even if at its latest Mesopotamian civilisation got into full swing around 3500BC then this is still around half a century before the time people estimate the first dynasties in Egypt start to show up.

So I do agree with you on the count that Sumeria is older than Egypt, but I disagree with you that Egypt deserves the title of first civilisation; I think that accolade should go to the Mesopotamians too.

Then again, I am no expert!!
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Martyn*
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(Original post by FadeToBlackout)
Putting on my cynical teacher hat, I will ask in response:

Why does it matter? What is to be gained by calling one civilisation older than another?

:p:
Upon trying to find out which of the two developed first, of course.
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Martyn*
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(Original post by matt1991)

So I do agree with you on the count that Sumeria is older than Egypt, but I disagree with you that Egypt deserves the title of first civilisation; I think that accolade should go to the Mesopotamians too.

Then again, I am no expert!!
I have read that there may have been a lost civilisation in Egypt before the emergence of either the Egyptian sate or the emergence of the Sumerian civilisation in the fertile crescent. Archaeologists envision (or suspect) the existence of a pre-dynastic "civilisation" in the Wadis in the eastern savanah about 6000BC and perhaps much earlier.
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matt1991
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(Original post by Martyn*)
I have read that there may have been a lost civilisation in Egypt before the emergence of either the Egyptian sate or the emergence of the Sumerian civilisation in the fertile crescent. Archaeologists envision (or suspect) the existence of a pre-dynastic "civilisation" in the Wadis in the eastern savanah about 6000BC and perhaps much earlier.
Really? How interesting. I must admit I love the study of the earliest civilisations, especially those of Mesopotamia; its just such a shame to visit any of them means a serious risk of death! I would love to visit Babylon or Ur one day, bloody fascinating places.
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Pryste
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I always thought it was Sumer by approximately 500 years? mind, I haven't quite kept up with current affairs on the matter, although aren't there supposed to be signs of even earlier Sumeric culture high in the mountains, and a hypothesis that even older ruins lay beneath a clay deposit that is at the moment unable to be excavated? Speculation at the moment of course, but one of the mysteries surrounding Sumer was how it seems to have emerged as a fully developed society without prior signs of development.
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Pocket Calculator
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whichever civilised culture lived at Catal Huyuk beats both of them.
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Joe Mentchu
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There are new evidences always being dug up. However, due to watermarks on stone surfaces and erosion in and around the area of the Sphinx, researchers like John Anthony West and several others have now proven that the Sphinx is in fact older than what was thought. According to John Anthony West over 36,000 years which corresponds with the Egyptian text. There are arguments and disputes in academia but these points are being made as we speak. And might I add, Egypt was also a shadow of Nubia as far as it's Nile Valley culture and central organisation is concerned. So it is Possible that Kerma pre-dates some of the dynasties of the Old Kingdom. There have also been studies on an ancient Civilization called Gadoufaoua and Tenere in West Africa discovered by Dr. Paul Serano of the University of Chicago. He has sited that their culture came before or around the same time as the Nile Valley Civilization. Furthermore, they say that Gobekli Teppe in Turkey is older than some of these other civilizations that we are all discussing. However, that study is still in it's beginning stages, due to the death of the foremost authority on the topic of Gobekli Teppe Dr. Kraus. Not to mention the country is suffering due to a lack of tourism because of the War in nearby Syria. The more we learn the more we find that we need to change our text books.
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Isaacegglestone
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Actually the truth is they were not separate civilisations but only separate regions. Their leaders were all the same. Also Babylon. Check their descriptions you will find their similarities. Also if you read the book of Enki from the Sumerian tablets you will find that the Sumerian leaders the Annunaki created civilizations all over the world and the tablets even describe the leaders been given new names when new locations for cities had been granted to them. The tablets describe many of the names as identical even in pronunciation to the Egyptian names. What I’m saying here is that the stories of Egypt’s past are sumerains past Ancient African civilisations past, ancient meso America and ancient Babylonia are all connected. The works even include biblical events written from a much more scientific view point. so it’s even obvious the origins of our whole existence is from the sumerian leaders the Annanukai. I Know it sounds crazy but just read the tablets and decide for your self. I was convinced when they described a journey from another planet in great detail and accuracy of astronomy, the moons gravity, the asteroid belt they encountered. The ships they used, detailed accounts of how their ships were powered. It reads like a well thought out science fiction novel of our times except it was written 5000 years ago by people who wouldn’t know what the hell technology would look like yet there it all is in the text. Also that gravity would be less on the moon. Or that the asteroid belt would be difficult to navigate on the way to earth, or the fact that vast amounts of data could be stored on very small devices that could be read by larger machines with screens. I mean it would take a ingenius writer to come up with all of this stuff that just happens to be identical to our modern day technology 5000 years ago. Anyway read the tablet translation. Your mind will be blown and you will no longer think of Egypt and Sumeria as different cultures but rather Egypt as a continuation of Sumeria with some cross over in between because yes the idea that Egypt is much older isn’t is also true. But then so are Sumerias roots.
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Isaacegglestone
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(Original post by Martyn*)
I have read that there may have been a lost civilisation in Egypt before the emergence of either the Egyptian sate or the emergence of the Sumerian civilisation in the fertile crescent. Archaeologists envision (or suspect) the existence of a pre-dynastic "civilisation" in the Wadis in the eastern savanah about 6000BC and perhaps much earlier.
Lol yes but read further and you will find the lost civilisation comes from the same leaders of Sumeria. One created the other. The Sumerian leaders and Egyptian leaders were all fro. The same bloodlines. The more you read the more you will find out how creepy the story gets
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The_Seeker
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Actually the whole Book of Enki narrative has been well and truly debunked, so have all of the author Zecharia Sitchin's claims about the Annunaki.Turns out despite Sitchin's claims that previous translations were incorrect it was in fact his work that was found to be inacurate.
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LouisSug
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(Original post by Martyn*)
There is some debate about which of the two - Egyptian civilisation and Sumerian civilisation (Mesopotamian) - is the oldest. According to my knowledge relating to the orthodox view, Sumeria is the oldest civilisation at a date of 4000BC, but according to other experts Egypt was the first truly organised civilisation albeit not as old as the Sumerian.

One group of experts suggest that ancient Egypt is much older than we think, and that the chronological timeline of Egyptian history from the reference point of the first Dynasty c. 32-3100BC (sourced in Manetho's histories, and the various kinglists from temples and tombs) may be biased and incorrect. Indeed some Egyptologists have pushed back Egyptian history much further to about 6000BC neck-and-neck with the rise of Sumerian civilisation.

Some experts prefer to see Egyptian civilisation in separate parts relating to periods of "cultures", such as the "Sudanese Civilisation", the Kerma culture. But I doubt whether the Kerma culture is truly ancient.

Because no-one can come up with a satisfactory answer as to who, out of Sumeria and Egypt, is the oldest civilisation, I believe that the two started their civilisations at about the same time, except that Egypt was perhaps more organised than their Sumerian brothers.

For Sumeria I would posit a date of 3800BC for the rise of its civilisation alongside the Tigris and Euphrates; for Egypt I would posit a date of 5000BC - a predynastic civilisation that begun in the savanah along the Wadis.

Of course, it is very possible that there were older civilisations (older than Sumeria and Egypt) still yet undiscovered. As for the oldest civilisation in Europe? I would guess that we have not yet found it, but I think Germany might be a good place to start.

What do you think? Which of the two is more older? Egyptian or Sumerian?
I definitely think that Sumerian is older of the two. Sumerians traded with the Indus Valley civilisation of northern India which dates back well before 5000BC.
However I'd like to think that all of these civilisations existed long before their given times of establishment, probably as small village settlements like Rome was before its great empire.
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Devo McNevo
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In order to trace the source of ancient wisdom. Both cultures inarguably influenced one another and understanding whether they evolved culturally together or whether one culture directly influenced another.Much of what became math, science, philosophy, was first developed in a western sense from Egypt and the east. Pythagoras directly was said to have traveled the area and Plato is believed to have. More or less if we didn’t know who was first Greece or Egypt we would much less understand the relationship and influence of ideas and religion onto our current systems.But it really doesn’t matter in a grander sense in so far that what is important is the ideas not the time or people they came from.
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The_Seeker
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Well said and it is evident which civilisation influenced the other by simply looking at the dialect continuum and carrying out comparative study using the plethora of works written at the time.

Establishing the legitimate and accurate historical timeline however is actually paramount, especially when working to understand the cultural context and intern the intent of an idea or system.
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WACHIRAMUGUKU
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Let's reason together.If the oldest bones are found in Africa and for a civilization to truly flourish ,agriculture must a key component for that society to survive.So my question would be, why is it impossible for eygpt to be more ancient than the mesopotamian civilization.Considering the nile was still there.Seem impossible that people migrated to mesopotamia to start a civilization around the Euphrates and Tigris rivers then go back to Egypt to start a civilisation around the nile.the timeline would be ancient man in East Africa ,then migrates down the nile and starts the eygptian civilisation.Then further migrates to Mesopotamia and builds another civilization.With the Indus civilization coming in later ,followed by the chinese and the rest of this civilisations.
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