Civilization, like agriculture, was a global phenomenon, manifesting itself in seven key areas around the world over several millennia after 3500 b.c.e.
The first of these civilizations appeared in three locations between 3500 and 3000 B.C.E. One was Sumer in southern Mesopotamia, which served as the "cradle" of Middle Eastern civilization, with its various and competing city-states (located in present-day Iraq).
A third early civilization developed along the central coast of Peru from around 3000 b.c.e. to 1800 b.c.e., around the same time as Egypt and Sumer. It was less widely known and just lately examined by scholars.
In many aspects, Norte Chico was a unique civilization. Its cities were smaller than Mesopotamia's and lacked the economic specialization that Mesopotamia possessed.
This Peruvian civilization, unlike Egyptian and Mesopotamian societies, did not rely on grain-based agriculture; its inhabitants did not create pottery or writing; and little sculptures, carvings, or drawings have been discovered so far. Archaeologists have discovered a 5,000-year-old regularly quipu, however ( a series of knotted cords, later used extensively by the Inca for accounting purposes )
Caral was also not an isolated case of urban living. More than twenty other linked sites in the area's river basins make up what is now known as the Norte Chico civilization, according to academics.
While such bribes were typical in getting promotions, Paneb's use of his position as foreman of the tomb workers' crew landed him in much more difficulty.
The First Civilizations were entwined in broader networks of commerce, culture, and power even in antiquity. None of them were on their own. The early history of Egyptian civilization exemplifies this notion. Wheat and barley, possibly imported from Mesopotamia, were used in its agriculture, as were gourds, watermelon, domesticated donkeys, and cattle.
Egyptian trade also spanned the globe. Beyond the Mediterranean and the Middle East, Egyptian trade routes went deep into Africa, including Nubia, south of Egypt in the Nile Valley, and Punt, along Ethiopia's and Somalia's East African coasts.
Egyptian cultural impact reached in many directions as well. Nubia, in the Nile Valley to the south of Egypt, not only traded with its more powerful neighbor but was also subject to Egyptian military intervention and political control. Egyptian forces regularly sought skilled Nubian archers to serve as mercenaries.
However, the influence was not a one-way street, as neighboring peoples had an impact on Egypt and Mesopotamia as well. Pastoral peoples living in what is now southern Russia, speaking Indo-European languages, domesticated the horse around 4000 B.C.E. and eventually learned to bind that powerful animal to wheeled carts and chariots.