Footprints of History: 45 Facts That Will Amaze You About Ancient Civilizations 2

26Grid System of Mohenjo Daro

Grid System of Mohenjo Daro

The Harappan city of Mohenjo Daro was the first to use a grid system for its streets.

27. The Code of Hammurabi gave total jurisdiction over brewing and beer to women, who were known as "she" in every tavern owner reference. Women in Sumerian society were primarily responsible for brewing beer and were allowed to operate their own taverns.

28. Buttons were first discovered in the Indus Valley Civilization. Dating back to 2800-2600 B.C., they were made from sea shells and were initially used for ornamental purposes.

29. Mirrors were made as far back as 6000 B.C., which predates the invention of writing. The earliest mirrors were made from obsidian and have been found in Anatolia in modern-day Turkey.

30. The Minoan Civilization was a Bronze Age, Aegean civilization that flourished from 3000 B.0.C to 1450 B.C. on the island of Crete and other Aegean Islands. The Minoans had underground plumbing, including flushing toilets, in the city of Knossos by 1900 B.C. They also used a writing script known as Linear A, which has yet to be deciphered.

31World's First Parking Restrictions

World's First Parking Restrictions

The first parking restrictions were implemented in ancient Assyria in 700 B.C. by King Sennacherib. The prohibition to park along the sacred road was indicated by the oldest parking signs that read "Royal Road - let no man decrease it." The penalty for violating this restriction was death followed by impalement outside one's own home.

32. Bowling is almost as old as human civilization itself. There are depictions of the sport on Egyptian tombs that date back 5,000 years.

33. During the Shang Dynasty (1523-1028 B.C.), as many as 600 people (including cows, dogs, and sheep) were sometimes sacrificed at the same time during ceremonies. Axes were used for these sacrifices.

34. The Norte Chico civilization of South America is one of the oldest civilizations in the world, dating back 5,500 years. Despite building huge pyramid monuments, they never developed pottery or made visual art.

35. During the reign of King Zhong Kang of the Xia dynasty in China, the royal astronomers failed to predict a solar eclipse due to their licentious and drunk behavior at the time. As it caused confusion among the common people, they were punished for neglecting their duties.

36Mycenaean Climate Change Collapse

Mycenaean Climate Change Collapse

The Mycenaeans, the dominant Greek ethnic group during the siege of Troy, may have been destroyed due to climate change caused by a volcanic eruption thousands of miles away in Iceland.

37. The Sea Peoples were a group of sea-based raiders who played a major role in the Bronze Age collapse. Centered around the Mediterranean, they attacked major empires such as the Egyptians and Hittites. Despite their significant impact, few records remain about them today.

38. Professional librarians date back to the 8th century B.C. in Assyria. The Romans also had libraries, but the job of librarian was not yet established and was instead performed by nonspecific scholars such as praetors or grammarians.

39. The earliest known incident of biological warfare occurred around 1330 B.C., when the Hittites intentionally sent disease-ridden animals to a civilization they wanted to attack. By infecting their enemies, they were able to weaken them before launching their assault.

40. The Achaemenid Empire, originating from Iran, was the largest empire ever to exist based on percentage of world population. By 480 B.C., it contained 44% of the global population.

41Abuse of Smoke Signals

Abuse of Smoke Signals

The Western Zhou Dynasty, which existed in the 8th century B.C., fell partly due to the abuse of smoke signals. King You of Zhou would often send false warning beacons to amuse his queen, which led to warlords not taking actual rebellion warnings seriously when they did occur.

42. In ancient Phoenician Sardinia, a neurotoxic plant called "sardonic herb" was given to elderly people who were no longer able to support themselves. Following the ingestion of the plant, they were thrown off a cliff. This practice led to the term "sardonic grin" because of the facial expression the plant caused following death.

43. In 2013, excavations of an ancient grave in Russia revealed that Scythian tribal chiefs used gold bongs to smoke cannabis and opium more than 2400 years ago.

44. Sanauli, located in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India, is the site of the largest known ancient burial site in the country, dating back 3,800 years. Carbon dating has revealed that the site contained the remains of chariot-riding warriors, providing evidence of a Bronze Age civilization that existed in parallel with the Harappan civilization. The people of Sanauli also practiced Vedic rituals, and it is likely that they had interactions with the Harappan civilization.

45. Caral in Peru is the oldest known city in the Americas and was a thriving metropolis during the time that the Egyptian pyramids were being built. Inhabited between 2,600 and 2,000 B.C., the city shows no traces of warfare, indicating that it was built as a center for commerce and pleasure.