Is it true that China is the only ancient civilization that continues to this day? Or is it only recognized by Chinese themselves?






China is the youngest as well as surviving in the "cradle of civilization" group, let's see

1. Egypt did not use hieroglyphs and their dynasty was destroyed without continuity

2. Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley were destroyed (no one knows the translation of the Indus Valley writing)

3. Ancient American civilization was destroyed



1. 埃及没有使用象形文字,他们的王朝被推番,没能延续至今

2. 美索不达米亚和印度河流域被摧毁了(没人知道印度河流域的文字该如何理解)

3. 古老的美洲文明被摧毁了

China has never been colonized by "another civilization" china was only colonized by barbarians (in the end it collapsed quickly and became part of china) different from Egypt, which was colonized by Greece, and Rome and Persia. and also chinese can still read their old script (still use it too)

also more importantly (very important): CHINA is a world power whereas greece, egypt, persia are not world powers.






C.J. Hsu

I personally believe the definition to “continues civilisation” is, that the language continues

A civilisation could be conquered by others, but itself will keep continuing if the language and the people continued thriving.



The Chinese civilisation has a significant difference with other ones, that the language system has never been interrupted, with a very clearly traceable path of language evolution, and any educated young Chinese in high school can read poems and articles from 2500 years ago, if he or she has studied some calligraphy, characters from 3000 years ago or even oracle bones are of no problems.



(evolution of “horse”, “fish”, and “carriage”, or “car” for modern purposes)



native religion continues

native language continues

native culture continues, and for thousands of years Chinese are still live with ancestor worship/veneration

(Even race still continues)






Other major native civilisations have already lost their own stuffs:


Egypt - arabized

religion & language & culture are no more



Indus - aryanized & arabized

language & culture are no more, only native religion continues



Sumer/Assyria - arabized

language & culture are no more, Zoroastrianism is almost dead



Aztec - eliminated


Maya - eliminated


Inca – eliminated





Geng Yang

The original question has two parts. Most of the answers only focus on the first part, the statement is true or not is debatable among academic people, which I am not an expert anyway.

For the second part, the answer is one google away. It’s clearly not only recognized by Chinese. It’s written on the American History Association Website. In a pamphlets published by US in 1944:

“China has the longest continuous history of any country in the world—3,500 years of written history. And even 3,500 years ago China’s civilization was old! “








Alexander Tan


Why was China, the oldest exsting civilization, never wiped out like all the other ancient civilizations?

I will address each part point by point:

China is not the oldest civilization: Preceding it were the Sumerians (including the other Mesopotamian empires), the Indus Valley, as well as Egypt.

None of those civilizations were “wiped out”. The Assyrians still exst, as do the Dravidians (they were thought to have founded the Indus Valley), as do Egyptians.





However, under the assumption that you mean oldest exsting civilization as the longest continually lasting native culture, and the for a civilization to be wiped out is to have its culture drastically changed by foreign powers, then this is why:


First let’s talk about the three older civilizations (I will just refer to as Sumer, Egypt, and Indus). Sumer lost native Mesopotamian culture to the Persians, followed by the Greek Macedonian Empire, followed by the Arabs of who completely Islamized the region, followed by the Turks, and then finally divided between Britain and France in Iraq and Syria (I think Iraq was British). Egypt is a similar story: native culture lost to Persians, then Greeks, then Romans, then Arabs, then Turks, then the British. The Indus is much more straight forward: civilization and culture in India had to practically restart after the mysterious disappearance of the Indus Valley Civilization, the Vedic civilization would not exst until the mid/late ia dynasty of China.


苏美尔的美索不达米亚文化败给了波斯人,接着又接连被希腊马其顿帝国和阿拉伯统治,阿拉伯人将该地区完全伊 斯兰化,后来土耳其人接手,最后被英国和法国分割成伊拉克和叙利亚(我认为伊拉克是英国的)。



Next, let’s talk about Chinese cultural change; only two foreign powers ever truly conquered China: the Mongols, and the Manchus. However, then the Manchu Qing dynasty invaded the ailing Ming dynasty, the Manchus were already heavily under Chinese Cultural Influence, as the Ming Dynasty expanded far north into Manchuria, subjugating Manchus into their rule, thus Manchu rule of China did not change Chinese culture significantly (it changed, yes, but not nearly as much as the Caliphate conquering Egypt). The next is the Mongols. The epic tales of great battle between the Chinese and the northern horse nomads (Mongols) originated before the Qin dynasty, when the Great Wall was under construction to keep the Mongols out. All this war and negotiation between China and Mongolia which took place for a good millennia and a half before the Mongol Conquest allowed for great cultural exchange between China and Mongolia (Mostly from China to Mongolia, as China is often considered to have civilized much earlier than the Mongols). When the Mongols invaded, same story; Chinese culture was not changed drastically.




Other reasons why foreign influence in China is more limited than other ancient civs is geographical. China was surrounded by the Gobi Desert and the Tiban plateau, preventing invaders from the West and South. The Pacific is to the East, preventing eastern invasion.  neighbors were and are Mongolia, Tib, Manchuria, Dzungaria (Dzungar Mongols), Korea, Japan, Yuenan (Vietnam), and Siam, all of which were heavily sinicised culturally, thus unable to significantly change Chinese culture. The closest great civilization to China is India, but they were separated by the Himalayas and Tib, making cultural exchange difficult (not impossible, as exemplified in Buddhism).





Zhihan Liao

I will define the ancient civilizations as Egypt, Rome, Mesopotamia, and China.

Starting with the (Ancient) Egyptians, they’re not really a distinct ethnic group anymore. Although there are still people in Egypt who speak Coptic, the latest stage of the ancient Egyptian language, they’re not ethnically distinct from Muslim Egyptians, only they practice Christianity. The Ancient Egyptians have merged with the Arab Egyptians, so now there is not an Ancient Egyptian ethnicity anymore but an Egyptian ethnicity with part Ancient Egyptian ancestry. In addition, Ancient Egypt doesn’t exst anymore and the civilization was displaced by Arabs. So, Ancient Egypt hasn’t continued to this day.



Rome also doesn’t exst anymore. Unlike the Egyptians, the people actually survived and went on to become distinct ethnicities, such as the Spanish, Italians, French, etc. while still maintaining their distinct language, like the Egyptians. However, the civilization of Rome split between the Western Roman Empire and Eastern Roman Empire. The west was defeated, and although the east survived for many more centuries their civilization was also ended. So, Roman civilization has not survived to this day.


Mesopotamia has historically not been one civilization, but rather many civilizations such as the Akkadians, Sumerians, Babylonians, etc. However, their civilizations also don’t exst anymore, instead, there is modern-day Iraq which is an Arab country. So it is safe to say that ancient Mesopotamian civilization has all but disappeared, and most ancient Mesopotamians have also disappeared, except for the Assyrians, who don’t really have a country. Alternatively, though, since Mesopotamia has not been one civilization but rather many of them, you can technically call Iraq the current Mesopotamian civilization, which makes Mesopotamian civilization still intact. However, since you asked about ancient civilization, well, they don’t exst anymore. There’s only Iraq.


Lastly, China. The question gets a little complicated here, because China as a civilization has remained very much alive, even through different dynasties. However, if you consider different dynasties “civilizations,” the ia dynasty does not exst anymore. So, if you consider the civilization as the people who lived there and made countries and survived to this day, China has survived. If you mean civilization as “the first country/dynasty to exst on Chinese territory,” no, the ia dynasty has ended almost 3,600 years ago.





Girish Raut

Not true - no civilization has been preserved in its entirety.

But there are 2 civilizations that have their ancient writing systems, languages, religion etc preserved to a large extent. And that’s the world biggest populations - India & China.



“India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend and the great grand mother of tradition”

― Mark Twain.



India Conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border.

—Hu Shih, Chinese Ambassador



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