There are generally said to be four early river valley civilizations and not five of them. Historians believe that these were the first major civilizations. They arose in river valleys to take advantage of the resources (such as water and fertile soil) that the rivers made available. The civilizations that are generally listed as the first river valley civilizations are
- Mesopotamia. These were centered around the Tigris and Euphrates.
- Egypt. Centered around the Nile River.
- India. Centered around the Indus and the Ganges.
- China. Centered around Yellow River and the Yangtze.