|Historical era||Naguan Iron Age|
|•||Asambupaye era||811 BCE|
|•||Itetera era||692 BCE|
|•||Warlord era||587 BCE|
|•||Sahwacegwa era||404 BCE|
|•||Fall to Cananganam||214 BCE|
|•||500 BCE est.||450,000|
|Today part of|| Cananganam |
The Meqowalele civilization, or simply Meqowalele, is the earliest civilization known to exist in Naguan history. Consisting of an area roughly 85,000 square kilometers, it comprised of many ethnic groups, including significant Camic and Gyai settlements. They occupied the highlands of the march regions of Mujansa and Cananganam. It has been speculated that the Sawyans are a part of the Dagyelic or Asuranesian peoples, though no conclusive evidence has confirmed this.
The Meqowalele created the framework for later civilizations in Nagu, being the first to also utilize both iron tools and writing. Engineering methods in architecture also hint to being an early inspiration for various stone palaces throughout the region, being typically made with a notable pyramid dome in larger more expensive structures. In addition to practicing agriculture, they also had pastoralist communities within their border. To what extent these communities cooperated with the Sawyan Empires, however, is not known.
The name, Meqowalele stems from the reconstructed Common Sawyan name for the capital of the civilization, *meqoqo-qeɰʷa-tutɨ-ɰʷalele, meaning "the place where two rivers mate to become one".
By 226 BCE, Meqowalele was suffering from a mixture of drought and famine caused by frequent flooding and drying of its rivers. Many people from rural communities started moving to the cities for work, fostering the spread of an unknown plague believed to possibly have been malaria from increased mosquito populations during the flooding years. The population which stood at roughly 450,000 in 500 BCE soon dropped to 240,000 as a result of the combination of these factors. When news that two Cananganamese armies were marching into the region, civil war erupted between various nobles further weakening the Sawyans and their ability to resist outside invaders. Much of the campaign's history was lost as Cananganamese scholars deemed Meqowalele "insignificant", having only wrote a footnote of their capital which was looted and destroyed.
Most of the ancient city's remains were lost when the rivers it sat on eroded the remaining districts of the once populous city. The city was later found in 1918 after botanists in the region noticed oddly shaped rocks and the remains of a statue in the now over-grown city. Several archaeologist teams were given exclusive rights to parts of the area, leading to multiple theories as to what the civilization it was. It wasn't until 1963 when the official library records of Cananganam showed a mention of a city close to the location they were excavating, which prior to this point was given the name Classical Cananganamese Bizropnu by archaeologists.
Today, with the destructon of 214 BCE still being visible, attempts to restore the site have had difficulty as much of the texts that do exist are in the Sawyan logography which, as of this day, are still mostly undeciphered making translation difficult. A total of 18 steles were found to still exist, albeit irreparably damaged in most instances. Most notable about the steles was their creation from granite, which the closest deposits of granite were some 50 kilometers, making the transport of these multi-ton materials fascinating to archaeologists and anthropologists studying the extent of which the civilization had existed, and with what groups they had interacted and affected.
The most notable innovation the Sawyans introduced throughout the region was writing. It is believed the Cananganamese script derives from the Sawyan logography, though whether there was an intermediary or not is not known. Other advancements in culture, such as the first ball games, was also the Sawyan practice of animal husbandry with pigs and chickens. Whether this was solely for food purposes or also pets is currently unknown. A notable advantage the Sawyans also brought to the region was the introduction of iron working, as better furnaces became available. The most notable furnace being a sort of proto-blast furnace in the northern Meqowalele area.
Other cultural introductions were new sintering methods which were applied to various means of decorations and newly invented coinage. These methods were carried on well after the collapse of the Meqowalele civilization, leading some scholars to consider that Meqowalele as a civilization was not truly destroyed but rather reincorporated within the Cananganamese governmental structure, as both the coinage and sintering methods were utilized within many functions of Cananganam's society.