Materialism developed, possibly independently, in several geographically separated regions of Eurasia during the Axial Age.
In Ancient Indian philosophy, materialism developed around 600 BC with the works of Ajita Kesakambali, Payasi, Kanada, and the proponents of the Cārvāka school of philosophy. Kanada was one of the early proponents of atomism. The Nyaya-Vaisesika school (600 BC - 100 BC) developed one of the earliest forms of atomism, though their proofs of God and positing that the consciousness was not material made them not to be materialists. The atomic tradition was carried forward by Buddhist atomism and the Jaina school.
Xun Zi developed a Confucian doctrine oriented on realism and materialism in Ancient China. Other notable Chinese materialists of this time include Yang Xiong and Wang Chong.
Ancient Greek philosophers like Anaxagoras, Epicurus and Democritus prefigure later materialists. The poem De Rerum Natura by Lucretius recounts the mechanistic philosophy of Democritus and Epicurus. According to this view, all that exists is matter and void, and all phenomena are the result of different motions and conglomerations of base material particles called "atoms." De Rerum Natura provides mechanistic explanations for phenomena such as erosion, evaporation, wind, and sound. Famous principles like "nothing can come from nothing" and "nothing can touch body but body" first appeared in the works of Lucretius.