History Pages - Part 1

Ancient Civilizations - Prior to 2,000 BC

All dates, particularly the earlier ones, are approximate.
The dates given below are in accord with the general timetable of history and give a consistent sequence of chronology.

Approx. Dates The Middle East and Mediterranean areas
40,000 BC Stone tools - Carmel Caves in Israel
18,000 - 12,500 BC Kebaran culture - flint microliths in Israel
17,000 BC Natufian culture - harvesting of wild cereals, Ohalo, by Lake Galilee, Israel
13,000 BC cultivation of millet in Mesopotamia (?)
11,000 BC domesticated dogs, Israel
obsidian used for tools, Greece. Simple sail boats, Aegean.
13,000 - 10,000 BC end of last Ice Age. Bands of Hunter-Gatherers cross the Bering land-bridge and enter N. America
10,000 BC round huts, partially below ground-level, Israel and Middle East
sickles (of microliths set in bone or wood), grindstones, for grain, Mesopotamia
burial of the dead, sometimes with grave goods such as necklaces, often under the floor of a hut, Israel
8,000 BC building begins at Jericho. decoration of human skulls (Jericho)
mud bricks made by hand, later in wooden molds
storage of grain (Ain Mallaha - Levant)
7,800 BC cultivation of emmer wheat (Tell Aswad - Levant)
7,500 BC fishing with bone harpoons, Egypt
7,000 BC "white ware" (forerunner of pottery) Israel and the Levant. (White ware is made of lime and ash)
shortly after "white ware" - pottery in use in the Middle East
herding of wild goats (Beidha in the Negev), domestic goats (Jericho)
6,500 BC rectangular houses
first metallurgy - smelting of copper
farming spreads from the middle East to Greece and later to northern Europe : barley, einkorn, emmer; sheep, goats, cattle; rectangular houses of wattle and daub, roofed with reeds or thatch
6,200 BC Neolithic site at Nea Nikomedeia, Macedonia
6,000 BC early towns in Asia Minor - Catal Huyuk (in Turkey)
fertility figures of stone or clay, beads of copper or lead
date palm throughout the Middle East
"stamp seals" throughout the Middle East (impressions in clay, probably to indicate ownership)
trade in obsidian from what is now Turkey to the whole Middle East
5,900 - 4,300 BC Ubaid culture in Mesopotamia - city of Eridu - "tripartite houses" - farming communities - canal systems to irrigate crops
ca. 5,500 BC - Drakhmani (Elateia) site in Greece
5,000 BC farming of wheat and barley spreads to Egypt
cultivation of grape vines - Mediterranean regions
5,000 - 4,500 BC Badarian Cuture of the Nile Valley - red and black polished pottery bowls
5,000 - 4,000 BC late Palaeolithic, Chalcolithic Ages
start of City-states in Mesopotamia
4,480 BC "Neolithic A" site, Sesklo, Thessaly (N. Greece)
4,300 - 3,100 BC Uruk (Biblical Erech), rise of city-states in Mesopotamia - irrigation; trading for stone, wood, metal; lunar calendar; pictographic system of writing ca. 3,300 BC
4,000 BC pottery was known throughout the Middle East.
metal-working of gold, silver, copper; lost-wax process for casting bronze objects.
use of the plough, Europe & Middle East
4,000 - 3,500 BC great flood(s) in Mesopotamia


Approx. Dates Mesopotamia & Israel Egypt Greece & Europe
4,000 BC Sumerians settle in Mesopotamia; they spoke a language unrelated to any other known,
city of Eridu
domesticated animals
sail used on boats on Nile
Final Neolithic period
Cretan ships
3,500 - 3,000 BC peak of Sumerian civilization;
building of temples and ziggurats.
3,500 BC city of Ur
3,500 BC development of cuneiform writing
3,400 BC invention of the cylinder seal
3,200 BC potter's wheel and wheeled vehicles
3,100 BC city of Byblos
3,100 BC bronzeworking begins
3,500 BC harps & flutes in use
3,200 BC hieroglyphic writing
3,100 BC King Menes (Narmer) united Upper and Lower Egypt "Archaic Period", dynasties 1 & 2
3,000 BC domestication of the Ass
3,000 - 2,500 BC 3,000 BC wheel in use
Semitic tribes (Akkadians) moving into northern Mesopotamia
Mis-anni-padda of Ur first recorded king in Mesopotamia
oil-burning lamps in Sumeria
Phoenicians settled at Tyre and Sidon on Syrian coast
earliest levels of Troy
wrestling becomes one of the first sports
2,700 BC Gilgamesh of Uruk
2,500 BC oxen and onagers used to pull ploughs
2,500 BC fermentation of grapes to make wine
2,500 BC "The Royal Standard of Ur" - box inlayed with shell and lapis lazuli
2,500 BC lyre players buried with dead kings
metal coins began to replace barley as legal tender
Cuneiform simplified - pictographs reduced to ca. 550
Sumerian numerical system based on multiples of 6 and 12
3100 - 2650 BC royal tombs at Abydos - gold and turquoise jewelry, commemorative stelae
glass beads and metal mirrors in Egypt
beginnings of astronomical observations in Egypt and Babylonia
2,650 BC - Imhotep, architect of the step pyramid
2,650 BC Step Pyramid of Zoser (Djoser)
2,550 BC Pyramid of Cheops (Kufu)
2,500 BC Pyramid of Kafre (son of Kufu) & the Sphinx, Giza
development of hieroglyphic writing

2,650 - 2150 BC "Old Kingdom", 3rd - 6th dynasties, government bureaucracy; mummification practised
ducks and geese hunted and domesticated
domestication of dogs
metal mirrors
3,100 - 1,925 BC "Pre-palatial Early Minoan" - Early Bronze Age in Crete

Early Helladic II on mainland Greece

simple boats in the Aegean

Cycladic culture in the Aegean

earliest levels of Troy

weaving loom known in Europe
2,500 - 2,000 BC 2,900 - 1,800 BC the Sumerians
2,340 - 2,125 BC the Akadians
2,400 - 612 BC the Assyrians
2,400 - 2,350 BC Lugalzaggisi of Uruk defeated Lagash Empire, became "King of the Countries"
2,350 - 2,100 BC Sargon I of Agade (Akkad), founder of the Akkadian dynasty, defeated Lugalzaggisi and created a Semitic Empire. (Agade later became the city of Babylon)

Epic Poems
2,300 Priestess Enheduanna, first known author in the world
2,300 BC Sargon II of Agade
2,270 - 2,333 BC Naram-Sin of Agade - claimed divine status; "Victory Stele" now in Susa, Iran
2,125 BC Ur gained ascendancy over Agade and the Akkadian civilization
2,112 - 2,095 BC king Ur-Nammu built ziggurats
2,100 BC stepped ziggurat & Royal tombs of Ur
2,095 - 2,047 BC Shulgi of Ur - introduced a new calendar (lunar, with 12 months), a system of laws, and scribal schools
invention of the zodiac
development of mathematics
chickens domesticated
2,200 - 1,700 Egypt ruled by the "Shepherd Kings" - foreign domination

first libraries in Egypt

discovery of method of preparing papyrus for writing
2,750 - 2,000 BC Early Helladic (Mycenean) period in mainland Greece

Early Minoan period in Crete - speaking a non-Indo-European language; place names ending in "-ssos"

Main Sources : Smithsonian Timelines of Ancient History, The Timetables of History (Bernard Grun)

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Copyright © 1999 Shirley J. Rollinson, all Rights Reserved

Dr. Rollinson

Station 19
Portales, NM 88130

Last Updated: June 28, 2017

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