Birth of Civilizations

  • 4000 BCE

    China

    China
    Neolithic agricultural villages emerge. Millet and rice were among the first crops followed at later intervals by soybeans, and eventually oranges and peaches.
  • 3500 BCE

    Mesopotamia

    Mesopotamia
    Development of Sumerian cities--Uruk first, followed by Ur, Nippur, Shuruppak, Lagash, and others along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers
  • Period: 3100 BCE to 2700 BCE

    Egypt

    Early Dynastic period following the unification of Lower and Upper Egypt. This period includes the First and Second dynasties.
  • Period: 2800 BCE to 2370 BCE

    Mesopotamia

    The Early Dynastic period wherein Sumerian life was relatively chaotic as city-states along the watercourses vied for power. Sumerian art and culture flourished during this time period.
  • Period: 2700 BCE to 2200 BCE

    Egypt

    Old Kingdom period that included the Third and Fourth dynasties. It was known as the Pyramid Age because of construction of the Step Pyramid, the pyramids at Giza, and the Sphinx
  • 2370 BCE

    Mesopotamia

    Mesopotamia
    Sargon establishes the Akkadian empire after successfully invading and defeating Sumeria. He sets up a new dynasty, essentially, bringing all the city-states under a single ruler for the first time.
  • Period: 2261 BCE to 2224 BCE

    Mesopotamia

    Naram-Sin, grandson of Sargon, succeeds to the throne as the third ruler of the Akkadian empire. He is most noted for declaring himself a god and building many temples in his honor.
  • Period: 2250 BCE to 1750 BCE

    India

    The Harappan Empire comes into being and becomes the earliest known urban culture in the Indian subcontinent.
  • Period: 2200 BCE to 2025 BCE

    Egypt

    First Intermediate period is considered by many as a "dark age" in Egyptian history as it appeared the people had reached the zenith of their culture, art, and architecture
  • 2125 BCE

    Mesopotamia

    Mesopotamia
    The city-state Ur rises to dominance as the Akkadian empire crumbles from within.
  • Period: 2125 BCE to 2027 BCE

    Mesopotamia

    The Third Dynasty of Ur rules for roughly 100 years during which Sumerian culture and literature flourishes again.
  • Period: 2025 BCE to 1630 BCE

    Egypt

    Middle Kingdom period is also known as the Period of Reunification. After a struggle, Montuhotep I becomes the first king of this relatively stable period in Egyptian history.
  • Period: 2000 BCE to 1800 BCE

    Mesopotamia

    The Amorites establish residence in Mesopotamia and rule there after the Ur Dynasty crumbles from without and within.
  • Period: 1800 BCE to 1500 BCE

    India

    Northwestern India is invade by the nomadic, light-skinned Aryan peoples
  • 1792 BCE

    Mesopotamia

    Mesopotamia
    Code of Hammurabi is enacted across Mesopotamia. It is the first evidence of a structured legal system in spite of some of its questionable directives.
  • Period: 1792 BCE to 1750 BCE

    Mesopotamia

    Babylonian King Hammurabi reigns over Mesopotamia
  • 1766 BCE

    China

    China
    During the Bronze Age, city-states arose, aristocratic charioteers were present, and pictographic writing is introduced. The kingdom of the Shang Dynasty was situated along the banks of the Yellow River in northern China.
  • Period: 1630 BCE to 1550 BCE

    Egypt

    Second Intermediate period. This was a time marked by turmoil and disunity--this had a lasting effect on Egyptian culture.
  • 1550 BCE

    Mesopotamia

    Mesopotamia
    Kassite Dynasty established in Babylon
  • Period: 1550 BCE to 1075 BCE

    Egypt

    New Kingdom. This period is considered the Golden Age of Egyptian history as it was the most prosperous and it included some of its most famous and powerful rulers.
  • Period: 1500 BCE to 1000 BCE

    India

    This is the Rigvedic period in which Punjab is the center of the Indo-Aryan civilization. This period saw the Indo-Aryans as a pastoral and tribal people settled on the Northeastern part of India.
  • Period: 1400 BCE to 1200 BCE

    Near East

    Hittite Empire is established. Ancient Anatolian people.
  • 1100 BCE

    Near East

    Near East
    The Assyrian Empire rises to power from modest beginnings in the city of Ashur
  • Period: 1000 BCE to 500 BCE

    India

    The Late Vedic period. Doab is now the center of the Indo-Aryan civilization. As they spread down to the Ganges plain, they became more settled, developed social classes, and established complex political and economic systems.
  • Period: 1000 BCE to 600 BCE

    India

    Brahmannas and other Vedic texts are composed. These contain teachings, hymns, myths, legends, and rituals important to Hinduism.
  • Period: 800 BCE to 500 BCE

    India

    The Upanishads are composed during this time. These form the core of Hindu teachings.
  • 771 BCE

    China

    China
    The Iron Age brings about the rise of territorial states. The smaller, fragmented groups brought about a time of turmoil and strife until the emergence of the Ch'in Dynasty.
  • Period: 732 BCE to 722 BCE

    Near East

    Assyrian conquest of Syria-Palestine. Driven in large part by the desire to control a pathway to the Mediterranean establishing political and economic dominance.
  • 671 BCE

    Near East

    Near East
    Assyria invades Egypt to expand its influence, power, and to gain access to and control of the desirable resources of the Kushites.
  • 612 BCE

    Near East

    Near East
    The Assyrian capital Nineveh is destroyed. The Medes, Chaldeans, Scythians, and Cimmerians join in rebellion against Assyrian rule.
  • Period: 612 BCE to 539 BCE

    Near East

    Neo-Babylonian Empire is established. Characterized, in part, by a return to traditions and a resurrection of many Sumero-Akkadian traditions and artwork.
  • 500 BCE

    China

    China
    Age of Philosophers begins and runs through circa 221 BCE. The One Hundred Schools of Thought was characterized by intellectual pursuits and the founding of Taoism and Confucianism, among other philosophical schools.
  • Period: 400 BCE to 200 BCE

    India

    The great epic poems Mahabharata and Ramayana are composed. Hindus regard these works as both texts about dharma and historical resources.
  • 221 BCE

    China

    China
    China is finally unified. The Qin state invaded and united the sic other states--Han, Zhao, Yan, Wei, Chu and Qi--and these territories would be the basis of the Qin dynasty and modern China.