Early Civilizations

Mesopotamian Civilization

The Heritage of World Civilizations (9th ed.) (Craig, Graham, Kagan, Ozment, & Turner)

Earliest Sumerian People

Approx. 4000 BCE

Archaeological evidence tells us that the first civilizations started in Mesopotamia around 4000 BCE. It was split into 2 ecological zones, Assyria and Babylonia. The Earliest people, caller Sumerians, began to put down permanent settlements centered around religious temples and surrounded by protective walls, around the marshes of the main Mesopotamian rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates. This created a sort of pecking order between smaller and larger settlements, which was cause for constant struggles.

The Written Word

Approx. 3300 BC

During this period written language was discovered by Sumerian priests to help keep records. This allowed for the societies to become more advanced, with larger urban centers, written history, and larger centralized governments.

Early Dynastic Period

Approx. 2800 BC - Approx. 2370 BC

In southern Sumerian cities formed leagues that were based around politics and religion. There was constant warfare over land and water. Bigger places took over smaller places. leaving the largest cities ruling over different city-states

Akkadian Empire

Approx. 2330 BC

In Babylonia, histories first kings were found in the city of Kish. Another people called the Akkadians made their own kingdom , with a capital city called Akkade. The Akkadians first king was Sargon. These Akkadians took over all of the Sumerian city-states and parts of Syria and Iran forming the very first Empire.

Hammurabi's Reign and the Struggle of Mesopotamia

1792 BC - 1750 BC

Hammurabi defeated and destroyed the Mesopotamian city of Mari and ruled most of Mesopotamia, and made laws known as The Code of Hammurabi. for the next 1500 years Mesopotamia would be fought over extensively. There were short periods of peace intermittently breaking up long periods of war.

The Iron Age

Approx. 1200 BCE

Assyrians took back the land that had once been occupied and ruled by the Babylonians and used iron to make heavy duty weapons and chariots used for war.

Expansion of the Assyrian Empire

1000 BC

During this period the Assyrian Empire started it's second large expansion.


Approx. 665 BCE

Assyria had taken over much of Mesopotamia including southern Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, and some of Egypt. They did this with large armies that were a part of a society that valued military skills. Constructed many cities with incredible palaces including Nineveh and Nimrud. These cities had beautiful layouts with gardens and parks.

Egyptian Civilization

The Heritage of World Civilizations (9th ed.) (Craig, Graham, Kagan, Ozment, & Turner)

Egyptian Early Dynastic Period

Approx. 3100 BC - Approx. 2700 BC

During the Early Dynastic period the upper and lower regions of Egypt were unified. The early Egyptian Kings started building elaborate burial sites including step pyramids.

Egyptian Hieroglyphs

Approx. 3000 BC

The first Egyptian writing were first done around 3000 BCE . Their writing system was called hieroglyphs by the Greeks and consisted of many picture signs. it remained relatively consistent for the next 3000 years.

The Old Kingdom

Approx. 2700 BC - Approx. 2200 BC

The Old Kingdom in Egypt the coming together of all the things learned during the Early Dynastic period. During the Old Kingdom, Egypt was a prosperous, stable society. It was ruled by a Pharaoh who the people looked at as not just a ruler but as a god. The Old Kingdom was ruled according to the principles of maat, which was their perfect ideal of order, justice, and truth.

First Intermediate Period

2200 BC - 2025 BC

The beginning of this period is Marked by the collapse of the old Kingdom's government. During this time period the power that had traditionally been that of the Old Kingdom's government was giving to those of lower status. The Ancient History Encyclopedia (Mark, 2016), describes this period as a collapse into chaos with a shift into mass consumerism. Changed the way Egyptians looked at their leaders no longer like the god of the previous periods.

Middle Kingdom

Approx. 2025 BC - Approx. 1630 BC

Founded by Amunemhet I. He reunited upper and lower Egypt moved his residence to a new city. redefined nomarch's duties, and establish a co-regency that helped transition from ruler to ruler. The rulers of the Middle kingdom wanted to resurrect the past and the ways of the Old Kingdom, but things had changed too much with the people to ever go back. Egypt became more aggressive to the surrounding lands and built fortresses to help control other parts of Africa and the trade throughout.

Second Intermediate Period

Approx. 1630 BC - Approx. 1550 BC

The kingship started changing hands rapidly and eventually people started to build their own independent dynasties which inevitably lead to another collapse of government and hard times throughout Egypt.

New Kingdom

Approx. 1550 BC - Approx. 1075 BC

This was the most popular era of Egyptian period. First ruler was Ahmose. There was major foreign advancement with both trade and military. The influence of trade and conquests went from the southern part of Mesopotamia to 1300 miles south of Memphis in the Sudan. This could be seen by the luxury in which people lived. Kings were buried in the Valley of the Kings with enough goods that archaeologists far in the future would be able to see the actual material wealth of the kings.

Ramses Battle against the Hittites

Approx. 1285 BC - 1269 BC

In 1285 BCE Ramses fought the Hittites in Syria. Sixteen years later in 1269 BCE they signed a peace treaty making an alliance with them vowing to help each other in the event of war in the middle east.

Hebrew Civilization - (http://mosaic.lk.net/timeline.html)

Hebrew Patriarchs Start Monotheism and settled in the land of Israel.

Approx. 1800 BCE

During much of the ancient history of the world most societies were polytheistic, or believing in more than one god. However, during this period the patriarch of Hebrew civilization, Abraham, recognized the monotheistic belief in one God. This was one of the first monotheistic peoples in history. Because of famine, the Israelites were driven from there homes and forced to migrate to Egypt where they became slaves.

Exodus from Egypt

Approx. 1400 BC - 1360 BC

During this period, Moses, another leader of the Hebrew people, freed them from captivity in Egypt and led them into the desert where they spent the next 40 years wandering. During this period, the Torah, or the Hebrew holy book, along with the 10 Commandments were believes to have been received at Mt. Sinai.

First Hebrew Monarchy

Approx. 1020 BC

In 1020 BC, the first monarchy of the Hebrew civilization was established by King Saul.

Kingdom Divided

930 BC

In 930 BCE, the Hebrew Kingdom of Israel is divided into 2 kingdoms, the northern and southern kingdoms of Judah and Israel.

Israel Defeated by Assyrians

722 BC - 720 BC

During these 2 years the Assyrians defeated the Israelites and exiled the 10 tribes.

Judah Conquered by Babylonia

586 BC

Jerusalem and the first temple were destroyed and most people were cast out and forced into Babylonia

Jews Return From Babylonia

538 BC - 515 BC

During this time frame the Jews moved back from Babylonia and rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem .

Helenistic Rule

332 BCE

The land in Judah was conquered by Alexander the Great.

Maccabean Revolt

166 BC - 160 BC

The Jewish people revolted against Helenistic rule which destroyed their temple and refused to let them practice their religious beliefs.

Roman Rule

63 BC - 313

In 63 BCE Jerusalem was captured by the Roman ruler Pompey and came under Roman rule until 313 CE.

Indus Civilization

The Heritage of World Civilizations (9th ed.) (Craig, Graham, Kagan, Ozment, & Turner)

Earliest Neolithic Way of Life in India

Approx. 5500 BC

The earliest evidence of civilization in India is seen in foothills of Sind. There, archaeologists have found evidence of crop cultivation and baked brick settlement structures.

Metal working in Early Indian Civilization

4000 BC

Around 4000 BCE, experts have said that metal working started in India.

Earliest Harappan Settlements

Approx. 3500 BC

During this period the earliest Harappan settlements were in Baluchistan Pakistan beginngin about 3500 BC. These are independent cities of the Chalcolithic culture in southern Asia.

Wheel Thrown Pottery

3300 BC

In the Indus River Valley, archaeologists have found wheel thrown pottery dating all the way back to 3300 BCE. This shows that civilization had formed and people where settled there early on.

Harappan Civilization

Approx. 2600 BCE - Approx. 1900 BCE

Harappan (named after the archeologist that discover it was the first literate, urban society in India. These people settled down near the Indus river, in a place that was well suited to grow crops and formed large urban areas.

The Great Bath was built in Mohenjo-Daro

2500 BC

The largest buildings found in the urban areas of the Indus valley were not temples, but instead were bath houses. No one knows what the bath houses were used for, but one of the largest was built in Mohenjo-Daro around 2500 BCE.


Approx. 2300 BC

Around 2300 BCE, the Indus cultures began trading with the people in Mesopotamia, spreading their culture.

The Decline of the Indus Culture

1750 BC

During this time the culture seemed to disappear. They could have been conquered by other people, there could have been a natural disaster, or they could have destroyed their own environment and chose to move to thother places.

Vedic Aryan Civilization


The Heritage of World Civilizations (9th ed.) (Craig, Graham, Kagan, Ozment, & Turner)

Earliest Aryans

Approx. 1800 BC - Approx. 1500 BC

Vedic Aryan's first arrive in Punjab region of the Idus Valley probably looking for places to graze livestock.

First Rig-Veda Hymns

1700 BC - 1000 BC

Original Vedic hymns were written, some of which tell of conflicts between the Aryans and others. The Aryans settled in Pujab region and beyond where they took up cultivation and where they could take care of their livestock.

The Vedic Aryan Civilization

Approx. 1500 BC

Around 1500 BC the nomadic Indo-European people, or Aryans, began the Vedic civilization on the Indian subcontinent. They also founded their holy texts the Vedas.

Late Vedic Age

Approx. 1000 BC - Approx. 500 BC

During this period the Indians spread themselves across the plains between the Yamuna and Ganges Rivers and further east, clearing forests as they went. This period was also called the Brahmanas Age because it was dominated by the priestly religion of the Brahman class.

Vedas Written

700 BC

Around 700 BCE the holy books of the Vedic Aryan people were finally written down.

Upanishads written in India

Approx. 500 bc

Aryan people write the Upanishads, upon which was the founding of the Hindu religion.

India's 2 Classic Epics are Wriiten

400 BC - 200

Written poems about events that happened in the Vedic past.

Ancient Chinese Civilization

Beginnings of Agriculture

4000 BC

Agriculture was first seen in the Chinese civilization in 4000 BCE in the basin of the Yellow river.

Xia Dynasty

2205 BCE - 1766 BCE

The first of the 3 ancient dynasties in the traditional Chinese history


2000 BCE

Bronze first appearance in Chinese civilization.

Shang Dynasty

1766 BC - 1050 BC

The second of the traditional Chinese dynasties. This period had 3 notable feature: writing, Bronze, and social classes.

Zhou Dynasty

1050 BC - 256 BC

The third of the three traditional Chinese dynasties. Inception of the Zhou futile system.

Fall of Western Zhou Capital

771 BC

The infant king fled to the eastern capital of Cheng-Zhou. It was the beginning of Chinese civil wars and the chariot warfare.

Confucius and the Irpm Age

500 BCE

This was when the teachings of Confucius were most popular, and he was exiled from Lu. During this time period the Iron Age also started in China.

Qin State Reunification of China

221 BC

Futility was abolished by Lisi who became the prime minister of a united China

Death of Confucius