WHAP Ultimate Study Timeline

Orange = Global Impact | Green = Africa | Red = East Asia | Purple = South Asia | Brown = Caribbean and Latin America | Blue = Europe | Yellow = Middle East | Teal = Southeast Asia | Black = North America | Gray = Oceania


Stone Age Era (Paleolithic)

10,000 BCE - 4000 BCE

Refinement of tools for agriculture, origins of agriculture
Domestication of animals and crops
Earliest Method: Slash and Burn agriculture
Complex Societies developed

Agriculture Becomes Established in the World

5000 BCE

Sumer is Established

5000 BCE

The world's first cities, Ur and Babylon, are established here.
Sumer was polytheistic and built religious pyramid-like temples called ziggurats.
Sumer was organized into city-states and worked to maintain peace and stability.
Large public works projects were undertaken for the betterment of Sumerian society.

Bronze Tools first Used

4000 BCE

Mesopotamia Developed

3500 BCE

Tigris and Euphrates rivers

Mass Nomadic Migrations

3500 BCE - 500 BCE

Earliest Civilizations

3500 BCE - 1500 BCE

Villages grew into cities. Cities that dominated the land around them formed around River Valleys and became River Valley civilizations, such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus Valley, and Shang China.

Hieroglyphics Developed

3100 BCE

Written on papyrus reeds
Crafted papermaking

King Menes Unites Upper and Lower Egypt

3100 BCE

Egypt Appears

3000 BCE

The Nile River

Bantu Migrations

3000 BCE - 500 CE

Possession of iron metallurgy information, tools were used to clear land for agriculture (basis of society) and herding throughout all of Africa
Villages were ruled by councils, made up of male heads of families and a village chief. A group of villages = district (the highest form of govt.)
Conflict formed organized military and govt.

Pyramids Constructed

2630 BCE

Demonstrates the skilled engineering and advancement of Egyptian engineers and architects
Demonstrates devotion to Egyptian deities and pharaohs

Egyptian Old Kingdom Period

2575 BCE - 2134 BCE

Basic social and political features took shape

The Indus Valley Appears

2500 BCE

Indus River in South Central Asia

Egyptian Middle Kingdom Arises

2040 BCE - 1640 BCE

More powerful and culturally dynamic than the Old Kingdom

Origin of the Israelites

2000 BCE

Started in the city of Ur
Founder of Judaism: Abraham
Settled in a land called Canaan

Phoenicians Established

2000 BCE

Wide travelers over the Mediterranean due to the lack of space in their kingdom
Simplified cuneiform and produced the first alphabet (basis of modern language)
Great sailors

Mythic Xia Dynasty Arises

2000 BCE

Probably didn't even exist.

Chavin Cult Lives

1800 BCE - 1200 BCE

Located in the Andes, the Chavin people spread widely throughout the area.

Hammurabi's Code Established

1792 BCE - 1750 BCE

Basis of all law codes
Practiced lex talionis - the law of retaliation in which upper classes were favored

Shang Dynasty

1750 BCE - 1027 BCE

Earliest recorded Chinese dynasty
Success based on technology, especially bronze
Surplus agriculture utilized
Extensive and lavish tombs for emperors
Oracle bones and ancestor worship

Shang China Appears

1700 BCE

Along several rivers in China

Hittites Appear

1700 BCE

First group to make systematic use of iron weapons

Hyksos Invade Egypt

1640 BCE

Ushers in the 2nd Intermediate Period in Egypt
Causes political instability

Egyptian New Kingdom

1532 BCE - 1070 BCE

Collapses due to internal disorder and foreign invasions

Iron Tools First Used

1500 BCE

Aryans Established

1500 BCE

Herding peoples that originated in the Caucasus
Invaded the Indian subcontinent, decimating Indus Valley cities
Origin of caste system and Hinduism

Vedic Age

1500 BCE - 500 BCE

When the Vedas were recorded, the Rig Veda is most important
Language of Sanskrit used
Aryans and Dravidians constantly fight
No centralized government established; 100s of chiefdoms

Rule of Rameses II

1304 BCE - 1237 BCE

Conquered great deal of territory in North Africa and Middle East

Moses Leads the Hebrews into Palestine

1300 BCE

Origins of Jerusalem
Use of Mesopotamian law and politics as a guide, but devotion to religion and Yahweh distinguished the Hebrews
Ten Commandments

The Trojan War

1250 BCE

Fight between Troy and Greeks (Mycenaeans) for Helen

Olmecs Appear

1200 BCE

Fall of Most Early Civilizations

1200 BCE

Zhou Dynasty

1027 BCE - 221 BCE

Mandate of Heaven
Confucianism and Daoism established

Classical Civilizations

1000 BCE - 600 CE

Bantus reach their limit; Decentralized governments formed

1000 BCE

Aryans Establish Permanent Communities

1000 BCE - 500 BCE

Relied on more agriculture than herding

Rule of the Assyrians

911 BCE - 612 BCE

Formed one of the world's first true empires
Armed with iron weapons and use of cavalry to conquer
Took over most of Middle East
Policy of cruelty

Life of Homer

850 BCE - 800 BCE

Composed the Iliad and the Odyssey
Blind poet


800 BCE - 300 BCE

Valued education, emphasis on importance of human effort
Political theory: what's the best form of govt? - no centralized govt.
Concept of polis; first ruled by tyrants later came to be ruled by free men
Women barely free during this period, little freedom

Height of the Assyrian Empire

800 BCE - 700 BCE

Government: Code of Hammurabi and powerful military
Appointed officers in charge based on merit rather than heredity
Horse-Drawn chariots conquer armies


800 BCE - 300 BCE

Women are more equal to men; encouraged to be athletic to have healthy babies
Strong military; militaristic state
Men separated from women in the barracks until age 30

First Olympics

776 BCE

Rule of the Chaldeans

626 BCE - 539 BCE

End of Assyrian rule
Famous ruler: Nebuchadnezzar, who built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Laozi is Born

604 BCE

Writer of Tao-Te Ching, Daoism's central text
Antirational belief, seeks wisdom in nature, poetry, and spontaneous behavior.

Vedas recorded down in Sanskrit

600 BCE

They were previously passed orally
A collection of hymns, prayers, songs honoring Aryan gods
There are 4 vedas
Reveal much about Aryan society

Lydians: Inventors of Coinage

600 BCE - 500 BCE

Life of Confucius

551 BCE - 479 BCE

Lived during Zhou Dynasty; was govt. official
Pondered nature between individuals and society
Collect of Analects are conversations between him and his students

Rule of the Persians

550 BCE - 331 BCE

Created one of the largest empires in World History
First ruler: Cyrus the Great, conquered Iran

Life of Siddhartha Gautama

540 BCE - 468 BCE

Founder of Buddhism
Born into a noble family, abandoned rich life to seek the answer to the question of human suffering
Reached enlightenment, "Buddha" (enlightened one)

Daris the Great Rules

522 BCE - 486 BCE

Empire stretched from Libya to India
Governed with help of postal system, excellent road networks (Royal Road), single currency, flexible form of government (satraps ruled in name of emperor)
Zoroastrianism, religious tolerance


500 BCE - 476 CE

Perfection of military: Conquer but no defeat
Art and culture derived from Greece
Superb engineering and architecture
Polytheism: religion is not very important to Romans, however
Paterfamilias: Male dominated family structure

Persian Wars

500 BCE - 479 BCE

Fought between Greeks and Achaemenids
Demise of Achaemenid Empire
Greeks believed Persians were uncivilized
Delian League formed afterwards to discourage future Persian aggression

Battle of Marathon

490 BCE

Loss of Darius to the Greeks, marking the end of the Achaemenid Empire

Period of the Warring States

480 BCE - 221 BCE

Internal collapse and civil wars that plagued the Zhou


470 BCE - 399 BCE

Method of questioning aimed at exposing ethics and morality
Student: Plato
Honor is more important than wealth and fame and stressed personal integrity: "The unexamined life is not worth living"

Leadership of Pericles

461 BCE - 429 BCE

Democratic government origins

First Recording of Roman Law

450 BCE

The Twelve Tables: meant to provide standardized system of law throughout empire
Basic right of defendants: right until proven guilty
Power still lay in hands of the judge

Peloponnesian War

431 BCE - 404 BCE

Fight between Sparta and Athens
Sparta won, but all Greek states are weakened
Conquered by the Macedons later on


428 BCE - 347 BCE

Everything is based on forms or ideas
Definitions are not absolute because things like virtue, courage, truth and beauty all mean different things in different situations

Kingdom of Meroe Reigns

400 BCE - 400 CE

South of Egypt
Nubian Kingdom
Agriculture, livestock grazing, iron ore mining
Collapse due to change in trade patterns and environmental factors (deforestation)


384 BCE - 322 BCe

Wrote about logic, observation, and experimentation set in place a mode of scientific inquiry that influenced the Western World for centuries
Foundations of the Scientific Method

Alexander the Great Conquers

356 BCE - 323 BCE

Preserved Greek culture and spread it throughout a vast portion of Eurasia and north Africa

Mauryan Empire

324 BCE - 184 BCE

Strong military and extensive trade network
Key good: cotton

Rule of Ashoka

269 BCE - 232 BCE

Sickened by war after war of Kalinga
Conversion to Buddhism; advocated peace and tolerance
Rock and Pillar Acts
Encouraged trade with China for silk and opened trade ruites
Justice and Wisdom; efforts for religious unity and tolerance

Qin Dynasty

221 BCE - 206 BCE

Rule of Shi Huangdi (1st Emperor)
Dictatorial, centralized nation
Standardized weights and measures
Modernized Chinese army by introducing iron weapons and cavalry
Forced labor used to build roads and Great Wall of China
Emphasis on legalism
Large bureaucracy

Han Dynasty

206 BCE - 220 CE

Efficiently governed empire
Enlarged Great Wall, built canals to link rivers
Strong economy on Silk production

Rule of Wu Ti

140 BCE - 87 BCE

Han armies expanded hundreds of miles
Tributary systems established under his rule

Death of Caesar

44 BCE

Killed after declaring himself emperor for life
After his death, 13 years of civil conflict ensued
Sought to unify Rome after the civil war; large public works projects, gave Roman citizenship, gladiators, armies

Rule of Augustus

30 BCE - 14 CE

Restored order, revived Roman strength and wealth

Life of Jesus

4 BCE - 29 CE

The son of God in Christianity
Proclaimed the Kingdom of God
His teachings are immensely popular, Christianity's most important symbol of faith

Rise of Japan: The Nara period

300 CE - 794 CE

The Edict of Milan is Established

313 CE

Enforced by Constantine; legal status granted to Christianity

Gupta Empire

320 CE - 550 CE

Smaller and less centralized than Mauryan
Hindu leaders - religious tolerance
Traded with China, SE Asia, Mediterranean
Creation of decimal system, pi, and zero
Fell because of Huns; India remains decentralized for a long time

Christianity is the official religion of Rome

380 CE

By 392 CE, it is the empire's only legal faith

Height of Teotihuacan

400 CE - 600 CE

City built in central Mexico because of abundant fish supply
Colossal pyramids of sun and the moon
Theocratic government: priests crucial to survival of society

Rule of Clovis

465 - 511

Acquired large empire for the Franks
Conversion to Catholicism

The Fall of Rome

476 CE

Conquer by Barbaric tribes

Rule of Justinian

500 CE - 590 CE

Constantinople was at its best
Building of Hagia Sofia
Justinian Code: Codification of Roman laws
Highest territorial peak

Ghana: The Land of Gold

500 CE - 1000 CE

First major sub-saharan Kingdom

Middle Ages

500 CE - 1500 CE

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire
State of Relative Backwardness

Prominence of Monasticism

500 - 1100

In which monks and nuns are not ordained as priests
Stressed contemplation and seclusion

Life of Muhammad

570 CE - 630 CE

Merchant from Mecca
Meditated in mountains and saw visions
Delivered the word of Allah (God)
Forced out of Mecca to Medina from authorities (Hijra = beginning of Islamic calendar marks this major event)

Sui Dynasty

589 - 618

Strong central government
Emerged after turmoil of the Han Dynasty
Public Works projects: The Grand Canal
Sui Yangdi, founder

Expansion of Islam

600 CE - 800 CE

Umma = Muslim political and social community
Caliph = Successor of Muhammad, ruled umma
1st Caliph: Abu Bakr

Rise of Islam

600 CE

Rose in Arabia; spread rapidly through the prophet Muhammad

Tang Dynasty

618 - 906

Expansion of Chinese territory
Maintained empire through system of roads
Equitable distribution of agricultural land
Government jobs were merit based
Military conquests

Reign of Tang Taizong

627 - 649

2nd Emperor of the Tang Dynasty
Saw himself as Confucian; this period was unusually peaceful and prosperous
Built capital at Chang'an

Rule of Charles Martel

688 - 741

Carolingian empire grows powerful under his rule
Turned back Muslim invaders at Battle of Tours
Established Carolingian dynasty
Son Pepin strengthened ties to the Catholic Church

Time of Sufism

700 - 800

Mystical form of Islam that emphasizes on prayer, fasting, and meditation to get closer to Allah

Carolingian Empire Established


Frankish Kingdom

Reign of Emperor Xuanzong

712 - 755

Extended China's Rule over many regions
Forced neighbors in tributary system (like Han China)
Advanced infrastructure (Grand Canal)
Silk Industry
Indian Ocean Trading
Silk Road
Strong Cultural Influences over Neighbors

Battle of Tours


Defeat of Muslim invaders by Charles Martel from invading the Carolingian Empire

End of Umayyad Dynasty, Birth of Abbasid Dynasty


Allowed all races to rise to positions of power and wealth
Capital at Baghdad
Grew because of independent military force instead of military conquest
Focused on ruling empire
ulama = religious experts
qadis = judges

Reign of Charlemagne

768 - 814

Defended territory against Viking, barbarian, and Muslim attacks
Expanded kingdom
Transformed into an Empire
Supporter of education and culture

Reign of Haroun Al-Rashid

776 - 809

Best loved Abbasid Caliphate
Cultural advancement

Japanese Heian Period

794 - 1185

Japan's Golden Age
Emperor becomes figurehead
Fujiwara Clan mainly rules
Mainly agricultural: equal-field system
Women wrote (Tale of Genji) Boys received formal education

Viking Invasions

800 - 1100

Abandonment of Mayan Civilization

800 CE

Possibly as a result of civil war, internal divisions, invasions, or natural disaster

Charlemagne Crowned Holy Roman Emperor


By Pope Leo

Angkor Period of the Khmer Empire

889 - 1454

Militarily aggressive, expansion of Khmer Empire
Adopted Hinduism and Buddhism

Conversion of Prince Vladimir of Kiev to Christianity

989 CE

Result of Exposure to Byzantine culture
His subjects converted to Christianity also
Other influences: Cyrillic alphabet, writing, codified laws
Moscow is the world's '3rd Rome'

Vikings Settle in Canada


Led by Leif Eriksson

The Great Schism

1054 CE

When the Western and Eastern churches of Europe broke away from each other formally.
Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism is formed.

First Crusade

1096 - 1099

Started when Byzantine Empire asked Christians in Europe for military assistance against Seljuk Turks, who recently captured Jerusalem
Council of Clermont by Pope Urban II called upon the knights to retake the Holy Land
Jerusalem placed after siege, all non-Christians are slaughtered

Medieval Japan

1185 - 1573

Power laid in the hands of daimyo, Japanese landlords
Samurai = Knights
Bushido = Chivalry (even stricter)
Women had less opportunities; no respect for women
Military talent valued
Decentralized political power in the hands of warlords

Recapture of Jerusalem by Saladin

1187 - 1192

Drives back the 3rd Crusade
Great Middle Eastern General; Kurdish general

Foot Binding is Established


Peak of Chinese subjugation of women
Lower classes were freer than upper classes
Women of all classes still had inheritance and property rights and retained control over their dowry after divorce and widowing

Song Dynasty

1200 - 1279

Largest and long lasting empire after Tang breakdown
Threatened by hostile neighbors; worked with Jurchen to destroy
Jurchen turn against Song, making Song give up a lot of territory
Survives until Mongol Conquests
Bureaucracy too large
Military failures b/c of inexperienced bureaucracy

Delhi Sultanate

1206 - 1520

Period when Muslims captured the city of Delhi and had most of Northern India in their hands
Introduction of Islam into India
Muslim women had more property rights than Hindu women
Imposition of Islam was very harsh; religious and racial tensions

Attack of the Mongols Begin


Until Genghis Khan's death in 1227.

Magna Carta Signed by King John


Life of Thomas Aquinas

1225 - 1274

Italian monk who was the father of Scholasticism, which attempted to reconcile reason with faith in God and Christianity

Mongolian Golden Horde Controls Russia

1240 - 1400

Sundiata Establishes Mali


Super-rich guy who gives out the deposits of gold and mental ore, ruler of Mali

Kingdom of Mali

1250 - 1460

Most powerful and largest Sub-Saharan city-state
Along Niger River basin
Key center for trade in W. and N. Africa

Yuan Dynasty

1271 - 1368

Adopted Buddhism and made Chinese official language
Rich and powerful
Neighbors paid tribute
Rebuilding of China's bureaucracy and economy
Repaired roads and canals, built new cities


1300 - 1520

Settled on Lake Texcoco, City of Tenochtitlan (Modern Day Mexico City)
Chinampas = agricultural system
Human Sacrifice
Defeat of the Aztecs by the Spanish


1300 - 1600

Age of Rebirth
Classicism: Understanding and admiration for Greco-Roman literature and learning
More secular than Medieval era
Humanism: being human is something to be celebrated

Incan Society

1300 - 1536

Elaborate system of transport and communications
Government led by military elite
Armies made of conquered peoples
Forced people into submission by taking hostages
Capital: Cuzco
Quipus used to keep track of history and data of empire
Women were greatly constrained in rights and freedom; little more than domestic servants
Use of terrace farming

Independent Ottoman Rule Established


By sultan Osman I

Life of Ibn Battuta

1304 - 1386

Islamic World's Greatest Explorer
Journey covered more than 75,000 miles

Reign of Mansa Musa

1312 - 1337

Most powerful Mali ruler
Systematized government

Hundred Years' War

1337 - 1453

England vs. France
Result of social uprising after the Black Death
End: Awkward relations between England and France

The Black Death Ravages Europe

1347 - 1353

Kills 1/3 of Europe

Ming Dynasty

1368 - 1644

Recentralized country
Forbidden City was built
Expanded China's borders
Tributary system
Alliances with Vietnam and Korea
Strong army and navy

Hanseatic League

1400 - 1600

Trade network that developed in Baltic and North Sea
Encompassed commercial centers of Poland, N. Germany, and Scandinavia
Linked Mediterranean through Rhine and Danube rivers
Frequency of trade led to adoption of credit and banking systems
Commercial partnerships = more trade in Europe
Class structure made social mobility possible

Atlantic Slave Trade Period

1400 - 1875

Zheng He's Travels

1405 - 1433

Display of Ming China's naval strength
Forced 50 states and cities to pay tribute

Printing Press Invented


By Johannes Gutenberg
Block printing had originated in Europe in the first place

Habsburg Control over Austrian Imperial Throne

1438 - 1918

Ottomans Seize Constantinople


Result of the invasions of the Seljuk and Ottoman Turks

Constantinople Turns into Istanbul


By Sultan Mehmed II (Mehmed the Conqueror)

Columbus Lands in the Bahamas


Explorer from Genoa
Wanted to reach Asia through an all-water trade route
Funded by Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain

Martin Luther Introduces his 95 Theses


General attack against church abuses and certain parts of Catholic doctrine
Was excommunicated as a result
Rupture of the Catholic Church

Magellan Circumnavigates the World


Council of Trent

1545 - 1563

Catholic Church worked to eliminate the worst of its financially and spiritually corrupt practices
Sponsored creation of impressive art and architecture
Gave birth to Baroque movement
Stiffened religious discipline
Reaffirmed pope authority
Approved Jesuits

First Colony Established: The Philippines


By the Spanish
City of Manila
Connected Spanish colonies with Asian markets
Changes to Pacific: Diseases, missionaries

Thirty Years War

1618 - 1848

Spain, Holy Roman Empire and Catholic German states vs. Dutch, Danes, Swedes and Protestant German states
Protestants win in the end

Reign of Louis XIV of France

1661 - 1715

The Sun King of France; Absolute monarch
Highly centralized bureaucracy

First Contact with Advanced Peoples in Oceania


Trade and exchange networks before then worked with hunting and gathering societies

Seven Years War

1756 - 1763

Reflects intense commercial rivalries that developed from European Exploration
Conflicts in the Americas established British hegemony
French and Indian War = Fighting between French and British
By the end, Britain dominates global trade and ultimately establishes a global empire

French Revolution