Timeline of Middle Eastern history
This timeline tries to compile dates of important historical events that happened in or that led to the rise of the Middle East. The Middle East is the territory that comprises today's Egypt, the Persian Gulf states, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Cyprus and Northern Cyprus, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, the State of Palestine, Gaza Strip, and Yemen. The Middle East with its particular characteristics was not to emerge until late second millennium AD. To refer to a concept similar that of today's Middle East but earlier in time, the term Ancient Near East is used.
This list is intended as a timeline of the history of the Middle East. For more detailed information, see articles on the histories of individual countries. See Ancient Near East for ancient history of the Middle East.
- 1 Neolithic period
- 2 Ancient Near East
- 3 Classical Antiquity
- 4 See also
- Emmer wheat is domesticated and cultivated in southeast Turkey
- Goats are domesticated in Iran from the bezoar ibex
- Circa 8000 BCE – Settlements at Nevali Cori in present-day Turkey are established
- Circa 7500 BCE – Çatalhöyük, a very large Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlement in southern Anatolia, is founded
- Settlements at Sagalassos in present-day southwest Turkey are established.
- Domestication of sheep in Southwest Asia
- Circa 7000 BCE – Jarmo
7th millennium BCE
- Einkorn wheat is domesticated and cultivated in southeast Turkey
- Durum wheat is domesticated
- First pottery in Mesopotamia
- Domestication of the cow in the Middle East
6th millennium BCE
- 5509, September 1 BCE : "day of creation of the world" according to the Byzantine Empire and the beginning of their calendar.
- 5403 BCE : "Date of the Descending of Adam & Eve to earth" (according to the extended Genesis Genealogy).
- c. 5400 BCE : Irrigation in Mesopotamia.
- c. 5600 BCE : According to the Black Sea deluge theory, the Black Sea floods with salt water. Some 3000 cubic miles (12,500 km³) of salt water is added, significantly expanding it and transforming it from a fresh-water landlocked lake into a salt-water sea.
- Agriculture appears in the valley of the Nile
- Wheel and plough both invented in ancient Mesopotamia
- c. 5100 BCE : Temples founded in South Mesopotamia
5th millennium BCE
- c. 4500 BCE – Civilization of Susa and Kish in Mesopotamia
- c. 4570 BC–4250 BC – Merimde culture on the Nile
- c. 4400 BCE–4000 BCE – Badari culture on the Nile
- c. 3000 BCE - first examples of Sumerian writing in Mesopotamia
Ancient Near East
4th millennium BCE
- The African wild ass is domesticated in Egypt or Mesopotamia, producing the donkey
- 4000 BCE : City of Ur in Mesopotamia
- 4000–3000 BCE : Naqada culture on the Nile
- 3761, October 7 BCE : Epoch of the modern Hebrew Calendar
- 3760, March 29 or September 25 BCE : Some interpretations of Jewish chronology date creation.
- 3600 BCE : Civilization of Sumer, city-states
- First to Fourth dynasty of Kish in Mesopotamia
- 3500 BCE : beginning of desertification of Sahara: the shift by the Sahara Desert from a habitable region to a barren desert.
- 3500 BCE : First cities in Egypt
- Beginnings of urbanisation in Mesopotamia with the Sumerians.
- First writings in the cities of Uruk and Susa (cuneiform writings). Hieroglyphs in Egypt
- Potter's wheel used in Middle East
- Sails used in the Nile
- Archaic Period of Ancient Egypt
- 3200 BCE : Iry-Hor reigns as pharaoh of Upper Egypt, the earliest historical person known by name
- 3100 BCE : King Narmer unifies the Upper and Lower Egyptian Kingdoms, and gives birth to the world's first nation: Egypt. The Narmer Palette is believed to be the historical record of this event.
3rd millennium BCE
- Camels domesticated in Somalia and southern Arabia
- First ziggurats built in Sumer
- Near East civilizations enter Bronze Age around 3000 BCE
- Completion of the Great Pyramid of Giza
- 2500 BCE : Ur-Nina first king of Lagash
- Invention of Wheel somewhere in Mesopotamia
- Akkadian Empire
2nd millennium BCE
- Spoke-wheel chariots are used in battle for the first time
- Middle Kingdom of Egypt
- New Kingdom of Egypt
- Canaan: Ugarit, Kadesh, Megiddo, Kingdom of Israel
- Arzawa, Troy VI-VII
- The Cushites drive the original inhabitants from Ethiopia, and establish trade relations with Egypt.
- Conquest of Canaan by the Israelites begins (1513 BCE)
- Middle Kingdom in Egypt (2052–1570 BCE)
- Hittites Old Kingdom in Anatolia (1900 BCE)
- Civilization in Canaan (1800 BCE)
- Egyptian domination over Canaan and Syria (1600–1360 BCE)
- Bronze Age collapse (1200–1050 BCE)
- late 2nd millennium BCE - begin of the Iron Age discovery of iron smelting and smithing
Early Iron Age
- Third Intermediate Period of Egypt
- 1041 BCE: King David captures Jerusalem and designates it the capital of the united Kingdom of Israel.
- 1004 BCE: King Solomon lays the foundation for the First Temple.
- 927 BCE: Jerusalem becomes the capital of the (southern) Kingdom of Judah after the split of the United Monarchy.
- Neo-Hittite kingdoms (10th–7th centuries BCE)
- Neo-Assyrian Empire (10th–7th centuries BCE)
- Twenty-sixth dynasty of Egypt (672–525 BCE)
- Median Empire (7th–6th centuries BCE)
Inventions, Discoveries, Introductions
- Iron use becomes widespread
- The Phoenicians propagate the Phoenician alphabet in the Mediterranean
- Many major religious and philosophical viewpoints are created, further explored or codified
- 606–586 BCE: The Babylonians destroy Jerusalem. King Nebuchadnezzar burns the Solomon's Temple.
- Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon and created the Persian Empire (6th century BCE)
- 537 BCE: Cyrus allows the Israelites to return from the Babylonian captivity and rebuild the Temple.
- 515 BCE: The Second Temple is built.
- Sparta and Athens fought the Peloponnesian War
- Alexander the Great conquered Persia (330s BCE)
- Hellenic Greek culture spread through the Mediterranean
- The Roman Republic rose and fell
- Beginning of Christianity (1st century CE) and Islam (7th century CE)
- Jewish-Roman Wars and Jewish diaspora. In 135, Roman Emperor Hadrian renamed Iudaea Province into Syria Palaestina.
- The Olympic Games observed until 393
- The Library of Alexandria, largest library in the world, burned
- Rise and fall of the Roman Empire
Rise of Islam
- Arab Empire founded during the Muslim conquests of the Persian Empire, Roman Syria, Roman Egypt, Roman North Africa, Visigothic Hispania, southern Italy, Khazar Khaganate, Afghanistan, and parts of the northwestern Indian subcontinent and northwestern China
- c. 970 - Al-Azhar University, the oldest Islamic institution for higher studies, with its corresponding Al-Azhar Mosque are founded.
Crusaders and Ayubuds
(The dominance of the Arabs came to a sudden end in the mid-11th century with the arrival of the Seljuk Turks)
- c. 1347, a fleet of Genoese trading ships fleeing Caffa (Theodosia) reached the port of Messina and spreads the Black Death
The Ottoman era
(main article: History of the Ottoman Empire)
- 1798 - Napoleon Bonaparte leads a campaign in Egypt and Syria.
- 1869 - Construction of the Suez Canal is completed.
- 1882 - British troops occupy Cairo - Egypt becomes British protectorate.
Contemporary Middle East
- 1917 - Lord Balfour, Foreign Minister of Great Britain, in letter to Lord Rothschild, gives British government approval to Zionist's goal of building a "national home" in Israel
- 1918 - Britain and France occupy former Ottoman Empire lands
- 1919–21 - Franco-Syrian War
- 1919–23 - Asia Minor Catastophe, a widescale conflict reshapes Anatolia as continuous fighting incorporates the newly founded Republic of Turkey, Armenia, France, Greece and numerous revolts
- 1922 - Egypt is granted nominal independence from the United Kingdom.
- 1922–23 - French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon and British Mandate for Israel come into power, Emirate of Transjordan is an autonomous region under the Mandate for Israel
- 1925 - Sheikh Said rebellion of Kurds against Turkey
- 1927–30 Ararat rebellion of Kurds, as Republic of Ararat is declared, but dissolved upon defeat
- 1932 - Kingdom of Saudi Arabia declared in unification of Najd and Hejaz
- 1933–36 Tribal revolts in Iraq of Assyrians in Simele, Shia in the south and Kurds in the north
- 1934 - Saudi-Yemeni War
- 1935 - Persia becomes Iran
- 1937 - Dersim rebellion, is the largest uprising of the Kurds against Turkey, massive casualties
- 1939–1945 - Mediterranean and Middle East Theatre
- 1946 - Emirate of Transjordan becomes Kingdom of Jordan (named Transjordan until 1948)
- 1946 - Kurdish Republic of Mahabad declared along with Azerbaijan People's Government, but defeated by Iranian military forces and dissolved
- 1947 - UN General Assembly proposes to divide Israel into an Arab and Jewish state
- 1948 - Israel declares independence and Arab-Israeli war erupts
- petroleum becomes important political factor
- 1952 - After a revolution in Egypt the monarchy is overthrown
- 1953 - The coup d'état in Iran
- 1954 - Gamal Abdel Nasser becomes president of Egypt
- 1954 - Central Treaty Organization
- 1956 - Suez Crisis
- 1961 - First Kurdish-Iraqi War erupts in north Iraq.
- 1963 - Ba'th Party comes to power in Iraq under the leadership of General Ahmad Hasan al-Bakr and Colonel Abdul Salam Arif
- 1964 - Abdul Rahman Arif stages military coup in Iraq against the Ba'th Party and brings his brother, Abdul Salam Arif, to power
- 1967 - Six-Day War, Israel occupies the Sinai Peninsula, Golan Heights, West Bank and Gaza Strip
- 1967 - Kurds revolt in Western Iran, the revolt is crushed
- 1968 - Ba'athists stage second military coup under General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, Saddam Hussein is made vice president of Iraq
- 1970 - Gamal Abdel Nasser dies, Anwar Sadat becomes president of Egypt
- 1971 - The Aswan High Dam is completed with Soviet help in finance and construction; independence of Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE
- 1973 - Yom Kippur War
- 1974 - The PLO is allowed to represent the people of Israel in the UN
- 1974–1975 - Second Kurdish-Iraqi War
- 1975–90 - Lebanese Civil War
- 1976 - Syria invades Lebanon
- 1978 - Camp David Accords
- 1979 - Saddam Hussein becomes president of Iraq; Iranian Revolution; Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty
- 1980–1989 - Iran–Iraq War results in 1–1.25 million casualties, Iraq uses chemical weapons against Iran and rebel Kurds; large scale economical devastation and surge in oil prices affect the global world economy
- 1981 - Murder of Anwar Sadat
- 1982 - Israel invades Lebanon
- 1987–1990 - First Intifada
- 1991 - The Gulf War
- 1993 - Oslo Accords
- 1994 - 1994 civil war in Yemen
- 2000 - Israeli troops leave Lebanon
- 2003 - The 2003 Iraq War
- 2004–present - Shia insurgency in Yemen
- 2005 - Syrian troops leave Lebanon as a result of the Cedar Revolution
- 2006 - The 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict; Saddam Hussein executed for "crimes against humanity"
- 2010–present - Arab Spring, which culminates in the Syrian Civil War with involvement of many regional powers to either support the Syrian opposition or the ruling Ba'ath party