Timeline of Middle Eastern history

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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, UAE, 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.

Neolithic period[edit]

10th millennium BC[edit]

9th millennium BC[edit]

8th millennium BC[edit]

7th millennium BC[edit]

6th millennium BC[edit]

5th millennium BC[edit]

  • 4500 BC – civilization of Susa and Kish in Mesopotamia
  • 4570 to 4250 BC – Merimde culture on the Nile
  • 4400 to 4000 BC – Badari culture on the Nile
  • 4000 BC – first use of light wooden ploughs in Mesopotamia
  • 4000 BC – Egyptians discover how to make bread using yeast

Ancient Near East[edit]

4th millennium BC[edit]

Main articles: Sumer and Ur
Overview map of the Ancient Near East
  • 4000 to 3000 BC – domestication of the African wild ass in Egypt or Mesopotamia, producing the donkey
  • 4000 BC – city of Ur in Mesopotamia
  • 4000 to 3100 BC – Uruk period
  • 4000 to 3000 BC – Naqada culture on the Nile
  • 3760 BC – date of creation according to some interpretations of Jewish chronology
  • 3600 BC – first civilization in the world: Sumer (city-states) in modern-day southern Iraq[4]
  • 3500 to 3000 BC – one of the first appearances of wheeled vehicles in Mesopotamia
  • 3500 BC – beginning of desertification of Sahara: the shift from a habitable region to a barren desert
  • 3500 BC – first cities in Egypt
  • 3300 BC – earliest hieroglyphs
  • 3200 BC – Iry-Hor reigns as pharaoh of Upper Egypt, the earliest historical person known by name
  • 3100 BC – King Narmer unifies the Upper and Lower Egyptian Kingdoms, and gives birth to the world's first nation
  • 3100 to 2686 BC – early Dynastic Period (Egypt)
  • 3000 BC – first examples of Sumerian writing in Mesopotamia, in the cities of Uruk and Susa (cuneiform writings)

3rd millennium BC[edit]

2nd millennium BC[edit]

  • 1900 BC – Hittites Old Kingdom in Anatolia
  • 1800 BC – civilization in Canaan
  • 1800 to 1200 BC – emergence of the city of Ugarit when it ruled a coastal kingdom, trading with Egypt, Cyprus, the Aegean, Syria, the Hittites and others
  • 1792 to 1750 BC – reign of Hammurabi of the First Babylonian Dynasty, extended control throughout Mesopotamia, known for the Code of Hammurabi, one of the earliest codes of law
  • 1763 to 1595 BC – Paleo-Babylonian Empire
  • 1600 to 1360 BC – Egyptian domination over Canaan and Syria
  • 1594 BC – Cassites take Babylon
  • 1595 to 1155 BC – Cassite Dynasty
  • 1550 to 1077 BC – New Kingdom of Egypt
  • 1500 to 1300 BC – Kingdom Mitanni, a Hurrian-speaking state in northern Syria and southeast Anatolia
  • 1500 to 539 BC – Phoenicia and the spread of their alphabet from which almost all modern phonetic alphabets derived
  • 1457 BC – Battle of Megiddo
  • 1380 to 1336 BC – Shuppiluliuma, king of the Hittites who challenged Egypt for control of the lands between the Mediterranean and the Euphrates
  • 1370 to 1200 BC – Hittite Empire
  • 1350 to 1050 BC – Middle Assyrian Empire
The Oriental Empires about 600 BCE

1st millennium BC[edit]

1st millennium AD[edit]

Rise of Islam[edit]

1st millennium AD[edit]

Ottoman Empire, 1481–1683
In blue, the Arabic Empire in its greatest extent and in yellow the four Christian empires.

2nd millennium AD[edit]

Contemporary Middle East[edit]

2nd millennium AD[edit]

3rd millennium AD[edit]

  • 2000 - Israeli troops leave Lebanon
  • 2001 - Members of al-Qaeda attacked sites in the U.S.
  • 2003 - The 2003 Iraq War
  • 2004 to 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 - 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
  • 2014 - ISIS rises in Iraq and Syria;rival groups try to overthrow Syrian president

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://archaeology.about.com/od/eterms/qt/Emmer-Wheat.htm
  2. ^ McTavish, E.J., Decker, J.E., Schnabel, R.D., Taylor, J.F. and Hillis, D.M.year=2013. "New World cattle show ancestry from multiple independent domestication events.". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 110: E1398–406. doi:10.1073/pnas.1303367110. PMC 3625352free to read. PMID 23530234. 
  3. ^ Carter, Robert (2012). "19". In Potts, D.T. A companion to the archaeology of the ancient Near East. Ch 19 Watercraft. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 347–354. ISBN 978-1-4051-8988-0. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  4. ^ King, Leonid W. (2015) "A History of Sumer and Akkad" (ISBN 1522847308)
  5. ^ Mukasa-Mugerwa, E. (1981). The Camel (Camelus Dromedarius): A Bibliographical Review. International Livestock Centre for Africa Monograph. 5. Ethiopia: International Livestock Centre for Africa. pp. 1, 3, 20–21, 65, 67–68. 
  6. ^ Scarre, Chris (15 September 1993). Smithsonian Timelines of the Ancient World. London: D. Kindersley. p. 176. ISBN 978-1-56458-305-5. Both the dromedary (the seven-humped camel of Arabia) and the Bactrian camel (the two-humped camel of Central Asia) had been domesticated since before 2000 BC. 
  7. ^ Bulliet, Richard (20 May 1990) [1975]. The Camel and the Wheel. Morningside Book Series. Columbia University Press. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-231-07235-9. As has already been mentioned, this type of utilization [camels pulling wagons] goes back to the earliest known period of two-humped camel domestication in the third millennium B.C. —Note that Bulliet has many more references to early use of camels
  8. ^ near the modern village of Al-Houz in Syria's Al-Qusayr District. see Kitchen, K. A., "Ramesside Inscriptions", volume 2, Blackwell Publishing Limited, 1996, pp. 16–17.
  9. ^ Eggenberger, David (1985). An Encyclopedia of Battles. Dover Publications. p. 214.