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, Palestine, Cyprus and Northern Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Gaza Strip, UAE, and Yemen. The Middle East with its particular characteristics was not to emerge until the late second millennium CE. 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

9th millennium BCE

8th millennium BCE

7th millennium BCE

6th millennium BCE

5th millennium BCE

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

Ancient Near East

4th millennium BCE

  • 4000 to 3000 BCE – domestication of the African wild ass in Egypt or Mesopotamia, producing the donkey
  • 4000 BCE – city of Ur in Mesopotamia
  • 4000 to 3100 BCE – Uruk period
  • 4000 to 3000 BCE – Naqada culture on the Nile
  • 3760 BCE – date of creation according to some interpretations of Jewish chronology
  • 3600 BCE – first civilization in the world: Sumer (city-states) in modern-day southern Iraq[4]
  • 3500 to 3000 BCE – one of the first appearances of wheeled vehicles in Mesopotamia
  • 3500 BCE – beginning of desertification of the Sahara: the shift from a habitable region to a barren desert
  • 3500 BCE – first cities in Egypt
  • 3300 BCE – earliest hieroglyphs
  • 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
  • 3100 to 2686 BCE – early Dynastic Period (Egypt)
  • 3000 BCE – first examples of Sumerian writing in Mesopotamia, in the cities of Uruk and Susa (cuneiform writings)

3rd millennium BCE

2nd millennium BCE

  • 1900 BCE – Hittites Old Kingdom in Anatolia
  • 1800 BCE – civilization in Canaan
  • 1800 to 1200 BCE – 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 BCE – 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 BCE – Paleo-Babylonian Empire
  • 1600 to 1360 BCE – Egyptian domination over Canaan and Syria
  • 1594 BCE – Cassites take Babylon
  • 1595 to 1155 BCE – Cassite Dynasty
  • 1550 to 1077 BCE – New Kingdom of Egypt
  • 1500 to 1300 BCE – Kingdom Mitanni, a Hurrian-speaking state in northern Syria and southeast Anatolia
  • 1500 to 539 BCE – Phoenicia and the spread of their alphabet from which almost all modern phonetic alphabets derived
  • 1457 BCE – Battle of Megiddo
  • 1380 to 1336 BCE – Shuppiluliuma, king of the Hittites who challenged Egypt for control of the lands between the Mediterranean and the Euphrates
  • 1370 to 1200 BCE – Hittite Empire
  • 1350 to 1050 BCE – Middle Assyrian Empire

1st millennium BCE

1st millennium CE

Rise of Islam

1st millennium CE

2nd millennium CE

Contemporary Middle East

2nd millennium CE

3rd millennium CE

  • 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


  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 3625352. 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.
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