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Timeline: 4000 to 2001 BCE

4000  The wooden plow is being used in central Europe. Agriculture has spread to what today is Britain and Ireland.

4000  Some agricultural hubs have come into being in southern Scandinavia. A Danish science magazine, Videnskab, in the year 2013 will write: " The people in these hubs had a different approach to the flint axe than the contemporary hunter-gatherers did. This indicates that the first Scandinavian farmers moved from the south and that it wasn't local hunter-gatherers that got the grand idea to begin farming."

4000  It is hypothesized that in the Eurasian steppes, horses have begun to be domesticated.

4000-3000  In Europe farmers' genetic signature has become melded with that of the indigenous Europeans.

3600  In southwest Asia, copper is being mixed with tin to produce a metal harder than copper: bronze. Around this time the Sumerians create a system of writing that is for enumurating – counting.

3500  Sumerians have migrated to Mesopotamia and have taken over villages and the agriculture of others. Food surpluses are allowing a diversity of occupations to develop: soldier, farmer, craftsperson, merchant. Individual possession of land has been replacing communal possession.

3500  What is today known as the Sahara Desert begins forming in North Africa. People flee from drought to the Nile River, where they trap water for irrigation and begin an intense agriculture in what is otherwise desert.

3500  Settlements exist in what today is northern Israel.

3500  In what today is Kazakhstan, people are riding, milking and eating horses.

3300 A man dies crossing the mountain range known today as the Alps. In 1991 CE his body will be found and he will be given the nickname "Ötzi" (ice man). A Computed Tomography (CT) scan of his body will find an arrowhead embedded in his back that was unhealed, indicating it may have been a factor in his death.

3100  In the Fertile Crescent (an area which encompasses what is now Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq), objects made of conch shells are imported from what is today Pakistan. Transport costs leave the items of trade exclusive to those elites who possess the wealth to pay for them.

3000  In what today is western Finland, people were chewing a gummy, sugarless birch bark tar for use as an adhesive, but which also had antiseptic properties. It helped fight gum infections and chewing after meals helped fight tooth decay.

3000  Among the Sumerians, democratic assemblies are giving way to the authority of kings. Priesthood is becoming distinct from working alongside others in the fields. Field labor is described as deserved subservience to the gods. Hardship is seen as a product of sin. People and animals are still sacrificed to gods. Floods are common and a story of a great flood exists. Trade and wealth are pursued. Competition for power between the kings of city-states produces wars of conquest. The warrior tradition continues with men dominating women. With commerce, cuneiform writing develops.

3000  The Persian Gulf is a major artery of commerce. The ways of Mesopotamians are spreading to Egypt and Greece.

3000  Writing has developed in Egypt believed by some scholars in modern times to have been derived from the Sumerians. Words and ideas but not sound are represented by the most simple of pictures – pictographs.

3000  Egypt is united through warfare. There, human and animal sacrifices continue. Egyptians have many gods but Egypt has little rain and no myth of a flood. The rule of Egyptian kings is claimed to be associated with the gods. Kings are believed descended from the gods and more deserving than common people.

2700  The Sumerians have expanded their writing, marks on clay tablets that represent syllables of their spoken langage: phonological writing.

2700  It is estimated that around this time Minoan civilization, on the island of Crete, begins – built by seagoing tradesmen. Rule is to be by the wealthy with a well-organized bureaucracy. Workmen will produce fine vases, sheet metal, tweezers, stonework and other artifacts.

2700  In the Americas, corn, beans, chilies and squash are among cultivated plants.

2600  Agricultural people give rise to the city-settlement of Mohenjo-daro in the Indus Valley in what today is India.

2600  In the Middle East, oxen are pulling wooden plows, cutting deeper into soil.

2500  In the Fertile Crescent, the new imports are ceramic jars, copper tools and jewelry. Transportation costs make these items of trade too expensive for all but wealthy elites. Common people are still using stone tools.

2500-2000  Farmers appear in what today are the Philippines and eventually in what today is Indonesia. They are said to have had the Dapenkeng culture style of pottery.

2500  Around now, Bronze Age pastoralists from Southern Russia move into Europe's heartland. A DNA study will produce a conclusion that the pastoralists will contribute to 50 percent of some modern north Europeans. Southern Europeans will appear to have been less affected by the expansion, this according to BBC News, March 2, 2015, which adds: "Most indigenous European tongues, from English to Russian and Spanish to Greek, belong to the Indo-European group. The classification is based on shared features of vocabulary and grammar."

2300  Indo-Europeans move into southern Greece conquering the current population and making themselves into an aristocracy over those who had migrated there many centuries before. These latest migrants are to be known as the Mycenae Greeks, who have gods similar to other Indo-Europeans, including a father god.

2300  In what today is England, the stone monument Stonehenge is built. (Carbon dating performed in the year of 2008.)

2250  The Mycenae Greeks are in contact with sea-going tradesmen, the Minoans of Crete – a commercial society ruled by the wealthy.

2200  Troy, a coastal town in Asia Minor, known as Troy II among archaeologists (a second level settlement with numerous others to be built on top in coming centuries) is destroyed by fire.

2200  A Semite to be known as Sargon the Great takes power in the Sumerian city of Kish. He conquers in the name of the Sumerian god Enlil and builds an empire across Mesopotamia and Syria.

2200  The settlements in what today is northern Israel have been abandoned.

2150  The empire of Sargon's grandson, Naramsim, is overrun by migrating Gutiens. Naramsin's subjects blame their misfortune on their having angered their gods.

2130  Reduced waters in the Nile are accompanied by political upheaval. Instability within the royal families of Egypt have ended previous dynasties, and now an eighth dynasty of kings loses power. Two hundred years of political chaos has begun. Common folks attack the rich and local lords assume power independent of any king.

timeline 12,000-4001 | timeline 2000 to 1001

Copyright © 2003-2015 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.