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Timeline of Western Cultural History (Not to Scale)

Paleolithic Era (Old Stone 22,00024,000 BCE Prehistory Venus of Willendorf Mesopotam ia Age) Neolithic Era (New Stone Age) 15,000 BCE 3500 BCE 2700 BCE 2500 BCE Cave Paintings at Lascaux Animals domesticated and agriculture first developed , between 13,000 and 10,000 BCE Bronze Age 1772 BCE Iron Age 1000 BCE

2000 BCE

1600 BCE

1350 BCE

1280 BCE

First Cities Emerge; Cuneiform writing developed.

Gilgamesh rules in Uruk

2350-2150 BCE: Akkadian (semitic) culture Great Pyramids built in Gizeh.

1800-1550 BCE: Babylonian Empire. Hammurabis Code of Laws assembled

Assyrian (1550-612 BCE), then Neo-Babylonian Empires.


Pre and Early Dynastic Egypt. Heiroglyphs developed.

Middle Kingdom. Thebes is Capital in Egypt.Egypt begins traing with the rest of the Mediterranean.

New kingdom. Amarna revolution: Hatshepsut, Akhenaton, Nefertiti, Tutankhaman reign.


Age of Hebrew Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (1800-1600). Hebrews exiled in Egypt. Exodus of Hebrews from Egypt to Canaan in 1280. Flourishing of Minoan and Cycladic cultures. Minoan Palaces constructed on Crete, esp. at Knossos (the Labyrinth). Massive earthquake destroys much Cycladic and Minoan culture (1600 BCE). Mycenean Empire flourishes on the mainland. Mycenean war against Troy, ca 1250 BCE. Sea People (Philistines?) invade from the north disrupting Mediterranean culture, destroying Mycenean and early Greek Civilizations. Dark Age for the Greeks 1200-1000 BCE.

Reign of Kings David and Solomon in Israel. Civil war splits Israel. After Mycenea collapses, city states emerge: Athens, Sparta, Thebes.


Mesopotam ia

750 BCE Assyrians dominant.

600 BCE 626-539 BCE: Neo Babylonian empire dominant.

539 BCE Persia becomes dominant in the region.

480 BCE






332 323 Alexander the Great conquers Persia in 332.


Alexander the Great conquers Egypt in 332.


Northern Israeli kingdom destroyed by Assyrians, 721. Olympic Games founded 776. Homer writes, sometime between 1250 and 750.

Jews driven into captivity in Babylonia, 587. Solon enacts democratic reforms Greek constitution.

Cyrus of Persian allows Jews tor eturn to Jerusalem, 539. Persians under Xerxes, invade Greece: big battles of Thermopylae (300), Marathon. Athens sacked, but Victorious at Salamis. Socrates born in Athens around 469. Roman Republic established in 509. Pericles rises to prominence in Athens, initiates its Golden Age. Work on the Acropolis begins; the Parthenon completed by 438. Peloponnesian war begins (Athens against Sparta and allies). Athens defeated and sacked by Sparta and her allies. Aristotle (student of Plato, teacher of Alexander) born.

Alexander the Great conquers Jerusalem in 332.


Alexander reigns in Macedonia.

Death of Alexander (323).


Etruscans emerge as a dominant power on Italian peninsula. Legendary foundation of Rome in 753.