Mesopotamia Timeline

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  • c. 11700 BCE
    End of the most recent glacial episode within the current Quaternary Ice Age.
  • 10000 BCE
    Beginnings of agriculture in the Middle East.
  • 9000 BCE
    Cultivation of wild cereals in the Fertile Crescent.
  • 8000 BCE
    Ovens in use in the Near East are applied to pottery production.
  • c. 6000 BCE
    Nineveh is first settled.
  • c. 5400 BCE
    The City of Eridu is founded.
  • 5000 BCE
    Irrigation and agriculture begin in earnest in Mesopotamia.
  • c. 5000 BCE
    Godin Tepe settled.
  • 5000 BCE - 1750 BCE
    Sumerian civilization in the Tigris-Euphrates valley.
  • c. 5000 BCE
    Sumer inhabited by Ubaid people.
  • c. 5000 BCE - 4100 BCE
    The Ubaid Period in Sumer.
  • c. 4500 BCE
    The Sumerians built their first temple.
  • c. 4500 BCE
    The City of Uruk founded.
  • 4100 BCE - 2900 BCE
    Uruk Period in Mesopotamia. First cities.
  • 4100 BCE - 2900 BCE
    Uruk Period in Sumer.
  • c. 4000 BCE
    First settlement of Ur.
  • c. 3600 BCE
    Invention of writing in Sumer at Uruk.
  • 3400 BCE
    Priests become the rulers of Mesopotamian cities.
  • c. 3000 BCE - c. 2900 BCE
    Mari, the earliest known planned city, is built near the eastern bank of the Euphrates.
  • 2900 BCE - 2334 BCE
    The Early Dynastic Period in Sumer.
  • 2500 BCE
    First Dynasty of Lagash under King Eannutum is first empire in Mesopotamia.
  • c. 2400 BCE
    Earliest Sumerian sources to mention migrating Amorites in Mesopotamia.
  • 2350 BCE
    First code of laws by Urukagina, king of Lagash.
  • 2334 BCE - 2279 BCE
    Sargon of Akkad (the Great) reigns over Mesopotamia and thus creates the world's first empire.
  • 2334 BCE - 2218 BCE
    The Akkadian Empire rules Sumer.
  • c. 2330 BCE
    Sargon of Akkad sacks Ur.
  • 2218 BCE - 2047 BCE
    The Gutian Period in Sumer.
  • c. 2150 BCE - c. 1400 BCE
    The Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh written on clay tablets.
  • 2100 BCE
    First ziggurats in Ur, Eridu, Uruk, and Nippur.
  • c. 2100 BCE - c. 2050 BCE
    The Code of Ur-Nammu (the oldest extant code of laws) is written.
  • 2100 BCE
    The Reign of Utu-Hegal at Uruk in Sumer and creation of Sumerian King List.
  • c. 2083 BCE - c. 2050 BCE
    The Dark Age of Mesopotamia.
  • c. 2055 BCE - 2047 BCE
    Utu Hegel's reign over Sumerian and Akkadian cities.
  • 2047 BCE - 1750 BCE
    Third dynasty of Ur.
  • 2047 BCE - 2030 BCE
    Ur-Nammu's reign over Sumer.
  • 2047 BCE - 1750 BCE
    The Ur III Period in Sumer, known as the Sumerian Renaissance.
  • c. 2038 BCE
    King Shulgi of Ur builds his great wall in Sumer.
  • 2000 BCE
    Domesticated horses introduced in Mesopotamia.
  • c. 2000 BCE - 1600 BCE
    Amorite period in Mesopotamia.
  • 1900 BCE
    Ashur, capial of Assyria, is founded.
  • c. 1900 BCE - c. 1400 BCE
    Trade flourishes between Mesopotamia and other regions.
  • 1894 BCE
    Amorite dynasty established in Babylon.
  • 1795 BCE - 1750 BCE
    Reign of Hammurabi, king of Babylon.
  • c. 1792 BCE
    King Hammurabi builds walls of Babylon.
  • 1787 BCE
    Hammurabi of Babylon conquers Uruk and Isin.
  • c. 1772 BCE
    The Code of Hammurabi: One of the earliest codes of law in the world.
  • c. 1760 BCE - c. 1757 BCE
    Hammurabi of Babylon destroys the city of Mari. The people of Mari are spared according to Hammurabi.
  • 1755 BCE
    Hammurabi rules the whole of Mesopotamia from Babylon.
  • c. 1750 BCE
    Elam conquers Ur.
  • 1750 BCE
    Elamite invasion and Amorite migration ends the Sumerian civilization.
  • 1680 BCE
    Hurrians occupy Assyria.
  • 1595 BCE
    King Mursilis of the Hittites sacks Babylon. Begin of Babylonian "dark ages."
  • 1595 BCE
    Hittites under Mursilli I sack Babylon, ending Amorite rule.
  • 1550 BCE
    The Hurrian kingdom of Mitanni is founded.
  • 1500 BCE
    Egyptian empire extends to the Euphrates.
  • c. 1500 BCE
    Rise of the kingdom of Mitanni.
  • 1472 BCE
    Mittani annexes Assyria.
  • 1400 BCE
    Assyria regains its independence.
  • 1350 BCE - 1250 BCE
    The Hittite Empire is at its peak.
  • c. 1350 BCE
    Peak of Mitanni power, it is considered a great nation.
  • c. 1344 BCE - 1322 BCE
    King Suppiluliumas I of the Hittites sacks the Mitanni capital Washukanni and installs Artatama II as vassal king.
  • c. 1321 BCE
    Western Mittani is conquered by the Hittites.
  • 1285 BCE
    Peak of Hittite power.
  • 1244 BCE - 1208 BCE
    Reign of Tukulti-Ninurta I, King of Assyria.
  • 1220 BCE
    Babylon is under Assyrian control.
  • 1080 BCE
    Aramaeans invade Mesopotamia.
  • 1000 BCE
    Chaldeans occupy Ur.
  • 853 BCE
    Babylonian kings depend on Assyrian military support.
  • 734 BCE
    Babylon is captured by Chaldeans.
  • 729 BCE
    Babylon is occupied by Assyrians.
  • 722 BCE - 705 BCE
    Peak of the Assyrian empire under the reign of Sargon II.
  • 612 BCE
    Downfall of the Assyrian empire.
  • 605 BCE - 562 BCE
    Nebuchadnezzar II is king of Babylon.
  • 539 BCE
    Fall of Babylon, conquered by Cyrus of Persia. Return of the Jews.
  • 500 BCE - 330 BCE
    The Achaemenid Empire rules in Mesopotamia, Persian Royal Road in use.
  • 485 BCE
    Babylon is destroyed by Xerxes, King of Persia.
  • 323 BCE - 31 BCE
    The Hellenistic Age. Greek thought and culture infuses with indigenous people.
  • 312 BCE
    Seleucos conquers Babylon and founds the Seleucid dynasty.
  • c. 312 BCE - 63 BCE
    Duration of the Seleucid Empire.
  • 129 BCE
    Parthians conquer Mesopotamia. The Silk Road to China is now controlled by the Parthians.
  • 58 BCE - 57 BCE
    Ctesiphon becomes Parthian capital during the reign of Orodes II.
  • 115 CE - 117 CE
    Rome occupies Mesopotamia.
  • 224 CE
    Sasanians overthrow the Parthians.
  • 234 CE
    Emperor Maximinus Thrax is governor of Mesopotamia.
  • 651 CE
    Muslim Conquest of Mesopotamia.