Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the 88th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica. Crete and a number of surrounding islands and islets constitute the region of Crete, one of the 13 top-level administrative units of Greece; the capital and the largest city is Heraklion. As of 2011, the region had a population of 623,065. Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece, while retaining its own local cultural traits, it was once the centre of the Minoan civilisation, the earliest known civilisation in Europe. The palace of Knossos lies in Crete; the island is first referred to as Kaptara in texts from the Syrian city of Mari dating from the 18th century BC, repeated in Neo-Assyrian records and the Bible. It was known in ancient Egyptian as Keftiu suggesting a similar Minoan name for the island; the current name of Crete is thought to be first attested in Mycenaean Greek texts written in Linear B, through the words ke-re-te, ke-re-si-jo, "Cretan".
In Ancient Greek, the name Crete first appears in Homer's Odyssey. Its etymology is unknown. One proposal derives it from a hypothetical Luwian word, *kursatta. In Latin, it became Creta; the original Arabic name of Crete was Iqrīṭiš, but after the Emirate of Crete's establishment of its new capital at ربض الخندق Rabḍ al-Ḫandaq, both the city and the island became known as Χάνδαξ or Χάνδακας, which gave Latin and Venetian Candia, from which were derived French Candie and English Candy or Candia. Under Ottoman rule, in Ottoman Turkish, Crete was called Girit. Crete is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, it is located in the southern part of the Aegean Sea separating the Aegean from the Libyan Sea. The island has an elongated shape: it spans 260 km from east to west, is 60 km at its widest point, narrows to as little as 12 km. Crete covers an area of 8,336 km2, with a coastline of 1,046 km, it lies 160 km south of the Greek mainland. Crete is mountainous, its character is defined by a high mountain range crossing from west to east, formed by three different groups of mountains: The White Mountains or Lefka Ori 2,454 m The Idi Range (Psiloritis 35.18°N 24.82°E / 35.18.
The island has a number of gorges, such as the Samariá Gorge, Imbros Gorge, Kourtaliotiko Gorge, Ha Gorge, Platania Gorge, the Gorge of the Dead and Richtis Gorge and waterfall at Exo Mouliana in Sitia. The rivers of Crete include the Ieropotamos River, the Koiliaris, the Anapodiaris, the Almiros, the Giofyros, Megas Potamos. There are only two freshwater lakes in Crete: Lake Kournas and Lake Agia, which are both in Chania regional unit. Lake Voulismeni at the coast, at Aghios Nikolaos, was a freshwater lake but is now connected to the sea, in Lasithi. Lakes that were created by dams exist in Crete. There are three: the lake of Aposelemis Dam, the lake of Potamos Dam, the lake of Mpramiana Dam. A large number of islands and rocks hug the coast of Crete. Many are visited by tourists, some are only visited by biologists; some are environmentally protected. A small sample of the islands includes: Gramvousa the pirate island opposite the Balo lagoon Elafonisi, which commemorates a shipwreck and an Ottoman massacre Chrysi island, which hosts the largest natural Lebanon cedar forest in Europe Paximadia island where the god Apollo and the goddess Artemis were born The Venetian fort and leper colony at Spinalonga opposite the beach and shallow waters of Elounda Dionysades islands which are in an environmentally protected region together the Palm Beach Forest of Vai in the municipality of Sitia, LasithiOff the south coast, the island of Gavdos is located 26 nautical miles south of Hora Sfakion and is the southernmost point of Europe.
Crete straddles two climatic zones, the Mediterranean and the North African falling within the former. As such, the climate in Crete is Mediterranean; the atmosphere can be quite humid, depending on the proximity to the sea, while winter is mild. Snowfall is rare in the low-lying areas. While some mountain tops are snow-capped for most of the year, near the coast snow only stays on the ground for a few minutes or hours. However, a exceptional cold snap swept the island in February 2004, during which period the whole island was blanketed with snow. During the Cretan summer, average temperatures reach the high 20s-low 30s Celsius, with maxima touching the upper 30s-mid 40s; the south coast, including the Mesara Pla
Knossos is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete and has been called Europe's oldest city. Settled as early as the Neolithic period, the name Knossos survives from ancient Greek references to the major city of Crete; the palace of Knossos became the ceremonial and political centre of the Minoan civilization and culture. The palace was abandoned at some unknown time at the end of the Late Bronze Age, c. 1380–1100 BC. The reason why is unknown, but one of the many disasters that befell the palace is put forward. In the first palace period around 2000 BC the urban area reached a size of up to 18,000 people. In its peak the palace and surrounding city boasted a population of 100,000 people shortly after 1700 BC; the name Knossos was Latinized as Cnossus or Cnossos, Knossus, Gnossus, or Gnossos but is now always written Knossos. The site of Knossos has had a long history of human habitation, beginning with the founding of the first Neolithic settlement c. 7000 BC. Neolithic remains are prolific in Crete.
They are found in caves, rock shelters and settlements. Knossos has a thick Neolithic layer indicating the site was a sequence of settlements before the Palace Period; the earliest was placed on bedrock. Arthur Evans, who unearthed the palace of Knossos in modern times, estimated that about 8000 BC a Neolithic people arrived at the hill from overseas by boat, placed the first of a succession of wattle and daub villages. Large numbers of clay and stone incised whorls attest to local cloth-making. There are fine ground axe and mace heads of colored stone: greenstone, serpentine and jadeite, as well as obsidian knives and arrowheads along with the cores from which they were flaked. Most significant among the other small items were a large number of animal and human figurines, including nude sitting or standing females with exaggerated breasts and buttocks. Evans attributed them to the worship of the Neolithic mother goddess and figurines in general to religion. John Davies Evans undertook further excavations in pits and trenches over the palace, focusing on the Neolithic.
In the Aceramic Neolithic, 7000–6000 BC, a hamlet of 25–50 persons existed at the location of the Central Court. They lived in wattle and daub huts, kept animals, grew crops, and, in the event of tragedy, buried their children under the floor. In such circumstances as they are still seen today, a hamlet consisted of several families interrelated, practicing some form of exogamy, living in close quarters, with little or no privacy and a high degree of intimacy, spending most of their time in the outdoors, sheltering only for the night or in inclement weather, to a large degree nomadic or semi-nomadic. In the Early Neolithic, 6000–5000 BC, a village of 200–600 persons occupied most of the area of the palace and the slopes to the north and west, they lived in one- or two-room square houses of mud-brick walls set on socles of stone, either field stone or recycled stone artifacts. The inner walls were lined with mud-plaster; the roofs were flat. The residents dug hearths at various locations in the center of the main room.
This village had an unusual feature: one house under the West Court contained eight rooms and covered 50 m2. The walls were at right angles; the door was centered. Large stones were used for support under points of greater stress; the fact that distinct sleeping cubicles for individuals was not the custom suggests storage units of some sort. The settlement of the Middle Neolithic, 5000–4000 BC, housed 500–1000 people in more substantial and more family-private homes. Construction was the same, except the windows and doors were timbered, a fixed, raised hearth occupied the center of the main room, pilasters and other raised features occupied the perimeter. Under the palace was the Great House, a 100 m2 area stone house divided into five rooms with meter-thick walls suggesting a second story was present; the presence of the house, unlikely to have been a private residence like the others, suggests a communal or public use. In the Late or Final Neolithic, 4000–3000 BC, the population increased dramatically.
It is believed that the first Cretan palaces were built soon after c. 2000 BC, in the early part of the Middle Minoan period, at Knossos and other sites including Mallia and Zakro. These palaces, which were to set the pattern of organisation in Crete and Greece through the second millennium, were a sharp break from the Neolithic village system that had prevailed thus far; the building of the palaces implies greater wealth and a concentration of authority, both political and religious. It is suggested that they followed eastern models such as those at Ugarit on the Syrian coast and Mari on the upper Euphrates; the early palaces were destroyed during Middle Minoan II, sometime before c. 1700 certainly by earthquakes to which Crete is prone. By c. 1650, they had been rebuilt on a grander scale and the period of the second palaces marks the height of Minoan prosperity. All the palaces had large central courtyards which may have been used for public ceremonies and spectacles. Living quarters, storage rooms and administrative centres were positioned around the court and there were working quarters for skilled craftsmen.
The palace of Knossos was the largest, covering three acres with its main building alone and five acres when separate out-buildings are considered. It had a monume
15th century BC
The 15th century BC is a century which lasted from 1500 BC to 1401 BC. 1504 BC – 1492 BC: Egypt conquers Nubia and the Levant. 1500 BC – 1400 BC: The Rigveda was composed around this time. 1500 BC – 1400 BC: The Battle of the Ten Kings took place around this time. 1500 BC: Coalescence of a number of cultural traits including undecorated pottery, megalithic burials, millet-bean-rice agriculture indicate the beginning of the Mumun Pottery Period in the Korean peninsula. C. 1490 BC: Cranaus, legendary King of Athens, is deposed after a reign of 10 years by his son-in-law Amphictyon of Thessaly, son of Deucalion and Pyrrha. 1487 BC: Amphictyon, son of Deucalion and Pyrrha and legendary King of Athens, dies after a reign of 10 years and is succeeded by Erichthonius I of Athens, a grandson of Cranaus. C. 1480 BC: Queen Hatshepsut succeeded by her stepson and nephew Thutmosis III. Period of greatest Egyptian expansion. C. 1469 BC: In the Battle of Megiddo, Egypt defeats Canaan. C. 1460 BC: The Kassites overrun Babylonia and found a dynasty there that lasts for 576 years and nine months.
1437 BC: Legendary King Erichthonius I of Athens dies after a reign of 50 years and is succeeded by his son Pandion I. 1430 BC – 1160 BC: Hittite New Kingdom established. 1430 BC – 1178 BC: Beginning of Hittite empire. C. 1420 BC: Crete conquered by Mycenae—start of the Mycenaean period. First Linear B tablets. 1400 BC: In Crete the use of bronze helmets. 1400 BC: Palace of Minos destroyed by fire. C. 1400 BC: Linear A reaches its peak of popularity. C. 1400 BC: The height of the Canaanite town of Ugarit. Royal Palace of Ugarit is built. Myceneans conquers border of Anatolia; the Tumulus culture flourishes. Earliest traces of Olmec civilization. Hatshepsut of Egypt, female Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty Thutmose III of Egypt, Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty Amenhotep II, Pharaoh of Egypt The Shang Dynasty Chinese capital city at Ao had massive defensive walls of 20 metres in width at the base and enclosed an area of some 2,100 square yards. See: List of sovereign states in the 15th century BC
Mycenaean Greece was the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece, spanning the period from 1600–1100 BC. It represents the first advanced civilization in mainland Greece, with its palatial states, urban organization, works of art, writing system; the most prominent site was Mycenae, in the Argolid. Other centers of power that emerged included Pylos, Midea in the Peloponnese, Thebes, Athens in Central Greece and Iolcos in Thessaly. Mycenaean and Mycenaean-influenced settlements appeared in Epirus, Macedonia, on islands in the Aegean Sea, on the coast of Asia Minor, the Levant and Italy; the Mycenaean Greeks introduced several innovations in the fields of engineering and military infrastructure, while trade over vast areas of the Mediterranean was essential for the Mycenaean economy. Their syllabic script, the Linear B, offers the first written records of the Greek language and their religion included several deities that can be found in the Olympic Pantheon. Mycenaean Greece was dominated by a warrior elite society and consisted of a network of palace-centered states that developed rigid hierarchical, political and economic systems.
At the head of this society was the king, known as wanax. Mycenaean Greece perished with the collapse of Bronze Age culture in the eastern Mediterranean, to be followed by the so-called Greek Dark Ages, a recordless transitional period leading to Archaic Greece where significant shifts occurred from palace-centralized to de-centralized forms of socio-economic organization. Various theories have been proposed for the end of this civilization, among them the Dorian invasion or activities connected to the "Sea Peoples". Additional theories such as natural disasters and climatic changes have been suggested; the Mycenaean period became the historical setting of much ancient Greek literature and mythology, including the Trojan Epic Cycle. The Bronze Age in mainland Greece is termed as the "Helladic period" by modern archaeologists, after Hellas, the Greek name for Greece; this period is divided into three subperiods: The Early Helladic period was a time of prosperity with the use of metals and a growth in technology and social organization.
The Middle Helladic period faced a slower pace of development, as well as the evolution of megaron-type dwellings and cist grave burials. The Late Helladic period coincides with Mycenaean Greece; the Late Helladic period is further divided into LHI and LHII, both of which coincide with the early period of Mycenaean Greece, LHIII, the period of expansion and collapse of the Mycenaean civilization. The transition period from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age in Greece is known as Sub-Mycenaean; the decipherment of the Mycenaean Linear B script, a writing system adapted for the use of the Greek language of the Late Bronze Age, demonstrated the continuity of Greek speech from the second millennium BC into the eighth century BC when a new script emerged. Moreover, it revealed that the bearers of Mycenaean culture were ethnically connected with the populations that resided in the Greek peninsula after the end of this cultural period. Various collective terms for the inhabitants of Mycenaean Greece were used by Homer in his 8th century BC epic, the Iliad, in reference to the Trojan War.
The latter was supposed to have happened in the late 13th – early 12th century BC, when a coalition of small Greek states under the king of Mycenae, besieged the walled city of Troy. Homer used the ethnonyms Achaeans and Argives, to refer to the besiegers; these names appear to have passed down from the time they were in use to the time when Homer applied them as collective terms in his Iliad. There is an isolated reference to a-ka-wi-ja-de in the Linear B records in Knossos, Crete dated to c. 1400 BC, which most refers to a Mycenaean state on the Greek mainland. Egyptian records mention a T-n-j or Danaya land for the first time c. 1437 BC, during the reign of Pharaoh Thutmoses III. This land is geographically defined in an inscription from the reign of Amenhotep III, where a number of Danaya cities are mentioned, which cover the largest part of southern mainland Greece. Among them, cities such as Mycenae and Thebes have been identified with certainty. Danaya has been equated with the ethnonym Danaoi, the name of the mythical dynasty that ruled in the region of Argos used as an ethnonym for the Greek people by Homer.
In the official records of another Bronze Age empire, that of the Hittites in Anatolia, various references from c. 1400 BC to 1220 BC mention a country named Ahhiyawa. Recent scholarship, based on textual evidence, new interpretations of the Hittite inscriptions, as well as on recent surveys of archaeological evidence about Mycenaean-Anatolian contacts during this period, concludes that the term Ahhiyawa must have been used in reference to the Mycenaean world, or at least to a part of it; this term may have had broader connotations in some texts referring to all regions settled by Mycenaeans or regions under direct Mycenaean political control. Another similar ethnonym Ekwesh in twelfth century BC Egyptian inscriptions, has been identified with the Ahhiyawans; these Ekwesh were mentioned as a group of the Sea People. Mycenaean civilization originated and evolved from the society and culture of the Early and Middle Helladic period in mainland Greece under influences from Minoan Crete. Towards the end of the Middl
The Israelites were a confederation of Iron Age Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the tribal and monarchic periods. According to the religious narrative of the Hebrew Bible, the Israelites' origin is traced back to the Biblical patriarchs and matriarchs Abraham and his wife Sarah, through their son Isaac and his wife Rebecca, their son Jacob, called Israel, whence they derive their name, with his wives Leah and Rachel and the handmaids Zilpa and Bilhah. Modern archaeology has discarded the historicity of the religious narrative, with it being reframed as constituting an inspiring national myth narrative; the Israelites and their culture, according to the modern archaeological account, did not overtake the region by force, but instead branched out of the indigenous Canaanite peoples that long inhabited the Southern Levant, ancient Israel, the Transjordan region through the development of a distinct monolatristic—later cementing as monotheistic—religion centered on Yahweh, one of the Ancient Canaanite deities.
The outgrowth of Yahweh-centric belief, along with a number of cultic practices gave rise to a distinct Israelite ethnic group, setting them apart from other Canaanites. In the Hebrew Bible the term Israelites is used interchangeably with the term Twelve Tribes of Israel. Although related, the terms Hebrews and Jews are not interchangeable in all instances. "Israelites" refers to the direct descendants of any of the sons of the patriarch Jacob, his descendants as a people are collectively called "Israel", including converts to their faith in worship of the god of Israel, Yahweh. "Hebrews", on the contrary, is used to denote the Israelites' immediate forebears who dwelt in the land of Canaan, the Israelites themselves, the Israelites' ancient and modern descendants. "Jews" is used to denote the descendants of the Israelites who coalesced when the Tribe of Judah absorbed the remnants of various other Israelite tribes. Thus, for instance, Abraham was a Hebrew but he was not technically an Israelite nor a Jew, Jacob was both a Hebrew and the first Israelite but not a Jew, while David was all three, a Hebrew, an Israelite, a Judahite.
A Samaritan, on the contrary, while being both a Hebrew and an Israelite, is not a Jew. During the period of the divided monarchy "Israelites" was only used to refer to the inhabitants of the northern Kingdom of Israel, it is only extended to cover the people of the southern Kingdom of Judah in post-exilic usage; the Israelites are the ethnic stock from which modern Jews and Samaritans trace their ancestry. Modern Jews are named after and descended from the southern Israelite Kingdom of Judah the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi. Many Israelites took refuge in the Kingdom of Judah following the collapse of the Kingdom of Israel. In Judaism, the term "Israelite" is, broadly speaking, used to refer to a lay member of the Jewish ethnoreligious group, as opposed to the priestly orders of Kohanim and Levites. In texts of Jewish law such as the Mishnah and Gemara, the term יהודי, meaning Jew, is used, instead the ethnonym ישראלי, or Israelite, is used to refer to Jews. Samaritans refer to themselves and to Jews collectively as Israelites, they describe themselves as the Israelite Samaritans.
The term Israelite is the English name for the descendants of the biblical patriarch Jacob in ancient times, derived from the Greek Ισραηλίτες, used to translate the Biblical Hebrew term b'nei yisrael, יִשְׂרָאֵל as either "sons of Israel" or "children of Israel". The name Israel first appears in the Hebrew Bible in Genesis 32:29, it refers to the renaming of Jacob, according to the Bible, wrestled with an angel, who gave him a blessing and renamed him Israel because he had "striven with God and with men, have prevailed". The Hebrew Bible etymologizes the name as from yisra "to prevail over" or "to struggle/wrestle with", el, "God, the divine"; the name Israel first appears in non-biblical sources c. 1209 BCE, in an inscription of the Egyptian pharaoh Merneptah. The inscription is brief and says simply: "Israel is laid waste and his seed is not"; the inscription refers to a people, not to a nation-state. In modern Hebrew, b'nei yisrael can denote the Jewish people at any time in history. From the period of the Mishna the term Yisrael acquired an additional narrower meaning of Jews of legitimate birth other than Levites and Aaronite priests.
In modern Hebrew this contrasts with the term Yisraeli, a citizen of the modern State of Israel, regardless of religion or ethnicity. The term Hebrew has Eber as an eponymous ancestor, it is used synonymously with "Israelites", or as an ethnolinguistic term for historical speakers of the Hebrew language in general. The Greek term Ioudaioi was an exonym referring to members of the Tribe of Judah, which formed the nucleus of the kingdom of Judah, was adopted as a self-designation by people in the diaspora who identified themselves as loyal to the God of Israel and the Temple in Jerusalem; the Samaritans, who claim descent from the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, are named after the Israelite Kingdom of Samaria, but until modern times many Jewish authorities contested their claimed lineage, deeming them to have been conquered foreigners w
16th century BC
The 16th century BC is a century which lasted from 1600 BC to 1501 BC. 1700 BC – 1500 BC: Hurrian conquests. 1601 BC: Sharma-Adad II became the King of Assyria. C. 1600 BC: The creation of one of the oldest surviving astronomical documents, a copy of, found in the Babylonian library of Ashurbanipal: a 21-year record of the appearances of Venus: Venus tablet of Ammisaduqa. C. 1600 BC: The date of the earliest discovered rubber balls. C. 1600 BC: Early Mycenaean culture: weapons, Cyclopaean walls, chariots. C. 1600 BC: Unetice culture ends in Czech Republic, eastern Europe Development of the windmill in Persia. Unetice culture. 1595 BC: Sack of Babylon by the Hittite king Mursilis I. c. 1595 BC: The overthrow of the ruling Amorite dynasty in Aleppo, Syria. 1570 BC: Cretan palaces at Knossos and other centres flourish despite disasters. 1567 BC: Egypt: End of Fifteenth Dynasty, end of Sixteenth Dynasty, end of Seventeenth Dynasty, start of Eighteenth Dynasty. 1556 BC: Cecrops I builds or rebuilds Athens following the great flood of Deucalion and the end of the Golden age.
He becomes the first of several Kings of Athens whose life account is considered part of Greek mythology. 1556 BC: Shang Dynasty of China established *. C. 1550 BC: The city of Mycenae, located in the northeast Peloponnesus, comes to dominate the rest of Achaea, giving its name to Mycenaean civilization. 1550 BC: End of Seventeenth dynasty of Egypt, start of the Eighteenth Dynasty upon the coronation of Ahmose I. 1530 BC: End of the First Dynasty of Babylon and the start of the Kassite Dynasty—see History of Iraq. 1525 BC: End of Fifteenth dynasty of Egypt. C. 1512 BC: The flood of Deucalion, according to O'Flaherty, Augustine and Isidore. 1506 BC: Cecrops I, legendary King of Athens, dies after a reign of 50 years. Having survived his own son, he is succeeded by Cranaus. 1504 BC: Egypt started to conquer Nubia and the Levant. C. 1500 BC: Many scholars date early parts of the Rig Veda to the 16th century. C. 1500 BC: Queen Hatsheput in Egypt. C. 1500 BC: The element Mercury has been discovered in Egyptian tombs dating from this decade.
C. 1500 BC: Settlers from Crete, Greece move to Miletus, Turkey. C. 1500 BC: Early traces of Maya civilization developing in Belize. C. 1500 BC: The Phoenicians develop an alphabet—see Timeline of communication technology. C. 1500 BC: Indo-Aryan migration is dated to the 17th to 16th centuries. Although many human societies were literate in this period, some individual persons mentioned in this article ought to be considered legendary rather than historical. Tang of Shang, first ruler of Shang Dynasty, ruled China for 29 years since 1600 BC according to the Xia–Shang–Zhou Chronology Project. Kamose, last Pharaoh of the 17th Dynasty of Egypt. Ahmose I, Pharaoh and founder of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt. Hatshepsut, first female Pharaoh of Egypt c.1473 BC See: List of sovereign states in the 16th century BC
2nd millennium BC
The 2nd millennium BC spanned the years 2000 through 1001 BC. In the Ancient Near East, it marks the transition from the Middle to the Late Bronze Age; the Ancient Near Eastern cultures are well within the historical era: The first half of the millennium is dominated by the Middle Kingdom of Egypt and Babylonia. The alphabet develops. At the center of the millennium, a new order emerges with Minoan Greek dominance of the Aegean and the rise of the Hittite Empire; the end of the millennium sees the transition to the Iron Age. Other regions of the world are still in the prehistoric period. In Europe, the Beaker culture introduces the Bronze Age associated with Indo-European expansion; the Indo-Iranian expansion reaches the Iranian plateau and onto the Indian subcontinent, propagating the use of the chariot. Mesoamerica enters the Pre-Classic period. North America is in the late Archaic stage. In Maritime Southeast Asia, the Austronesian expansion reaches Micronesia. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the Bantu expansion begins.
World population rises possibly surpassing the 100 million mark for the first time. Please see the article on Chronology of the ancient Near East for a discussion regarding the accuracy and resolution of dates for events of the 2nd millennium BC in the Near East. Spending much of their energies in trying to recuperate from the chaotic situation that existed at the turn of the millennium, the most powerful civilizations of the time and Mesopotamia, turned their attention to more modest goals; the Pharaohs of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt and their contemporary Kings of Babylon, of Amorite origin, brought good governance without much tyranny, favoured elegant art and architecture. Farther east, the Indus Valley civilization was in a period of decline as a result of intense, ruinous flooding. Egypt and Babylonia's military tactics were still based on foot soldiers transporting their equipment on donkeys. Combined with a weak economy and difficulty in maintaining order, this was a fragile situation that crumbled under the pressure of external forces they could not oppose.
About a century before the middle of the millennium, bands of Indo-European invaders came from the Central Asian plains and swept through Western Asia and Northeast Africa. They were riding fast two-wheeled chariots powered by horses, a system of weaponry developed earlier in the context of plains warfare; this tool of war was unknown among the classical civilizations. Egypt and Babylonia's foot soldiers were unable to defend against the invaders: in 1630 BC, the Hyksos swept into the Nile Delta, in 1595 BC, the Hittites swept into Mesopotamia; the people in place were quick to adapt to the new tactics, a new international situation resulted from the change. Though during most of the second half of the 2nd millennium BC several regional powers competed relentlessly for hegemony, many developments occurred: there was new emphasis on grandiose architecture, new clothing fashions, vivid diplomatic correspondence on clay tablets, renewed economic exchanges, the New Kingdom of Egypt played the role of the main superpower.
Among the great states of the time, only Babylon refrained from taking part in battles due to its new position as the world's religious and intellectual capital. The Bronze Age civilization at its final period of time, displayed all its characteristic social traits: low level of urbanization, small cities centered on temples or royal palaces, strict separation of classes between an illiterate mass of peasants and craftsmen, a powerful military elite, knowledge of writing and education reserved to a tiny minority of scribes, pronounced aristocratic life. Near the end of the 2nd millennium BC, new waves of barbarians, this time riding on horseback, wholly destroyed the Bronze Age world, were to be followed by waves of social changes that marked the beginning of different times. Contributing to the changes were the Sea Peoples, ship-faring raiders of the Mediterranean. Ancient Near East Middle Kingdom of Egypt New Kingdom of Egypt Old Assyrian Empire Middle Assyrian Empire Elam Hittites Old Kingdom in Anatolia Vedic India Kuru Kingdom Bronze Age China Shang Dynasty Zhou Dynasty Most people known by name from this period are kings or emperors: First Babylonian Dynasty: Hammurabi Middle Assyrian Empire: see List of Assyrian kings Ancient Egypt: see list of pharaohs Bronze Age China: Shang dynasty, Zhou dynastyAn exception is may be Sinhue, protagonist of an Egyptian tale set in the 20th century BC, although the general consensus considers him a fictional character.
EuropeEurope is still within the prehistoric era. Aegean civilization Cycladic culture Helladic period Minoan civilization Mycenaean Greece Beaker culture Terramare culture Tumulus culture Unetice culture Urnfield cultureCentral AsiaAndronovo culture Oxus civilizationEast AsiaErlitou culture Wucheng cultureSouth AsiaOchre Coloured Pottery cultureAmericasOlmecSub-Saharan AfricaThe desiccation of the Sahara is complete. Neolithisation of Sub-Saharan Africa is initiated via expansion from the dried Sahara, reaching West and East Africa. In the 2nd millennium, pastoralism is spread to Central Africa via the Bantu migration. Iron metallurgy in Africa may arise towards the end of the millennium. Kerma culture Savanna Pastoral Neolithic Nok culture c. 2000 BC—Seima-Turbino Phenomenon c. 1700 BC–1300 BC—Palace complex in Knossos, was built. C. 1700 BC earthquake damages palaces at Phaistos. 1627 BC Minoan eruption c. 1600 BC–1360 BC Egyptian domination over Canaan and Syria. C. 1575 BC Nubian Kerma sacks Egypt.
1520 BC Egypt conquers Nubia. 1478 BC Battle of Megiddo 1269 BC