Interesting Happenings
From Around the World
30000-1000 BC

Linda Haas Davenport
Dividing Line

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Dividing Line

ca 30000 BC: Ivory horse is carved in what is now Vogelherd, Germany - the oldest known animal carving of mammoth ivory.

ca 9997 BC: Organized warfare portrayed on stone by Aborigines in Australia.

ca 9996-5000 BC: Cave paintings in Spain show bows in use.

8000s BC: With the cultivation of grains in river valleys, the age of agriculture begins. Wine and beer is produced. Sun-dried bricks make possible the beginning of architecture. In textiles, the spindle evolves to transform the spinning of thread. Weaving is perhaps first practiced in the making of baskets, but soon the loom is developed for weaving cloth. Pottery provides greatly improved facilities for the storing and cooking of food. Current day archaeologists have found (beneath the modern tourist car parking lot) four (or possibly five, one may be a natural tree hole) large Mesolithic postholes at the Stonehenge site believed to date from this time.

7000s BC Use of pottery.

6000s BC Linen is made from the flax plant. Simple bows common in northern Europe.

ca 5300 BC: Mesopotamian civilization in place. Cities of Sumer are the first to practice intensive, year-round agriculture.

5000s BC Development of irrigation. Cultivation of maize. Use of copper.

4300 BC: Babylonian clay tablets detail recipes for beer. The Babylonians are producing beer in large quantities with around 20 varieties.

4241 BC Earliest recorded date in Egyptian calendar.

4000s BC: Development of plowing. Domestication of horses in the Eurasian steppes. Silkworm domesticated in China, production of silk (Archeologists have discovered fragments of a primitive silk loom dating from this period.) Corduroy roads (log roads) in Glastonbury, England. First water clocks appear in China.

4000 BC: The Babylonians are playing a board game. (Thought to be an ancestor of chess and checkers.)

3807 BC: The timber trackway; Sweet Track causeway in England, is one of the oldest engineered roads in Northern Europe.

3760 BC: First year of Jewish calendar.

3630 BC: Approximate date of the oldest discovered silk in China, found by archaeologists in what is now Henan province in what was the late Yangshao period.

3500 BC: Beginning of Ur, the Sumerian city in Mesopotamia. First phonetic writing and formation of numbering system developed by Summerians. They are among the first to use wagons for carrying goods and people. Most authorities credit the Sumerians with the invention of the wheel, initially in the form of the potter's wheel. The new concept quickly led to wheeled vehicles and mill wheels. Ur's streets are paved with stones. Egyptians have mirrors of metal.

3300 BC: Ötzi the Iceman (discovered in 1991) dies near the present-day border between Austria and Italy - shot in the back with an arrow. (Scientists are surprised to find 59 markings on Ötzi's skin that are clearly tattoos. They are even more surprised that his back and leg tattoos were on, or near, typical acupuncture points for treating back and leg pain bringing into question the long held theory that Acupuncture originated in China between 1030 BC to 221 BC. The discovery of Otzi's copper ax the long held date of "the age of copper" back by at least 500 years.

3100 BC: Egyptians are using hieroglyph script. A circular bank and ditch enclosure is built at Stonehenge about this time.

3000 BC: The Megalithic tombs are being constructed in Newgrange, Ireland. Sumeria, ruled by Ur-Nina, is building temples and canals. Epic of Gilgamesh - an epic poem from Ancient Mesopotamia (among the earliest known works of literary fiction) is written. Timber structure built at Stonehenge about this time. Bronze (mix of tin and copper) tools common in Middle East. Chariots in use in Mesopotamia. Sumerians use fillings in bad teeth. Troy inhabited. Brick paved streets in India. Domestication of camels. Domestication of donkeys (asses) in Egypt. The Egyptians invent papyrus. It will remain in regular use longer than any other material in the history of written documents. First game resembling modern backgammon is played in Sumeria. (Scholars believe games similar to backgammon had probably been played by Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans for thousands of years. The Egyptians are playing marbles, using small round stones.

2900 BC: Irrigation and drainage projects in Egypt.

2700 BC: "Old Copper" culture, near Lake Superior, uses copper for tools and ornaments. Sumer has fully articulated military, including standing army organized along modern lines. First documented war - between Sumer (Iraq area) and Elam (Iran area), fought in Basra area. Merit Ptah, Egyptian physician - the first woman known by name in the history of the field of medicine and possibly the first named woman in all of science as well.

2630 BC: Egypt builds its first pyramid, at Saqqara, by Pharaoh Djoser.

2637 BC First year of the Chinese calendar. Some believe tea is accidentally discovered by Shen Nung of China.

2600 BC Sixth Dynasty in Egypt ends the ancient Egyptian Empire. Pepy II reigns 94 years, longest reign in history. Stones erected at Stonehenge about this time. Tablets of Shruppak (Sumer) tell of city-states equipping 600-700 soldier armies full time, first evidence of standing professional armies. Scribes employed in Egypt. Pyramid building underway in Egypt.

2560 BC: Great Pyramid of Giza is completed. (One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.)

2500 BC: Flush toilets are first used in the Indus Valley Civilization. The cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro have a flush toilet in almost every house, attached to a sophisticated sewage system. Minoan Age of Cretans begins. First libraries appear in Assyria, Egypt and China. The first mention of soap is on Sumerian clay tablets dating to this time - the soap was made of water, alkali and cassia oil.

2600-2400 BC: Thirty enormous Oligocene-Miocene sarsen stones erected at Stonehenge.

2400 BC: India is using engraved seals for identifying the writer. The abacus, the first known calculator, is invented by the Babylonians as an aid to simple arithmetic around this date. The mighty Ziggurat, the "Mountain of God" as Ur, was erected by Ur-Engur, a king of the Third Dynasty of Ur,

2300 BC: Paper is being made from the papyrus plant in Egypt.

2200 BC: Fortress of Buhen, in Sudan, had walls, firing bastions, moat, and complex gates. Date of the oldest found document written on papyrus is the Book of the Dead - a description of the ancient Egyptian conception of the afterlife and a collection of hymns, spells, and instructions to allow the deceased to pass through obstacles in the afterlife.

2050 BC: The earliest known written legal code, Sumerian, Ur-Nammu's Code. The code allows for the dismissal of corrupt men, protection of the poor, giving testimony under oath, and the ability of judges to order damages be paid to a victim by the guilty party.

2000 BC: Twelfth Egyptian Dynasty begins, with Thebes as capital. Hammurabi, King of Babylon, reforms laws and introduces agricultural improvements. Abraham leaves Ur. Queen Semiramis of Babylon builds first tunnel under a river. First zoo has opening day, in China. Egyptians are playing a game that resembles modern-day checkers.

1900 BC: Hittites begin smelting iron.

1850 BC: Earliest known written legal decision.

1800 BC: Babylonians are using multiplication tables.

1750 BC: Hammurabi, a king of the Babylonian Empire, establishes laws for many aspects of daily life, The phrase "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" comes from this code.

1600 BC: The last known construction at Stonehenge.

1500 BC: The Book of Job written by an unknown Israelite. The sacred works of Hindiusm, the Vedas, a collection of hymns is written in Sanskrit. Glassmaking perfected in Middle East, including bottles in Egypt. Sundials in Egypt.

1446 BC: The Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) are written between 1446 and 1406 BC.

1400 BC: Use of iron by the Hittites in Anatolia (Asia Minor). Oldest record of writing in China inscribed on bone - the Oracle bones

1375 BC: Ikhnaton develops monotheistic religion in Egypt.

1280 BC: India's Laws of Manu written, regulating almost all facets of rules, from contracts to criminal law. It also forms the basis of India's caste system.

1270 BC: Syrian scholar compiles an encyclopedia.

1250 BC: Israelite exodus from Egypt during the reign of King Ramses II. Moses receives the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai.

1200 BC: Iron smelting perfected. Olmec civilization by the Gulf of Mexico includes written language, use of numbers, large temples, and intricate statues. Fu Hao, consort of King Wu Ding of the Shang Dynasty, dies. She was the most powerful military leader of her time

1186 BC: The period of The Trojan War (which might or might not have actually happened).

1110 BC: Greek culture enters a "Dark Age" characterized by the disappearance of writing and a decline in architecture. (Will last until about 800BC.)

1107 BC: Ramesses XI ascends the throne in Egypt.

1100 BC: The Phoenicians begin trading around the Mediterranean. (Will continue until about 700 BC.)

1050 BC: The Phoenician alphabet that contains only consonants is in use. The Philistines invade Israel from the North. Facing annihilation the Israelites institute governmental reform and ask Samuel, the last of the Judges, to select a king.

1020 BC: Saul becomes the first Israelite king.

1000 BC: Kites appear in China. Stone yo-yos are in use in Greece.

Dividing Line

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