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Urartu Civilization Timeline

Urartu Civilization Timeline


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  • c. 1500 BCE - c. 1200 BCE

    The Hayasa-Azzi confederation flourishes in ancient Turkey and Armenia.

  • c. 900 BCE - c. 590 BCE

    The Urartu civilization flourishes in ancient Armenia, eastern Turkey and western Iran.

  • c. 860 BCE - 840 BCE

    Reign of Arame, the first named king of the Urartu civilization.

  • c. 835 BCE - 825 BCE

    Reign of Sarduri I, king of the Urartu civilization and founder of the capital Tushpa.

  • c. 810 BCE - 785 BCE

    Reign of Menua, king of the Urartu civilization.

  • c. 785 BCE - 760 BCE

    Reign of Argishti I, king of the Urartu civilization.

  • c. 782 BCE

    The fortress of Erebuni is constructed in ancient Armenia.

  • c. 780 BCE

    Argishti I, king of the Urartu civilization, campaigns against the Hatti and Dsopk.

  • 776 BCE

    Argishti I, king of the Urartu civilization, founds the city of Argishtihinili (Armavir).

  • c. 760 BCE - 743 BCE

    Reign of Sarduri II, king of the Urartu civilization.

  • c. 743 BCE

    Tiglath Pileser III's conquest of the Kingdom of Urartu.

  • 736 BCE

    Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser III attacks Tushpa, capital of Urartu.

  • 719 BCE - 717 BCE

    Border wars between Assyria and the Kingdom of Urartu.

  • 714 BCE

    Sargon II's Urartu Campaign, Urartu defeated.

  • c. 685 BCE - 645 BCE

    Reign of Rusa II, king of the Urartu civilization.

  • c. 685 BCE

    Rusa II, king of the Urartu civilization, founds the city of Teishebaini.

  • 594 BCE - 590 BCE

    The Urartu city of Teishebaini is sacked and destroyed by fire.

  • 585 BCE

    The Erebuni fortress in ancient Armenia is occupied by the Median Empire.


Urartu Civilization Timeline - History

Conventional history states: that by about 2,000 - 1,500 B.C. the Hittites, supposedly the first of the Caucasian tribes of the Eurasian Plains to enter the middle-east, had established themselves in central Anatolia.

Note: The term "Hittites" is taken from the King James Bible (first published in 1611), which is a translation of a translation etc. of the first Bible, The Greek Septuagint, plus the Greek new Testament. The Hebrew words in question translate as the "Children of Heth". But this is a Canaanite group in the Bible. How did these people magically get transposed into the history of Anatolia? .


Timeline of Ancient Civilizations.

This is by all means a work in progress, as an amateur student interested in history, and trying to get a grasp on the context (and vastness) of the civilizations of our past. Eventually this will be an interactive timeline, where you will be able to click on each of the specific boxes to go into a more in depth look at that civilization, but any and all suggestions are appreciated!

The ape evolving to man imagery is a bit confusing as you have it right on top of the Pre-Columbian era. It makes it looks like mankind evolved from apes between 7000 and 3000BC.

My input would be to either remove that graphic all together, or drastically expand the timeline, and possibly even use the "Holocene calendar" rather than the christian one (especially since you mention Gobekli Tepe which is sort of considered the beginning of civilization). Kurzgesagt does a really great video justifying this.

You might also want to add the Yellow River people of prehistoric China. They are a pretty big deal in Chinese history.

But this concept is awesome. Being able to see all of these civilizations on one screen without scrolling (16:9 format) is excellent. Looking forward to seeing your final version.

The Mycenaean culture collapsed in about 1100 BCE, an event that (after a period of rebuilding) resulted in Classical Greece.

Rome didn't arise as a notable power until several centuries later. The Etruscans would make more sense in the pre-Roman slot.

I believe that Mycenaean civilization also collapsed before the Hittites. There should also probably be a break in the Mediterranean civilization from around the 11th-9th centuries BC to represent the dark age.

Still a very nice graphic. I would be interested to see OPs next update.

There are around 500 unique Indigenous tribes in North America, by Woodland are you referring to Woodland Ojibwe? As an Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) woman, our history dates back much further than your timeline and most of the indigenous tribes you mention still have living descendants. That being said, it's a neat project and Iɽ be interested in seeing more.

I still have much to add on the American front. Right now I was mostly focused on the ones I knew about who created vast mound complexes along the Mississippi and so on, but I am aware that there are many other tribes that I need to add. But like I've said in previous comments, this timeline is eventually meant to be interactive so each button will lead to a more in depth look at the sub-groups of each culture. Any recommendations for how to organize the various tribes would be great!

Homo Sapiens has been around for 200,000 years. Being with the same brainsize and level as thinking as us. The monkey pictured at 7000BC makes this all a pretty funny bible story esque thing I remember seeing in school.

Check this out. A site in Turkey that predates Sumeria with 6000 years. Humanity is way older than what we've been told.

Yeah the ape thing is weird but that site in Turkey is literally on the timeline.

In the recent discoveries, Mehrgarh has been found which dated back 7000 BC. Indus Valley civilization was the extension of Mehrgarh. This information might be useful to update this chart.


Timeline of Ancient Civilizations (Work in Progress)

Dates are approximate, but cross referenced with sites like Wikipedia, Brittanica and Ancient History Encyclopedia.

All suggestions are appreciated!

This is awesome! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now, but definitely didn’t have the tome to make something this great. Thank you!!

Thanks I really appreciate it!

The effort and whatever went into this is a special talent. Thanks for this.

I'm glad you appreciate that, lol. I've definitely put a lot of hours into this. It's something I am very passionate about though. This is actually part of an even larger scale project I am working on where you can click on each civilizations box and it will bring you to a more in-depth page with maps, important archeological cities/artifacts, historical figures, mythology, etc. But like I said it is a long work in progress since I'm just out of college and doing this in my free time.

Very nice! Please correct me if i'm wrong but as i understand the term, gothic cathedrals refer to a style of architecture that originated in the 12th century?

You're definitely right thanks for the correction! I guess I just confused the two and added them together, haha.

I came across a website one time that had something similar to this and I could never find it again. This is great!

nice work! I like the (work in progress) since all archeology is and we're always learning more. Iɽ bet all my money that we're going to add some more discovered civilizations to the central/south america part of the timeline in the next few decades.

I agree! I think what we are learning about the Maya and the new discoveries in the Amazon with new Lidar technologies is gonna blow the door open on what we thought we knew about their culture! I would also really like to see this technology used in places like the Arabian and Sahara deserts, and the forests of Siberia. Who knows, maybe there's a civilization out there on par with Egypt and Sumer that we don't even know existed! This Earth has gone through so many catastrophic changes since the time modern humans have been around, it wouldn't surprise me if all the evidence has been wiped away.

>BC
>CE
pick BC/AD or BCE/CE
preferably BCE/CE

Yep, Iɽ stick with BCE/CE. Nice catch.

Good point. For some reason I have a connection to BC but insist on not using AD, lol. I'll fix it tho!

Thanks so much for your notes! You have a lot of great info I can add.

Thanks for pointing out my exclusion of the Babylonian and Hittite, and Greek chronologies, I'll try to add them as best I can to this one. The only trouble I have been facing recently is having enough space to fit the text for all the divisions in their respective boxes (It's already getting pretty tight, lol). Just so you know though, this timeline is part of a larger project I am working on where you can actually click on each civilization and go into a more in depth timeline of that period, with artifacts, maps, historical figures, mythology, etc. So I've been debating what to even include in this larger one for sake of saving space. I have actually done a fairly detailed portion of Ancient Greece so far, with a breakdown from the Archaic to Hellenistic, so hopefully I can get something more interactive posted somewhere soon. I'm always looking for more help with people/cultures to add though, so please let me know! (I'm sure you'll notice for instance that I've only focused mainly on the classical Greek figures at this point). As for the Egyptian intermediate periods I tried to make them clear in the black lines between the kingdoms, but maybe it's not clear enough.

As for all your other notes I'll be sure to try to add them to this larger timeline as well (as long as I have enough space, lol). Thanks so much for your help though! I'm basing this all on my own personal research in my free time so I definitely appreciate another set of eyes to catch what I've missed. This is a long work in progress though, like I said. Always more to learn!


The American West, 1865-1900

The completion of the railroads to the West following the Civil War opened up vast areas of the region to settlement and economic development. White settlers from the East poured across the Mississippi to mine, farm, and ranch. African-American settlers also came West from the Deep South, convinced by promoters of all-black Western towns that prosperity could be found there. Chinese railroad workers further added to the diversity of the region's population.

Settlement from the East transformed the Great Plains. The huge herds of American bison that roamed the plains were almost wiped out, and farmers plowed the natural grasses to plant wheat and other crops. The cattle industry rose in importance as the railroad provided a practical means for getting the cattle to market.

The loss of the bison and growth of white settlement drastically affected the lives of the Native Americans living in the West. In the conflicts that resulted, the American Indians, despite occasional victories, seemed doomed to defeat by the greater numbers of settlers and the military force of the U.S. government. By the 1880s, most American Indians had been confined to reservations, often in areas of the West that appeared least desirable to white settlers.

The cowboy became the symbol for the West of the late 19th century, often depicted in popular culture as a glamorous or heroic figure. The stereotype of the heroic white cowboy is far from true, however. The first cowboys were Spanish vaqueros, who had introduced cattle to Mexico centuries earlier. Black cowboys also rode the range. Furthermore, the life of the cowboy was far from glamorous, involving long, hard hours of labor, poor living conditions, and economic hardship.

The myth of the cowboy is only one of many myths that have shaped our views of the West in the late 19th century. Recently, some historians have turned away from the traditional view of the West as a frontier, a "meeting point between civilization and savagery" in the words of historian Frederick Jackson Turner. They have begun writing about the West as a crossroads of cultures, where various groups struggled for property, profit, and cultural dominance. Think about these differing views of the history of the West as you examine the documents in this collection.


A Brief History of Civil Rights in the United States

  • 1970 - A same-sex couple in Minnesota applies for a marriage license. They are denied and their case goes to the state Supreme Court.
  • 1973 - Maryland becomes the first state to ban same-sex marriage
  • 1976 - a non-church sanctioned gay wedding makes news
  • 1983 - 'spousal' rights of same-sex couples become an issue - a lesbian couple is confronted with the spousal rights issue when one of them is in a car accident and the other is denied the right to care for her.
  • 1984 - Berkeley, CA passes the nation's first domestic partnership law
  • 1987 - first mass same-sex wedding ceremony - occurs on the National Mall - nearly 2000 same-sex marriages take place
  • 1989 - court rulings in NY and CA define same-sex couples as families
  • 1992 - same-sex employees begin to receive domestic partner benefits from Levi Strauss & Co. and the state of Mass.
  • 1993 - the Hawaii Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriages cannot be denied unless there is a "compelling" reason to do so - Hawaii legislators respond by passing an amendment to ban gay marriage
  • 1995 - Utah governor signs a state DOMA statute into law
  • 1996 - President Clinton signs the federal DOMA
  • 1997 - Hawaii becomes the first state to offer domestic partnership benefits to same sex couples
  • 1998 - Alaskan and Hawaiian voters approve state constitutional bans on same-sex marriage
  • 1999 - Vermont's Supreme Court rules that same-sex couples must receive the same benefits and protections as any other married couple under the Vermont Constitution
  • 2000 - the Central Conference of American Rabbis agrees to allow religious ceremonies for same-sex couples while Vermont becomes the first state to pass a law granting the full benefits of marriage to same-sex couples. Nebraska voters approve a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage
  • 2002 - Nevada votes to approve a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage
  • 2003 - A proposed amendment to the federal Constitution is introduced to the House of Representatives. It would define marriage as only between a man and a woman. The U.S. Supreme Court decides Lawrence v. Texas, striking down sodomy law and enshrining a broad constitutional right to sexual privacy. California passes a domestic partnership law which provides same-sex partners with almost all the rights and responsibilities as spouses in civil marriages. President Bush states that he wants marriage reserves for heterosexuals and the Massachusetts Supreme Court hands down a decision that makes Massachusetts the first state to legalize gay marriage.
  • 2004 - The city of San Francisco begins marrying same-sex couples in an open challenge to CA law and New Mexico begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples as their law does not mention gender. Portland, Oregon also begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. A poll taken by the Washington Post shows that 51% of the country favors allowing same-sex couples to form civil unions. While San Francisco is told to halt same-sex unions, Oregon takes the more drastic step of halting all marriages until the state decides who can and cannot wed. The proposed constitutional amendment with the same-sex ban dies in the U.S. Senate after testimony against it from conservative politicians. Missouri votes to ban same-sex marriage. Washington state says yes to same-sex marriage in a court decision while the California Supreme Court voids same-sex marriages. Several states pass initiatives to ban same-sex marriages.
  • 2005 - In New York, a state judge calls the state ban on same-sex marriage illegal. California's legislature attempts to pass a law legalizing same-sex unions but it is vetoed by the governor. Connecticut becomes the second state to approve same-sex unions.
  • 2006 - The New Jersey Supreme Court orders the legislature to recognize same-sex unions.
  • 2008 - California's Supreme Court overturns the ban on gay marriage. This leads to California voters approving a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Florida and Arizona voters do the same.
  • 2009 - The Iowa Supreme Court overturns the state ban on same-sex marriage. Vermont's legislature legalizes same-sex marriages. Maine and New Hampshire follow suit, though Maine voters later repeal the state law allowing same-sex marriage.
  • 2010 - California's voter-passed ban on same-sex marriage from 2008, known as Prop 8, is declared unconstitutional.
  • 2011 - President Obama declares DOMA unconstitutional. New York legalizes same-sex marriage.
  • 2012 - The Ninth Circuit finds Prop 8 unconstitutional. Washington state, Maine, and Maryland legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote.
  • 2013 - Rhode Island, Delaware, Minnesota, New Jersey, Hawaii, Illinois, and New Mexico legalize same-sex marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court finds Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional. It also decides the Prop 8 defenders lack standing, clearing the way for same-sex unions to be legalized in California. The IRS recognizes same-sex married couples. Utah's same-sex marriage ban is found unconstitutional.
  • 2014 - Oregon, Pennsylvania, Kansas, and South Carolina legalize same-sex marriage. The Presbyterian church votes to allow same-sex ceremonies. The U.S. Supreme Court decides a case that allows for same-sex marriage in 5 states (VA, OK, UT, WI, and IN) but declines to make a blanket statement for all states.
  • 2015 - The U.S. Supreme Court makes same-sex marriages legal in all 50 states in Obergefell v. Hodges.

It is only fitting to end this timeline with the following quote from that decision:

&ldquoNo union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.&rdquo


Comparison of Ancient Civilizations

Civilization 1: Ancient Egypt

  • People of Hamitic origin, with Semitic influence.
  • Located in the so-called ‘Fertile Crescent’, the cradle of Western civilization.
  • In the Northeast of Africa, between the Libyan Desert (in the west) and Arabic mountains (in the east).
  • Egypt runs from south to north along the River Nile, which allows for the country’s fertility. This is why Egypt is ‘a gift of the Nile’.
  • Territorial division in Lower Egypt (the Nile Delta), capital Memphis, and Upper Egypt (the Nile Valley), capital Thebes.

Politics

In its earliest days, Egypt was divided into small states or ‘nomes’, under the control of hereditary princes, in charge of civil, military, judicial administration and worship (officiated by the high priest).
During the Old Kingdom (3200 – 2400 BC), with Memphis as the capital, King Menes unified Egypt and the pharaonic dynasty (First to Fifth dynasties) began. Bureaucracy under royal officials (scribes) and governmental centralization arises.

The Pharaoh, with absolute power, has a divine character as he is the son of the sun god. In the Intermediary Period (2400 – 2000 BC), the god Ra rises above the pharaoh. Governors become masters and lords of their districts. The monarchy decays and anarchy takes over Egypt.

Ancient civilizations of the world

In the Middle Kingdom (2000 – 1788 BC), unity is restored thanks to the princes of Thebes, pharaohs don’t govern at all as nobles control the districts (administrative decentralization).

Expansion into Nubia. However, the country returns to anarchy, being dominated by a mixed Indo-European and Semitic people: the Hyksos.

During the New Kingdom (1580 – 1085 BC), the country is liberated again by the princes of Thebes. At this stage, the pharaoh governs absolutely through a centralized administration. There was now a standing army and warrior nobility.

Eastern expansion: Thutmose III (1480 – 1450 BC) subdued Palestine, Phoenicia, and Syria. Garrisons were established in these places, preserving the customs of the conquered peoples. Through diplomacy, they managed to maintain friendly relations with the Asian princes and establish harmony in the East. The Pharaoh seeks to make his mark on history, worships with temples dedicated to the gods, celebrates feasts and provides his subjects with a good life.

The religious reform of Amenophis IV led to the division of the people, hatred of the pharaoh and anarchy. The Syrian and Palestinian princes became independent. The universal empire was destroyed.

With the Nineteenth and Twentieth dynasties (1350 – 1085 BC), the pharaohs temporarily re-establish power. With Ramses II, internal and external peace was achieved, but Egypt saw its sphere of influence reduced, preoccupying itself with defending itself from foreign powers in future.

After the Twentieth dynasty, the power struggle between the priesthood of Amun, Libyan mercenaries, the kings of Nubia, and Assyrian rule (671 BC) led the country into a worrisome situation. This was only overcome thanks to the Twenty-sixth dynasty, the Saite Period (663 BC), which sought to revive the state by imitating the glorious ways of the past and establishing close economic and cultural relations with the Greeks. However, an external incident, the destruction of the Assyrian Empire and the formation of the Persian Empire, would lead to the Pharaohs being unable to defend themselves against the new power and defeated in the Battle of Pelusium in 525 BC. Egypt then became a Persian province.

Society

The first inhabitants were nomadic hunters, who established themselves in the Nile valley, dedicating themselves to working the land.

The acquisition and accumulation of land, wealth, and power eventually led to a strong social division between the ruling class (royal family, royal officials, and priests), merchants and craftsmen and a multitude of servants (slaves).

These were not closed castes, but generally, the son inherited the father’s occupation.

Economy

In the initial years, its inhabitants dedicated themselves to collectively working the land. However, with time, specifically from the Old Kingdom onwards, activities diversified. As agriculture developed, so did commerce (they engaged in commercial relations with the peoples of Western Asia), craftsmanship, mine works, and quarries.

Religion

In early times, fetishism (spirits that were incarnated in animals) was the main religious manifestation, accompanied by the belief in a tutelary god for each city (Thebes had the ram Amun in Memphis, Ptah, and the ox Apis). In a second stage, the anthropomorphic cult arose (belief in a god with a human body and an animal’s head). Superior gods appeared, associated with the sun: Ra (Amun-Ra). They also worshiped Ra’s son, Horus (the rising sun), Seth, the god of darkness, and Osiris, the god of the setting sun. In the early days, they were not cults and only served as an explanation of natural phenomena. Over the centuries, human sacrifices to the deities were frequent. The Egyptians even worshiped good gods as much as evil ones with the same vigor, as they considered them to be superior to any man and such power should be venerated. During the New Kingdom, Amun-Ra became the sole and supreme god, the creator of the universe (true monotheism), although people continued to practice polytheism.

The priests held an elevated position as the mediators between the gods and men. They were the only teachers at schools, located in the temples. They nurtured the sciences. Their position was hereditary. The great earthly and spiritual power that the high priest had during the New Kingdom led to the weakening of the state and the pharaoh. The religious reform of Amenophis IV or Akhenaten ‘Effective for Aten’ (1370 – 1352 BC) led to the worship of a single god (monotheism), a new form of the solar god, Aten (‘solar disk’), the god of love and goodness. The king declared himself the high priest of the new god, destroying the temples and images dedicated to the other gods and expelling the priests. The new religion imposed moral duties on men. Contrary to these changes, once Amenophis disappeared the people returned to their ancestral religious practices (worship of Amun-Ra and the other gods), materialism trumping spirituality.

In regards to death, the Egyptian belief was related to the ‘ka’, i.e. the spirit of each man, which inhabited a body. That’s why at the moment of death the corpse was mummified so that the spirit could continue to dwell within it for eternity. Later, they thought that the soul left the body and entered the world of the gods after passing through the so-called ‘judgement of the dead’. This, in a certain way, allows us to understand the importance placed on the acts a man committed during life, which reflects a relative spirituality. In spite of this, mummification was not abandoned.

Cultural advances

  • They developed hieroglyphic (ideographic) writing.
  • Their structural funeral monuments stand out: the pyramids, especially those in Giza (Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure), and the construction of mastabas and hypogea (underground tombs preferentially located in the Valley of the Kings).
  • Temples in honor of the gods stand out for their grandeur this is the case with the temples of Karnak and Luxor in Thebes dedicated to Amun-Ra. These monumental works built with stone were born of the desire to materially express the infinite and the eternal.
  • They also made important advances in medicine, mathematics, and astronomy, with the last one resulting in a very exact calendar year of 365 days divided into twelve months, the last of which had five days remaining at the end. The works utilizing the waters of the River Nile had particular development, constructing dikes and irrigation channels.

Civilization 2: Ancient Mesopotamia

Location

Inhabited by Semitic and Indo-European peoples who spread throughout the fertile lands surrounded by the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Mesopotamia or ‘the country between two rivers’ (the Euphrates and the Tigris) as the Greeks called it, is situated between Armenia, the mountains of Kurdistan, the Syrian-Arabian desert and the Persian Gulf. It is also part of the so-called ‘Fertile Crescent’.

Mesopotamia is divided into two regions: Assyria (the northernmost and mountainous part) and Babylonia (southern part, an almost flat fertile plane) or Chaldea.

Its climate is warm and dry, and Mesopotamia would be a sterile steppe if it weren’t for the Euphrates and the Tigris, which are born in the Armenian mountains. Annually in April and May, when the snow melts, they flood the country with their waters.

Economy

Thanks to artificial irrigation, Mesopotamia was one of the most fertile countries, with three harvests a year, rich in cereals and vineyards. Among the wildlife were lions, gazelles, ostriches, as well as wild dogs, cats, sheep, and donkeys, which had already been domesticated a long time ago. A peculiar product was gasoline, from which asphalt was extracted.

Society

The first inhabitants of Mesopotamia were shepherds and nomads who organized themselves around the collective work and into political organisms with strong authority. Their political organization was the tribe, based on a patriarchal system and the idea of a consanguineous community. All members of the tribe are free and equal, there aren’t any social differences. Only the elderly enjoyed a certain superiority, who were fronted by a patriarch. They had a common law with special importance placed on the right of private and collective vengeance and the right to hospitality. Any grievance done to a person was avenged by their family or tribe.

Politics

After the founding of the first cities, small states were later formed in Babylonia, with a fortified city in the center. At the head was a prince-priest known as patesi, who was considered as the representative of the tutelary deity of the city, with the god being its true owner.

The most important cities were, in Sumer: Ur, Uruk, and Nippur, the latter was a religious center for the whole country in Akkad: Agade, Kish, and Lagash or Tello. Both the Akkadians and Sumerians were warrior peoples. There were innumerable wars between the small states, each trying to impose themselves on the others. Through these contests, the country gradually become unified the smaller states were absorbed.

The unification of Babylonia was achieved by the Sumerians around 2650 BC. The first great empire was that of King Lugalzagesi, which encompassed all of Mesopotamia up to the shores of the Mediterranean. It ceased to exist after his death, but it went down as the first attempt in history to create a universal empire. After Lugalzagesi’s death, the Akkadians established their rule (2600 BC) under the command of Sargon I ‘The Lord of the Four Corners of the World’, establishing an empire that extended throughout Mesopotamia and the eastern part of Asia Minor.

The Babylonians’ political power was of great economic and cultural importance (greater than that of the Egyptians). Babylonian merchants dealt throughout the Eastern world. Babylonian language and writing, weights and measures, law, beliefs and arts spread throughout the East. The idea of a universal empire arose for the first time in Babylonia.

Two centuries after its founding, the Akkadian Empire collapsed as a result of internal disturbances (2400 BC). The Sumerians temporarily regained unity of the empire, but their struggles for supremacy exhausted their forces and finally, the kingdom succumbed to the advance of foreign peoples: the Elamites, and especially the Amorites, a Semitic people who inhabited the Syrian-Arabic desert. The Amorites managed to subdue the Sumerian-Akkadians (2000 BC), creating an empire with Babylon as its capital.

The organization of the Babylonian Empire was the work of Hammurabi (1950 – 1905 BC), who after consolidating internal power, triumphed over the Elamites, incorporated Assyria and Syria, and attained a route to the Mediterranean. But Hammurabi wasn’t a conqueror, he devoted himself before anything to providing his country with peace and order. The emperor controlled the government by divine command, he wasn’t worshiped as a god (like the Egyptian pharaohs). He acted as the representative of the god Marduk, the king of the gods, who was considered the true ruler of the empire. Every year, the king retired to a temple, where he came into direct contact with the deity, who gave him his orders and set out the destiny of the empire. Hammurabi’s most important work was the codification of the laws (The Code of Hammurabi) so that any wronged person could read the laws and find justice.

In the year 1750 BC, the Hittites (an Indo-European people) invaded Mesopotamia and destroyed the Babylonian Empire thanks to an advantageous weapon of war: the horse-drawn chariot. The Hittite kingdom reached its peak in the Fourteenth and Thirteenth centuries BC when they divided rule over the East in a peace treaty with the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II. The Hittite Empire then spread over all of Asia Minor, the north of Syria and part of Mesopotamia. In the middle of the Twelfth century BC, the empire was destroyed, victim to great migratory waves.

Finally, the destruction of the Babylonian kingdom by the Hittites opened the way for the Kassites (Kurdish-Indo-European people), who ruled for more than five centuries in Babylon, meaning their rule was a period of total decline for the country.

Religion

Like all Semitic peoples and the Egyptians, the inhabitants of Mesopotamia saw the world as inhabited by innumerable spirits, good and bad. They manifested themselves in diverse objects in nature, like stones and plants. The bull and the lion were revered as sacred animals and colossal statues of them were erected in temples and palaces.

The Babylonians and Assyrians accepted the existence of a large number of gods (polytheism), all of whom were celestial beings. They attributed human virtues and passions to them. They were benevolent and righteous gods, there were no evil gods. Evil was caused by demons, evil spirits, more powerful than men, but inferior to gods. They used magic to combat them.

The Babylonians divided the universe into the sky, earth, and ocean, each of which had a god. Anu was the god of the sky, who was above the other deities. Enlil, the counselor of the gods and lord of the humans, and reigned in the land. The third god was Ea, the lord of the waters, who gave wisdom. Beside the worship of these human form gods, they worshiped the stars. The sun god was Shamash (god of justice), the moon god was Sin (god of time), and the planet Venus was Ishtar, goddess of war and love. Each city also had its own tutelary god, with Marduk (Babylon) and Asur (Assyria) standing out. They become national gods, being worshiped as supreme gods. The Babylonians strove to find a solution to the problem of why we live and suffer. According to Babylonian belief, Marduk formed man in his image from a pile of clay kneaded with his own blood.

The problem that worried them most was death. They buried the bodies of their dead because otherwise, the spirit of the dead would become a harmful spirit. If the body received a final tribute, the soul (edimnu) was lowered into the ‘great land’, to the house of darkness, where darkness reigned and the dead had dust for food. This belief left a gloomy and sad impression on spiritual life. Every human being depended on a custodian god, who intermediated with other gods. Therefore, man had to worship this god or else it would abandon him and all sorts of misfortunes would turn towards him. It was necessary to gain the benevolence of the deities through prayers, sacrifices, and magic. What they asked for most was a long earthly life to avoid the torments of the afterlife.

Advances

The Sumerians, intelligent and active, made the country arable, building canals and dikes and drying the marshes. They founded cities and maintained active trade. Of all the advances made by the Sumerians, the most important was the invention of cuneiform writing. In the fourth millennium BC, their art and science had already reached an astounding height.

Civilization 3: Ancient India

Location

South east of Asia, between the Indus and Ganges rivers, in the so-called Hindustan peninsular.

A wide plain extends around the Indus, a place conducive to cultivating crops. The periodic flooding of the river covered a wide area of land, which, with a system of irrigation canals, was an effective aid in the fertilization of the land.

Society

The Hindus did not mix with subdued people. To preserve the purity of the blood, they established a caste system. Each caste was a closed social group, marriage between members of different castes being prohibited. The caste system remains to this day in India, posing the biggest problem for any social of political reform. The Hindus have three castes: 1) Brahmin or priests 2) Kshatriya or warriors, which nobles, princes, and kings belong to and 3) Vaishya, the people who were dedicated to commerce, industry and culture.

The vanquished have two castes: 1) the Shudra, and 2) the untouchables. These castes are despised for being considered impure. They do not belong to the socio-political organism.

Politics

By the year 2500 BC, several powerful cities had been established in the Indus Valley, among them Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. These cities had strong commercial organization thanks to river navigation in the territory, which allowed them to acquire innovations from other places, especially Mesopotamia. At the head of the government was the priest-king.

Economy

The Indus valleys were used for agricultural work (cotton and grain cultivation). They also entered into commercial relations with Mesopotamia.

Religion

Like the Aryans and other peoples, the Hindus deified the forces of nature, forming a large number of cults. As a consequence of theological speculation, the Brahmanism doctrine was formed. But this was only practiced by the most elite spirits, while a great multitude of the people continued to worship polytheistic deities. However, the same general tendencies predominate in Brahmanism and popular beliefs. Similar concepts and the same divine figures appearing in both, as the first is derived from the latter, forming a purification of it. Beliefs are found to be expressed in the Vedas, the ancient sacred books, and in the Laws of Manu.

Brahmanism is a pantheistic religion. The world is the material manifestation of the ‘brahma’ ( the Brahma soul of the world, universal soul), which permeates everything. But although the Brahma creates and permeates matter, this is in itself bad. The human body also has no value. The ‘atman’, man’s soul, is condemned to last in the body to atone for old faults. If the atman fails to purify itself, it will have to be reincarnated after the death of the corresponding body into new beings. Depending on whether their behavior has been good or bad, these reincarnations will be in inferior beings (minerals, plants, animals) or superior ones (people, spirits, genies). According to this science of the transmigration of souls, each reincarnation is a punishment for not having achieved purification, but at the same time, it is a new opportunity to achieve it. Through asceticism, the suppression of passions, humiliation and meditation, the soul attains purification until it is finally able to be rid of the body. The ultimate end is the complete separation of matter, the annihilation of the individual soul through its return to the world, which is the one and all, the identification of the Atman with the Brahma. Brahmanism preaches denial of life. It does not want to eliminate the evils of the world, but rather flee the world. The most perfect representative of Brahmanism is the yogi who, abandoning the things of this world, dedicates himself entirely to asceticism, humiliation and meditation.

Brahmanism authenticates and approves the caste system, as according to them each caste signifies a higher stage in the process of the purification of the soul. Buddhism: Brahmanism declined more and more. Against this, against the caste system and against the popular polytheistic cults, it arose in around 500 BC. Gautama Buddha (‘one who is awake’) taught a new doctrine to rid the world of evil. A profound pessimism dominated in his doctrine. The world is drastically evil. Man can be redeemed from evil through charity, compassion and love. Through the renunciation and suppression of passions and appetites, in favor of truth etc., the soul enters Nirvana, where it is extinguished.

Buddhism is a very peculiar religion because it is one without a god, it is complete atheism. The world and man are intrinsically evil. Living is suffering. It is necessary to annihilate individual existence to redeem oneself from suffering. Happiness lies in extinction, the entrance to Nirvana. Initially, Buddhism was widespread in India, but as it was addressed to all men and opposed to the caste system, it then led to a powerful reaction from Brahmanism. Finally, it disappeared almost completely. Instead, it spread throughout East Asia (Burma, Siam, Indochina, Tibet, Mongolia, China, Japan). Buddhism originally being a religion without a god, it didn’t have a cult at first. There were no temples, ceremonies nor prayers. But as the masses couldn’t believe in a purely abstract religion, the divinized Buddha himself.

Advances

The Hindu cities were noted for their progress each one had temples, a public bath with central heating, lounges, and granaries. The streets were lined with houses with terraces, many two stories high, built with baked bricks, and people used bitumen on ceilings and walls to avoid damp. Indus plumbing was the most advanced of its time. The large houses had wells for drinking water and bathwater, and a drainage system. The cities prospered for almost a thousand years, but in around 1700 BC, they were devastated by earthquakes and floods. Indian sculptors made terracotta figures as well as stone ones. In Mohenjo-Daro, carved seals with animal figures and symbols from a form of writing not yet discovered have been found.

Civilization 4: Ancient China

Location

In the fertile valleys of the Yellow River and the Yangtze, one of humanity’s most fascinating and fruitful civilizations developed: the Chinese.

Politics

An empire controlled by the emperor was formed, which passed into the hands of several dynasties or families:

  • Shang Dynasty: (circa 1766 – 1027 BC) This dynasty was established following a series of tribal wars. It extended up to Mongolia and along the valley of the Yellow River. Its capital city was Yinxu. Shang society was highly developed and governed by a hereditary class of aristocrats. At the head was the king, who presided over a military nobility and chose territorial governors. Between this aristocratic class and the commoners, there was a priestly cult. Their economy was based on agriculture, which included the cultivation of millet, wheat and barley. They mastered bronze metallurgy and also their delicate jade sculptures and silk fabrics were famous. The cult to the deceased emperors ruled and occasionally they would perform human sacrifices. The Shang dynasty came to an end weakened by neighboring peoples and was replaced by the Zhou.
  • Zhou Dynasty: (circa 1027 – 256 BC) This was the last dynasty of kings before the imperial dynasties. Their capital was established in the city of Xi’an and they divided the kingdom into several states controlled by a local governor, who completed central orders. Over time, these states grew more and more independent, and the dynasty’s power was weakened. The cities grew, forming a commercial class that used money instead of bartering. There was great cultural development in this period there were great thinkers and philosophers, such as Confucius, the creator of Confucianism (see box) and Lao Tzu, the creator of the Tao Te Ching and Taoism, which worships the spirits of nature and ancestors. A large number of great books were produced, including the I Ching (or Classic of Changes), the Shijing (or Classic of Poetry) among others. In the year 256 BC, the Zhou dynasty finally came to an end when the central government lost power and broke into seven great states.
  • Ch’in or Qin Dynasty: (circa 221 – 207 BC) The seven separate states fought among themselves to control China. Finally, the Ch’in or Qin were victorious and their king, Zheng, established a heavily authoritarian great empire (221). In addition, he named himself Qin (or Ch’in) Shi Huang Di (‘First Emperor of China’).

The emperor carried out a series of administrative and economic measures, in addition to promoting cultural unification. Among his famous works are the construction of the Great Wall of China, which was built to defend the empire from invasions. This was later extended and reconstructed by subsequent dynasties. Due to the harsh government and heavy taxes, when the emperor died, in 210 BC, civil war broke out. This, in addition to the continuous threats of invading peoples, caused the empire to fall and the Han came to power.

Society

Aristocratic society. This means a society with strictly identified social stratum, in which the most powerful class rules the least powerful. At the head is the king, who presided over a military nobility and chose territorial governors, who were obliged to offer their services in military enterprises. In this sense, we can see a characteristic parallelism with European feudalism that would take place around a thousand to two thousand years later, in a territory with which there would only be trade routes, and therefore, cultural exchange around 200 BC (Silk Road). On a lower level were the commoners, who were most people, and who didn’t have any decision-making power. Between the aristocratic class and the commoners was a learned priestly social stratum who dealt with governmental and administrative documents.

Economy

Based on rice cultivation. In addition, millet, wheat, barley, and rice were grown. Silkworms were also tended to, and they bred dogs, pigs, sheep, and oxen.

Religion

They followed the principles of Confucius. Confucianism, more than a religious system, is a moral one, based on the importance of goodness and the spirit. They never had a specifically designed religion. But even so, it is known that, like most Oriental civilizations, they worshiped their ancestors (Animism, a definition in the religious sense) by creating altars and statues for them, and equipping them with a special knowledge and a series of supernatural powers. They also believed that the soul of the ancestors, or their plans, could be read in the stars, which is known as Chinese astrology, but it was never especially advanced, unlike that of the Babylonians, Egyptians or Hindus. Like other cultures of the time, they worshiped a series of different gods depending on the region, inherited from the distinct populations of the Yangshuo and Longshan cultures, sometimes natural, or representing human attitudes or feelings. Their gods were anthropomorphous and zoomorphic, so they are defined as polytheists. The most important of the gods was Shangdi ‘the Supreme Deity’.

Advances

Two philosophical currents were formed, the most important ones in China, which remain to this day: Confucianism (moral principles from the great philosopher Confucius) and Taoism (harmony with nature).

The Great Wall of China was built. Writing, almost as it is today, was created. Formation of hydraulic works and extremely important cultural links (Silk Road). Invention and development of the paper industry. Buddhism flourished. The Grand Canal linking the Yangtze and Yellow rivers was built. There was great artistic development, in painting and poetry, and in cartography and mathematics.


Urartu Civilization Timeline - History

The way we think about time is learned. Over the eons, different cultures and peoples have held different beliefs about the nature of time. Western historical thought is based on certain assumptions about the nature of time. When we make a timeline of historical events, we create a graphic representation of how we in Western secular society think about time. We link units of time with events. We make a sequence that suggests a past, present, and future. The direction says that time and history proceed in a line, not a circle. Portrayed in a line, events are unique in history and do not repeat themselves in exact ways. History incorporates change.

Sequences in a timeline, where some events happen before others, also suggest the possibility of cause and effect. They suggest that events exist in relationship to one another, in a context. Thematic timelines suggest turning points, linear trends, and progressions, whether or not these exist in fact.

Thus, making a timeline allows one to plot events in a graphic way, to see possible relationships, to help memory, and to grasp sequence. In the process, culling from the many possible dates sharpens one’s appreciation for the dates necessarily excluded.


The Iron Age

The Bronze to Iron Age transition took about 300 years to fully come about its completion clearly marked by the rise of the Assyrian Empire that owed its success to the both violent and skillfull exploitation of new Iron Age warfare techniques.

During the Bronze Age, iron ore was more readily accessible than the ingredients for bronze. Yet, the great powers stuck with Bronze because the transition to an iron economy was highly disruptive. After they fell, iron came into common use. 5 Venkatesh Rao, The Disruption of Bronze, Ribbonfarm – constructions in magical thinking

Experts assume that a disruption in trade routes may have caused shortages of the copper and tin used to make bronze around this time . Metal smiths as a result turned to Iron as an alternative


Urartu Civilization Timeline - History

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