Mesopotamia Timeline 14000 BCE-330 BCE

This timeline recaps the events from Mesopotamia, which means “the land between two rivers.” Mesopotamia invented organized religion, armies, law and many other fundamental parts of civilization as we know it today.


14000 BCE
The Beginnings
Humans first settle in Mesopotamia during the Paleolithic era. By this time, people in the region are living in small settlements with circular houses.
6000-4000 BCE
Farming people in Nothern Mesopotamia develop systems to supply their fields with water. There’s also evidence of Mesopotamian painted pottery too, which is widely exported across the Near East.
5000 BCE
Nothern Mesopotamians move into flat southern plains, later called Sumer. Once there, they establish large villages and build the first temples. It’s also here where they invent the potter’s wheel, which comes a bit later in the timeline (around 3500 BCE).
4500 BCE
Villages at Uruk join together to form the world’s first city. With walls, a large area and a society split into specialized classes, Uruk boasts priests, merchants and craftworkers. Evidence has been found to back all of this up, with written documentation and physical evidence found to allow Uruk to hold the title for world’s first city.
3300-3100 BCE
Cuneiform Writing
A dozen city-states emerge in Uruk. Each is ruled by an Ensi (which translates to “lord of the plowland”) who live in palaces and claim to govern on behalf of the Gods. It’s also here where Cuneiform writing is invented. This is a logo-syllabic script that’s used to write several different languages in the Ancient Middle East.
3000 BCE
The Bronze Age
Sumerians learn how to make bronze by mixing copper and tin together. Tools and weapons are invented first, although it’s eventually used to create sculptures too.
2750-2400 BCE
Royal Tombs of Ur
The exceptionally wealthy and elite members of society are regarded as God-like and as such, their burials are a big deal. Kings and Queens of Ur are buried in tombs with treasures made of gold, silver, lapis lazuli and carnelian. Tombs have also been found to hold the bodies of servants who have been sacrificed to the Gods too.
2500 BCE
The First War
A conflict between Umma and Lagash is regarded as the first recorded instance of war. A carving shows King Eannatum of Lagash leading his army to victory, marching over fallen victims. It is believed that the conflict took place over water, something that Umma held as a strategic advantage over Lagash.
2350 BCE
The Akkadian Empire
King Sargon of Akkad (also knows as Sargon The Great) conquers all of Sumer, creating the world’s first Empire. The Akkadian language gradually replaces Sumerian in Mesopotamia.
2300 BCE
The city of Babylon is founded by the ancient Akkadian-speaking people of southern Mesopotamia.
2100 BCE
The first stepped temples known as Ziggurat are built in Ur, Eridu, Nippur and Uruk. These were built as places of worship.
1792-1750 BCE
Babylon Dominates
Babylon becomes a major military power under Amorite king Hammurabi, who reigns over the area. Famous for his law code, which he claims was given by the god of justice, Shamash, he brings much of southern and central Mesopotamia under unified Babylonian rule, creating an empire called Babylonia.
1595-1530 BCE
Hittites and Kassites
The Hittites and Kassites invade Babylonia using iron weapons and chariots pulled by horses. The Kassites conquer Babylonia and rule for 500 years.
950-612 BCE
The Assyrians of northern Mesopotamia create an empire stretching from Egypt to western Persia. They speak Aramaic, which becomes the standard language used in the Near-East.
614-612 BCE
Assyria Falls
Led by the Babylonians and the Medes, widespread rebellions spread due to disdain for Assyrian rule. Cities are burned and Babylonia takes control of the Assyrian Empire.
539 BCE
Cyrus the Great
King Cyrus the Great of Persia conquers the Babylonian Empire, leading to its fall. He rules on behalf of the Achaemenid Empire.
330 BCE
Alexander The Great
Mesopotamia eventually falls to Alexander the Great, a King of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon.

Published Nov 20 2022 @ 9:46pm – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for Mesopotamia Timeline:

Greg Wheeler. (2022). Mesopotamia Timeline Timeline. Last accessed [date]

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