3rd millennium BC

3rd millennium BC

The 3rd millennium BC spans the Early to Middle Bronze Age.

It represents a period of time in which imperialism, or the desire to conquer, grew to prominence, in the city states of the Middle East, but also throughout Eurasia, with Indo-European expansion to Anatolia, Europe and Central Asia.(hi)The civilization of Ancient Egypt rises to a peak with the Old Kingdom. World population is estimated to have doubled in the course of the millennium, to some 30 million people.


The previous millennium had seen the emergence of advanced, urbanized civilizations, new bronze metallurgy extending the productivity of agricultural work, and highly developed ways of communication in the form of writing. In the 3rd millennium BC, the growth of these riches, both intellectually and physically, became a source of contention on a political stage, and rulers sought the accumulation of more wealth and more power. Along with this came the first appearances of mega architecture, imperialism, organized absolutism and internal revolution.

The civilizations of Sumer and Akkad in Mesopotamia became a collection of volatile city-states in which warfare was common. Uninterrupted conflicts drained all available resources, energies and populations. In this millennium, larger empires succeeded the last, and conquerors grew in stature until the great Sargon of Akkad pushed his empire to the whole of Mesopotamia and beyond. It would not be surpassed in size until Assyrian times 1500 years later.

In the Old Kingdom of Egypt, the Egyptian pyramids were constructed and would remain the tallest and largest human constructions for thousands of years. Also in Egypt, pharaohs began to posture themselves as living Gods made of an essence different from that of other human beings. Even in Europe, which was still largely neolithic during the same period of time, the builders of megaliths were constructing giant monuments of their own. In the Near East and the Occident during the 3rd millennium BC, limits were being pushed by architects and rulers.

Towards the close of the millennium, Egypt became the stage of the first popular revolution recorded in history. After lengthy wars, the Sumerians recognized the benefits of unification into a stable form of national government and became a relatively peaceful, well-organized, complex technocratic state called the 3rd dynasty of Ur. This dynasty was later to become involved with a wave of nomadic invaders known as the Amorites, who were to play a major role in the region during the following centuries.


*3000 BC2000 BCVessels from Denmark are made. They are now at National Museum, Copenhagen.
*Syria: Foundation of the city of Mari (29th century BC).
*Semitic tribes occupy Assyria in northern part of the plain of Shinar and Akkad
*Phoenicians settle on Syrian coast, with centers at Tyre and Sidon
*Beginning of the period of the "Sage Kings" in China
*Việt Nam: Rise of the Văn Lang Kingdom by Hùng Vương I
*2815 BC–2294 BC: Old Kingdom of Egypt, 3rd to 6th dynasty
*c. 2800 BC–2700 BC — Harp Player, from Keros, Cyclades, was made. It is now at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
*Iran: Creation of the Kingdom of Elam.
*Germination of the Bristlecone pine tree "Methuselah" about 2700 BC, the oldest known tree still living now.
*c. 2600 BC — Founding of the Chalcolithic Iberian civilizations of Los Millares and Zambujal.
*c. 2500 BC — Excavation and development of the Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni at Paola, Malta, a subterranean templex complex subsequently used as a necropolis.
*2492 BC The Armenian patriarch Haik defeats the Babylonian king Bel.
*c. 2452 BC — Three Sovereigns and Five kings, a group of legendary rulers in Ancient China.
*c. 2030–1556 BC — Xia Dynasty, first Chinese legendary dynasty and government system established [http://www.wellesley.edu/Polisci/wj/China/ancient-history.htm]
*c. 2500 BC2200 BC — Incised panel "Frying pan", from Syros, Cyclades is made. It is now at National Archaeological Museum, Athens.
*c. 2500 BC–2200 BC — Two figures of women, from the Cyclades, are made. They are now at Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens.
*Dynasty of Lagash in Sumer.
*Golden age of Ur in Mesopotamia. (2474 BC2398 BC)
*Third and Fourth dynasty of Egypt.
*Unified Indus Valley Civilisation (2600 BC).
*Indo-Europeans first invade Greece (23rd century BC).
*Megalithic, Corded Ware culture and the Beaker flourish in Europe.
*Sumerian poetry, lamenting the death of Tammuz, the shepherd god
*Sumerian cuneiform writing reduces pictographs still in use to about 550
*Sumerian chief deities are Mother Goddess Innin and her son Tammuz; similar divinities are worshiped by Egyptians, Hittites, Phoenicians, and Scandinavians
*Major religious festival in Sumeria celebrates victory of god of spring over goddess of chaos
*Earliest Trojan culture
*Glass beads in Egypt
*Beginning of the Pengtoushan culture in China.

Environmental changes

* Major migration of Central Saharans into West Africa possibly due to climate change starting in 4th millennium BC.

ignificant persons

* Djoser, king of Egypt, commissions the Step Pyramid at Saqqara
* Gilgamesh, fifth king of the First Dynasty of Uruk, immortalized in the world's first literary work the Epic of Gilgamesh (c. 26th century BC)
* Khufu, king of Egypt, builder of the Great Pyramid of Giza
* Urukagina, king of Lagash, creates the first known judicial code (24th century BC)
* Lugalsaggizi, king of Uruk and Umma conquers Lagash (2371–2347 BC)
* Sargon the Great, founder of the empire of Akkad and Sumer (2371–2316 BC middle chronology)
* Ur-Nammu founder of the 3rd dynasty of Ur (2112–2095 BC middle chronology)
* The Three August Ones and Five Emperors of China


*c. 3000 BCCycladic culture started in Ancient Greece.
*c. 3000 BC — Minoan culture appeared on Crete.
*c. 3000 BC — Helladic period started in mainland Ancient Greece.
*Old Elamite period (ca. 2700 BC1600 BC).
*Corded Ware culture (also Battle-axe culture, or Single Grave culture).
*Late Maikop culture.
*Late Vinca culture.
*Late Funnelbeaker culture.
*Baden culture.
*Globular Amphora culture.
*Early Beaker culture.
*Yamna culture, Catacomb culture, likely loci of Indo-European Satemization.
*The Sintashta-Petrovka-Arkaim culture emerges from the Catacomb culture from about 2200 BC, likely locus of Proto-Indo-Iranian.
*c 2500BC Austronesian peoples from Formosa have colonised Luzon in northern Philippines

Inventions, discoveries, introductions

*Pottery develops in Americas (30th century BC).
*c. 3000 BCPotter's wheel appears in China.
*2900 BC2400 BC; Sumerians invent phonogram (linguistics).
*c. 2300 BC — Metals are used in Northern Europe.
*Chinese record a comet.
*Building of the Great Pyramid of Giza (26th century BC).
*Sails used on ships (20th century BC).
*First ziggurats built in Sumer.
*Near East civilizations enter Bronze Age around 3000 BC.
*Oldest known medicine wheel constructed in the Americas.
*Bronze and metallurgy introduced to Ireland.
*Domestication of the horse with the coming of Indo-Europeans in central Eurasia.
*The chariot emerges in Central Asia Indo-Europeans just before 2000 BC.
*The camel domesticated [cite book|title=Smithsonian Timelines of the Ancient World|first=Chris|last=Scarre|date=1993-09-15|isbn=978-1564583055|pages=176|quote=Both the dromedary (the one-humped camel of Arabia) and the Bactrian camel (the two-humped camel of Central Asia) had been domesticated since before 2000 BC.] [cite book|title=The Camel and the Wheel|first=Richard |last=Bulliet |series=Morningside Book Series |publisher=Columbia University Press |date=1990-05-20 |origyear=1975 |pages=183 |isbn=978-0231072359|quote=As has already been mentioned, this type of utilization [camels pulling wagons] goes back to the earliest known period of two-humped camel domestication in the third millennium B.C.] (though widespread use took until mid-to-late 2nd millennium BC).
*Indoor plumbing and sewage in the Indus Valley Civilization.
*Sumerian medicine discovers the healing qualities of mineral springs
*Weaving loom known in Europe
*Sumerian numerical system based on multiples of 6 and 12
*Egyptians discover use of papyrus
*Bow and arrow used in warfare
*Austronesian peoples have developed lanteen sail, and the out-rigger as well as extensive development of celestial navigation systems

Cultural landmarks

*c. 3000 BC2500 BC — Tomb, Newgrange, Ireland, was built.
*c. 2750 BC1500 BCStonehenge, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, England, is built.
*Completion of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
*Completion of first phase of Stonehenge monument in England.
*Era of Buena Vista pyramid /observatory in Peru.


* 30th century BC
* 29th century BC
* 28th century BC
* 27th century BC
* 26th century BC
* 25th century BC
* 24th century BC
* 23rd century BC
* 22nd century BC
* 21st century BC


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 3rd millennium — The third millennium is a period of time that commenced on January 1, 2001, and will end on December 31, 3000, of the Gregorian calendar. This is the third period of one thousand years in the Common Era.As this millennium is currently in progress …   Wikipedia

  • 3rd millennium BC in North American history — The 3rd millennium BC in North American history provides a time line of events occurring within the present political boundaries of United States (including territories) from 3000 BC through 2001 BC in the Gregorian calendar. Although this time… …   Wikipedia

  • Millennium (disambiguation) — Contents 1 Religion 2 Transportation 3 Software 4 Enterta …   Wikipedia

  • Millennium Commission — The Millennium Commission logo The Millennium Commission in the United Kingdom was set up to aid communities at the end of the 2nd millennium and the start of the 3rd millennium. It used funding raised through the UK National Lottery. The… …   Wikipedia

  • Millennium stamp — A Millennium stamp is a postage stamp issued by a postal administration commemorating a millennium associated with that country s history but several countries issued stamps for the beginning of the 3rd millennium in same cases depicting some of… …   Wikipedia

  • millennium — /mi len ee euhm/, n., pl. millenniums, millennia / nee euh/. 1. a period of 1000 years. 2. the millennium, the period of a thousand years during which Christ will reign on earth. Rev. 20:1 7. 3. a period of general righteousness and happiness,… …   Universalium

  • Millennium Dome — a very large structure, in the shape of a dome (= a building with a round roof) that was built near Greenwich, an area of south London. It cost £700 million to build and was designed by Richard Rogers, a well known British architect. The Dome is… …   Universalium

  • Millennium Transmitter — (ABS CBN Tower) General information Type Communications tower Location Quezon City …   Wikipedia

  • Millennium Tower (Vienna) — Millennium Tower, Vienna Millennium Tower, Vienna …   Wikipedia

  • Millennium (Cosmic Nomads album) — MILLENNIUM Millennium Album Background information Genres Alternative rock Labels …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.