2nd millennium BC

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The 2nd millennium BC marks the transition from the Middle to the Late Bronze Age.

Its first half is dominated by the Middle Kingdom of Egypt and Babylonia. The alphabet develops. Indo-Iranian migration onto the Iranian plateau and onto the Indian subcontinent propagates the use of the chariot. Chariot warfare and population movements lead to violent changes at the center of the millennium, and a new order emerges with Greek dominance of the Aegean and the rise of the Hittite Empire. The end of the millennium sees the transition to the Iron Age. World population begins to rise steadily, reaching some 50 million towards 1000 BC.

Contents

Overview

Near East (3300-1200 BC)

Indian Subcontinent (3000-1200 BC)

Europe (3000-600 BC)

China (3000-700 BC)

Korea (1000-300 BC)

arsenical bronze
writing, literature
sword, chariot

Middle Bronze Age

Spending much of their energies in trying to recuperate from the anarchic situation that was at the turn of the millennium, the most powerful civilizations of the time, Egypt 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, and favoured elegant art and architecture. Farther east, the Indus Valley civilization was in a period of decline, possibly as a result of intense, ruinous flooding.

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