Ancient History Timeline - 2000-1000 BC
Welcome to Study Guides!

Timeline: 2000-1000 BC

Olmec mask
Olmec mask (South America, about 1000 BC)

When about 2000 BC the Central Asians invented better wheels with spokes, so you could fight from your chariot, a new wave of Indo-Europeans moved from Central Asia west to Greece, and Italy, or south into Egypt and Iran, and from Iran about 1500 BC to India. The wheel also led to the pottery wheel, which let potters work faster and made pottery much cheaper.

By about 1500 BC, there were more new inventions: people in China invented writing, people in West Asia invented the alphabet, and the Hittites were just beginning to use a new metal, iron, which was stronger and more flexible than bronze, and also easier to get. In South and Central America, people were farming squash and corn and beans, and maybe potatoes and sweet potatoes. People in North America were just beginning to use pottery and to farm beans and corn.

In the Late Bronze Age in Egypt, the New Kingdom brought huge stone temples and statues, and the Egyptian pharaohs conquered far to the south, into modern Ethiopia and Eretria, and to the west into Libya, and to the north into Israel (this is the time of Joseph). Further south in Kerma (modern Sudan), rulers built mudbrick palaces. Further north, in Crete and Greece, the Minoans and Mycenaeans copied the Egyptians by building their own stone palaces. In West Asia, the Hittites and Assyrians traded and built great palaces also. In China, the Shang Dynasty also used bronze and built palaces.

About 1200 BC, there began to be problems in West Asia, Greece and Egypt, which might be because of a global warming trend about this time. The Egyptian and Hittite empires fell apart, and smaller groups like the Kushites and the Jews got to have their own independent countries (this is the time of Joshua and King David). The Shang Dynasty in China collapsed and was conquered by the Chou Dynasty; the Harappans in India also collapsed. But in Central America, the Olmec civilization was just getting started building big stone temples and using writing.

Bibliography and further reading for a world history timeline:

1000-500 BC home

LIMITED TIME OFFER FOR TEACHERS: Using this article with your class? Show us your class page where you're using this article, and we'll send you a free subscription so all your students can use Study Guides with no distractions! (Not a teacher? Paid subscriptions are also available for just $16/year!)
Please help other teachers and students find us: link to this page from your class page.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Cite this page
  • Author: K.E. Carr
  • Title:
  • Site Name: Study Guides
  • Publisher:
  • Date Published:
Did you find what you needed? Ask your teacher to link to this page so other people can use it too! Send it in and win a "Great Page!" award!
Sign up for more free articles and special offers in' weekly newsletter:
We will never share your e-mail address unless you allow us to do so. View our privacy policy. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email.
Comment on This Article

Does your class page honor diversity, celebrate feminism, and support people of color, LBGTQ people, and people with disabilities? Let us know, and we'll send you a Diversity Banner you can proudly display!
Looking for more? is loading comments...
(Comments will appear after moderation, if they are kind and helpful. Feel free to ask questions, and we'll try to answer them.)
Cite this page
  • Carr, K.E. . Study Guides, . Web. 24 April, 2017