Saturday, August 26, 2017

Larry White on the Origins of Coined Money: A Critique

The free banker Larry White has a recent post here on the origins of coined money:
Larry White, “Why the ‘State Theory of Money’ doesn’t explain the Coinage of Precious Metals,” Alt-M Ideas for an Alternative Monetary Future, August 24, 2017.
White is essentially talking about the origins of coined money in ancient Lydia and Greece.

First of all, there are some points in White’s article that may be freely acknowledged as correct, as follows:
(1) Chartalism does not have a universal theory of the origins of money (as defined as a general medium of exchange, unit of account and store of purchasing power) anymore than Neoclassical economics does. But it does have part of the story.

(2) it is true that the theories of certain MMT economists who wish to argue that ancient states chose silver and gold coins only as state-issued tax-anticipation tokens ignores the subjective value that gold and silver did have for human beings. Precious metals were high prestige goods and did obtain value in the market, to some extent, by the subjective value people had for them. So, in this sense, precious metal gold and silver coins were not simply “mere tokens” for the ancients, although some important qualifications can be said about electrum coins, as we will see below.
But now we turn to the flaws in White’s theory.

To begin with, it is empirically wrong to assert that opposition to the Neoclassical/Austrian barter theory of the origins of money is in resurgence just because of Chartalism. In reality, anthropology had already – by the mid-20th century – presented strong evidence against the Austrian/Neoclassical theory, and modern opponents of it are not all necessarily Chartalists.

Secondly, the really serious and empirically dubious claim in White’s argument is his contention that coined money was invented by the private sector in ancient Lydia and Greece:
“An important technical advance came with the introduction and spread of coinage in Turkey and Greece during the 7th to 5th centuries BCE. Unlike raw nuggets straight from the mine or variously refined precious-metal bars, coined pieces of silver and gold gained a major additional advantage: they became (5) uniform in size and quality, so that traders need not incur the cost of testing (or the risk of not testing) each piece for its weight and its fineness (percentage of pure silver or gold content). Early coining entrepreneurs could have profited, as later mint masters in California did, by charging for the service of converting raw silver or gold into easier-to-spend uniform coins. With the spread of coinage to India, the Middle East, and Europe, merchants found silver and gold payments easier to make and to accept. ….

Once sovereigns monopolized the mints they took advantage of the propaganda value of stamping their own faces on the coins, of course. But as far as we know coins were already in use among merchants before that happened. Very early coins from ancient Lydia, in what is now Turkey, were not inscribed with human faces but rather animal figures. The Ancient History Encyclopedia states: ‘It appears that many early Lydian coins were minted by merchants as tokens to be used in trade transactions. The Lydian state also minted coins.’ Regarding Lydian coins inscribed with the names Walwel and Kalil, the British Museum comments: ‘It is unclear whether these are names of kings or just rich men who produced the earliest coins.’ Regarding a nearly contemporary ancient Greek coin bearing the legend ‘I am the badge of Phanes,’ the Museum comments: ‘We cannot be certain who this Phanes was, but it seems that he was placing his badge on coins as a guarantee of their quality.’”
Larry White, “Why the ‘State Theory of Money’ doesn’t explain the Coinage of Precious Metals,” Alt-M Ideas for an Alternative Monetary Future, August 24, 2017.
White is clearly asserting that coined money was invented by the private sector in ancient Lydia and Greece.

But is this true? The evidence for it is feeble at best, and there is much evidence against it.

The first coins were minted in the second half of the 7th century BC (650–600) in what is now western Turkey (what was called “Asia Minor” by the Classical Greeks) in ancient Ionia and within the ancient kingdom of Lydia. Both the ancient writers Xenophanes (as cited in Pollux, Onom. 9.83) and Herodotus (Histories 1.94) report this.

Let us run through the counterarguments to White as follows:
(1) the earliest coins were made of electrum, which was a naturally occurring alloy in ancient Lydia (Kroll 2008: 17–18). The evidence shows that the Lydian kings either controlled the mines in their kingdom directly (Briant 2002: 400), and/or levied taxes on mining or extraction of metals, and indeed a certain Lydian called Pythius under the later Persian empire, who owned a number of mines in Lydia, may have been a descendant of the Lydian royal family who had inherited these mines as private family property (Briant 2002: 401). It follows that, if the Lydian kings extracted and owned much of the silver, gold and electrum (panned from the rivers), it is most probable that the kings also minted the first electrum coinage too, since a large quantity of this metal was needed.

(2) that the “early coins from ancient Lydia, in what is now Turkey, were not inscribed with human faces but rather animal figures” does not provide good evidence against them having been minted by, or for, the Lydian kings: for a long time in the ancient world, coins did not carry any images of living human beings nor writing, and there is no reason why the kings would have bothered to put their images or names on the coins when people at the time knew perfectly well that they had been minted by the state. Early coins of the state mostly depicted gods, seals or other symbols. In Western civilization, one of the first kings to be depicted on coins in his own lifetime was Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC, but centuries after coins had been invented.

(3) it is true that some early Lydian coins carry an inscription, apparently in the Lydian language, and refer to .WALWE. and .KALI. (Schaps 2004: 96). However, the question of who or what these names refers to is not settled at all in modern scholarship. Howgego (1995: 3) suggests that the names may be those of mints, not of individuals. And, even if they do refer to human beings, they could be individuals who minted the coins for the Lydian kings as mint masters (Wallace 1987: 393, n. 51), and this is strongly suggested by the lion symbol which appears on many such early coins, the symbol of the Lydian royal house (Schaps 2004: 96).

(4) it is true we have about four coins with the Greek inscription Φάνεως ειμί σήμα, which can be translated as “I am the badge of Phanes” or “I am the sign of light.” However, as in the case of (3) above, if “I am the badge of Phanes” is the correct translation, it is unclear who this Phanes was. There is a reasonable discussion of the complexities of the issue here.

Kastner (1986) points out that the name may well be that of a god, not a human being (Howgego 1995: 4). Howgego (1995: 4) speculates that even if Phanes was the name of a human being, he might have been an unknown local tyrant or ruler.
So, at best, the evidence for private individuals or merchants being the driving force behind the first minting of coins is feeble.

What is the case for the Lydian kings having minted the earliest electrum coins?

Although it is true that some early 20th-century scholars supported the view that electrum coins were invented by the private merchants, this was strongly criticised by Cook (1958) and Kraay (1964), both of whom made the case that early coins were minted by the Lydian kings or states to pay state expenses, particularly mercenaries.

Early electrum coins did not circulate much beyond the areas where they were minted, and the most common ones were of very high denomination: perhaps worth more than 10 sheep and not useful for small transactions (Cook 1958: 260). If merchants invented early electrum coins, why were they mostly useless for small ordinary commercial transactions in the market? (Schaps 2004: 97; for recent evidence on later smaller denomination coins, see Kim 2002 and Kagan 2006).

R. M. Cook concluded that early electrum coins were minted by the Lydian kings in order to make large payments in a portable and durable form to people owed a large debt by the king, most probably soldiers or mercenaries (Cook 1958: 261).

This view has won large-scale acceptance in modern scholarship. We can take a standard work for reference here: The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Coinage (Oxford and New York, 2012). In this work, Kroll (2012: 44) concludes electrum coins were created by the kings of Lydia. The view is held by Wallace (1987: 386), Osborne (1996: 256), Kim (2001: 10), Whitley (2001: 193), Hornblower et al. (2014: 182), Freeman (2004: 185), and Howgego (1995: 3, noting that no certain evidence in all of antiquity for coins being produced by private individuals).

There are a few dissenters like Holloway (1978), but their arguments, as can be seen from the scant evidence above, are weak. And, while both Schaps (2004: 100) and Seaford (2004: 133) allow some role for private individuals, both concede a large role for the Lydian state in driving the process and being the impetus for it.

Notably, while these early electrum coins had a surprisingly near uniform weight, they were actually variable in their metallic content, and the proportion of gold to silver varied in these coins: for example, one study has found that the silver content of the electrum coins could range from 20% to 75%, which reflected the natural variability of the electrum alloy itself, or even further dilution with extra silver (Wallace 1987: 386).

The near uniform weight but variable metal content of the electrum coins is an important datum. It would have been very difficult for the public to test the true metal content of early electrum coins (Wallace 1987: 392), or indeed small bits of electrum or electrum dust (Kroll 2008: 18). The great difficulty in ascertaining the gold to silver content and metallic value of electrum even before it was coined is actually good evidence against the Mengerian/Neoclassical explanation of its emergence as money.

Given the variable metal content of electrum and difficulties of assessing its value, one cannot easily argue that early merchants invented electrum coins as standardised money with consistent gold and silver value as the most saleable medium of exchange.

Rather, various scholars (see Wallace 1987: 393, Kroll 2012: 44) concluded that the Lydian kings invented electrum coins as a way of standardising the value of individual issues of electrum (despite the variability of the gold to silver content in the coins) by means of a royal seal on the coin, so that this would stabilise their value by accepting the coins back at the same value, presumably as taxes, fines or payments due to the government.

That is to say, the royal stamp was a sign of redeemability at a fixed value (Seaford 2004: 133; Osborne 1996: 256). In the sense that value was not always equal to the metallic content of the coins, electrum coins were fiduciary and state-guaranteed money (Wallace 1987: 393).

These points count against electrum coinage having been an invention of the private sector, because, as we have seen, the difficulty of ascertaining the gold or silver content of electrum coins, or earlier small electrum portions or electrum dust, does not suggest electrum was the most saleable commodity that emerged as money by the barter spot trade.

Instead, it was a royal government that selected electrum as a state-guaranteed money or form of payment, and that could overcome people’s concerns about the actual metal content of the coins by fixing value.

Further Reading
“The Origin of Money and Coinage in Western Civilisation: The Case of Ancient Greece,” April 5, 2013.

“George Selgin versus David Graeber on the Origin of Money,” March 30, 2016.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Briant, Pierre. 2002. From Cyrus to Alexander: A History of the Persian Empire (trans. Peter T. Daniels). Eisenbraun, Winona Lake, In.

Cook, R. M. 1958. “Speculation on the Origins of Coinage,” Historia 7: 257–262.

Freeman, Charles. 2004. Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Hall, Jonathan M. 2007. A History of the Archaic Greek World, ca. 1200–479 BCE. Blackwell Publishing, Malden, Mass.

Harris, W. V. (ed.). 2008. The Monetary Systems of the Greeks and Romans. Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York.

Holloway, R. Ross. 1978. “La ricerca attuale sull’origine della moneta,” Rivista italiana di numismatica e scienze affini 80: 7–14.

Hornblower, Simon, Spawforth, Antony and Esther Eidinow (eds.). 2014. Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization. Oxford University Press, New York.

Howgego, Christopher J. 1995. Ancient History from Coins. Routledge, London.

Kagan, J. H. 2006. “Small Change and the Beginning of Coinage at Abdera,” in Peter van Alfen (ed.), Agoranomia: Studies in Money and Exchange Presented to John H. Kroll. The American Numismatic Society. New York. 49–60.

Kastner, Wolfgang. 1986. “‘Phanes’ oder ‘Phano’,” Schiunzerische Numismatische Rundschau 65: 5–11.

Kim, H. S. 2001. “Archaic Coinage as Evidence for the Use of Money,” in Andrew Meadows and Kirsty Shipton (eds.). Money and its Uses in the Ancient Greek World. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 7–21.

Kim, H. S. 2002. “Small Change and the Moneyed Economy,” in P. Cartledge, E. E. Cohen and L. Foxhall (eds.), Money, Labour and Land. Approaches to the Economies of Ancient Greece. Routledge, London and New York. 52–66.

Kraay, C. M. 1964. “Hoards, Small Change and the Origin of Coinage,” Journal of Hellenic Studies 84: 76–91.

Kroll, J. H. 2008. “The Monetary Use of Weighted Bullion in Archaic Greece,” in W. V. Harris (ed.) The Monetary Systems of the Greeks and Romans. Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York. 12–37.

Kroll, John H. 2012. “The Monetary Background of Early Coinage,” in William E. Metcalf (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Coinage. Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York.

Osborne, Robin. 1996. Greece in the Making, 1200–479 BC. Routledge, Abindon.

Peacock, M. S. 2006. “The Origins of Money in Ancient Greece: The Political Economy of Coinage and Exchange,” Cambridge Journal of Economics 30: 637–650.

Peacock, Mark. 2013. Introducing Money. Routledge, London.

Price, Martin Jessop. 1983. “Thoughts on the Beginnings of Coinage,” in C. N. L. Brooke et al., Studies in Numismatic Method Presented to Philip Grierson. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 1–10.

Seaford, R. 2004. Money and the Early Greek Mind: Homer, Philosophy, Tragedy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Schaps, D. M. 2004. The Invention of Coinage and the Monetization of Ancient Greece. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor.

Wallace, Robert W. 1987. “The Origin of Electrum Coinage,” American Journal of Archaeology 91.3: 385–397.

Whitley, James. 2001. The Archaeology of Ancient Greece. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

James Keir Hardie’s Views on Mass Immigration

James Keir Hardie (15 August 1856–26 September 1915) was the founder of the British Labour Party (which was founded on 27 February, 1900), its first leader, and its first Member of Parliament.

In 1899, James Keir Hardie appeared before the UK House of Commons Select Committee on emigration and immigration.

He – as a leading socialist of Britain – gave his opinion on mass immigration into Scotland:
“James Keir Hardie, Secretary to the Ayrshire Miners’ Union and to the Scottish Parliamentary Labour Party (pp. 63–69) stated that 2,500 foreign workmen were employed in Glasgow, 300 in Leith and 20 at the Glengarock Ironworks in Ayrshire. There were between 2,800 and 3,000 foreigners in Scotland altogether. ….

In many cases, they only stayed in Scotland a few months, to earn sufficient money to pay their passage to America. Their willingness to accept lower wages to achieve this end gave rise to sweated labour.

Complaints were made to Mr. Hardie by the workers at Glengarnock about the reduction in their wages which had been 17 shillings a week, but since the introduction of foreigners, had been reduced to 12 shillings. Speaking of the Poles at Glengarnock, he said ‘their habits are very filthy, six or seven males occupying a one-roomed house, and having women to cook for them’ (para. 1426). There was much ill-feeling between them and the Scottish workers.

He suggested that the employment of foreigners by British employers should be prohibited, unless they were political exiles or had fled from religious persecution, or if they came from countries where the wage rates were the same as in Britain. He said ‘Dr. Johnson said God made Scotland for Scotchmen, and I would keep it so’ (para. 1491). He thought, however, that any foreigners already in Britain should be allowed to stay.”
http://gdl.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/haynin/haynin0906.htm
The more you look into it, the more you will discover that the pre-1960s Socialist and Old Labour left was often very hostile to the idea of open borders and mass immigration. Their views were often strongly at variance with the opinions of people who now pass for the “Left” in the Western world.

As we have seen here, here, and here, the heavily Marxist Socialist Party of America supported immigration restriction legislation and was even more vehement than Hardie in opposing open borders.

There is a whole history that could be written on the pre-1960s Left and to what extent and why it was hostile to mass immigration, but you can bet the unhinged lunatics and charlatans who pass for the modern “Left” will be completely uninterested in this.

Given the enthusiasm of the modern Left for the quasi-Maoist cultural destruction of the past of the Western world, they’d better start with taking down and destroying all statues, busts, photos, and memorials to James Keir Hardie, in view of his politically incorrect opinions.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Steve Keen on Exploring Economics Lecture 6: A Theory of Value for a New Political Economy

Lecture 6 of six lectures given to the Exploring Economics Summer School in Erfurt, Germany, by Steve Keen. The sixth lecture below is about a theory of value for a new political economy:

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Steve Keen on Exploring Economics Lecture 5: Making Economics consistent with Thermodynamics

Lecture 5 of six lectures given to the Exploring Economics Summer School in Erfurt, Germany, by Steve Keen. The fifth lecture below is about making economics consistent with thermodynamics:

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Steve Keen on Exploring Economics, Lecture 4: Modelling Minsky’s Financial Instability Hypothesis

Lecture 4 of six lectures given to the Exploring Economics Summer School in Erfurt, Germany, by Steve Keen. The fourth lecture below is a discussion of modelling Minsky’s Financial Instability Hypothesis:

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Steve Keen on Exploring Economics Lectures 3: Minsky’s Financial Instability Hypothesis

Lecture 3 of six lectures given to the Exploring Economics Summer School in Erfurt, Germany, by Steve Keen. The third lecture below deals with Minsky’s Financial Instability Hypothesis:

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sam Bowles on “The Death of Homo Economicus”

An interesting interview of Sam Bowles (Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst) by Marshall Auerback on the Neoclassical myth of homo economicus:



A great interview.

See also his book: Bowles, Samuel and Herbert Gintis. 2011. A Cooperative Species: Human Reciprocity and its Evolution. Princeton University Press, Oxford and Princeton, NJ.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Steve Keen on Exploring Economics Lectures 2: Bank Originated Money and Debt

Lecture 2 of six lectures given to the Exploring Economics Summer School in Erfurt, Germany, by Steve Keen, dealing with bank originated money and debt:

Friday, August 18, 2017

Steve Keen on Exploring Economics Lectures 1: Bank Originated Money and Debt

The first of six lectures given to the Exploring Economics Summer School in Erfurt, Germany, by Steve Keen, dealing with role of money in a monetary economy:

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Breitbart on “Racist Socialists”

Breitbart has an eyebrow-raising article here on early American socialists and their attitudes to race.

There are two points here.

First of all, it is true enough that many early socialists, Liberals and even some Marxists did believe in the biological reality of race and racial differences.

We know that Karl Marx at the end of his life seems to have believed in the reality of races, and even in a kind of racial phrenology and the racial pseudo-science of Pierre Trémaux (1818–1895) on racial degeneration.

Worse still, Marx’s attachment to racial phrenology is confirmed in one of his letters to Engels, in which Marx complains about the German radical Ferdinand Lassalle (1825–1864) who visited Marx in London in 1862:
Dear Engels,

From the enclosed scrawls you will partly see how bothered I am. ....

The Jewish nigger Lassalle who, I’m glad to say, is leaving at the end of this week, has happily lost another 5,000 talers in an ill-judged speculation. The chap would sooner throw money down the drain than lend it to a ‘friend’, even though his interest and capital were guaranteed. In this he bases himself on the view that he ought to live the life of a Jewish baron, or Jew created a baron (no doubt by the countess). Just imagine! This fellow, knowing about the American affair, etc., and hence about the state of crisis I’m in, had the insolence to ask me whether I would be willing to hand over one of my daughters to la Hatzfeldt as a ‘companion’, and whether he himself should secure Gerstenberg’s (!) patronage for me! The fellow has wasted my time and, what is more, the dolt opined that, since I was not engaged upon any ‘business’ just now, but merely upon a ‘theoretical work’, I might just as well kill time with him! In order to keep up certain dehors vis-à-vis the fellow, my wife had to put in pawn everything that wasn’t actually nailed or bolted down! ….

It is now quite plain to me — as the shape of his head and the way his hair grows also testify — that he is descended from the negroes who accompanied Moses’ flight from Egypt (unless his mother or paternal grandmother interbred with a nigger). Now, this blend of Jewishness and Germanness, on the one hand, and basic negroid stock, on the other, must inevitably give rise to a peculiar product. The fellow’s importunity is also nigger-like.....

Salut.
Your
K. M.
Letter, Marx to Engels, London, 30 July, 1862.
http://marx.libcom.org/works/1866/letters/66_08_07.htm
While Friedrich Engels’ views on evolution were confused (he, for example, at times held the Lamarckian view that environmentally-acquired traits could be inherited), Engels shared Marx’s belief in races, and Engels’ own writings show that he thought that there were racial differences caused by evolution, including differences in general intelligence:
“… modern natural science has extended the principle of the origin of all thought content from experience in a way that breaks down its old metaphysical limitation and formulation. By recognising the inheritance of acquired characters, it extends the subject of experience from the individual to the genus; the single individual that must have experienced is no longer necessary, its individual experience can be replaced to a certain extent by the results of the experiences of a number of its ancestors. If, for instance, among us the mathematical axioms seem self-evident to every eight-year-old child, and in no need of proof from experience, this is solely the result of ‘accumulated inheritance.’ It would be difficult to teach them by a proof to a bushman or Australian negro.”
Friedrich Engels, Appendix: Notes to Anti-Dühring
https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1883/don/appendix1.htm

“The superior development of Aryans and Semites is, perhaps, attributable to the copious meat and milk diet of both races, more especially to the favorable influence of such food on the growth of children. As a matter of fact, the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico who live on an almost purely vegetarian diet, have a smaller brain than the Indians in the lower stage of barbarism who eat more meat and fish.” (Engels 1909: 32).
I cannot verify the statements made in Breitbart about the American Marxist Victor Berger, who supposedly said that “There can be no doubt that the negroes and mulattoes constitute a lower race—that the Caucasian and indeed the Mongolian have the start of them in civilization by many thousand years,” though this statement is quoted in scholarly secondary literature as having been said by him.

But what can be said is that, even if they held them, in their opposition to, say, immigration these American socialists/Marxists like Victor Berger did not invoke such racial views, as can be conclusively seen in the public statements and resolutions of the Socialist Party of America here, here, here, of which Victor Berger was a prominent member. In reality, these socialists argued against mass immigration on pragmatic economic and social grounds, but did allow immigration of people suffering persecution, and did not call for immigration exclusion of people on the basis simply of their race.

But to return to the general point: as the author of the Breitbart article points out, must all the statues and monuments to socialists, Marxists and Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels be pulled down too, because of their racial views? If not, why not?

A secondary point is: are all these other accusations about early socialists in Breitbart accurate?

The article seems to imply that the newspaper Appeal to Reason (which existed from 1895 to 1922 and which became a leading socialist publication after 1901) supported some kind of state-enforced racial discrimination and forced segregation of blacks.

Is this true? Breitbart seems to be referring to a book called Leaves of Life: A Story of Twenty Years of Socialist Agitation (Girard, Kansas, 1912) by Julius Augustus Wayland, a radical American socialist who had founded Appeal to Reason in 1895, and who published the writings of other leading socialists like Jack London, Mary Harris Jones (“Mother” Jones), Upton Sinclair and Eugene Debs.

Here is the relevant passage:
“THE NEGRO AND SOCIALISM.
Socialism will solve the race question, and that, too, without a single reference to race and without denying to any person a single right accorded any other person. It will be done in just the way the government or society now employs colored soldiers or provides schools for them separate from the whites. Take, for instance, some great factory. The workers will make the regulations, governing the industry. It would require a majority of the workers to consent to the employment of colored, Chinese, or any other race in that particular factory, a consent not likely to be given. As every citizen would have the right of employment, a rejection of any race would necessitate the erection of a plant of that or some other character in which such colored citizens would be separated from the whites and the whites from the colored people, one not more than the other. The colored race would have the same right to reject or accept the association of whites. It would be to the interest of all to have the colored race furnished with the same good machinery to work with and the same good homes and schools and everything, as the result of their labor would be a matter of interest to all. Thus they would live as well as the whites and have every surrounding to develop and unfold them that could be placed about them. There would be communities or sections of blacks, of Chinese, or of any other races and nationalities, if there were such citizens. You might fear that such guarantee of employment and capital by the public would result in flooding this country with the hordes from other lands. Yes, if a majority of the people here should vote to admit them. But that is not likely. You see the public would own all the land, machinery and means of exchange, and no one could find a place to work, except the majority should make regulations admitting them. They come in now by the millions, with or without your consent, because the private owners of industries can hire them cheaper than you want to work for. You would need the anti-Chinese laws and other farces then. No, Chinamen might come, but Chinamen would not be able to work and live here without your consent. Thus you see that private ownership of industries mixes up the races, reducing blacks, whites and yellows to a common level, while socialism would separate the races and lift them all to the highest level of which each were capable. It would do this without denying one any right possessed by another, without denying employment to any class, and without permitting any to take profit off another. All the hell you see in the fields of industry today, all the riots, strikes and threatened revolution are the results of private ownership, where should be public ownership. All is the result of one set trying to squeeze profit out of the other in some industry. When you get wise you will abolish this hell and institute a heaven.” (Wayland 1912: 128–130).
A careful reading of this passage shows it doesn’t support the idea that Julius Augustus Wayland advocated some kind of state-enforced racial discrimination to oppress blacks, nor universal state-forced segregation of blacks.

Rather, the socialist world imagined by Wayland supported some kind of democratic and voluntary association and integration or voluntary separation, in accordance with the mutual wishes of workers and communities.

That might sound harsh by modern standards, but it’s hardly the picture strongly implied by Breitbart. Of course, the passage does show that, in Wayland’s view, ordinary American white workers probably would not have wanted to be integrated with other races, but that is a commentary on the general social attitudes and general racial feelings in early 20th century America, not on the socialist system Wayland advocated per se.

Nor did Wayland wish to oppress blacks or deny them employment or equal rights. This is perfectly clear in his explicit statements:
“Socialism will solve the race question, and that, too, without a single reference to race and without denying to any person a single right accorded any other person. …. As every citizen would have the right of employment, a rejection of any race would necessitate the erection of a plant of that or some other character in which such colored citizens would be separated from the whites and the whites from the colored people, one not more than the other. The colored race would have the same right to reject or accept the association of whites. …. socialism …. would do this without denying one any right possessed by another, without denying employment to any class, and without permitting any to take profit off another.” (Wayland 1912: 128–130).
As an aside, it is clear that Julius Augustus Wayland was not in favour of open borders, as in the case of other early American socialists as described here, here, here, but had a peculiar view of how to control borders:
“You might fear that such guarantee of employment and capital by the public would result in flooding this country with the hordes from other lands. Yes, if a majority of the people here should vote to admit them. But that is not likely. You see the public would own all the land, machinery and means of exchange, and no one could find a place to work, except the majority should make regulations admitting them. They come in now by the millions, with or without your consent, because the private owners of industries can hire them cheaper than you want to work for. You would need the anti-Chinese laws and other farces then. No, Chinamen might come, but Chinamen would not be able to work and live here without your consent. Thus you see that private ownership of industries mixes up the races, reducing blacks, whites and yellows to a common level, while socialism would separate the races and lift them all to the highest level of which each were capable.” (Wayland 1912: 128–130).
But, as we have seen from the context of the whole passage, Wayland thought that separation would be democratic and voluntary, and – whatever you think about the morality of any of this – Wayland’s views were not as extreme and sinister as the way they were portrayed by Breitbart.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Engels, Friedrich. 1909. The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (trans. Ernest Untermann). C. H. Kerr & Company, Chicago.
https://archive.org/details/originoffamilypr00enge

Wayland, Julius Augustus. 1912. Leaves of Life: A Story of Twenty Years of Socialist Agitation. Appeal to Reason, Girard, Kansas.
https://archive.org/details/leaveslife00unkngoog

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Orwellian Social Media

In essence, if there was any doubt at all that the Cultural Left has massive ideological control of popular social media like YouTube and tech companies like Google, then there can be no doubt now.

Sargon of Akkad exposures the massive private censorship on YouTube:



And Sargon himself has been suspended from Twitter:



I had my differences with Sargon on economics and his feeble “Classical Liberal” world-view, but he did heroic work exposing SJW lies and insanity, and these social media purges and Orwellian censorship are ominous signs.

See Sargon of Akkad’s other social media:
Sargon of Akkad on YouTube (main channel)
The Thinkery (second channel)
Sargon of Akkad on Facebook
See also Dave Rubin and Dave Rubin:
Gad Saad
The Rubin Report

Friday, August 11, 2017

The BBC, Mary Beard and Diversity in Roman Britain

The BBC produced a cartoon as part of their “The Story of Britain” series called “Roman Britain”.

In the original description (which the BBC has since changed), the family depicted was described as a “typical family:


The video presents a black person as a high-status Roman officer and, according to the description above, as the head of a “typical family”:



But why on earth is a person who appears to be a sub-Saharan African (or possibly an indigenous North African) being depicted as a head of a “typical family” in Roman Britain?

To be “typical,” this entails that this is what the average family looked like, whether of Roman personnel in Britain or of all people in Roman Britain generally, and that in turn entails that the majority of Roman personnel or the majority of all people in Roman Britain were sub-Saharan Africans or indigenous North Africans.

Such an idea is, of course, outrageously nonsensical.

And citing evidence of some few sub-Saharan Africans or indigenous North Africans in Britain cannot possibly prove that the majority of Roman personnel or the majority of all people in Roman Britain were of that ethnic identity.

The British Classicist Mary Beard defended the BBC in various Tweets on Twitter and in this TLS article here.

Her Tweet here produced a great deal of criticism:


So what was the meaning of this Tweet? Was Mary Beard suggesting that a family headed by a sub-Saharan African or indigenous North African was a “typical family” in Roman Britain and the majority of people were like this?

A review of her Twitter feed and the TLS article here (see also here) shows that Beard quickly tried to oppose the criticisms of her Tweet by saying her defence only meant that the idea that a Roman family headed by a black man in Britain was “possible,” or that there is some evidence of low-level ethnic diversity in Roman Britain (neither of which reasonable people dispute).

Mary Beard also suggested that the black man was “loosely based …on Quintus Lollius Urbicus, a man from what is now Algeria, who became governor of Britain,” even though Quintus Lollius Urbicus was a North African Berber, and the idea that Berber families were “typical” of Roman Britain is also laughable.

The main issue that critics of the cartoon were pointing to is this: how can a family headed by a sub-Saharan African (or possibly an indigenous North African) possibly have been a “typical family” in Roman Britain, when that requires that most people were like this?

Instead of honestly answering this question, the social media debate quickly got side-tracked into secondary issues, such as whether there was ethnic diversity and foreigners in Roman Britain at all (and clearly there was some kind of low-level ethnic diversity on Roman Britain).

Is there even one high-profile Classicist or ancient historian in Britain today who has the courage and intellectual honesty to state that the BBC’s video was an outrageous travesty of history? Is there any such Classicist or ancient historian capable of saying publicly that “of course it is ridiculous and politically correct nonsense to state, as the BBC did, that a family headed by a sub-Saharan African (or indigenous North African) was a “typical family” in Roman Britain in the sense of being average.”

Well, maybe there are such people, but I’ve yet to see one.

Most damning for all the apologists for the BBC is that they quietly went and changed the description in the original video to this:


Well, well, well. It’s almost like the BBC realise their original description was absurd. But can modern classicists admit this too? Can Mary Beard admit this?

And note well: this was the major issue that critics of the BBC had, and all other points are secondary or minor. But – be that as it may – let us now turn to some minor issues.

Minor Issues
1. The Historia Augusta, the Ethiopian, and Black Skin as a Bad Omen
In the various Twitter debates, there was discussion of a passage in an ancient Latin source called the Historia Augusta, a series of imperial biographies probably written in the late 4th or early 5th century BC.

In this work, there is a biography of the emperor Septimius Severus, who ruled from 14 April 193 to 4 February 211, and he died in Eboracum (York) in Britain. This biography describes the last years of Severus’ life when he was on campaign in Britain, and troubled by omens of his own death.

A passage from Severus’ biography was used by Beard in her TLS article here to prove that there were blacks in Roman Britain.

The passage runs as follows, with the Latin first and a translation from the online Loeb Classical Library edition of 1921, but with a revised translation of the important part at the end:
post m[a]urum apud vallum vis[s]um in Brittannia cum ad proximam mansionem rediret non solum victor sed etiam in aeternum pace fundata volvens animo, quid [h]ominis sibi occurreret, Aethiops quidam e numero militari, clarae inter scurras famae et celebratorum semper iocorum, cum corona e cupressu facta eidem occurrit. 22.5 quem cum ille iratus removeri ab oculis praecepisset et coloris eius tactus omine et coronae, dixisse ille dicitur ioci causa: ‘totum fudisti, totum vicisti, 22.6 iam deus esto victor.’

“4. On another occasion, when he [sc. Severus] was returning to his nearest quarters from an inspection of the wall at Luguvallum in Britain, at a time when he had not only proved victorious but had concluded a perpetual peace, just as he was wondering what omen would present itself, an Ethiopian soldier, who was famous among buffoons and always a notable jester, met him with a garland of cypress-boughs. 5. And when Severus in a rage ordered that the man be removed from his sight, troubled as he was by the omen both of the man’s colour and of the garland, the Ethiopian by way of jest cried, it is said, ‘You have been all things, you have conquered all things, now, O conqueror, be a god.’”
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/e/roman/texts/historia_augusta/septimius_severus*.html
Apart from minor textual issues easily resolved, the Latin of the crucial highlighted part, with its correlative conjunction “et ... et” construction, is clear enough: et coloris eius tactus omine et coronae.

Assuming that the story is even real (and the major modern biographer of Severus raises doubts: see Birley 1988: 184), what does this story prove?

It certainly does not prove that the majority of Roman personnel in Britain were sub-Saharan Africans. And the context of the passage suggests that seeing a black man in the British army was an unusual sight, because if sub-Saharan Africans were common and in large numbers in Britain, then why would Severus have been surprised or startled to meet one?

The passage also shows that the Romans had a superstitious fear of black skin, because black was regarded as an ill-omened colour (Snowden 2001: 260).

Recent work by Starks (2011) presents evidence that this was by no means an unusual attitude amongst the Romans at all, and that colour prejudice was also a prevalent social phenomenon:



Even worse, we have evidence of another episode like this that occurred in 42 BC before the second battle of Philippi in the army of Marcus Junius Brutus.

The translation below from Plutarch’s Life of Brutus follows the Loeb Classical Library edition of 1918, but with an emended translation of the crucial passage (and the Greek text following):
“48.1. On that night, they say, the phantom visited Brutus again, manifesting the same appearance as before, but went away without a word. 2. Publius Volumnius, however, a philosopher, and a companion of Brutus in all his campaigns, makes no mention of this omen, but says that the foremost standard was covered with bees; …. 4. He says also that just before the battle itself two eagles fought a pitched battle with one another in the space between the camps, and as all were gazing at them, while an incredible silence reigned over the plain, the eagle towards Brutus gave up the fight and fled. 5. And the story of the Ethiopian is well known, who, as the gate of the camp was thrown open, met the standard-bearer, and was cut to pieces by the soldiers, because they thought [him] an omen.” (ὁ δ᾽ Αἰθίοψ περιβόητος γέγονεν, ὁ τῆς πύλης ἀνοιχθείσης ἀπαντήσας τῷ φέροντι τὸν ἀετὸν καὶ κατακοπεὶς ταῖς μαχαίραις ὑπὸ τῶν στρατιωτῶν οἰωνισαμένων).
Plutarch, Brutus, 48.1–5
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/e/roman/texts/plutarch/lives/brutus*.html
The same story is recorded by the ancient historians Appian (The Civil Wars 4.17.134) and Florus (Epitome of Roman History 2.17.7.7–8).

Both of the passages above suggest that your average Roman solider was so superstitious that the sight of a black man before some crucial moment (like a battle) was considered a terribly bad omen. In fact, in the case of the soldiers of Brutus, the soldiers slaughtered the poor African man on the spot in a murderous assault.

So why, then, would Romans import large numbers of sub-Saharan Africans into their armies if they were so superstitious? Such evidence suggests that blacks in general were likely to have been a tiny minority in the Roman army, and not common at all.

2. The Ethnicity of the Emperor Septimius Severus
Mary Beard in her TLS article here stated that “Even in the case of Septimius Severus, the first Roman emperor from Africa (Libya), we don’t actually know the colour of his skin, how far he was ‘native’, how far the descendent of Italian settler.”

And yet Anthony Birley – the major scholarly biographer of the emperor Septimius Severus – established that Septimius Severus was descended from Roman Italian colonists in north Africa on his mother’s side and wealthy Punic (or Punic-Libyan) magnates in Leptis Magna on his father’s side (see Birley 1988: 8, 212–226; see here). This means that, at most, Septimius Severus would have had swarthy skin like the southern Italians or the native people of North Africa. It is absurd to claim that Septimius Severus would have had black skin like sub-Saharan Africans. We also have portrait statues of Septimius Severus, and he does not look like a sub-Saharan African.

Thus Mary Beard – if she bothered to read Anthony Birley’s Septimius Severus: The African Emperor (1988; rev. edn. 1999) – was being straightforwardly disingenuous when she asserted that “Even in the case of Septimius Severus, the first Roman emperor from Africa (Libya), we don’t actually know the colour of his skin, how far he was ‘native’, how far the descendent of Italian settler.” The genealogy established by modern research, however, does allow us to talk about Severus’ ancestry with reasonable confidence, and his skin colour.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Birley, Anthony. 1988. The African Emperor: Septimius Severus (rev. edn.). B. T. Batsford, London.

Snowden, Frank M. 2001. “Attitudes towards Blacks in the Greek and Roman World: Misinterpretations of the Evidence,” in Edwin M. Yamauchi (ed.), Africa and Africans in Antiquity. Michigan State University Press, East Lansing. 246–275.

Starks, John H., Jr. 2011. “Was Black Beautiful in Vandal Africa?,” in Daniel Orrells, Gurminder K. Bhambra, and Tessa Roynton (eds.), African Athena: New Agendas. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 239–257.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Chronology of Human Evolutionary Prehistory and Early History (Updated)

I have updated my chronology of human evolutionary prehistory and early history to complement my summaries of Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending’s The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution (2009).

It covers both human evolutionary prehistory and early history:
c. 5.3 million years ago – the dried-out Mediterranean basin is flooded with water from the Atlantic Ocean

4 million years ago – emergence of the Australopithecus genus in eastern Africa

2.8–1.5 million years ago – time of Homo habilis

2.6–1.7 million years ago – Oldowan culture, the earliest stone tool archaeological industry of prehistory, in Africa, South Asia, the Middle East and Europe

2.58–0 million years ago – Quaternary period:
2,588,000–9,700 BC – the Pleistocene epoch
9,700 BC–present – Holocene epoch
2,586,000–9,700 BC – the Pleistocene era (the Ice Age), the last glacial period

2.58–0 million years ago – Quaternary period:
2.58 million years ago – the Quaternary glaciation (Pleistocene glaciation) started just a few million years ago and continues
2.58–0 million years ago – Quaternary period
2,500,000–c. 8,800 BC – Paleolithic period in Europe

1.9 million–70,000 years ago – time of Homo erectus

1.9 million years ago – Homo erectus migrated out of Africa via the Levantine corridor and Horn of Africa to Eurasia during the Early Pleistocene

1.76 million—100,000 years ago – Acheulean culture, of stone tools in Africa, West Asia, South Asia, and Europe

1.66 million years ago – China was populated by Homo erectus

c. 700,000–200,000 years ago – Homo heidelbergensis inhabited Africa, Europe and western Asia

c. 600,000–370,000 years ago – time of the steppe mammoth, which populated northern Eurasia

c.400,000–8,000 BC – time of the Woolly mammoth

300,000 years ago – Denisovans may have split from Homo heidelbergensis. See the map here

300,000–250,000 – Homo heidelbergensis evolves into Neanderthals outside Africa

c. 250,000–c. 37,000 BC – time of the Neanderthals; by c. 26,000 BC, the last group of Neanderthals disappear from southern Spain

200,000 BC
200,000 years ago – Homo sapiens first appears in East Africa

c. 158,000–38,000 BC – the Mousterian (or Mode III) culture or archaeological industry, of flint tools mainly associated with the Neanderthals, and some early humans, in Eurasia

130,000–114,000 years ago – the ice retreated during the Eemian interglacial

125,000 years ago – Homo sapiens reached the Near East, but evidence suggests they retreated back to Africa, as their settlements were replaced by Neanderthals

120,000–81,000 years ago – Skhul and Qafzeh in modern-day Israel contain evidence that Homo sapiens lived at those sites but then went back to Africa

c. 118,000–c. 88,000 BC – the time of the Abbassia Pluvial when North Africa had a wet and rainy climate, and North Africa had lush vegetation, lakes, swamps, and river systems

108,000–9,700 BC – last Ice Age

113,000–9,700 BC – the Würm glaciation, last glacial period of the Alpine region of Europe. See map here

100,000 BC

100,000–c. 50,000 years ago – dwarf Homo floresiensis (hobbits), which evolved from Homo erectus, lives on the island of Flores in Indonesia

c. 100,000 years ago – Gigantopithecus probably becomes extinct owing to the climate change in the Pleistocene era

c. 73,000 BC (± 900 years) – Lake Toba supervolcanic eruption (in Sumatra, Indonesia). This is the largest known explosive eruption on Earth in the last 25 million years. According to the Toba catastrophe theory, it had global consequences for human populations: it killed most humans living at that time and is believed to have created a population bottleneck in central east Africa and India, which affects the genetic make-up of the human world-wide population to the present

75,000 years ago – Homo sapiens left Africa again about across the Bab el Mandib, connecting Ethiopia and Yemen into Middle East

70,000 years ago – cold, dry low point; most of northern Europe and Canada were covered by thick ice sheets

60,000 years ago – humans settle New Guinea

60,000–50,000 BC – outside Africa, Homo sapiens lives in Near East, Greece, south Asia, New Guinea and Australia

c. 58,000 BC – most areas north of the tropics not inhabited by Homo sapiens because of the cold and difficulty of food supply

50,000 years ago – Homo sapiens in South Asia

c. 50,000–40,000 years ago – southeast Asians reach Australia; in Australia by 46,000 years ago at the latest

c. 48,000–28,000 BC – the time of the Mousterian Pluvial in North Africa, with a wet and rainy climate

c. 48,000 BC – the ancestor languages of the Dene Caucasian, Austric, Dravidian, Indo-Pacific, and Australian language families probably established in south Asia, Sunda, and Sahul (Australia-New Guinea continent)

c. 43,000–41,000 BC – Cro-Magnon Homo sapiens reached Europe from the Near East, eventually replacing the Neanderthal population by 40,000 years ago

c. 43,000–c. 38,000 BC – the Châtelperronian culture in central and south-western France and northern Spain

c. 41,000–c. 26,000 BC – the Aurignacian culture is found in Europe (probably associated with GoyetQ116 type people), the archaeological culture of the Upper Palaeolithic; this first appears in Eastern Europe around c. 41,000 BC, and spread into Western Europe c. 38,000 and 34,000 BC, but replaced by the Gravettian culture c. 26,000 to 24,000 BC

39,000–37,000 BC – Neanderthals die out in Europe

c. 38,000 BC – humans start to settle the northern Eurasian regions

c. 38,000 BC – time of the proposed proto-language that developed into the proto-Amerind and proto-Eurasiatic languages spoken around the northeast coast of Asia; the linguist Joseph Greenberg dates this to 13,000 to 9,000 BC; this proposed proto-language might have been descended from proto-Austric or proto-Sino-Tibetan

c. 38,000 BC – earliest proposed date for the beginning of human settlement of Alaska and north America via the Bering straits

c. 38,000 BC – Paleolithic hunter-gatherers live in Japan

35,000–12,000 BC – European hunter-gatherers descend from a single ancestral population with no significant genetic inflow from other regions

c. 29,000–c. 22,000 BC – the Gravettian tool-making culture of the European Upper Paleolithic of Vestonice cluster type people; ice age glaciation seems to have wiped out Gravettian culture people c. 22,000 BC

28,000 BC – East Asia was reached by Homo sapiens

28,000–13,000 BC – last cool phase of the Ice age; humans withdraw from north Eurasia to more southerly areas

c. 27,000–18,000 BC – Last Glacial Maximum (when the ice sheets were at their greatest extension) c. 24,500 BC; deglaciation began in the Northern Hemisphere gradually from c. 18,000 to 17,000 BC

26,000 BC – last group of Neanderthals disappear from southern Spain

c. 22,000–13,000 BC – Mal’ta-Buret’ culture on the upper Angara River in the area west of Lake Baikal in the Irkutsk Oblast, Siberia. These people were important for the genetic ancestry of Siberians, Native Americans and Bronze Age Yamnaya people. The Ancient North Eurasian (ANE) population was either the people of the Mal’ta-Buret’ culture or a closely-related population

20,000 BC
c. 20,000–15,000 BC – Solutrean industry in France and southern Spain, a flint tool-making style of the Upper Palaeolithic in Europe. See the map here

c. 18,000–17,000 BC – deglaciation began in the Northern Hemisphere

c. 18,000–12,500 BC – Kebarian culture of the Levant; this was followed by the Natufian culture. Some think the Kebarian culture was associated with speakers of the Proto-Nostratic language

c. 17,000 BC – as the Ice Age ended in Europe, people (of the El Miron cluster type, with admixture of GoyetQ116 and the Villabruna branch) from the southwest and Spain re-migrated and expanded over Europe. These people are associated with the Magdalenian culture

c. 16,000–c. 10,000 BC – time of Proto-Afroasiatic, with its homeland in Levant, Red Sea/Horn of Africa, or North Africa

c. 15,000–10,000 BC – the Magdalenian culture, a culture of the Upper Paleolithic in western Europe

c. 14,300 BC – Homo sapiens reach North America? (c. 16,500–13,000 years ago)

c. 14,000–c. 13,000 BC – the Oldest Dryas, a cold period

before 13,000 BC – the possible date of the hypothetical Proto-Dené-Caucasian language, which gave rise to the Dené-Caucasian languages including
Western
Vasconic languages (Aquitanian, Iberian, Tartessian?, modern Basque)
Tyrsenian (disputed) (Etruscan, Raetic, Lemnian, Camunic?)
Paleo-Sardinian languages of the Balares and Iolaei
Sicanian language of Sicily
Hurro-Urartian (Hurrian, Urartian, Kassite?)
Hattic
North Caucasian languages
Sumerian (disputed)
Burushaski

Northern
Yeniseian
Na-Dené (in north America, including Athabaskan, Eyak, and Tlingit languages)

Eastern
Sino-Tibetan (Tibetan, Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka, Wu, Burmese, Karen, Bodo)
This language family is probably older than the Eurasiatic family, and Dené-Caucasian spread in a first migration, and was later overrun by Eurasiatic. See the family tree here. A proposed homeland is the Sino-Tibetan homeland in south China c. 30,000 BC. Proto-Dené-Caucasian speakers might have migrated into the steppe, east and west, and to the west along the Silk Road into Central Asia, the Caucasus region, and Europe. Original connections between the East and West Dene-Caucasian groups are probably older than 10,000 years

c. 13,000 BC – spread of the proposed proto-Eurasiatic language (of Joseph Greenberg, Indo-European and its Closest Relatives: The Eurasiatic Language Family, Stanford, 2000) giving rise to the Eurasiatic language family, possibly from a refuge area in the Last Glacial Maximum, including
Indo-European
Uralic (or Uralic-Yukaghir)
Altaic (Mongolic, Tungusic and Turkic)
Korean-Japanese-Ainu
Gilyak
Chukchi-Kamchatkan
Eskimo-Aleut
Dravidian (now largely rejected or disputed)
Kartvelian (now largely rejected or disputed)
See here. Amerind is possibly a sister language group of the Eurasiatic languages, and some scholars date proto-Eurasiatic to c. 38,000 BC and place its homeland in the north Pacific coast of Asia, with proto-Amerind; proto-Amerind then spread into America and Eurasiatic langauges into central Asia through the steppe. Proto-Eurasiatic might have descended from proto-Nilo-Saharan, proto-Afroasiatic, proto-Dravidian, proto-Dene-Caucasian, or proto-Austric. Austric may be the parent language of proto-Eurasiatic, and migrations of Eurasiatic speakers displaced earlier Dené–Caucasian languages

c. 13,000 BC – proto-Na-Dene speaking people move into Alaska from Asia

12,800 BC – Amerindians reach Patagonia in southern Chile

12,700–10,700 BC – Bølling-Allerød interstadial, the first important warm and moist period at the end of the last glacial period; in certain regions, there was a cold period called the Older Dryas during the middle of the Bølling-Allerød interstadial

12,500–9,500 BC – the Natufian culture in the Levant; harvesting of wild plants allows more free time; Natufians may have spoken a proto-Afroasiatic language, but others disagree

c. 12,180–11,780 BC – possibly a great migration to Europe from the west via Italy?; Villabruna branch ancestry people spread out; during this time after the Ice Age, there was population movement into Europe from either the Near East or the Balkans of the Villabruna Cluster people, some of whom had a genetic affinity to east Asians (Fu, Posth et al. 2016)

c. 12,100–c. 11,700 – the Older Dryas, a cold period

12,000 BC

12,000 BC onwards – Europeans are Western hunter gatherers

c. 12,000 BC – beginning of possible migration from the Near East or the Balkans of the Villabruna Cluster people into Europe

after c. 12,000 BC – a subset of European hunter-gatherers of the Villabruna branch people have some East Asian-related DNA (possible migration of Dene Caucasian speakers into Europe and the Caucasus and Anatolia?)

12,000–8,000 BC – most mammoths die out; small population of 500–1000 woolly mammoths lived on Wrangel Island until 1,650 BC

c. 12,000 BC – dogs probably domesticated by the Natufians in the Near East

12,000–300 BC – the hunter-gatherer Jōmon culture in Japan; some estimates put it as early as 14,500 BC

c.11,200–10,000 BC – the prehistoric Paleo-Indian Clovis culture in North America; Clovis culture ended by the Younger Dryas (10,900–9,700 BC) and associated dust storms

11,000 BC
c. 11,000–8,000 BC – the Late Glacial or Tardiglacial, the beginning of the warm period when the Northern Hemisphere warmed substantially with significant accelerated deglaciation after the Last Glacial Maximum (c. 23,000–11,000 years ago). Human beings in refuge areas started to repopulate northern Europe and Eurasia. See the map here

c. 11,000 BC – the Grand Banks of Newfoundland (now underwater plateaus south-east of Newfoundland on the North American continental shelf) were glaciated during the last glacial maximum, but left exposed as the ice sheets melt

c. 11,000 BC – outflow of water from Lake Agassiz (which may have been the largest lake on Earth then) into the Arctic Ocean

11,000–9,000 BC – the Ahrensburg culture (Ahrensburgian culture), a late Upper Paleolithic nomadic hunter culture in north-central Europe during the Younger Dryas

c. 11,000–9,000 BC – Windermere interstadial in Britain, the warm phase at the end of the last glaciation preceding the Younger Dryas; perhaps it began 12,000 BC

10,900–9,700 BC – mini ice age called the Younger Dryas causes sharp decline in temperatures over much of the northern hemisphere. Younger Dryas was triggered by vast meltwater probably from Lake Agassiz flowing into the North Atlantic, which caused disruption to thermohaline circulation

c. 10,900–9,700 BC – the Younger Dryas causes severe problems in Natufian culture from drought; Natufians abandoned settlements and became nomadic; on the shores of disappearing lake Galilee, Natufians began farming; others began herding

c. 10,700 BC – extinction of the North American megafauna, including giant sloths, American lion, giant tortoises, Smilodon, dire wolves, giant beaver, giant Columbian mammoth, woolly mammoth, mastodons, American cheetah, scimitar cats (Homotherium), American camels, and American horses

10,000 BC – possible human population at 4 million
c. 10,000 BC – Jericho is a settlement, and before that a camping ground for Natufian hunter-gatherer groups

c. 10,000 BC – the Komsa culture (Komsakulturen), a Mesolithic culture of hunter-gatherers in Northern Norway, in which the Komsa people settled the Norwegian coastline as glaciation receded at the end of the last ice age (11,000 and 8000 BC); the Komsa may be proto-Saami speakers

10,200–8,000 BC – settlement of Mureybet, on the west bank of the Euphrates in northern Syria:
10,200–9,700 BC – Phase IA: the Natufian occupation
9,700–9,300 BC – Phases IB, IIA and IIB: Khiamian
9,300–8,600 BC – Phases IIIA and IIIB: Mureybetian
8,600–8,200 BC – phase IVA: Early PPNB
8,200–8,000 BC – phase IVB: Middle PPNB
c. 10,000 BC – Jericho is a settlement, and before that a camping ground for Natufian hunter-gatherer groups

9,700 BC–present – the Holocene epoch

from 9,700 BC – the Holocene epoch climate stability (with higher temperatures and regular rainfall) allowed the development of sustained cultivation and a reliable subsistence economy probably in northern Syria and Jordan (where wild cereal strands were more difficult to find)

after 9,700 BC – after the end of Younger Dryas, climate in Near East perfect for farming, which then spreads with combination of farming and herding

c. 9,500–c. 8,000 BC – Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA):
10,200–8,800 BC – Khiamian period
c. 9,500–c. 8,000 BC – Pre-Pottery Neolithic A
c. 7,600–c. 6,000 BC – Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
c. 6,100–c. 5,100 BC – the Halaf culture (in south-eastern Turkey, Syria, and northern Iraq)
c. 6,500–c. 3,800 BC – the Ubaid period in Mesopotamia
c. 5,500–c. 5,000 BC – the Halaf-Ubaid Transitional period in Mesopotamia
5,500–4,800 BC – the Samarra culture in northern Mesopotamia
c. 9,500–c. 8,000 BC – Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA):
c. 9,500 BC – temple complex at Göbekli Tepe built
c. 9,300–c. 7,500 BC – Tell Aswad
c. 9,000–7,000 BC – Abu Hureyra
8,920–7,110 BC – Cafer Höyük
8,400–8,100 BC – Nevalı Çori
8,300–c. 7,550 BC – ’Ain Ghazal
8,200–7,400 BC – early occupation of Aşıklı Höyük
c. 7,870–5,840 BC – Tell Ghoraifé

c. 7,600–c. 6,000 BC – Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
7,500–5,700 BC – Çatalhöyük
c. 7,230–6,800 BC – Tell Ramad
7,200–6,600 BC – Çayönü
c. 7,040 BC – Hacilar in southwestern Turkey
c. 7,000 BC – Ugarit (Ras Shamra) settled
c. 6,500 BC – Can Hasan III in south Turkey
c. 9,500 BC – Pre-Pottery Neolithic A people in the southern Levant had developed small bins and larger storage silos systems for grain at Dhra’, Gilgal I, Netiv Hagdud, and Wadi Fidan 16

c. 9,500 BC – first phase of construction of the temple complex at Göbekli Tepe

9,500–7,000 BC – Göbekli Tepe in south-east Turkey is a pre-pottery Neolithic A settlement where massive T-shaped stone pillars are erected, the world’s oldest known megaliths

c. 9,300–c. 7,500 BC – Tell Aswad a settlement near modern Damascus in Syria, with walls and houses; the earliest exploitation of domesticated emmer wheat c. 9,000–8,500 BC, with pigs, sheep, goats and cattle

c. 9,000–7,000 BC – Abu Hureyra is resettled as a Pre-Pottery Neolithic A site

9,000 BC
c. 9,000 – sedentary agriculture develops in the Near East in the Holocene:
c. 7,000 BC – agriculture in the Yangzi and Yellow River basins
7,000–4,000 – agriculture in highland New Guinea
2,500 BC – agriculture in south India
3,000–2,000 BC – agriculture in Andean South America, central Mexico and Africa
2,000–1,000 BC – north-east America
8,920–7,110 BC – settlement of Cafer Höyük, northeast of Malatya, Turkey in the Euphrates valley

c. 8,800 – 4,900 BC – Mesolithic period in Europe

c. 8,500 BC – domesticated cereals such as einkorn, emmer, and barley imported into Cyrus; wild goats and cattle may have been brought in earlier

8,400–8,100 BC – Nevalı Çori is a settlement on the middle Euphrates, southeast Turkey; Nevalı Çori had temples and monumental sculpture, and the oldest domesticated Einkorn wheat was found there

8,300–c. 7,950 BC – ’Ain Ghazal is a settlement in Jordan, with mud-brick houses; phase II settlement ends c. 7,550 BC

c. 8,300 BC – domesticated pigs present at Cafer Höyük northeast of Malatya, Turkey; pigs spread to the south Levant by 7,000–6,500 BC, and central Anatolia c. 6,500 BC

c. 8,200 BC – goats domesticated in the region from the east Taurus to the south Zagros and Iranian Plateau

8,200–7,400 BC – early occupation of Aşıklı Höyük

c. 8,000 BC – end of the Quaternary extinction event of the megafauna, which was a long process from the mid-Pleistocene

c. 8,000 BC – wall of Jericho constructed; domestication of goats in the Near East; domestication of dogs from wolves in Asia

8,000 BC – world population is possibly around 5,000,000

c. 8,000–7,000 BC – the hypothetical Austric proto-langauge is spoken in the Burma-Yunnan frontier. The proposed Austric macrofamily has two subgroups:
(1) Hmong-Mien and

(2) a proto-langauge that gave rise to
(i) Austroasiatic and
(ii) Austro-Tai including Austronesian and Tai-Kadai (e.g., Thai and Lao; see map here).
See here.

c. 7,870–5,840 BC – settlement of Tell Ghoraifé, east of Damascus, Syria

c. 7,600–c. 6,000 BC – Pre-Pottery Neolithic B in the Near East; this was ended by Bond climatic event 5

c. 7,500 BC – Mesolithic hunter-gatherers reach Ireland

c. 7,500–3,500/3000 BC – Neolithic Subpluvial (Holocene Wet Phase), a period of wet and rainy conditions in the climatic history of northern Africa

7,500–5,700 BC – settlement of Çatalhöyük, a large Neolithic and Chalcolithic proto-city in southern Anatolia

c. 7,230–6,800 BC – Tell Ramad is settled, southwest of modern Damascus; Tell Ramad had various types of domesticated wheat, barley, flax and emmer wheat

7,200–6,600 BC – Çayönü, a Neolithic settlement in southeast Turkey, has cultivated emmer wheat, and domestic cattle and pigs

c. 7,040 BC – Hacilar is a settlement in southwestern Turkey

7,000 BC
c. 7,000–2,000 BC – time of the Proto-Uralic language, ancestral to the Uralic language family; the Proto-Uralic homeland may have been around the Kama River, close to the Great Volga Bend and the Ural Mountains; Proto-Uralic language diverged into Proto-Samoyedic and Proto-Finno-Ugric:
(1) Finno-Ugric
(i) Finnic
Baltic Finnic
Estonian
Finnish
Karelian
Livonian
Ingrian
Sami (Lapp languages)
Permic
(ii) Ugric
Ob Ugric
Hungarian
(2) Samoyedic
Nenets
Enets
Selkup
c. 7,000 BC – farming spreads into Elam

7,000–3,000 / c. 1,700 BC – Neolithic Europe; 7,000–3,000 BC in southeast Europe; c. 4,500–1,700 BC in northwest Europe

c. 7,000 BC – Neolithic Ugarit (Ras Shamra) is settled

c. 6,500 BC – Can Hasan III is an aceramic Neolithic settlement in south Turkey

c. 6,500–4,000 BC – Neolithic Anatolian farmers from northern Greece and north-western Turkey started migrate into central Europe through the Balkan route and then by the Mediterranean route to the Iberian Peninsula (see here)

c. 6,500–3,800 BC – Ubaid period, a prehistoric period of Mesopotamia
c. 5,300 and 4,300 BC – Ubaid period in North Mesopotamia
c. 6,500 BC – first known settlement in southern Mesopotamia established at Eridu by farmers with the Hadji Muhammed culture, which was derived from the Samarran culture of north Mesopotamia; the archaeological history of Sumer:
6,500–4,100 BC – Ubaid period (Neolithic to Chalcolithic pottery)
4,100–2,900 BC – Uruk period (Late Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age I)
4,100–3,300 BC – Uruk XIV–V
3,300–3,100 BC – Uruk IV period
3,100–2,900 BC – Jemdet Nasr period (Uruk III)
2,900–2,800 BC – Early Dynastic I period
2,800–2,600 BC – Early Dynastic II period
2,600–2,500 BC – Early Dynastic IIIa period
c. 2,500–2,334 BC – Early Dynastic IIIb period
c. 2,334–2,218 BC – Akkadian Empire period
c. 2,218–2,047 BC – Gutian period
c. 2047–1940 BC – Ur III period
c. 6,400 BC – the Black Sea, until this time a fresh water lake, is connected to the Mediterranean Sea, perhaps in a flood

6,250–5,050 BC – in China, domesticated millet is farmed in northern China at Xinglonggou, Yuezhang, Dadiwan, Cishan, and several Peiligang sites

6,200 BC – Bond climatic event 5 ends Middle Eastern Neolithic B culture (see Bond event), a sudden cold period lasting 200 to 400 years causing problems to humans worldwide and migrations in search of food and water

c. 6,100 BC – the Storegga Slide

c. 6,100 BC – Britain gradually becomes an island after a tsunami from the underwater Storegga Slide and the later bursting of Lake Agassiz (which flooded the oceans and caused sea levels to rise in the space of two years) permanently floods Doggerland (Dogger Bank, an upland area of Doggerland, is believed to have remained as an island until at least 5000 BC)

6,000–5,000 BC – the time of the Proto-Altaic language with its homeland in Central Asian steppes. The Altaic languages:
Turkic
Mongolic
Tungusic
6,000 BC – the Copper Age begins in the Fertile Crescent; the Torres Strait (separating Australia from New Guinea) is formed as sea levels rise

c. 6,000 BC – the Grand Banks of Newfoundland (underwater plateaus south-east of Newfoundland on the North American continental shelf) are submerged by rising sea levels

c. 6,000 BC – Neolithic Ugarit (Ras Shamra) is a fortified city

6,000 BC

c. 6,000 BC – the ancestors of the Austronesians migrate from South China to Taiwan

5,700–4,500 BC – time of the Vinča culture (the Turdaș culture or Turdaș-Vinča culture), a Neolithic archaeological culture in Central Europe and Southeastern Europe, of Old Europe

c. 5,500–4,800 BC – Samarra culture in Mesopotamia

c. 5,500 BC – agriculture spreads throughout ancient Egypt

5,500 BC – copper technology (e.g., a copper axe) used in Serbia

5,000 BC

c. 5,000 BC – speakers of pre-proto-Indo-European migrate into the regions north of the Black Sea from central Asia

5,000–3,500 BC – Danube Valley civilization (or Vinča culture)

5,000–4,000 BC – the Sahara in its wet phase may have been home to the proto-Semitic speakers

4,300–3,300 BC – Chalcolithic age in the Near East

4,000 BC – possible human population at 7 million

c. 4,000–3,000 BC – beginning of migrations of the Austronesian-speaking people from Taiwan to the Philippines, Borneo, Indonesia and the Pacific islands (see map here).

c. 4,000 BC – the Proto-Sino-Tibetan language still undifferentiated; the Proto-Sino-Tibetan homeland was possibly around the sources of the Yellow, Yangtze, Mekong, Brahmaputra, Salween, and Irrawaddy rivers

4,000–3,000 BC – time of the Proto-Dravidian language in India; some scholars think that Dravidian and the ancient Elamite language form the Elamo-Dravidian language family

4,000–2,000 BC – possible date of the Proto-Kartvelian language, which was spoken in the western and central areas of the Lesser Caucasus

c. 4,000–3,100 BC – the Uruk period in Mesopotamia

c. 3,900 BC – 5.9 kiloyear event (Bond event 4), which intense aridification of various regions

c. 3,900 BC – the Sahara becomes a desert during Bond event 4 or the 5.9 kiloyear event. A severe drought occurs ending the Ubaid period and a migration of people from the Sahara in search of food and water to Egypt

c. 3,800–3,500 BC – possible emergence of Proto-Semitic language group

c. 3,800–c. 3,350 BC – the Middle Chalcolithic Ghassulian culture in the Southern Levant

3,700–3,600 BC – Minoan culture emerges in Crete

3,500–1,700 BC – Chalcolithic Europe (Copper Age) period of prehistoric Europe

3,500–2,340 BC – cities develop in Sumeria

3,500–2,300 BC – Yamna (or Pit Grave Culture) culture of Indo-European-speakers in the Pontic-Caspian, a late Copper Age/early Bronze Age culture; followed by north: Corded Ware culture (c. 2,900–2,350 BC); west: Catacomb culture (c. 2800–2200 BC); east: Poltavka culture (2,700–2,100 BC), Srubna culture

c. 3,500 BC – the Sahara becomes a desert and Proto-Semites may have emigrated into the Nile Delta and Palestine; the collapse of the Ghassulian culture in Palestine c. 3,300 BC may have been caused by this migration

c. 3,400—c. 2,000 BC – the Kura–Araxes culture (or early trans-Caucasian culture) spread from the Ararat plain north into the Caucasus by 3,000 BC, and then south Caucasus, northwestern Iran, the northeastern Caucasus, eastern Turkey, and Syria; these people were ancestors of Hurrian, Urartian and Northeast Caucasian language speakers; (see map here); most probably home of proto-Hurro-Urartian, which developed into Hurrian, Urartian and possibly the Kassite language. See the map here. Also dated to 3,500 to 2,450 BC

c. 3,300–1,200 BC – Bronze Age in Near East

3,300–2,800 BC – Early Harappan Ravi Phase of the Indus Valley civilisation

c. 3,300 BC – Ötzi the Iceman dies (on border of modern Austria and Italy); his body discovered in 1991 in a glacier of the Ötztal Alps

3,300–2,500 BC – Afanasevo culture in the Minusinsk Basin and the Altai Mountains

c. 3,200–600 BC – Bronze Age in Europe

c. 3,200–c. 2,000 BC – Cycladic culture, an Early Bronze Age culture of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea

c. 3,100–1,900 BC – Corded Ware culture in central and eastern Europe

c. 3,100 BC – Narmer Palette

c. 3,100 BC – earliest phase of Stonehenge

3,100–2,600 BC – time of the archaic Sumerian language

3,000–2,000 BC – Indo-European-speaking Yamnaya-culture people swept into Europe from the Russian steppe

c. 3,000 BC – Akkadians migrate into northern Babylonia?

3,000 BC – possible human population at 14 million

c. 3,000–1,000 BC – common Proto-Balto-Slavic language in eastern Poland, Russia and the Ukraine

2,900–2,350 BC – Early Dynastic period in Mesopotamia (Middle Chronology; 2800–2230 BC under Short Chronology)

c. 2,700—2,100 BC – the Poltavka culture, a middle Bronze Age culture of the middle Volga near Don-Volga canal into north of present Kazakhstan; Proto-Indo-Iranian speakers

c. 2,686–c. 2,181 BC – Old Kingdom of Egypt

c. 2,667–2,648 BC – step pyramid of Djoser

c.2,600 BC – large urban centres appear in the Indus Valley civilisation at Harappa, Ganeriwala, Mohenjo-Daro, Dholavira, Kalibangan, Rakhigarhi, Rupar, and Lothal; c. 1,052 cities and settlements develop

2,600–1,900 BC – height of the Indus Valley civilisation

2,400–2,000/1,700 BC – Indo-Europeans speakers arrive in Greece bringing with them the Proto-Greek language that would evolve into Mycenaean Greek and then the later Greek dialects of Classical Greece

2,340–2,316 BC – reign of Lugalzagesi (Lugalzaggesi; c. 2,294–2,270 BC under short chronology); the last Sumerian king who began his rule from Umma, and who conquered Sumer as king of the third dynasty of Uruk; he conquered Kish, Lagash, Ur, Nippur, Larsa, and Uruk. He made Uruk his new capital (see the map here)

c. 2,340–c. 2,284 BC – Sargon of Akkad, first ruler of the Akkadian empire

2,350–2,170 BC – Akkadian empire (Middle Chronology; 2230–2050 BC under Short Chronology)

c. 2,300 BC – the Hattians are attested in Anatolia in the Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets from the period of Sargon of Akkad; the Hattians may be descendants of Anatolian farmers

c. 2,266–c. 1,761 BC – Third Kingdom of Mari

2,200 BC – the Bond Event 3 (or 4.2 kiloyear event) causes the collapse of the Egyptian Old Kingdom and the Akkadian Empire

c. 2,181–c. 2,055 BC – First Intermediate Period of Egypt

c. 2,150 BC – invasion of Mesopotamia by the Guti?; defeat of Ur-Utu of Uruk

c. 2,115 BC – conquest of Akkad by the Guti?

c. 2,154 BC–c.2,112 BC – Gutian dynasty of Sumer (Middle Chronology)

2,112–2,004 BC – Third Dynasty of Ur (Middle Chronology; 2055–1940 BC under Short Chronology)

2,100–1,800 BC – the Sintashta culture of Indo-European proto-Indo-Iranian speakers, a Bronze Age archaeological culture of the north Eurasian steppe; the earliest known chariots found in Sintashta burials (see map here)

2,100–1,800 BC – Amorite migration into Mesopotamia

c. 2,100–1,700 BC – time of the use of Cretan hieroglyphic on Crete

c. 2,055–c. 1,650 BC – Middle Kingdom of Egypt

2,025–1,378 BC – Old Assyrian Empire

before c. 2,000 BC – migration of Hittites into Anatolia, either from Balkans or the Caspian Sea, possibly from 3,000 to 2,000 BC. Some scholars put the arrival as early as c.4,000 BC. For Sturtevant’s Indo-Hittite hypothesis (1926) which places the split of Indo-Hittite from Pre-Proto-Indo-European language as early as 7,000 BC, see here. For another view, see here

2,000 BC – possible human population at 27 million

c. 2,000–900 BC – the Andronovo culture, a Bronze Age culture in western Siberia and the west Asiatic steppe; the culture of the Indo-Iranians; Andronovo culture gave rise to the Saka (Scythians), Sarmatians and Alans.

c. 2,000 BC – Stonehenge completed

c. 2,000–700 BC – Bronze Age in China

c. 2,000 BC – early Proto-German develops in northern Germany and in southern Scandinavia

c. 2,000 BC – last woolly mammoths go extinct on Wrangel island, an island in the Arctic Ocean

c. 1,900 BC – Minoan Old Palace (or Protopalatial) period begins in Crete

1,894–1,595 BC – the Amorite Dynasty of Babylon

c. 1,830 BC – Mari becomes the seat of the Amorite Lim dynasty under king Yaggid-Lim

c. 1,809–c. 1,776 BC – Shamshi-Adad I, an Amorite king of the Old Assyrian Empire, conquers a large area in north Mesopotamia

1,800–1,300 BC – Troy VI archaeological period

1,800–1,600 BC – the Indo-European speakers of India split off from Indo-Iranian language

c. 1,800–1,450 BC – period of use of Linear A script on Crete for the Minoan language, which was also used on the Aegean islands (Kea, Kythera, Melos, Thera) and Greek mainland (Laconia)

c. 1,795 BC – Shamshi-Adad I occupied Mari

c. 1,792–1,750 BC – rule of Hammurabi in Babylonia (middle chronology)

1,700–1,600 BC – height of the Minoan civilization

c. 1,732–1,460 BC – Sealand Dynasty in southern Mesopotamia

c. 1,650–1,550 BC – Second Intermediate Period of Egypt

c. 1,650 BC – Hyksos conquest of Memphis and the collapse of the 13th Dynasty of Egypt

c. 1,642–c. 1,540 BC – Minoan eruption of Thera (Santorini eruption)

c. 1,600–after c. 1,180 BC – Hittite empire

c. 1,600–1,100 BC – Mycenaean Greece

1,595 BC – Hittites sack Babylon and end Old Babylonian Kingdom

1,595–1,155 BC – Kassite Dynasty of Babylon

c. 1,550 BC – Ahmose I (ruled c. 1,539–1,514 BC) expelled the Hyksos and their last king Khamudi from Egypt

c. 1,550–c. 1,077 BC – New Kingdom of Egypt

c. 1,500 BC – migration of Indo-Iranians into Iran and northern Mesopotamia who become the elite of the Mitanni kingdom

c. 1,500 BC – migration of Indo-European speakers into northern India (Vedic people)

c. 1,500–1,300 BC – kingdom of the Mitanni, a Hurrian-speaking state in north Syria and southeast Anatolia, ruled by a Indo-Iranian elite (see map)

c. 1,490 BC – Mycenaean conquest of the Minoans

1,450 BC – the oldest Mycenaean writing, derived from the older Linear A, which remains the undeciphered earlier script of the Minoan language

c. 1,450–1,200 BC – period of the use of Linear B script for Mycenaean Greek, found in Crete (Knossos) and mainland Greece (Pylos, Mycenae, Thebes, Tiryns)

1,392–934 BC – Middle Assyrian Empire

c. 1,340–1,100 BC – Minoan Warm Period

c. 1,300–c. 750 BC – Urnfield culture, late Bronze Age culture of central Europe, within which was the Proto-Italo-Celtic homeland

1,279–1,213 BC – reign of Ramesses II

1,277 BC – an attack of the Sherden (or Shardana) on the Nile Delta repulsed and defeated by Ramesses II

c. 1,258 BC – the Treaty of Kadesh between the Hittite ruler Hattusili III and Rameses II

1,250 BC – Troy VI probably destroyed by an earthquake

c. 1,207–1,178 BC – the reign of Suppiluliuma II (the son of Tudhaliya IV), the last known king of the New Kingdom of the Hittite Empire (on short chronology)

1,200–c. 900 BC – the Proto-Villanovan culture in Italy (either early Etruscan or proto-Italic); possibly two waves of Tyrsenian-speakers came to Italy from north-west Anatolia c.1,100 BC and 900 BC; and c. 800 BC to Lemnos

c. 1,184 BC – Troy VIIa destroyed by war: there is evidence of fire and slaughter, which brought Troy VIIa to an end

c. 1,180 BC – the Hittite capital Hattusa burnt to the ground after invasions by the Kaskans, Phrygians and Bryges

c. 1,178 BC – invasion of Sea peoples during the battle of Djahy, between the forces of Ramesses III, fought in Djahy or modern day southern Lebanon

c. 1,155–1,025 BC – Dynasty IV of Babylon (from Isin)

c.1,150 – final destruction of citadel of Mycenae

c. 1,126–1,103 BC – reign of Nebuchadnezzar I

c. 1,100 BC – great Bronze Age civilizations collapse, probably by a severe drought; end of the Minoan Warm Period

c.1,100–1,000 – gradual invasion or migration of Dorians into mainland Greece (perhaps from c.1,000–900)

c. 1,069–c. 664 BC – Third Intermediate Period of Egypt
1069–945 BC – the 21th Dynasty of Egypt (ruled from Tanis)
945–720 BC – the 22nd Dynasty of Egypt (originally ruled from Bubastis), Meshwesh Libyans
837–728 BC – the 23rd Dynasty of Egypt, Meshwesh Libyan kings in Upper Egypt
732–720 BC – the 24th Dynasty of Egypt (ruled from Sais)
760–656 BC – the 25th Dynasty of Egypt (or the Nubian Dynasty or Kushite Empire)
c. 1,050–950 BC – migration of Ionians to the islands and west Anatolia

1,006–965 BC – traditional date of David, king of the ancient Israelites

1,000 BC

1,000–750 BC – the Dark Age in Greece

c. 1000 BC – proto-Thracians in the Balkans from which Dacians and Thracians develop

c. 950–900 BC – migration of Arameans and Suteans into Babylonia; in the late 10th or early 9th century BC the Chaldeans followed

965–925 BC – traditional date of Solomon, king of the ancient Israelites

945–720 BC – the 22nd Dynasty of Egypt (the Bubastite Dynasty), which originally ruled from the city of Bubastis

911–612 BC – the Neo-Assyrian Empire:
Kings of Assyria
911–891 BC – Adad-nirari II
891–884 BC – Tukulti-Ninurta II
883–859 BC – Ashurnasirpal II
859–824 BC – Shalmaneser III
824–811 BC – Shamshi-Adad V
811– 808 BC – Shammurāmat (or Sammuramat), regent
811–783 BC – Adad-nirari III
783–773 BC – Shalmaneser IV
772–755 BC – Ashur-dan III
755–745 BC – Ashur-nirari V
745–727 BC – Tiglath-Pileser III
727–722 BC – Shalmaneser V
722–705 BC – Sargon II
705–681 BC – Sennacherib
681–669 BC – Esarhaddon
668–c. 627 BC – Ashurbanipal
c. 631–c. 627 BC – Ashur-etil-ilani
626 BC – Sin-shumu-lishir
c. 627 – 612 BC – Sinsharishkun
612–c. 609 BC – Ashur-uballit II (ruled from the city of Harran)
900 BC

c. 900–700 BC – time of the Villanovan culture proper (Villanovan II), which developed to Etruscan culture

c. 900–800 BC – Scythians (Eastern Iranian speakers) migrate into southern Russia

860–590 BC – the era of the kingdom of Urartu (or Kingdom of Ararat or Van), an Iron Age kingdom situated on Lake Van in the Armenian Highlands. See map

859–824 BC – reign of Shalmaneser III

850 BC – the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III conquers Babylon and makes it king subject to Assyria

837–728 BC – the 23rd Dynasty of Egypt, of Meshwesh Libyan kings, who ruled Upper Egypt at the same time as the 22nd Dynasty

811–808 BC – Shammurāmat (or Sammuramat) is regent of Assyria for her son Adad-nirari III; she becomes the legendary queen Semiramis in Greek myth

800 BC
c. 800 BC – possible migration of Tyrsenian-speakers from north-west Anatolia to Lemnos (with the Lemnian language)

800–500 BC – Tyrsenian culture on Lemnos

c. 800–c. 500 BC – Hallstatt culture in Western and Central Europe, within which was the Proto-Celtic homeland

c. 800 BC – Iranian speakers who became the Medes and Persians migrate into Iran?

776 BC – traditional date of the first Olympic Games

760–656 BC – the Twenty-Fifth Dynasty of Egypt (or the Nubian Dynasty or the Kushite Empire), the last dynasty of the Third Intermediate Period of Ancient Egypt

760–740 BC – time of Eumelus of Corinth, a semi-legendary early Greek poet, who supposedly wrote the Titanomachy, Corinthiaca, Europia (Bougonia), and Return from Troy

750–650 BC – time of Hesiod, author of Works and Days, Theogony, and Shield of Heracles

750–480 BC – the Archaic Period in Greece

750–700 BC – Homeric poems the Iliad and Odyssey written down

747–721 BC – rule of Piye, the Kushite king and founder of the Twenty-Fifth Dynasty of Egypt who ruled from Napata in Nubia

743–724 BC – the First Messenian War between Messenia and Sparta

738 BC – Tiglath-Pileser III occupies Philistia and invaded Israel

732 BC – Assyria takes the Aramean state of Damascus, deporting many of its inhabitants

c. 728 – the Kushite Nubian ruler Piye invades Upper and Lower Egypt

727 BC – Babylonia becomes independent of Assyria

722 BC – Shalmaneser V dies during the siege of Samaria; Sargon II takes Samaria, ending the northern Kingdom of Israel and deporting 27,000 people into captivity

716–678 BC – early date for the rule of Gyges (founder of the Mermnad dynasty) as king of Lydia:
Lydian Kings
Tylonids (Heraclids)
795–759 BC – Ardys I
759–745 BC – Alyattes I
745–733 BC – Meles
733–716 BC – Candaules

Mermnads
716–678 BC – Gyges
678–629 BC – Ardys II (Ardysus II)
629–617 BC – Sadyattes
617–560 BC – Alyattes II
560–546 BC – Croesus

c. 680–644 – Gyges (alternative dating)
644–c. 625 BC – Ardys II (alternative dating)
c. 625–c. 600 BC – Sadyattes (alternative dating)
c. 600–560 BC – Alyattes II (alternative dating)
560–546 BC – Croesus
546 BC – Persian invasion by Cyrus the Great and defeat of Croesus
c. 714 BC – the Cimmerians (from the Pontic steppe) attacked Urartu

c. 710–650 BC – the Lelantine War, the war between Chalcis and Eretria in Euboea over the control of the fertile Lelantine Plain on the island of Euboea; many other city states join in

705 BC – the Cimmerians defeated by Assyrian forces under Sargon II; the Cimmerians conquered Phrygia in 696/5

700 BC

c. 700 BC – dating of Hesiod’s Works and Days and Theogony

687 BC – office of archon is established in Athens

685–668 BC – the Second Messenian War between Messenia and Sparta, after a helot slave rebellion

c. 680–644 – alternative dating of Gyges as king of Lydia:
Mermnads
716–678 BC – Gyges
678–629 BC – Ardys II (Ardysus II)
629–617 BC – Sadyattes
617–560 BC – Alyattes II
560–546 BC – Croesus

c. 680–644 – Gyges (alternative dating)
644–c. 625 BC – Ardys II (alternative dating)
c. 625–c. 600 BC – Sadyattes (alternative dating)
c. 600–560 BC – Alyattes II (alternative dating)
560–546 BC – Croesus

c. 617–c. 585 BC – Alyattes II (alternative dating)
c. 585–546 BC – reign of Croesus as king of Lydia (alternative dating)

546 BC – Persian invasion by Cyrus the Great and defeat of Croesus
679 BC – Cimmerians and Scythians cross the Taurus Mountains and attack Assyrian colonies in Cilicia

677 BC – Esarhaddon sacks Sidon

673 BC – Esarhaddon raids Egypt

671 BC – Assyrian invasion of Egypt by Esarhaddon; Esarhaddon drives Pharaoh Taharqa back to Nubia

664–610 BC – rule of Psamtik I (Psammeticus), the first of Saite or Twenty-Sixth Dynasty of Egypt

663 BC – Assyrian invasion of Egypt; sack of Thebes

654 or 652 – Gyges of Lydia dies in battle against the Cimmerians; the Cimmerians sack Sardis, and plunder Ionian colonies

c. 650–600 BC – first coins minted in Lydia and ancient Ionia

645–560 BC – Sparta fights wars with Tegea

644 – the Cimmerians occupy Sardis

632 BC – the Athenian aristocrat Cylon invades Attica from Megara

627–585 – Periander is the second tryrant of the Cypselid dynasty of Corinth

626–539 – Neo-Babylonian empire

626 – accession of Nabopolassar
626–605 – Nabopolassar
605–562 – Nebuchadnezzar II
562–560 – Amel-Marduk
560–556 – Nergal-shar-usur
556 – Labashi-Marduk
556–539 – Nabonidus
c. 619 BC – the Cimmerians are defeated by Alyattes of Lydia

612 BC – alliance of Medes, Babylonians and Susianians conquer the Assyrian capital Nineveh

610–595 BC – the reign of Necho II, a Pharaoh of the 26th Dynasty

609 BC – battle of Carchemish

c. 609 BC – Necho II (610–595) constructs a canal from the Nile to the Red Sea; he also founds Tell el-Maskhuta

c. 605–c. 562 BC – reign of Nebuchadnezzar II, king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire

600 BC
c. 600 BC – the Lydian king Alyattes captures Smyrna, and burns the Temple of Athena at Assesos near Miletus

590–580 BC – the reforms of Solon (c. 638–c.558 BC) in ancient Athens

c. 587–583 BC – possible early date for the accession of Croesus

28 May 585 BC – possible date of the battle of the Eclipse (battle of Halys) between the Medes under Cyaxares and the Lydians under Alyattes

c. 585–546 BC – reign of Croesus as king of Lydia

c. 585–550 BC – Croesus’ gold and silver coinage

570s BC – Croesus begins work on the Artemisium at Ephesus

559–530 BC – reign of Cyrus the Great:
559–530 – Cyrus the Great
530–522 – Cambyses
522 – Bardiya (Gaumata)
522–486 – Darius I
485–465 – Xerxes I
465–424 – Artaxerxes I
424 – Xerxes II
424–423 – Sogdianus
424–404 – Darius II
404–358 – Artaxerxes II
358–338 – Artaxerxes III
338–336 – Artaxerxes IV
336–330 – Darius III
546–528/27 BC – the tyrant Peisistratos controlled Athens

539 BC – Babylon conquered by Cyrus the Great

c. 538–522 BC – rule of the tyrant Polycrates of Samos

528/27 BC–514 BC – rule of the tyrant Hipparchus (528/27 BC–514 BC) and Hippias (528/27 BC–511/10 BC) in Athens

522 BC – the tyrant Polycrates of Samos is assassinated in Sardis

September 522–October 486 – reign of Darius I

514 BC – assassination of the Athenain tyrant Hipparchus

511/10 BC – the tyrant Hippias from Athens expelled by the Spartans

507–501 BC – Cleisthenes takes power and reforms Athenian democracy

500 BC
October 486–August 465 – reign of Xerxes I

480–322 BC – the Greek Classical Period

480–479 BC – the Persian invasion of Greece
Copper Age
c. 3,500–1,700 BC – Chalcolithic Europe (Copper Age)
4,300–3,300 BC – Chalcolithic age in the Near East

Bronze Age
c. 3,300–1,200 BC – Bronze Age in Near East
c. 3,200–600 BC – Bronze Age in Europe
c. 3,000–1200 BC – Bronze Age in South Asia

Iron Age
1,200 BC–500 BC – Iron Age in Ancient Near East
1,200 BC–1 BC – Iron Age in Europe
1,200 BC–200 BC – Iron Age in India
600 BC–200 BC – Iron Age in China