World 3500 BCE
Stone Age hunter-gatherers and farmers live in much of the world. In one small area, however, cities are appearing, literacy is developing, and civilization is emerging.
World history in 3500 BCE - ancient civilizations emerge
In the Middle East, the first civilizations in world history are emerging.
Cities, writing, organized states – all these are appearing in the land of Mesopotamia. A thousand or so miles away, the foundations for another great civilization are being laid, that of Ancient Egypt, in the Nile Valley.
These two developments are the opening phases of that stage in global history which we call the Ancient World.
The spread of farming
In 3500 BCE, much of the world is inhabited by small groups of hunter-gatherers. Since about 9000 BCE, however, farming has been spreading in and around the Middle East, southern and eastern Asia, Europe and northern Africa. The spread of agriculture has enabled populations to expand, and villages of farmers now dot the landscapes of these regions. This is a trend which will last throughout global history, right up to the present day, as farmers push hunter-gatherers into ever smaller corners of the planet.
Another notable development at around this time is the domesticating of the horse, on the steppes north of the Black Sea. Modern scholars think that this occured amongst people who spoke a tongue ancestral to the modern Indo-European family of languages. Their domestication of the horse, initially for their milk, meat and hides, is a first step along the road to an expansion over a huge area of Eurasia.
The Western Hemisphere
The Rise and Spread of Farming: 10,000 to 3,000 BCE (PowerPoint Unit)