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Middle East History Timeline

Middle East Timeline:

  • 12000 BC Small houses in pits developed in regions of Jordan and Syria
  • 8000 BC Settlements at Nevali Cori in present-day Turkey established
  • 5000 BC Wheel and plow invented
  • 3000 BC Bronze Age begins
  • 3100 BC Cuneiform writing invented
  • 1867 BC Babylon founded by Amorite dynasty
  • 1700 BC Windmills invented for irrigation purposes
  • 1600-1360 BC Egypt dominates the region of Canaan and Syria
  • 1250 BC Hebrews establish a kingdom in Palestine
  • 1200-1050 BC Collapse of the Bronze Age
  • 1041 BC Jerusalem designated the capital of the Kingdom of Israel
  • 1000 BC Iron Age begins
  • 600 BC Babylon conquered; Cyrus the Great creates the Persian Empire
  • 331 BC Alexander the Great overpowers Persia
  • 50 AD Christianity emerges
  • 634 AD Series of Muslim conquests begins; Arab empire founded
  • 759-1258 Baghdad becomes capital of Arab-Islamic empire; Middle East sees a period of success
  • 1200 Mongols invade the Middle East ending the Arab-Islamic empire
  • 1517-1918 Ottoman Empire extends through most of the Arab world

1900's

  • 1901 Oil discovered in Iran
  • 1914 World War I begins, Ottomans align with Germany
  • 1918 World War I ends; Britain and France occupy much of the Middle East after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire
  • 1919-1921 Franco-Syrian War; Syria divided into two mandates: French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon and the British mandate of Palestine
  • 1921 Faisal becomes King of Iraq
  • 1932 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia founded
  • 1933-1936 Assyrians in Simele are massacred by Iraqi armed forces
  • 1934 Saudi-Yemeni War
  • 1935 Persia becomes Iran
  • 1936 Jewish immigration to Palestine increases
  • 1939 World War II begins
  • 1939 Britain issues the White Paper limiting the number of Jewish immigrants into Palestine
  • 1941 British forces overthrow Iraqi government and install pro-British leaders
  • 1945 World War II ends; the League of Arab States founded
  • 1946 Jordan, Lebanon and Syria gain independence from Britain and France
  • 1946 Terrorists bomb the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, 91 killed
  • 1947 Zionist leaders declare war on British in Palestine to get the 1939 White Paper cancelled
  • 1947 UN proposes to divide Palestine into an Arab and Jewish state
  • 1948 Britain withdraws forces from Palestine
  • 1948 Arab-Israeli war develops after Israel declares independence
  • 1949 Hassan Al-Banna assassinated
  • 1950 West Bank annexed by Jordan
  • 1951 Libya receives independence
  • 1952 Hussein Ibn Talal declared King of Jordan
  • 1954 Sudan becomes an officially recognized independent republic
  • 1956 Jordan and Israel establish a truce
  • 1958 Abdul-Karim overthrows Iraq monarch and prime minister
  • 1959 Oil is discovered in Libya
  • 1961 First Kurdish-Iraq War erupts in Iraq
  • 1967 Israel occupies Sinai, Golan heights, West Bank and Gaza during Six-Day War
  • 1975-1990 Lebanese Civil War prevails
  • 1976 Syria invades Lebanon
  • 1979 Saddam Hussein becomes president of Iraq
  • 1980-1989 Iran-Iraq War rages, casualties range in the millions
  • 1982 Israel invades Lebanon to drive out PLO
  • 1989 Syrian scholar Michel Aflaq dies
  • 1990 North and South Yemen merge into the Republic of Yemen
  • 1990 Iraq invades Kuwait
  • 1991 The Gulf War begins in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait
  • 1993 Oslo I agreement signed setting up Israeli-Palestinian Peace settlement
  • 1995 Palestine granted full control of part of West Bank and Gaza after Oslo II agreement signed
  • 1995 Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin assassinated
  • 1998 Taliban inches closer to power in Kabul after a series of military victories

2000's

  • 2000 Israeli troops vacate Lebanon
  • 2003 The US, United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invade Iraq; Sadam Hussein removed from power
  • 2004 Sa'dah insurgency in Yemen
  • 2005 Cedar Revolution prompts Syrian troops to withdraw from Lebanon
  • 2006 Saddam Hussein executed
  • 2010 Arab Spring brings major protests, uprisings and revolutions to several Middle Eastern countries
  • 2011-2012 Syrian uprising; thousands of citizens protest for the overthrow of the government; widespread marches, hunger strikes, rioting, and vandalism

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This page was last modified on September 19, 2016.