The Iron Age began around 1000 B.C.E. and was characterized by the increased production of iron, rather than bronze, for materials. Iron provided more powerful weapons, and allowed forgers to vary the hardness by adding carbon.
The Hittites were a powerful people from Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) who emerged as a rival to Assyria. It is believed that the Hittites were the first to develop iron metallurgy.
Hatshepsut was one of the few known female pharaohs of ancient Egypt. She was known for sending a trading expedition to Punt (thought to be modern-day Sudan or Eritrea) to find the source of myrrh. After her death, images of her were defaced and destroyed.
Akhenaten was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh who was known for only allowing worship of the sun god Aten, and closing the temples of other gods. Akhenaten also created a more natural form of art. After Akhenaten's death, the temples of other gods were reopened by the priests.
Ramesses II was an Egyptian pharaoh and a member of the Ramesside dynasty, whose main concern was to continue expanding the empire. Ramesses II was known for his large number of monument building projects, and was believed to have fathered over 100 children.
The Hyksos, or "Princes of Foreign Lands", invaded ancient Egypt at the end of the Middle Kingdom and took control. Even though the Hyksos blended into the Egyptian culture, Egyptians still regarded them as foreigners, and eventually expelled them from the land. It's possible that the Hyksos could have been the Israelites.
The Minoan civilization was the first complex civilization in ancient Greece, and arose on the island of Crete. Minoan civilization was characterized by religious temples, and pottery found on Crete shows that the Minoans likely traded with Egypt and other surrounding civilizations.
The Myceanaean civilization was an ancient civilization on mainland Greece. It is believed that it was the Mycenaean civilization that destroyed the temples on Crete, since they later took over the Minoan civilization.
Shaft graves were deep shafts containing human remains as well as jewelry and ornaments. The discovery of these graves in ancient Greece shows that some people of the Mycanaean civilization had the ability to acquire great wealth.
Linear A is an ancient, undeciphered language ancestral to Linear B and modern Greek found in the ancient Minoan civilizations.
Linear B is an ancestral language to modern Greek that uses pictoral signs for syllables. Linear B was used to keep control of the economy of ancient Greece through careful counting of debts.
The Neo-Assyrian Empire was the most powerful civilization after 1000 B.C.E., after the fall of the civilizations of the late Bronze Age, and at its height extended to Egypt, Babylon, and the Taurus and Zagros Mountains. The Assyrians used force and terror to keep a tight control on their subjects.
Ashur is a religious city of the Neo-Assyrian Empire in which the high priest anointed the new king with oil and gave him a crown and a scepter. The kings of the empire were also buried in Ashur.
Mess deportation was a terror tactic used by the Assyrians to keep control of their kingdom. In this process, entire communities were uprooted and moved to another area.
Library of Ashurbanipal
The Library of Ashurbanipal was an ancient library of the Neo-Assyrian Empire which contained official documents and texts.
Israel is the land occupied by the Israelites, and it lies at the crossroads of Anatolia, Egypt, Arabia, and Mesopotamia. It is told that a man from Mesopotamia named Abraham took a group of herders to Israel, and settled there.
The Hebrew Bible was a compilation of interpretations of events in the history of the Middle East, and was written in the Hebrew language. This compilation serves as one of the major sources of written history for the region.
The First Temple was a temple built in Jerusalem by Solomon, the king of Israel. This temple served as a link between religious and political rules.
Monotheism is the belief in a single, all-powerful God. The Israelites are credited with creating the first true monotheistic religion, Judaism, during the separation of Israel and Judah.
Diaspora is the dispersion of the Jewish people throughout the Middle East. This first occured when the Neo-Assyrian Empire destroyed Israel and deported its occupants to Babylon and the surrounding areas. There, the Jews had such a prosperous life that they refused to return to Israel when offered by a later Persian monarch.
The Phoenicians were a people occupying the land above Israel, refered to as Phoenicia. Phoenicians were primarily interested in trade as a form of government, which was facilitated by the expanse of the Mediterranean to the west.
Carthage was a Phoenician colony in northern Africa. Carthage was one of the largest cities during that time period, and its power lied mainly in its navy and the fact that it controlled trade in the middle of the Mediterranean.
The Murex snail is a snail that produces a distinctive purple or red dye. This may be the reason that the Greeks refered to the Phoenicians as "Phoinikes", or "red men".
The Phoenician Triangle is a trading triangle in the Mediterranean composed of the Phoenician colonies of the north African coast, the south coast of Spain, and the islands of Sicily and Malta off of the coast of Italy.
The Neo-Babylonian kingdom (along with the Medes of Iran) was one of the main reasons for the fall of the Assyrian empire, and took over much of its land after its downfall. The Neo-Babylonian once again spurred renewed interest in science and mathematics.