Ancient Orient

Map of the ancient Near East

The term Ancient Near East or Ancient Orient encompasses the early civilizations predating classical antiquity in the region roughly corresponding to that described by the modern term Middle East (Egypt, the Fertile Crescent, Anatolia), during the time roughly spanning the Bronze Age from the rise of Sumer and Gerzeh in the 4th millennium BCE to the expansion of the Persian Empire in the 6th century BCE. As such, it is a term widely employed in the fields of Near Eastern archaeology, ancient history and Egyptology.


The Ancient Near East is generally understood as encompassing Mesopotamia (modern Iraq and Syria), Persia (Iran), Egypt, the Levant (Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine), and Anatolia (Turkey). Some users of the term would extend its application into the Caucasus region, into modern Afghanistan (see Bactria, Indus Valley Civilization), Minoan and Mycenaean Greece and other peripheral areas.

Still others would exclude Egypt from the Ancient Near East as a geographically and culturally distinct area. However, because of Egypt's intimate involvement with the region, especially from the 2nd millennium BCE, this exclusion is rare.

Ancient civilizations in the ancient Near EastEdit

5th millennium BCEEdit

4th millennium BCEEdit

3rd millennium BCEEdit

2nd millennium BCEEdit

External links Edit

  • Ancient Near East .net - an information and content portal for the archaeology, ancient history and culture of the Ancient Near East and Egypt
  • ETANA - website hosted by a consortium of universities in the interests of providing digitized resources and relevant web links
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