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Asian History Timeline
KEY: West Asia| | Southeast Asia ||East/Central Asia
Dates are B.C.E. unless noted * mya=million years ago
c.5000-3000Yangshao culture in China
c.5000Mangoes cultivated in SE Asia
c.3750First evidence of cotton weaving. Mohenjo-Daro, India.
c.3500-2500Longshan culture in China
c.3400First evidence of wheel-made pottery. Sumeria.
c.3200-1600Indus Valley civilization
c.3200-2340Cities in Mesopotamia
c.3200Wheeled transport develops in Mesopotamia.
c.3200Lunar calendar in Mesopotamia
c.3200Cuneiform in Sumeria.
c.3000-2000Anthropomorphic religion in Mesopotamia
3000Silk manufacturing. China.
c.2500-1500Indus Civilization in India
2334-c.2200Akkadian Empire
c. 2200-1750Hsia (Xia) Dynasty in China
c.2000-1800Mathematical advances in Old Babylonia
c.2000-1600Old Babylonian Empire
c.2000Horse introduced to W. Asia
c.2000"Personal" religion develops in Mesopotamia
c.1900Epic of Gilgamesh in Mesopotamia.
c.1790Code of Hammurabi
c.1750-1100Shang Dynasty in China
c.1700-1500Evidence of ideographic script in China
c.1600-1200Hittite Empire in Asia Minor (Anatolia)
c.1600Invention of alphabet (consonants only). Syria
c.1550Kassites overthrow Babylonians
c.1523-1027Shang dynasty and invention of writing
c.1500-500Arrival of the Aryans and development of Vedic society (India)
c.1400Development of alphabet by Phoenicians
c.1250Moses unites Hebrews in worship of Yahweh
c.1200sMoses leads Hebrews from Egypt to Palestine
c.1200-1025Hebrew occupation of Canaan
c.1250Trojan War
c.1200-800Vedas in India
c.1100-250Zhou (Chou) Dynasty in China
c.1027-771Western Zhou (Chou) Dynasty in China
c.1025-933Unified Hebrew monarchy, Saul, David, and Solomon
c.1000Rise of caste system in India
933-722Kingdom of Israel
933-586Kingdom of Judah
c.800-600Upanishads in India
771-c.250Eastern Zhou (Chou)
c.750-612Height of Assyrian Empire
c.750-550Hebrew prophetic revolution
c.750-400Astronomical observation and record-keeping by New Babylonians
c.625Zoroaster formulates religion in Persia
612-539New Babylonian Empire
c.600Deuteronomic code
586Nebuchadnezzar conquers Jerusalem
c.563-483Life of Gautama, the Buddha
c.540-468Life of Mahavira, founder of Jainism in India
c.563-483Life of Gautama, the Buddha
c.540-468Life of Mahavira, founder of Jainism in India
539Conquest of Babylon by Persians
525Cambyses, the Persian ruler, conquers Egypt
c.513Persian conquest of northwestern India and Indus Valley
c.500Crop cultivation in rows in China
c.500Iron plow in China
c.500Royal Road of Persians
490-479Greco-Persian War
c.450Hebrew Song of Songs
c.400Book of Job
c.400Coinage in China
c.400Trace harness in China
c.400Zhuangzi (Chuang-tzu)
c.400-200Mahabharata and Ramayana reach final form in India
c.400 B.C.E.-70C.E.Hebrew prophetic revolution
334-323Conquests of Alexander the Great
323Death of Alexander, division of his empire
c.322-183Maurya dynasty in India
c.300Wrought iron in China
c.300Emergence of Mithraism
300-237Xunzi (Hsün-tzu)
c.273-232Reign of Emporer Ashoka in India
c.261Ashoka conquers Kalinga, leading to spread of Buddhism in India
c.250-208Han Fei-tzu and Li Ssu--development of Legalism in China
221-206Unification of China under Qin (Ch'in) Dynasty
221-206Destruction of Confucian literature under Legalist regime
221-206Standardization of weights and measures, coinage, writing system under Legalist regime
206B.C.E.-220C.E.Han Dynasty in China
c.200Use of the seed drill in China
c.183-145Greek Invasion of India
c.179-104Dong Zhongsho (Tung Chung-shu)
c.141-87Emporer Han Wudi (Wu Ti) in China
c.140First Chinese ambassadors to India
c. 145-86Sima Qian (Ssu-ma Ch'ien)
111Chinese expansion to S. China Sea and Vietnam
c. 100Beginning of Japanese state
c. 100Invention of the Rudder in China
206 B.C.E.-220 C.E. Han Dynasty in China
c.0-100Shaka and Kushan invasions in northern India
c.25-300Kushan rule in northwestern India
c.78Kushan emporer Kanishka promotes Buddhism in India
220-589Buddhism reaches China
221-280Three Kingdoms Era
c.200Porcelain in China
c.200-300Creation of the Yamato state in Japan
c.300-800Classical age of Hindu culture in India
c.300-500Barbarian invasions of China
320-467Gupta dynasty in India
c.380-450Kalidasa, India's greatest poet
c.405Adoption of Chinese writing in Japan
500Manufacture of glass and magnetic compass in China
c.550-1250Great stone temple architecture in India
c.552Spread of Buddhism in Japan
589-618Sui dynasty in China
c.600-1000Sanskrit drama in India
604Shotoku's Seventeen Article Constitution in Japan
c.606-648King Harsha in India
610Muhammad preaches reform, monotheism in Arabia
618-907Tang Dynasty in China
622Muhammad's Hijrah
632Muhammad dies
632-661Caliphate emerges as an institution
636-651Muslims conquer Syria, Persia and Egypt
645Taika Reform Edict
651Publication of the Qu'ran, sacred book of Islam
c.656Split in Islam between Shiites and Sunnites
661-750The Umayyads dynasty (Islamic kingdom)
661Umayyads move Muslim capital from Medina to Damascus
c.700-1300Height of Islamic commerce and industry
710Nara establised as Japan's first capitol (and first city)
750-1258The Abbasid dynasty (Islamic dynasty)
751Battle at Talas River ends Islamic penetration of Central Asia
762Abbasids move Muslim capital from Damascus to Baghdad
794-1185Heian era and literary flowering in Japan
c.900Woodblock printing of books in China, Japan, and Korea
907-960The Era of the Five Dynasties in China--warfare
945Buyids occupy Baghdad
c.950Death of Al-Farabi
960-1279Song dynasty in China
1000-1500Muslim invasions of India
1000-1200Development of neo-Confucianism
1037Death of Avicenna
1021-1086Wang An-shih, political reformer and author in China
1055Baghdad falls to the Seljuk Turks
1095-1099First Crusade
c.1120Rubaiyat of Umar Khayyam
1141-1279Height of landscape painting in China
c.1150Explosive powder used in weapons in China
c.1162-1227Genghis Khan
1185-1333Kamakura Shogunate and Japanese feudalism
1187Crusaders lose Jerusalem to Saladin
1192Establishment of Shogunate in Japan
1192Destruction of Buddhism in India
c.1200Zen Buddhism in Japan
c.1200Innoculation for smallpox in China
1206-1526Turkish Sultanate at Delhi
c.1235Development of Chinese drama
c.1250Poetry of Sadi
1258Mongols destroy Baghdad and kill the last Abbasid Caliph
1274Mongols unsuccessful attempt to invade Japan
1279-1368Mongol (Yüan) dynasty in China
1281Mongols unsuccessful attempt to invade Japan
1290-1320Sultanate of Delhi
1291Fall of last Christian outposts in the Holy Land
1300-1500Rise of the daimyo in Japan
c.1300Marco Polo travels in China
1368-1644Ming dynasty in China
c.1370Persian poetry of Hafiz
1398Sack of Delhi by Timur the Lame (Tamerlane)
1498-1511Portugal gains control of East Indian spice trade
c.1500Founding of Sikh religious sect
1549-1551Introduction of Christianity to Japan
1582-1610Matteo Ricci in China
c.1591Decline of Songhay afer defeat by Moroccans
1453Heavy artillery (cannons) helps Turks capture Constantinople and end Hundred Years War

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REFERENCE: World Civilizations
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Last revised January 30, 1997
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