Agrarian–Urban Centers of the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean, 11,500–600 BCE

At a minimum, people engaged in farming cereal grains on rain-fed or irrigated fields and breeding sheep and cattle.

A place of more than 5,000 inhabitants with nonfarming inhabitants (craftspeople, merchants, administrators), markets, and a city leader capable of compelling obedience to his decisions by force.

Around 1200 BCE, resulting from the collapse of the Hittite Empire and the weakening of the Egyptian New Kingdom; chariot warfare had become unsustainable in these early kingdoms.

A system of government in which most or all of the people elect representatives and in some cases decide on important issues themselves.

A type of society characterized by intensive agriculture and people living in cities, towns, and villages.

A system of government in which, in the place of kings, the people are sovereign, electing representatives to executive and legislative offices.

People whose livelihood was based on the herding of animals, such as sheep, goats, cattle, horses, and camels; moving with their animals from pasture to pasture according to the seasons, they lived in tent camps.

Farmers who received seed, animals, and tools from landowners in exchange for up to two thirds of their harvest and access to land.

Around 1500–1200 BCE, smiths were able to produce sufficiently high temperatures to smelt iron bloom, a mixture of iron and a variety of impurities.

Large multiethnic, multilinguistic, multireligious state consisting of a conquering kingdom and several defeated kingdoms.

Gathering of either all inhabitants or the most influential persons in a town; later, in cities, assemblies and kings made communal decisions on important fiscal or juridical matters.

Period from ca. 9600 to 4500 BCE when stone tools were adapted to the requirements of agriculture through the making of sickles and spades.