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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

A city or fortified palace with surrounding villages.

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.

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