6th millennium BC

The 6th millennium BC spanned the years 6000 through 5001 BC. It falls into the Holocene climatic optimum, with rising sea levels. Culturally, Mesopotamia is in the Pottery Neolithic (Halaf culture), and agriculture spreads to Europe and to Egypt.

World population grows dramatically as a result of the Neolithic Revolution, perhaps quadrupling, from about 10 to 40 million, over the course of the millennium.[1]

  • 60th century BC
  • 59th century BC
  • 58th century BC
  • 57th century BC
  • 56th century BC
  • 55th century BC
  • 54th century BC
  • 53rd century BC
  • 52nd century BC
  • 51st century BC


CMOC Treasures of Ancient China exhibit - pottery ding
Yangshao culture
Near East
South Asia
New World


Astronomy and calendars

Monreale creation Adam
Byzantine Calendar illustrating 1 September 5509 BC (the calendar is from the 12th century).


The Neolithic
Fertile Crescent
Heavy Neolithic
Shepherd Neolithic
Trihedral Neolithic
Pre-Pottery (A, B)
Qaraoun culture
Tahunian culture
Yarmukian Culture
Halaf culture
Halaf-Ubaid Transitional period
Ubaid culture
Nile valley
Faiyum A culture
Tasian culture
Merimde culture
El Omari culture
Maadi culture
Badari culture
Amratian culture
Arzachena culture
Boian culture
Butmir culture
Cardium Pottery culture
Cernavodă culture
Coțofeni culture
Cucuteni-Trypillian culture
Dudeşti culture
Gorneşti culture
Gumelniţa–Karanovo culture
Hamangia culture
Linear Pottery culture
Malta Temples
Ozieri culture
Petreşti culture
San Ciriaco culture
Shulaveri-Shomu culture
Sesklo culture
Tisza culture
Tiszapolgár culture
Usatovo culture
Varna culture
Vinča culture
Vučedol culture
Neolithic Transylvania
Neolithic Southeastern Europe
Peiligang culture
Pengtoushan culture
Beixin culture
Cishan culture
Dadiwan culture
Houli culture
Xinglongwa culture
Xinle culture
Zhaobaogou culture
Hemudu culture
Daxi culture
Majiabang culture
Yangshao culture
Hongshan culture
Dawenkou culture
Songze culture
Liangzhu culture
Majiayao culture
Qujialing culture
Longshan culture
Baodun culture
Shijiahe culture
Yueshi culture
South Asia
Philippine Jade culture
Capsian culture
Savanna Pastoral Neolithic

farming, animal husbandry
pottery, metallurgy, wheel
circular ditches, henges, megaliths
Neolithic religion

  1. ^ Jean-Noël Biraben, "Essai sur l'évolution du nombre des hommes", Population 34-1 (1979), 13-25.
  2. ^ Bailey (1973)
  3. ^ a b Roberts, J: History of the World. Penguin, 1994.
  4. ^ "Georgia made 'world's oldest wine'". BBC News. 2017-11-13. Retrieved 2017-11-14.
  5. ^ "700 years added to Malta's history". Times of Malta. 16 March 2018. Archived from the original on 16 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Art of cheese-making is 7,500 years old". Nature. 12 December 2012.
  7. ^ G.W. Crawford and C. Shen, "The Origins of rice agriculture: recent progress in East Asia", Antiquity 72(278):858-866 (December 1998), doi:10.1017/S0003598X00087494
  8. ^ Hidden in plain sight: Indigenous Australian rock art on Sydney's doorstep by The Guardian (Author: Brigid Delaney)
  9. ^ Pareschi, M. T.; Boschi E.; Favalli M. (2006). "Lost tsunami". Geophysical Research Letters. 33 (22): L22608. Bibcode:2006GeoRL..3322608P. doi:10.1029/2006GL027790.
  10. ^ Blanchon, P., and Shaw, J. (1995) Reef drowning during the last deglaciation: evidence for catastrophic sea-level rise and icesheet collapse. Geology, 23:4–8.
  11. ^ Zdanowicz, C. M.; Zielinski, G. A.; Germani, M. S. (1999). "Mount Mazama eruption; calendrical age verified and atmospheric impact assessed". Geology. 27 (7): 621–624. Bibcode:1999Geo....27..621Z. doi:10.1130/0091-7613(1999)027<0621:MMECAV>2.3.CO;2.
  12. ^ Mann, Neil, W.B. Yeats and a Vision: The Astrological Great Year, 2000s
Anshan (Persia)

Anshan (Sumerian: 𒀭𒍝𒀭 Anzan), modern Tall-i Malyan (Persian: تل ملیان‎), was an ancient city. The site is located 46 km north of Shiraz, in the Beyza/Ramjerd plain, in the province of Fars in the Zagros Mountains, south-western Iran.

It was one of the early capitals of Elam from the late 4th millennium BC. Later, in the 7th century BC, it became one of the early capitals of Persia.

Black Sea deluge hypothesis

The Black Sea deluge is the most well known of three hypothetical flood scenarios proposed for the Late Quaternary history of the Black Sea. It is one of the two of these flood scenarios proposing a rapid, even catastrophic, rise in sea level of the Black Sea occurred during the Late Quaternary.

Cishan culture

The Cishan culture (6500–5000 BC) was a Neolithic culture in northern China, on the eastern foothills of the Taihang Mountains. The Cishan culture was based on the farming of broomcorn millet, the cultivation of which on one site has been dated back 10,000 years.

The people at Cishan also began to cultivate foxtail millet around 8700 years ago. However, these early dates have been questioned by some archaeologists due to sampling issues and lack of systematic surveying. There is also evidence that the Cishan people cultivated barley and, late in their history, a japonica variety of rice.

Common artifacts from the Cishan culture include stone grinders, stone sickles and tripod pottery. The sickle blades feature fairly uniform serrations, which made the harvesting of grain easier. Cord markings, used as decorations on the pottery, was more common compared to neighboring cultures. Also, the Cishan potters created a broader variety of pottery forms such as basins, pot supports, serving stands, and drinking cups.

Since the culture shared many similarities with its southern neighbor, the Peiligang culture, both cultures were sometimes previously referred to together as the Cishan-Peiligang culture or Peiligang-Cishan culture. The Cishan culture also shared several similarities with its eastern neighbor, the Beixin culture. However, the contemporary consensus among archaeologists is that the Cishan people were members of a distinct culture that shared many characteristics with its neighbors.

Danubian culture

The term Danubian culture was coined by the Australian archaeologist Vere Gordon Childe to describe the first agrarian society in central and eastern Europe. It covers the Linear Pottery culture (Linearbandkeramik, LBK), stroked pottery and Rössen cultures.

The beginning of the Linear Pottery culture dates to around 5500 BC. It appears to have spread westwards along the valley of the river Danube and interacted with the cultures of Atlantic Europe when they reached the Paris Basin.

Danubian I peoples cleared forests and cultivated fertile loess soils from the Balkans to the Low Countries and the Paris Basin. They made LBK pottery and kept domesticated cows, pigs, dogs, sheep and goats. The diagnostic tool of the culture is the Shoe-last celt, a kind of long thin stone adze which was used to fell trees and sometimes as a weapon, evidenced by the skulls found at Talheim, Neckar in Germany and Schletz in Austria. Settlements consisted of longhouses. According to a theory by Eduard Sangmeister, these settlements were abandoned, possibly as fertile land was exhausted, and then reoccupied perhaps when the land had lain fallow for long enough. In contrast, Peter Modderman and Jens Lüning believe the settlements were constantly inhabited, with individual families using specific plots (Hofplätze). They also imported spondylus shells from the Mediterranean.

A second wave of the culture, which used painted pottery with Asiatic influences, superseded the first phase starting around 4500 BC. This was followed by a third wave which used stroke-ornamented ware.

Danubian sites include those at Bylany in Bohemia and Köln-Lindenthal in Germany.

In Marija Gimbutas's unsubstantiated model of European prehistory, the Danubian culture forms the core of what she calls Old Europe, which she envisions as a relatively advanced matrilineal and "gynocentric" civilisation speaking Pre-Indo-European languages that was eventually overrun by patriarchal invaders from the steppe, subsumed by her under the term Kurgan culture, which she identifies with the Proto-Indo-Europeans.


Dispilio (Greek: Δισπηλιό) is an archaeological site containing remains of a Neolithic lakeshore settlement that occupied an artificial island near the modern village of Dispilio on Lake Orestiada in Kastoria regional unit, Macedonia, Greece.

The lake settlement was discovered during the dry winter of 1932, which lowered the lake level and revealed traces of the settlement. A preliminary survey was made in 1935 by Antonios Keramopoulos. Excavations began in 1992, led by George Chourmouziadis, professor of prehistoric archaeology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. The site's paleoenvironment, botany, fishing techniques, tools and ceramics were published informally in the June 2000 issue of Επτάκυκλος, a Greek archaeology magazine and by Hourmouziadis in 2002. A recreation of the lake dwellers' settlement has been erected near the site to attract tourists from Greece and abroad.

The site appears to have been occupied over a long period, from the final stages of the Middle Neolithic (5600-5000 BC) to the Final Neolithic (3000 BC). A number of items were found, including ceramics, wooden structural elements, seeds, bones, figurines, personal ornaments, flutes and what appears to be the most significant finding, the inscribed Dispilio Tablet.

Dudești culture

The Dudeşti culture is a farming/herding culture that occupied part of Romania in the 6th millennium BC, typified by semi-subterranean habitations (Zemlyanki) on the edges of low plateaus. This culture contributed to the origin of both the subsequent Hamangia culture and the Boian culture. It was named after Dudeşti, a quarter in the southeast of Bucharest.


Erbil, also spelt Arbil (Kurdish: ھەولێر / Hewlêr‎), locally called Hawler by the Kurds, is the capital city of Iraqi Kurdistan and the most populated city in the Kurdish inhabited areas. It is located approximately in the center of Iraqi Kurdistan region and north of Iraq. It has about 850,000 inhabitants, and Erbil governorate has a permanent population of 2,009,367 as of 2015.Human settlement at Erbil can be dated back to possibly 5th millennium BC, and it is one of the oldest continuously inhabited areas in the world. At the heart of the city is the ancient Citadel of Erbil. The earliest historical reference to the region dates to the Third Dynasty of Ur of Sumer, when King Shulgi mentioned the city of Urbilum. The city was later conquered by the Assyrians.Erbil became an integral part of the kingdom of Assyria by at least the 21st century BC through to the end of the seventh century BC, after it was captured by the Gutians, and it was known in Assyrian annals variously as Urbilim, Arbela and Arba-ilu. After this it was part of the geopolitical province of Assyria under several empires in turn, including the Median Empire, the Achaemenid Empire (Achaemenid Assyria), Macedonian Empire, Seleucid Empire, Parthian Empire, Roman Assyria and Sasanian Empire (Asōristān), as well as being the capital of the tributary state of Adiabene between the mid-second century BC and early second century AD.

Following the Muslim conquest of Persia, it no longer remained a unitary region, and during the Middle Ages, the city came to be ruled by the Seljuk and Ottoman empires.Erbil's archaeological museum houses a large collection of pre-Islamic artefacts, particularly the art of Mesopotamia, and is a center for archaeological projects in the area. The city was designated as Arab Tourism Capital 2014 by the Arab Council of Tourism. In July 2014, the Citadel of Arbil was inscribed as a World Heritage site.

The city has an ethnically diverse population of Kurds (the majority ethnic group), Armenians, Assyrians, Arabs, Iraqi Turkmens, Yezidis, Shabakis and Mandaeans. It is equally religiously diverse, with believers of Sunni Islam, Shia Islam, Christianity (mainly followed by Assyrians and Armenians), Yezidism, Yarsanism, Shabakism and Mandaeism extant in and around Erbil.

Eva Site

The Eva site (40BN12) is a prehistoric Native American site in Benton County, Tennessee, in the Southeastern United States. Located along an ancient channel of the Tennessee River, the Eva site saw extensive periods of occupation during the Middle and Late Archaic period (c. 6000-1000 BC). The site's well-defined midden layers helped investigators identify three distinct Archaic cultures, the oldest of which was first identified at Eva and is still known as the "Eva culture" or the "Eva phase."

The Eva site is now submerged by Kentucky Lake, an artificial reservoir created by the impoundment of the Tennessee River by Kentucky Dam. In 1940, before the Tennessee River was dammed to form Kentucky Lake, University of Tennessee archaeologists conducted excavations at the Eva site and managed to extract a relatively large amount of data. The data and artifacts were analyzed by University of Tennessee anthropologists Thomas Lewis and Madeline Kneburg Lewis, who presented their findings in a 1961 publication entitled Eva, an Archaic Site.

Ifri N'Ammar

Ifri N'Ammar or Ifri n'Amru Moussa is an Aterian and Iberomaurusian archaeological site located on Zemmour Plateau in the rural commune of Ait Siberne (province of Khemisset), along the national road number 6 which leads to Meknes.Human fossils excavated in the area have been radiocarbon-dated to the Early Neolithic, around 5,000 BCE. Ancient DNA analysis of these specimens indicates that they carried paternal haplotypes related to the E1b1b1b1a (E-M81) subclade and the maternal haplogroups U6a and M1, all of which are frequent among present-day communities in the Tamazgha. These ancient individuals also bore an autochthonous North African genomic component that peaks among modern Berbers, indicating that they were ancestral to populations in the area. Of the old samples that the Early Neolithic Ifri n'Amr or Moussa skeletons were compared with, they were most closely related to fossils from the Late Neolithic Kelif el Boroud site near Rabat. They likewise showed ties with ancient specimens from the Mesolithic Natufian and Pre-Pottery Neolithic cultures of the Levant. The genomic composition of Ifri Amr U Mussa individuals was similar to the Later Stone Age samples from Taforalt and indicates a genetic continuity in North Africa since Paleolithic to Early Neolithic.

Kiffian culture

The Kiffian culture is a prehistoric industry, or domain, that existed between approximately 8,000 BC and 6,000 BC in the Sahara Desert, during the Neolithic Subpluvial. Human remains from this culture were found in 2000 AD at a site known as Gobero, located in Niger in the Ténéré Desert. The site is known as the largest and earliest grave of Stone Age people in the Sahara desert.

Körös culture

The Körös culture/Criş culture is a Neolithic archaeological culture in Central Europe that was named after the river Körös in eastern Hungary. The same river has the name Criș in Romania, hence the name Criş culture. The 2 variants of the river name are used for the same archaeological culture in the 2 regions. The Criș culture survived from about 5800 to 5300 BC. It is related to the neighboring Starčevo culture and is included within a larger grouping known as the Starčevo–Körös–Criş culture.

La Jolla Complex

The archaeological La Jolla Complex (Shell Midden People, Encinitas Tradition, Millingstone Horizon) represents a prehistoric culture oriented toward coastal resources that prevailed during the middle Holocene period between c. 6000 BC and AD 500 in southwestern California and northwestern Baja California.

Characteristics of the La Jolla Complex include handstones and basin or slab millingstones (manos and metates), rough percussion-flaked stone edge tools, flexed burials, and extensive exploitation of shellfish, particularly venus clam (Chione spp.), scallop (Argopecten aequisulcatus), mussel (Mytilus californianus), and oyster (Ostrea lurida). Cogged stones and discoidals are distinctive but unusual artifacts. Other uncommon artifacts include shell ornaments (primarily spire-removed Olivella spp. beads) and projectile points (Pinto, Gypsum, and Elko forms). Bones from sea mammals and fish occur in La Jollan middens, but they are not abundant. Fish remains usually represent near-shore species, pointing to a littoral rather than maritime economy.

The La Jolla Complex was initially characterized as the Shell Midden People by Malcolm J. Rogers, the region's pioneering archaeologist. Rogers distinguished successive phases for the complex. Subsequent investigators have sometimes proposed modified versions of Rogers' phase sequence, but the most striking characteristics of the complex may be its comparatively simple material remains and its long cultural continuity, at least in the San Diego region. Claude N. Warren relabelled the complex as the Encinitas Tradition, which extended as far north as the Santa Barbara Channel region but was replaced by the Campbell Tradition in its northern reaches after about 2000 BC. An inland counterpart of the La Jolla Complex was the Pauma Complex.

Lithic stage

In the sequence of cultural stages first proposed for the archaeology of the Americas by Gordon Willey and Philip Phillips in 1958, the Lithic stage was the earliest period of human occupation in the Americas, as post-glacial hunters and collectors spread through the Americas.

The stage derived its name from the first appearance of Lithic flaked stone tools. The term Paleo-Indian is an alternative, generally indicating much the same period.

This stage was conceived of as embracing two major categories of stone technology: (1) unspecialized and largely unformulated core and flake industries, with percussion the dominant and perhaps only technique employed, and (2) industries exhibiting more advanced "blade" techniques of stoneworking, with specialized fluted or unfluted lanceolate points the most characteristic artifact types. Throughout South America, there are stone tool traditions of the lithic stage, such as the "fluted fishtail" that reflect localized adaptations to the diverse habitats of the continent.

The indications and timing of the end of the Lithic stage vary between regions. The use of textiles, fired pottery and start of the gradual replacement of hunter gatherer lifestyles with the use of agriculture and domesticated animals would all be factors. End dates vary, but are around 5,000 to 3,000 BC in many areas. The Archaic stage is the most widely used term for the succeeding stage, but in the periodization of pre-Columbian Peru the Cotton Pre-Ceramic may be used, as in the Norte Chico civilization cultivated cotton seems to have been very important in economic and power relations, from around 3,200 BC.

One of the leading figures is Alex Krieger who has documented hundreds of sites that have yielded crude, percussion-flaked tools. The most convincing evidence for a lithic stage is based upon data recovered from sites in South America where such crude tools have been found and dated to more than 20,000 years ago.In North America, the time encompasses the Paleo-Indian period that subsequently is divided into more specific time terms such as Early Lithic stage or Early Paleo-Indians and Middle Paleo-Indians or Middle Lithic stage. Examples include the Clovis culture and Folsom tradition groups.

The Lithic stage was followed by the Archaic stage.

Littorina Sea

Littorina Sea (also Litorina Sea) is a geological brackish water stage of the Baltic Sea, which existed around 7500–4000 BP and followed the Mastogloia Sea, transitional stage of the Ancylus Lake. The Littorina Sea is named after common periwinkle (Littorina littorea), then a prevailing mollusc in the Baltic waters, which indicates salinity of the sea.

The Littorina Sea was a period of transgression and maximum salinity during the warmer Atlantic period of European climatology. At the optimum, approximately 4500 BP, the sea contained twice the volume of water and covered 26.5% more surface area than it does today. At the end of the period modern landforms appeared, including the lagoons, spits and dunes currently visible.

During the period the temperate deciduous forest moved north to cover the shores and surrounding region.

Neba'a Faour

Neba'a Faour, Tell Neba'a Faour, Mashna'et el Faour, Neba Faour or Nebaa Faour is a large, low-lying archaeological tell mound in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon inhabited in the late 7th and early 6th millennium BC. It was initially discovered by Lorraine Copeland and Peter J. Wescombe in 1965 near the road from Beirut to Damascus, 5 miles from the border with Syria. The site was mainly composed of soil and pebbles on limestone bedrock, the site showed heavy erosion since it was abandoned and recent damage from modern construction in the area. It has been suggested as an example of an aceramic stage following the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) that is called the Pre-Pottery Neolithic C (PPNC); sites of comparable culture are Tell Ramad, Labwe and others in the Byblos region. It is generally dated between the second half of the 7th millennium and the beginning of the 6th millennium BC.

Ras Baalbek

Ras Baalbek (Arabic: رأس بعلبك‎) is a village in the northern Beqaa Valley in Lebanon.

Notable features include the monastery of "Our Lady of Ras Baalbek" (Deir Saidat ar-Ras) and two Byzantine churches. One church is in the centre of the village and the other lies to the east where some other ruins can be found that are alleged to be the remains of a Roman aqueduct. Inhabitants of the village have confirmed it was once called "Connaya," suggesting a link to the ancient settlement of Conna, mentioned in the work of Antonius. It is also 500 metres west of a Neolithic rock shelter called Ras Baalbek I.

In 2014, the war with ISIS in the nearby village of Arsal resulted in the residents of Ras Baalbek forming a militia led by Rifaat Mtanos Nasrallah, to protect the city and its majority Christian population. The militias are supported by the Lebanese Forces. In September 2016 the Lebanese Army attacked Islamic State positions near Ras Baalbek.


Starčevo (Serbian Cyrillic: Старчево) is a town located in the Pančevo municipality, in the South Banat District of Serbia. It is situated in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina. The town has a Serb ethnic majority and its population is 7,473 people (2011 census).

The name of the town means "the place of the old man" in Serbian (starac, "elder"). The Neolithic Starčevo culture was named after a type site in the area.

Zhaobaogou culture

The Zhaobaogou culture (Chinese: 趙宝溝文化) (5400–4500 BC) was a Neolithic culture in northeast China, found primarily in the Luan River valley in Inner Mongolia and northern Hebei. The culture produced sand-tempered, incised pottery vessels with geometric and zoomorphic designs. The culture also produced stone and clay human figurines.

The type site at Zhaobaogou, excavated in 1986, was discovered in Aohan Banner, Chifeng, Inner Mongolia. The site covers an area of around 90,000 m2.

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