According to the Bible, God destroys the world in a flood after telling Noah to build an ark. Noah's ark lands on Mount Ararat in modern Turkey, and Noah's descendents repopulate the world.
Prehistoric nomads in the Sinai desert build tombs called Nawamis, the oldest surviving buildings in the area.
Early civilization advances in the Fertile Crescent, leaving evidence of agriculture and irrigation, and the domestication of animals. Early systems of writing develop: cuneiform writing in Mesopotamia and hieroglyphic writing in Egypt.
|c. 2650 BCE|
Great pyramids are built in Giza, Egypt, as mortuary temples for Pharaohs.
Earliest syllabic script, Sumerian
|c. 2000 -|
According to the Bible, Abraham is born in the city of Ur in Southern Mesopotamia, now Iraq. A competing tradition places his birth in Sanliufa, now Turkey.
According to tradition, Abraham migrates to Harran, in Northern Mesopotamia, where he is then directed by God to take his family to the land of Canaan. Over the years, they migrate between Canaanite cities including Shechem and Gerar. Abraham fathers 2 sons, Ishmael and Isaac.
Isaac fathers 2 sons Esau and Jacob.
Jacob, also called Israel, leads his family into Egypt.
|c. 1700 -|
Joseph, son of Jacob, serves as advisor to Pharaoh.
Descendents of Jacob prosper and multiply in Egypt for five centuries.
Pharaohs of New Kingdom Egypt commission rock-cut tombs in the Valley of the Kings. They also sponsor expansions of the Temple at Karnak, making it the largest in the World.
Reign of Pharaoh Thutmose III
|c. 1400 BCE|
Development of first alphabetic writing in Sinai & Levant
|c. 1280 -|
EXODOS FROM EGYPT
According to the Bible, Moses leads people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt. In the Sinai desert, Moses receives the Torah.
The Israelites live in the desert for forty years.
Aaron dies on Mount Aaron near Petra in modern Jordan.
Moses sees Promised Land from Mount Nebo in Northern Jordan, then dies.
Reign of Pharaoh Rameses II
Constuction of Egyptian garrison cities Pithom and Rameses
Reign of Pharaoh Merenptah
Egyptian stela with inscription commemorating Egypritan victories over Canaanite cities of Ascalon, Gezer, Yenoam, and Israel
|c. 400 BCE|
Petra built as capital of Nabateans
|c. 40 BCE|
Construction of Tomb of the Patriarchs, in Hebron, West Bank. According to tradition, burial place of Sarah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Empress Helena of Rome travels the Middle East looking for sites mentioned in the Bible. She commissions a church and monastery on the site where she believes Moses saw the Burning Bush, now Saint Catherine's Monastery.
Mosaic map of Holy Land showing routes of pilgrims to Holy Land laid in St. George's Church in Madaba, Jordan.