Age Overview Units and Buildings History
Ziggurat of Ur 001

Reconstructed facade of the Great Ziggurat of Ur, built around the 21st century BCE.

The "Ancient Age" denotes a wide period of human history, traditionally considered to begin with the "Neolithic Revolution" around the 10th millenium BCE, when agriculture is known to have been first introduced, marking the first developments of former hunter-gatherer societies into a new, sedentary way of life, from which the first settled civilizations were to arise. The beginning of recorded history, when the first writing systems were invented, marks the end of human prehistory, and is also considered by some authorities as the starting point of the Ancient age. This took place by the 4th millenium BCE, time of the first script ever found: the proto-cuneiform pictographic system of ancient Sumer. Besides sedentism, written language and agriculture, the advancements of antiquity include: the first cities, mathematics, domestication of horses, goats, sheep and poultry, the wheel, and the rise of the nation state. During this age, the first settled civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia and most of West Asia were at their height; those in India, China, Mesoamerica, and Andean South America would continue to develop, while those in Greece, the Mediterranean, and the pastoralist nomads of the Eurasian Steppe were on the rise.

To this period also belong many great man-made structures, such as the The Great Pyramid of Giza, the Ziggurat of Ur, the Megalithic temples of Malta, Stonehenge, or the monumental heads of the Olmecs.

Some famous events from this period, which determined the rise and/or fall of many nations include the the first widespread use of bronze for weaponry and tools, the rise of the Akkadian empire, the first in history; supplanting the Sumerians and in turn being supplanted by Babylonians and Assyrians, the Battle of Kadesh and fighting between the Egyptian and Hittite empires for supremacy in the Levant, which led to the first known peace treaty; the mass migrations of the Sea peoples, the legendary Trojan Wars, and in the later stages, the beginning of the use en masse of iron in most of the old world, and its replacement of bronze for most purposes.

The Ancient Age is traditionally considered to end, and Classical Antiquity to begin, with the rise of Greek recorded history in 776 BCE, time of the first Olympiad.