The 4th millennium BC spanned the years 4000 BC to 3001 BC. Some of the major changes in human culture during this time included the beginning of the Bronze Age and the invention of writing, which played a major role in starting recorded history.

Monte d'Accoddi is an archaeological site in northern Sardinia, Italy, located in the territory of Sassari near Porto Torres. 4th millennium BC.

The city states of Sumer and the kingdom of Egypt were established and grew to prominence. Agriculture spread widely across Eurasia.

World population growth relaxed after the burst that came about from the Neolithic Revolution. World population was largely stable in this time at roughly 50 million, growing at an average of 0.027% per year.[1]


Sumerian priest-king from Uruk, Mesopotamia, circa 3300–3000 BC
Near East
Shengavit Settlement, c. 3300 BC
    • 3400–2000 BC – Kura-Araxes: earliest evidence found on the Ararat plain.
Pharaoh Scorpion II on the Scorpion Macehead, c. 3200 BC
Bronze Age spread of Yamnaya steppe pastoralist ancestry into two subcontinents—Europe and South Asia—from c. 3300 to 1500 BC.[5]
Central Asia
East Asia
  • Neolithic Chinese settlements. They produced silk and pottery (chiefly the Yangshao and the Longshan cultures), wore hemp clothing, and domesticated pigs and dogs.
  • 4000–2500 BC – Vietnamese Bronze Age culture. The Đồng Đậu Culture, produced many wealthy bronze objects.
Fertility figurine from Mehrgarh, Indus Valley, c. 3000 BC
Indian Subcontinent
Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa remains in the Paleolithic period, except for the earliest neolithization of the Sahel following the desiccation of the Sahara in c. 3500 BC.[8][9] As the grasslands of the Sahara began drying after 3900 BC, herders spread into the Nile Valley and into eastern Africa (Eburan 5, Elmenteitan). The desiccation of the Sahara and the associated neolithisation of West Africa is also cited as a possible cause for the dispersal of the Niger-Congo linguistic phylum.[8][9]



Based on studies by glaciologist Lonnie Thompson, professor at Ohio State University and researcher with the Byrd Polar Research Center, a number of indicators shows there was a global change in climate 5,200 years ago, probably due to a drop in solar energy output.[10]

Calendars and chronology

  • 4000 BCEpoch of the Masonic calendar's Anno Lucis era.
  • 3929 BC – Creation according to John Lightfoot based on the Old Testament of the Bible, and often associated with the Ussher chronology.
  • 3761 BC – Since the Middle Ages (12th century), the Hebrew calendar has been based on rabbinic calculations of the year of creation from the Hebrew Masoretic text of the bible. This calendar is used within Jewish communities for religious and other purposes. The calendar's epoch, corresponding to the calculated date of the world's creation, is equivalent to sunset on the Julian proleptic calendar date 6 October 3761 BC.[15]
  • 3114 BC – One version of the Mayan calendar, known as the Mesoamerican Long Count, uses the epoch of 11 or 13 August 3114 BC. The Maya Long Count calendar was first used approximately 236 BC (see Mesoamerican Long Count calendar#Earliest Long Counts.
  • 3102 BC – According to calculations of Aryabhata (6th century), the Hindu Kali Yuga began at midnight on 18 February 3102 BC.
  • 3102 BCAryabhata dates the events of the Mahabharata to around 3102 BC. Other estimates range from the late 4th to the mid-2nd millennium BC.




  1. ^ Jean-Noël Biraben (1979). "Essai sur l'évolution du nombre des hommes". Population. 34 (1): 13–25. doi:10.2307/1531855. JSTOR 1531855. S2CID 143406315., estimates 40 million at 5000 BC and 100 million at 1600 BC, for an average growth rate of 0.027% p.a. over the Chalcolithic to Middle Bronze Age.
  2. ^ Federico Lara Peinado, Universidad Complutense de Madrid: "La Civilización Sumeria". Historia 16, 1999.
  3. ^ Roberts, J: History of the World. Penguin, 1994.
  4. ^ Dictionary of the Ancient Near East. University of Pennsylvania Press. 2000. ISBN 9780812235579.
  5. ^ "Steppe migrant thugs pacified by Stone Age farming women". ScienceDaily. Faculty of Science – University of Copenhagen. 4 April 2017.
  6. ^ Gasser, Aleksander (March 2003). "World's Oldest Wheel Found in Slovenia". Government Communication Office of the Republic of Slovenia. Archived from the original on 2016-08-26. Retrieved 2015-03-30.
  7. ^ Australia's top 7 Aboriginal rock art sites, Australian Geographic
  8. ^ a b Manning, Katie; Timpson, Adrian (2014). "The demographic response to Holocene climate change in the Sahara" (PDF). Quaternary Science Reviews. 101: 28–35. Bibcode:2014QSRv..101...28M. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.07.003. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-10-09.
  9. ^ a b Igor Kopytoff, The African Frontier: The Reproduction of Traditional African Societies (1989), 9–10 (cited after Igbo Language Roots and (Pre)-History Archived 2019-07-17 at the Wayback Machine, A Mighty Tree, 2011).
  10. ^ "Major Climate Change Occurred 5,200 Years Ago: Evidence Suggests That History Could Repeat Itself". Archived from the original on 2008-01-15. Retrieved 2004-12-17.
  11. ^ Fairbridge, Rhodes W. (1961). "Eustatic Changes in Sea Level". Physics and Chemistry of the Earth. 4: 99–185. Bibcode:1961PCE.....4...99F. doi:10.1016/0079-1946(61)90004-0.
  12. ^ Murray-Wallace, Colin; Woodroffe, Colin (2014). Quaternary Sea-Level Changes: A Global Perspective. Cambridge University Press. p. 338. ISBN 9781139867153.
  13. ^ Thompson, L. G.; Mosley-Thompson, E.; Brecher, H.; Davis, M.; León, B.; Les, D.; Lin, P. -N.; Mashiotta, T.; Mountain, K. (2006). "Inaugural Article: Abrupt tropical climate change: Past and present". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 103 (28): 10536–10543. Bibcode:2006PNAS..10310536T. doi:10.1073/pnas.0603900103. PMC 1484420. PMID 16815970.
  14. ^ a b c d e "Major Climate Change Occurred 5,200 Years Ago: Evidence Suggests That History Could Repeat Itself". Science Daily. Retrieved 19 December 2010.
  15. ^ Dershowitz, Nachum; Reingold, Edward M. (1997). Calendrical Calculations (1st ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-521-56474-8.