Soon, city states began to appear by the great rivers such as the Tigris and Euphrates, Nile, Indus and Yellow. In the Fertile Crescent of the Eastern Mediterranean the pre-Classical civilization of Sumer grew, using huge irrigation engineering to increase wealth. They also gave us the earliest known mythology in the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Successive migrations occurred within the crescent as great armies fought for the growing affluence and empires came into being, the later Hittites being most notable. By 2350BC the Akkadians built a huge empire under their leader, Sargon, but by 1894BC, Babylon rose as the greatest empire, its ruler, Hammurabi, creating the first known organized administration and code of law.
Empires continued to rise and fall within the region, but to the east, the Persians were rising, Cyrus the Great taking the region in the 7th century BC.
Meanwhile, to the south west, nomads had settled the Nile about 6000BC, going on to create Upper and Lower Egypt. About 3100BC Menes combined the two, ruling from his capital at Memphis.
Metallurgy and hieroglyphics appeared during this period, as well as rich spirituality based around half man-half animal gods. The pyramids were to later appear, the Pharoahs portrayed as gods. However, ancient Egypt suffered many hostile migrations. Rameses II attempted a huge expansion, but came to stalemate against the Hittites at the Battle of Kadesh in 1279BC. Egypt eventually succumbed to the Greeks in 333BC.

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