1st millennium BC

Overview map of the world in the mid 1st millennium BC, color-coded by cultural stage:
  Palaeolithic or Mesolithic hunter-gatherers
  nomadic pastoralists
  simple farming societies
  complex farming societies/chiefdoms
  state societies
Iron Age
Bronze Age

Ancient Near East (1200 – 550 BC)

Bronze Age collapse (1200 – 1150 BC)
Anatolia, Caucasus, Levant


Aegean (1190 – 700 BC)
Italy (1100 – 700 BC)
Balkans (1100 BC – AD 150)
Eastern Europe (900 – 650 BC)
Central Europe (800 – 50 BC)
Great Britain (800 BC – AD 100)
Northern Europe (500 BC – AD 800)

South Asia (1200 – 200 BC)

East Asia (500 BC – AD 300)

Iron metallurgy in Africa

Iron Age metallurgy
Ancient iron production

Ancient history
Mediterranean, Greater Persia, South Asia, China
Greek, Roman, Chinese, Medieval

The 1st millennium BC is the period of time between from the year 1000 BC to 1 BC (10th to 1st centuries BC; in astronomy: JD 1356182.51721425.5[1]).It encompasses the Iron Age in the Old World and sees the transition from the Ancient Near East to Classical Antiquity.

World population roughly doubled over the course of the millennium, from about 100 million to about 200–250 million.[2]


The Neo-Assyrian Empire dominates the Near East in the early centuries of the millennium, supplanted by the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century. Ancient Egypt is in decline, and falls to the Achaemenids in 525 BC.

In Greece, Classical Antiquity begins with the colonization of Magna Graecia and peaks with the conquest of the Achaemenids and the subsequent flourishing of Hellenistic civilization (4th to 2nd centuries).

The Roman Republic supplants the Etruscans and then the Carthaginians (5th to 3rd centuries). The close of the millennium sees the rise of the Roman Empire. The early Celts dominate Central Europe while Northern Europe is in the Pre-Roman Iron Age. In East Africa, the Nubian Empire and Aksum arise.

In South Asia, the Vedic civilization blends into the Maurya Empire. The Scythians dominate Central Asia. In China, the Spring and Autumn period sees the rise of Confucianism. Towards the close of the millennium, the Han Dynasty extends Chinese power towards Central Asia, where it borders on Indo-Greek and Iranian states. Japan is in the Yayoi period. The Maya civilization rises in Mesoamerica.

The first millennium BC is the formative period of the classical world religions, with the development of early Judaism Zoroastrianism in the Near East, and Vedic religion and Vedanta, Jainism and Buddhism in India. Early literature develops in Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Sanskrit and Chinese.

The term Axial Age, coined by Karl Jaspers, is intended to express the crucial importance of the period of c. the 8th to 2nd centuries BC in world history.

World population more than doubled over the course of the millennium, from about an estimated 50–100 million to an estimated 170–300 million. Close to 90% of world population at the end of the first millennium BC lived in the Iron Age civilizations of the Old World (Roman Empire, Parthian Empire, Graeco-Indo-Scythian and Hindu kingdoms, Han China). The population of the Americas was below 20 million, concentrated in Mesoamerica (Epi-Olmec culture); that of Sub-Saharan Africa was likely below 10 million. The population of Oceania was likely less than one million people.[2]

Other Languages
العربية: ألفية 1 ق.م
asturianu: Mileniu I e.C.
azərbaycanca: E.ə. I minillik
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: 1 тысячагодзьдзе да н. э.
Ελληνικά: 1η χιλιετία π.Χ.
español: I milenio a. C.
Esperanto: 1-a jarmilo a.K.
Bahasa Indonesia: Milenium ke-1 SM
Kiswahili: Milenia ya 1 KK
Lëtzebuergesch: 1. Joerdausend v. Chr.
Bahasa Melayu: Milenium ke-1 SM
Napulitano: I millennio AC
Simple English: 1st millennium BC
српски / srpski: 1. миленијум п. н. е.
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: 1. milenijum pne.
Tiếng Việt: Thiên niên kỷ 1 TCN
吴语: 前1千纪
粵語: 前1千年
中文: 前1千纪