6th Millennium BC
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6th Millennium BC

  • 60th century BC
  • 59th century BC
  • 58th century BC
  • 57th century BC
  • 56th century BC
  • 55th century BC
  • 54th century BC
  • 53rd century BC
  • 52nd century BC
  • 51st century BC

The Neolithic
? Mesolithic
Fertile Crescent
Heavy Neolithic
Shepherd Neolithic
Trihedral Neolithic
Pre-Pottery (A, B)
Qaraoun culture
Tahunian culture
Yarmukian culture
Halaf culture
Halaf-Ubaid Transitional period
Ubaid culture
Nile valley
Faiyum A culture
Tasian culture
Merimde culture
El Omari culture
Maadi culture
Badarian culture
Amratian culture
Arzachena culture
Boian culture
Butmir culture
Cardium pottery culture
Cernavod? culture
Co?ofeni culture
Cucuteni-Trypillia culture
Dude?ti culture
Gorne?ti culture
Gumelni?a-Karanovo culture
Hamangia culture
Linear Pottery culture
Malta Temples
Ozieri culture
Petre?ti culture
San Ciriaco culture
Shulaveri-Shomu culture
Sesklo culture
Tisza culture
Tiszapolgár culture
Usatovo culture
Varna culture
Vin?a culture
Vu?edol culture
Neolithic Transylvania
Neolithic Southeastern Europe
Peiligang culture
Pengtoushan culture
Beixin culture
Cishan culture
Dadiwan culture
Houli culture
Xinglongwa culture
Xinle culture
Zhaobaogou culture
Hemudu culture
Daxi culture
Majiabang culture
Yangshao culture
Hongshan culture
Dawenkou culture
Songze culture
Liangzhu culture
Majiayao culture
Qujialing culture
Longshan culture
Baodun culture
Shijiahe culture
Yueshi culture
Neolithic Tibet
South Asia
Marine archaeology in the Gulf of Cambay
Chopani Mando
Other locations
Jeulmun pottery period
J?mon period
Philippine jade culture
Capsian culture
Savanna Pastoral Neolithic

farming, animal husbandry
pottery, metallurgy, wheel
circular ditches, henges, megaliths
Neolithic religion
Neolithic decline

? Chalcolithic

The 6th millennium BC spanned the years 6000 BC to 5001 BC (c. 8 ka to c. 7 ka). It is impossible to precisely date events that happened around the time of this millennium and all dates mentioned here are estimates mostly based on geological and anthropological analysis. This millennium is reckoned to mark the end of the global deglaciation which had followed the Last Glacial Maximum and caused sea levels to rise by some 60 m (200 ft) over a period of about 5,000 years.


Neolithic culture and technology had spread from the Near East and into eastern Europe by 6000 BC. Its development in the Far East grew apace and there is increasing evidence through the millennium of its presence in Prehistoric Egypt and the Far East. In much of the world, however, including north and western Europe, people still lived in scattered Palaeolithic hunter-gatherer communities. The world population is believed to have increased sharply, possibly quadrupling, as a result of the Neolithic Revolution. It has been estimated that there were perhaps forty million people worldwide at the end of this millennium, growing to 100 million by the Middle Bronze Age c. 1600 BC.[1]

Use of pottery found near Tbilisi is evidence that grapes were being used for winemaking c. 5980 BC.[2]

It has been estimated that humans first settled in Malta c. 5900 BC, arriving across the Mediterranean from both Europe and North Africa.[3]

Evidence of cheese-making in Poland is dated c. 5500 BC.[4]

The Zhaobaogou culture in China began c. 5400 BC. It was in the north-eastern part of the country, primarily in the Luan River valley in Inner Mongolia and northern Hebei.[5]

Four identified cultures starting around 5300 BC were the Dnieper-Donets, the Narva (eastern Baltic), the Ertebølle (Denmark and northern Germany) and the Swifterbant (Low Countries). They were linked by a common pottery style that had spread westward from Asia and is sometimes called "ceramic Mesolithic", distinguishable by a point or knob base and flared rims.[6][7][8]

Environmental changes

The early Holocene sea level rise (EHSLR), which began c.10,000 BC, tailed off during the 6th millennium. Global water levels had risen by about 60 metres due to deglaciation of ice masses since the end of the Last Ice Age.[9] Accelerated rises in sea level rise, called meltwater pulses, occurred three times during the EHSLR. The last one, Meltwater Pulse 1C, which peaked c. 6000 BC, produced a rise of 6.5 metres in only 140 years. It is believed that the cause was a major ice sheet collapse in Antarctica.[10]

Approximately 8,000 years ago (c. 6000 BC), a massive volcanic landslide off Mount Etna, Sicily, caused a megatsunami that devastated the eastern Mediterranean coastline on the continents of Asia, Africa and Europe.[11]

In South America, a large eruption occurred at Cueros de Purulla c. 5870 BC, forming a buoyant cloud and depositing the Cerro Paranilla Ash in the Calchaquí Valleys.[12] A cataclysmic volcanic eruption occurred c. 5700 BC in Oregon when 12,000-foot (3,700 m) high Mount Mazama created Crater Lake as the resulting caldera filled with water.[13] Another major eruption occurred c. 5550 BC on Mount Takahe, Antarctica, possibly creating an ozone hole in the region.[14]

The carbon-14 content in tree rings created c. 5480 BC indicates an abnormal level of solar activity.[15]

Astronomy and calendars

Mosaic of Creation of Adam from Monreale Cathedral - dated year 1 A.M. (September 5509 BC) in the Byzantine calendar.

The epoch of the Byzantine calendar, used in the Byzantine Empire and many Christian Orthodox countries, is equivalent to 1 September 5509 BC on the Julian proleptic calendar (see image right).[16]

The 6th millennium BC falls entirely within the zodiacal age of Gemini (c. 6450 BC to c. 4300 BC).[17]


  1. ^ Biraben, Jean-Noël (1979). "Essai sur l'évolution du nombre des hommes". Population. 34-1: 13-25.
  2. ^ "'World's oldest wine' found in 8,000-year-old jars in Georgia". BBC News. 13 November 2017. Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ "700 years added to Malta's history". Times of Malta. 16 March 2018. Retrieved 2019.
  4. ^ "Art of cheese-making is 7,500 years old". Nature. Macmillan. 12 December 2012. Retrieved 2019.
  5. ^ Stark, Miriam T. (26 August 2005). Archaeology of Asia. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. p. 129. ISBN 1-4051-0213-6.
  6. ^ Gronenborn, Detlef (2007). "Beyond the models: Neolithisation in Central Europe". Proceedings of the British Academy. 144: 73-98.
  7. ^ Anthony, D. W. (2007). "Pontic-Caspian Mesolithic and Early Neolithic societies at the time of the Black Sea Flood: a small audience and small effects". In Yanko-Hombach, V.; Gilbert, A.A.; Panin, N.; Dolukhanov, P. M. (eds.). The Black Sea Flood Question: changes in coastline, climate and human settlement. pp. 245-370. ISBN 978-9402404654.
  8. ^ Anthony, David W. (2010). The horse, the wheel, and language : how Bronze-Age riders from the Eurasian steppes shaped the modern world. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691148182.
  9. ^ Smith, D. E.; Harrison, S.; Firth, C. R.; Jordan, J. T. (July 2011). "The early Holocene sea level rise". Quaternary Science Reviews. Elsevier. 30 (15-16): 1846-1860. Bibcode:2011QSRv...30.1846S. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2011.04.019..
  10. ^ Blanchon, P. (2011a) Meltwater Pulses. In: Hopley, D. (Ed), Encyclopedia of Modern Coral Reefs: Structure, form and process. Springer-Verlag Earth Science Series, p. 683-690. ISBN 978-90-481-2638-5
  11. ^ Pareschi, M. T.; Boschi, E.; =Favalli, M. (2006). "Lost tsunami". Geophysical Research Letters. 33 (22): L22608. Bibcode:2006GeoRL..3322608P. doi:10.1029/2006GL027790.
  12. ^ Fernandez-Turiel, J. L.; Perez-Torrado, F. J.; Rodriguez-Gonzalez, A.; Saavedra, J.; Carracedo, J. C.; Rejas, M.; Lobo, A.; Osterrieth, M.; Carrizo, J. I.; Esteban, G.; Gallardo, J.; Ratto, N. (8 May 2019). "La gran erupción de hace 4.2 ka cal en Cerro Blanco, Zona Volcánica Central, Andes: nuevos datos sobre los depósitos eruptivos holocenos en la Puna sur y regiones adyacentes". Estudios Geológicos. 75 (1): 21. doi:10.3989/egeol.43438.515. ISSN 1988-3250.
  13. ^ "Geology and History Summary for Mount Mazama and Crater Lake". Volcano Hazards Program. United States Geological Survey. 3 November 2017. Retrieved 2019.
  14. ^ "Takahe". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution.
  15. ^ Miyake, Fusa; Others (31 January 2017). "Large 14C excursion in 5480 BC indicates an abnormal sun in the mid-Holocene". PNAS. National Academy of Sciences. 114 (5): 881-884. Bibcode:2017PNAS..114..881M. doi:10.1073/pnas.1613144114. PMC 5293056. PMID 28100493. Retrieved 2019.
  16. ^ Stephenson, Paul. "Translations from Byzantine Sources: The Imperial Centuries, c.700-1204: John Skylitzes, "Synopsis Historion": The Year 6508, in the 13th Indiction: the Byzantine dating system". November 2006.
  17. ^ Mann, Neil (24 May 2007). "The Astrological Great Year". Retrieved 2019.

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