Belly Dance Time Line

A highly subjective list of events selected to reflect the personal interests of its author; subjects being: ancient civilizations, evolution of dance, women, wisdom, human struggle, invention, and, finally, our belly dance world in the past 50 years . . .

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24,000-22,000 BC • Upper Paleolithic age. The Venus of Willendorf, Austria, was carved in stone.

15,000-10,000 BC • The 17-inch tall Venus of Lassel, France, was carved into stone to guard entry to a cave of the Great Mother Goddess.

10,000 BC • The ice age was coming to an end, followed by the early stone age.

7,250–6,250 BC • Earliest matriarchal societies. The oldest of these Neolithic communities, Catal Huyuk, was located in present day Anatolia, Turkey, and worshiped female fertility. These communities were unfortified, which suggests a war-free existence. They had highly developed art forms, including the use of spirals, bird shapes, meandering patterns, and zigzags as symbolic written expressions.

6,800 BC • Figurines are found in Iraq. Earliest known Mesopotamian village is found at Jarmo, on the border of Iraq and Iran. Evidence of animal domestication and crop cultivation also is discovered.


5500 BC Neolithic agricultural societies link crop fertility with a female god, The Great Mother.

5000 BC • Tomb paintings depict early dancers

4000 BC • Evidence suggests overthrow of matrilineal societies by male-dominated cultures.

3500 BC • The Bronze Era

3114 BC • Development of Mayan Calendar (cycle will end in 2012)

3200 BC • Texts of Inanna, Queen of Heaven, (aka Ishtar) written in Sumerian cuneiform

3100 BC
• Construction of Stonehenge commenced

3000 BC • Kingship established in Egypt following Northern invasion

c. 3000 BC • King Menes of Upper Egypt, conquered Lower Egypt, thus beginning the Dynastic Age.

3000-1400 BC • The Minoan Culture of ancient Greece. They believed the Gods invented dance; dance was revered as a means of cultivating both body and soul. Dance, along with writing, music, and physical exercise, was basic to the education system and Spartan warriors danced in preparation for battle.

2650 BC • Hieroglyphic language is standardized.

2606-2583 BC
• Cheops Pyramid constructed at Giza

2500-2900 BC
King Djoser reigns. Djoser’s Step Pyramid is built 2780 BC

2550 BC • Domestication of the cat.

2300 BC • Sacred lovemaking widely practiced as an act of devotion to The Goddess.

1800 BC • End of the era of matriarchal dominance in Egypt.

1486-1468 BC • Queen Hatshepsut rules as Pharaoh of Egypt.

1500 BC • Egyptian conquests send dancers to other countries and import dancers from other countries

1200 BC to 323 B.C • The Classic Greek Culture. Alexander the Great dies.

1270 BC • Story of Samson and Delilah. Samson was a Jew and Delilah a Philistine.

1263 BC • Apollo takes over the temple of Delphi, previously temple of the Goddess Artemis and her mother, Themis. Themis is also called the Mother of Justice; she was daughter of Gaia, and wife of Zeus.

800 BC • Homer writes the Iliad and the Odyssey about the Greek and Trojan War

753 BC • The Roman Empire is founded

960 BC • Solomon becomes king of Israel. He worships Jehovah and the Goddess. 700 wives and 300 concubines.

587 BC • Sacking of Jerusalem by Assyrian conqueror Nebuchadnezzar.

563 BC • Buddha is born

500 BC • Phoenician finger cymbals are used in Carthage

323 BC • Alexander the Great dies. He was a Macedonian King who took over the rule of Egypt, He established city of Alexandria and proclaimed himself Pharaoh. Began rebuilding temples destroyed by the Persians. Only reigned for 9 years. The Greek Ptolemaic dynasty followed for 275 years. Greek priests took over the temples of Egypt, easily exchanging their image of Aphrodite for that of Hathor.

384-322 BC • Aristotle develops his elaborate literature of dance theory and criticism. Ancient Greeks pioneer the logical approach to dance, classify its elements, and with their unique rationalism, organize its components into a unifying system.

300 BC • Muscle dancer travels with Persian Army

283 BC • Pharoah Ptolomy II Soter builds the Alexandria Library.

241-218 BC • (Between the first two Punic wars) Dancing with “castanets” becomes popular in Rome.

206 BC-220 AD • Hans Dynasty in China. The oud, an instrument of the modern Arabic orchestra, was known to have been in use at this time.

60 BC • Romans import dancers from Syria

48 BC • Alexandria Library is partially destroyed by Caesar.

20 BC-100 AD • Romans write of the Gaditae — dancers from the former Phoenician colony of Gades (then part of the Roman Empire, now Cadiz in Spain).

In this era lived John the Baptist, Mother Mary, Mary Magdelene and Jesus

More Belly Dancing History

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