1600 - 1500 BC

1600 - 1500 BC, the Middle East

Babylon continued to weaken. In 1531 the newly powerful Hittites sacked it. After that it was attacked by the Kasserites and their allies, the Mitanni, who finally destroyed the empire, dividing up the remnants. The Mitanni, originally an Indo-European chariot people, had become overlords of the lowl and Hurrians, blending into their population. This combined people were forming the empire of Mitanni by 1600.

Native Egyptians never accepted the Hyksos overlords. The Hyksos empire held on for a time, but Egyptians based in the upstream city of Thebes grew in power, learned the techniques of chariot warfare, and struck back at the conquerers. The Hyksos were slowly expelled and Egypt entered the glorious period of its Empire in 1570.

The Amorites settled into the populations around them and began to disappear as a distinct people.

To the north the Achaean Greeks were joining in a loose confederation headed by the city of Mycenae. The Hittites expanded their kingdom toward the south and east. More imporantly, they would soon be experimenting with a relatively new tool of war, iron weapons. Iron was still rare, brittle and hard to work, but an iron sword was superior to a bronze one, and in the end would prove cheaper.

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