The Battle of Kadesh in 1274 BCE between the Egypt of Rameses II and the Hittites was a clash to determine supremacy in the Near East between the primary regional powers of the time. The result was inconclusive and over the next century the two rivals would increasingly be overshadowed by a resurgent Assyria which, under Shalmaneser I and his successors, would overwhelm the Mesopotamian kingdoms of Elam and the Mitanni. In the eastern Mediterranean, Mycenaean Greece had replaced Minoan Crete as the major maritime trading culture. In Europe Bronze Age civilization was characterized by a range of finely wrought artefacts, elaborate burial practices and evidence of long-distance trade. In the Pontic Steppes of Central Asia, chariot burials indicating mastery of equine warfare were well established, picked up by 1200 BCE in the Chinese Shang dynasty. In the Americas, hunter-gatherers were making the transition towards sedentary agricultural societies in certain favoured regions.
— OR —