Historians generally consider the beginning of ancient times to start with the beginning of recorded history, which they denote as the appearance of the first written languages, between 4000 and 3200 B.C. This period generally ends with the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 A.D.
Historians consider ancient times to begin with the appearance of cuneiform systems of writing developed by the Egyptians and Sumerians. This period coincides with the beginning of the Bronze Age which begins in the middle of the fourth millennium before Christ. Historians use the term “prehistoric” to refer to the period before this time. Some historians consider ancient times to end with the beginning of the Middle Ages, but a general consensus among historians sets this date as the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 A.D.