The Early Bronze Age began ca. 3300 B.C. and ended ca. 2100 B.C., give or take a few centuries. One of the greatest characteristics of the era was the development of cities. Specifically, this period saw the rise of complex systems of government, religious and social hierarchies, and the first development of writing (cuneiform and hieroglyphs), all of which were embodied by the great civilizations that developed in Egypt and Sumerian Mesopotamia. These developments allowed for the organization of large amounts of people for the construction of the first monumental projects, for which these two civilizations were known (i.e. the pyramid and the ziggurat). The end of the Early Bronze Age is evidenced by the abandonment and destruction of cities, which led to the end of urbanization and the beginning or a more rural, intermediate period. There is continuation of cultural markers from before, which accounts for the confusion as to when to date its end, and there is still no answer as to the reason for the its collapse. Pottery was generally still handmade, though the slow-potter’s wheel was already in existence. There was also some decoration, including painting, slip, burnishing, and incising. The ledge handle was perhaps the most characteristic of the period. Pottery also provided evidence of the contact between cultures as Egyptian pottery was found in Canaan and vice versa.