Timeline of human prehistory

This timeline of human prehistory comprises the time from the first appearance of Homo sapiens in Africa 300,000 years ago to the invention of writing and the beginning of historiography, 5,000 years ago. It thus covers the time from the Middle Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) to the very beginnings of the world history.

All dates are approximate subject to revision based on new discoveries or analyses.

Middle Paleolithic

See Timeline of human evolution, Timeline of natural history for earlier evolutionary history.

Upper Paleolithic

"Epipaleolithic" or "Mesolithic" are terms for a transitional period between the Last Glacial Maximum and the Neolithic Revolution in Old World (Eurasian) cultures.

Loewenmensch2
Lion-man sculpture (Aurignacian, 40,000–35,000 years old)
Morella (combate-de-arquero
Cave painting of a battle between archers, Morella la Vella, Spain, the oldest known depiction of combat.

Holocene

The terms "Neolithic" and "Bronze Age" are culture-specific and are mostly limited to cultures of the Old World. Many populations of the New World remain in the Mesolithic cultural stage until European contact in the modern period.

4th millennium BC

3rd millennium BC

Post-historical prehistories

References

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Bibliography

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External links

Cosmic Calendar

The Cosmic Calendar is a method to visualize the chronology of the universe, scaling its current age of 13.8 billion years to a single year in order to help intuit it for pedagogical purposes in science education or popular science.

In this visualization, the Big Bang took place at the beginning of January 1 at midnight, and the current moment maps onto the end of December 31 just before midnight.

At this scale, there are 437.5 years per second, 1.575 million years per hour, and 37.8 million years per day.

The concept was popularized by Carl Sagan in his book The Dragons of Eden (1977) and on his television series Cosmos. Sagan goes on to extend the comparison in terms of surface area, explaining that if the Cosmic Calendar is scaled to the size of a football field, then "all of human history would occupy an area the size of [his] hand".

List of first human settlements

This is a list of dates associated with the prehistoric peopling of the world (first known presence of Homo sapiens).

The list is divided into four categories, Middle Paleolithic (before 50,000 years ago),

Upper Paleolithic (50,000 to 12,500 years ago), Holocene (12,500 to 500 years ago) and Modern (Age of Sail and modern exploration).

List entries are identified by region (in the case of genetic evidence spatial resolution is limited) or region, country or island, with the date of the first known or hypothesised modern human presence (or "settlement", although Paleolithic humans were not sedentary).

Human "settlement" does not necessarily have to be continuous; settled areas in some cases become depopulated due to environmental conditions, such as glacial periods or the Toba volcanic eruption. Early Homo sapiens migrated out of Africa from as early as 270,000 years ago, although permanent presence outside of Africa may not have been established until after about 70,000 years ago.

List of human evolution fossils

The following tables give an overview of notable finds of hominin fossils and remains relating to human evolution, beginning with the formation of the tribe Hominini (the divergence of the human and chimpanzee lineages) in the late Miocene, roughly 7 to 8 million years ago.

As there are thousands of fossils, mostly fragmentary, often consisting of single bones or isolated teeth with complete skulls and skeletons rare, this overview is not complete, but does show some of the most important finds. The fossils are arranged by approximate age as determined by radiometric dating and/or incremental dating and the species name represents current consensus; if there is no clear scientific consensus the other possible classifications are indicated.

Most of the early fossils shown are not considered direct ancestors to Homo sapiens but are closely related to direct ancestors and are therefore important to the study of the lineage. After 1.5 million years ago (extinction of Paranthropus), all fossils shown are human (genus Homo). After 11,500 years ago (11.5 ka, beginning of the Holocene), all fossils shown are Homo sapiens (anatomically modern humans), illustrating recent divergence in the formation of modern human sub-populations.

List of timelines

This is a list of timelines currently on Wikipedia.

Middle Paleolithic

The Middle Paleolithic (or Middle Palaeolithic) is the second subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age as it is understood in Europe, Africa and Asia. The term Middle Stone Age is used as an equivalent or a synonym for the Middle Paleolithic in African archeology. The Middle Paleolithic broadly spanned from 300,000 to 30,000 years ago. There are considerable dating differences between regions. The Middle Paleolithic was succeeded by the Upper Paleolithic subdivision which first began between 50,000 and 40,000 years ago. Pettit and White date the Early Middle Paleolithic in Great Britain to about 325,000 to 180,000 years ago (late Marine Isotope Stage 9 to late Marine Isotope Stage 7), and the Late Middle Paleolithic as about 60,000 to 35,000 years ago.According to the theory of the recent African origin of modern humans, anatomically modern humans began migrating out of Africa during the Middle Stone Age/Middle Paleolithic around 100,000 or 70,000 years ago and began to replace earlier pre-existent Homo species such as the Neanderthals and Homo erectus. However, recent discoveries of fossils originating from what is now Israel indicate that our species (Homo sapiens) lived outside of Africa 185,000 years ago; some 85,000 years earlier than previous evidence suggests.

Outline of prehistoric technology

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to prehistoric technology.

Prehistoric technology – technology that predates recorded history. History is the study of the past using written records; it is also the record itself. Anything prior to the first written accounts of history is prehistoric (meaning "before history"), including earlier technologies. About 2.5 million years before writing was developed, technology began with the earliest hominids who used stone tools, which they may have used to start fires, hunt, cut food, and bury their dead.

Prehistoric Asia

Prehistoric Asia refers to events in Asia during the period of human existence prior to the invention of writing systems or the documentation of recorded history. This includes portions of the Eurasian land mass currently or traditionally considered as the continent of Asia. The continent is commonly described as the region east of the Ural Mountains, the Caucasus Mountains, the Caspian Sea and Black Sea, bounded by the Pacific, Indian, and Arctic Oceans. This article gives an overview of the many regions of Asia during prehistoric times.

Prehistoric technology

Prehistoric technology is technology that predates recorded history. History is the study of the past using written records. Anything prior to the first written accounts of history is prehistoric, including earlier technologies. About 2.5 million years before writing was developed, technology began with the earliest hominids who used stone tools, which they may have used to start fires, hunt, and bury their dead.

There are several factors that made the evolution of prehistoric technology possible or necessary. One of the key factors is behavioral modernity of the highly developed brain of Homo sapiens capable of abstract reasoning, language, introspection, and problem solving. The advent of agriculture resulted in lifestyle changes from nomadic lifestyles to ones lived in homes, with domesticated animals, and land farmed using more varied and sophisticated tools. Art, architecture, music and religion evolved over the course of the prehistoric periods.

Timeline of historic inventions

The timeline of historic inventions is a chronological list of particularly important or significant technological inventions and the people who created the inventions.

Note: Dates for inventions are often controversial. Inventions are often invented by several inventors around the same time, or may be invented in an impractical form many years before another inventor improves the invention into a more practical form. Where there is ambiguity, the date of the first known working version of the invention is used here.

Timeline of human evolution

The timeline of human evolution outlines the major events in the development of the human species, Homo sapiens, and the evolution of the human's ancestors. It includes brief explanations of some of the species, genera, and the higher ranks of taxa that are seen today as possible ancestors of modern humans.

This timeline is based on studies from anthropology, paleontology, developmental biology, morphology, and from anatomical and genetic data. It does not address the origin of life. That discussion is provided by abiogenesis, but presents one possible line of evolutionary descent of species that eventually led to humans.

Timelines of world history

PrehistoryFor events dating from the formation of the Universe see: Timeline of cosmological epochs

For events dating from the formation of the planet to the rise of modern humans see: Timeline of natural history and Timeline of the evolutionary history of life

For events dating from the first appearance of Homo sapiens to before the invention of writing see: Timeline of human prehistoryHistoryThese timelines of world history detail recorded events since the creation of writing roughly 5000 years ago (which marks the beginning of history) to the present day.

For events from c. 3200 BC – c. 500 see: Timeline of ancient history

For events from c. 500 – c. 1499, see: Timeline of the Middle Ages

For events from c. 1500, see: Timelines of modern historyFutureFor future timelines, see: Timelines of the future

CE / AD
BCE / BC

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