Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Chronology of Human Evolutionary Prehistory and Early History (Updated)

I have updated my chronology of human evolutionary prehistory and early history to complement my summaries of Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending’s The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution (2009).

It covers both human evolutionary prehistory and early history:
c. 5.3 million years ago – the dried-out Mediterranean basin is flooded with water from the Atlantic Ocean

4 million years ago – emergence of the Australopithecus genus in eastern Africa

2.8–1.5 million years ago – time of Homo habilis

2.6–1.7 million years ago – Oldowan culture, the earliest stone tool archaeological industry of prehistory, in Africa, South Asia, the Middle East and Europe

2.58–0 million years ago – Quaternary period:
2,588,000–9,700 BC – the Pleistocene epoch
9,700 BC–present – Holocene epoch
2,586,000–9,700 BC – the Pleistocene era (the Ice Age), the last glacial period

2.58–0 million years ago – Quaternary period:
2.58 million years ago – the Quaternary glaciation (Pleistocene glaciation) started just a few million years ago and continues
2.58–0 million years ago – Quaternary period
2,500,000–c. 8,800 BC – Paleolithic period in Europe

1.9 million–70,000 years ago – time of Homo erectus

1.9 million years ago – Homo erectus migrated out of Africa via the Levantine corridor and Horn of Africa to Eurasia during the Early Pleistocene

1.76 million—100,000 years ago – Acheulean culture, of stone tools in Africa, West Asia, South Asia, and Europe

1.66 million years ago – China was populated by Homo erectus

c. 700,000–200,000 years ago – Homo heidelbergensis inhabited Africa, Europe and western Asia

c. 600,000–370,000 years ago – time of the steppe mammoth, which populated northern Eurasia

c.400,000–8,000 BC – time of the Woolly mammoth

300,000 years ago – Denisovans may have split from Homo heidelbergensis. See the map here

300,000–250,000 – Homo heidelbergensis evolves into Neanderthals outside Africa

c. 250,000–c. 37,000 BC – time of the Neanderthals; by c. 26,000 BC, the last group of Neanderthals disappear from southern Spain

200,000 BC
200,000 years ago – Homo sapiens first appears in East Africa

c. 158,000–38,000 BC – the Mousterian (or Mode III) culture or archaeological industry, of flint tools mainly associated with the Neanderthals, and some early humans, in Eurasia

130,000–114,000 years ago – the ice retreated during the Eemian interglacial

125,000 years ago – Homo sapiens reached the Near East, but evidence suggests they retreated back to Africa, as their settlements were replaced by Neanderthals

120,000–81,000 years ago – Skhul and Qafzeh in modern-day Israel contain evidence that Homo sapiens lived at those sites but then went back to Africa

c. 118,000–c. 88,000 BC – the time of the Abbassia Pluvial when North Africa had a wet and rainy climate, and North Africa had lush vegetation, lakes, swamps, and river systems

108,000–9,700 BC – last Ice Age

113,000–9,700 BC – the Würm glaciation, last glacial period of the Alpine region of Europe. See map here

100,000 BC

100,000–c. 50,000 years ago – dwarf Homo floresiensis (hobbits), which evolved from Homo erectus, lives on the island of Flores in Indonesia

c. 100,000 years ago – Gigantopithecus probably becomes extinct owing to the climate change in the Pleistocene era

c. 73,000 BC (± 900 years) – Lake Toba supervolcanic eruption (in Sumatra, Indonesia). This is the largest known explosive eruption on Earth in the last 25 million years. According to the Toba catastrophe theory, it had global consequences for human populations: it killed most humans living at that time and is believed to have created a population bottleneck in central east Africa and India, which affects the genetic make-up of the human world-wide population to the present

75,000 years ago – Homo sapiens left Africa again about across the Bab el Mandib, connecting Ethiopia and Yemen into Middle East

70,000 years ago – cold, dry low point; most of northern Europe and Canada were covered by thick ice sheets

60,000 years ago – humans settle New Guinea

60,000–50,000 BC – outside Africa, Homo sapiens lives in Near East, Greece, south Asia, New Guinea and Australia

c. 58,000 BC – most areas north of the tropics not inhabited by Homo sapiens because of the cold and difficulty of food supply

50,000 years ago – Homo sapiens in South Asia

c. 50,000–40,000 years ago – southeast Asians reach Australia; in Australia by 46,000 years ago at the latest

c. 48,000–28,000 BC – the time of the Mousterian Pluvial in North Africa, with a wet and rainy climate

c. 48,000 BC – the ancestor languages of the Dene Caucasian, Austric, Dravidian, Indo-Pacific, and Australian language families probably established in south Asia, Sunda, and Sahul (Australia-New Guinea continent)

c. 43,000–41,000 BC – Cro-Magnon Homo sapiens reached Europe from the Near East, eventually replacing the Neanderthal population by 40,000 years ago

c. 43,000–c. 38,000 BC – the Châtelperronian culture in central and south-western France and northern Spain

c. 41,000–c. 26,000 BC – the Aurignacian culture is found in Europe (probably associated with GoyetQ116 type people), the archaeological culture of the Upper Palaeolithic; this first appears in Eastern Europe around c. 41,000 BC, and spread into Western Europe c. 38,000 and 34,000 BC, but replaced by the Gravettian culture c. 26,000 to 24,000 BC

39,000–37,000 BC – Neanderthals die out in Europe

c. 38,000 BC – humans start to settle the northern Eurasian regions

c. 38,000 BC – time of the proposed proto-language that developed into the proto-Amerind and proto-Eurasiatic languages spoken around the northeast coast of Asia; the linguist Joseph Greenberg dates this to 13,000 to 9,000 BC; this proposed proto-language might have been descended from proto-Austric or proto-Sino-Tibetan

c. 38,000 BC – earliest proposed date for the beginning of human settlement of Alaska and north America via the Bering straits

c. 38,000 BC – Paleolithic hunter-gatherers live in Japan

35,000–12,000 BC – European hunter-gatherers descend from a single ancestral population with no significant genetic inflow from other regions

c. 29,000–c. 22,000 BC – the Gravettian tool-making culture of the European Upper Paleolithic of Vestonice cluster type people; ice age glaciation seems to have wiped out Gravettian culture people c. 22,000 BC

28,000 BC – East Asia was reached by Homo sapiens

28,000–13,000 BC – last cool phase of the Ice age; humans withdraw from north Eurasia to more southerly areas

c. 27,000–18,000 BC – Last Glacial Maximum (when the ice sheets were at their greatest extension) c. 24,500 BC; deglaciation began in the Northern Hemisphere gradually from c. 18,000 to 17,000 BC

26,000 BC – last group of Neanderthals disappear from southern Spain

c. 22,000–13,000 BC – Mal’ta-Buret’ culture on the upper Angara River in the area west of Lake Baikal in the Irkutsk Oblast, Siberia. These people were important for the genetic ancestry of Siberians, Native Americans and Bronze Age Yamnaya people. The Ancient North Eurasian (ANE) population was either the people of the Mal’ta-Buret’ culture or a closely-related population

20,000 BC
c. 20,000–15,000 BC – Solutrean industry in France and southern Spain, a flint tool-making style of the Upper Palaeolithic in Europe. See the map here

c. 18,000–17,000 BC – deglaciation began in the Northern Hemisphere

c. 18,000–12,500 BC – Kebarian culture of the Levant; this was followed by the Natufian culture. Some think the Kebarian culture was associated with speakers of the Proto-Nostratic language

c. 17,000 BC – as the Ice Age ended in Europe, people (of the El Miron cluster type, with admixture of GoyetQ116 and the Villabruna branch) from the southwest and Spain re-migrated and expanded over Europe. These people are associated with the Magdalenian culture

c. 16,000–c. 10,000 BC – time of Proto-Afroasiatic, with its homeland in Levant, Red Sea/Horn of Africa, or North Africa

c. 15,000–10,000 BC – the Magdalenian culture, a culture of the Upper Paleolithic in western Europe

c. 14,300 BC – Homo sapiens reach North America? (c. 16,500–13,000 years ago)

c. 14,000–c. 13,000 BC – the Oldest Dryas, a cold period

before 13,000 BC – the possible date of the hypothetical Proto-Dené-Caucasian language, which gave rise to the Dené-Caucasian languages including
Western
Vasconic languages (Aquitanian, Iberian, Tartessian?, modern Basque)
Tyrsenian (disputed) (Etruscan, Raetic, Lemnian, Camunic?)
Paleo-Sardinian languages of the Balares and Iolaei
Sicanian language of Sicily
Hurro-Urartian (Hurrian, Urartian, Kassite?)
Hattic
North Caucasian languages
Sumerian (disputed)
Burushaski

Northern
Yeniseian
Na-Dené (in north America, including Athabaskan, Eyak, and Tlingit languages)

Eastern
Sino-Tibetan (Tibetan, Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka, Wu, Burmese, Karen, Bodo)
This language family is probably older than the Eurasiatic family, and Dené-Caucasian spread in a first migration, and was later overrun by Eurasiatic. See the family tree here. A proposed homeland is the Sino-Tibetan homeland in south China c. 30,000 BC. Proto-Dené-Caucasian speakers might have migrated into the steppe, east and west, and to the west along the Silk Road into Central Asia, the Caucasus region, and Europe. Original connections between the East and West Dene-Caucasian groups are probably older than 10,000 years

c. 13,000 BC – spread of the proposed proto-Eurasiatic language (of Joseph Greenberg, Indo-European and its Closest Relatives: The Eurasiatic Language Family, Stanford, 2000) giving rise to the Eurasiatic language family, possibly from a refuge area in the Last Glacial Maximum, including
Indo-European
Uralic (or Uralic-Yukaghir)
Altaic (Mongolic, Tungusic and Turkic)
Korean-Japanese-Ainu
Gilyak
Chukchi-Kamchatkan
Eskimo-Aleut
Dravidian (now largely rejected or disputed)
Kartvelian (now largely rejected or disputed)
See here. Amerind is possibly a sister language group of the Eurasiatic languages, and some scholars date proto-Eurasiatic to c. 38,000 BC and place its homeland in the north Pacific coast of Asia, with proto-Amerind; proto-Amerind then spread into America and Eurasiatic langauges into central Asia through the steppe. Proto-Eurasiatic might have descended from proto-Nilo-Saharan, proto-Afroasiatic, proto-Dravidian, proto-Dene-Caucasian, or proto-Austric. Austric may be the parent language of proto-Eurasiatic, and migrations of Eurasiatic speakers displaced earlier Dené–Caucasian languages

c. 13,000 BC – proto-Na-Dene speaking people move into Alaska from Asia

12,800 BC – Amerindians reach Patagonia in southern Chile

12,700–10,700 BC – Bølling-Allerød interstadial, the first important warm and moist period at the end of the last glacial period; in certain regions, there was a cold period called the Older Dryas during the middle of the Bølling-Allerød interstadial

12,500–9,500 BC – the Natufian culture in the Levant; harvesting of wild plants allows more free time; Natufians may have spoken a proto-Afroasiatic language, but others disagree

c. 12,180–11,780 BC – possibly a great migration to Europe from the west via Italy?; Villabruna branch ancestry people spread out; during this time after the Ice Age, there was population movement into Europe from either the Near East or the Balkans of the Villabruna Cluster people, some of whom had a genetic affinity to east Asians (Fu, Posth et al. 2016)

c. 12,100–c. 11,700 – the Older Dryas, a cold period

12,000 BC

12,000 BC onwards – Europeans are Western hunter gatherers

c. 12,000 BC – beginning of possible migration from the Near East or the Balkans of the Villabruna Cluster people into Europe

after c. 12,000 BC – a subset of European hunter-gatherers of the Villabruna branch people have some East Asian-related DNA (possible migration of Dene Caucasian speakers into Europe and the Caucasus and Anatolia?)

12,000–8,000 BC – most mammoths die out; small population of 500–1000 woolly mammoths lived on Wrangel Island until 1,650 BC

c. 12,000 BC – dogs probably domesticated by the Natufians in the Near East

12,000–300 BC – the hunter-gatherer Jōmon culture in Japan; some estimates put it as early as 14,500 BC

c.11,200–10,000 BC – the prehistoric Paleo-Indian Clovis culture in North America; Clovis culture ended by the Younger Dryas (10,900–9,700 BC) and associated dust storms

11,000 BC
c. 11,000–8,000 BC – the Late Glacial or Tardiglacial, the beginning of the warm period when the Northern Hemisphere warmed substantially with significant accelerated deglaciation after the Last Glacial Maximum (c. 23,000–11,000 years ago). Human beings in refuge areas started to repopulate northern Europe and Eurasia. See the map here

c. 11,000 BC – the Grand Banks of Newfoundland (now underwater plateaus south-east of Newfoundland on the North American continental shelf) were glaciated during the last glacial maximum, but left exposed as the ice sheets melt

c. 11,000 BC – outflow of water from Lake Agassiz (which may have been the largest lake on Earth then) into the Arctic Ocean

11,000–9,000 BC – the Ahrensburg culture (Ahrensburgian culture), a late Upper Paleolithic nomadic hunter culture in north-central Europe during the Younger Dryas

c. 11,000–9,000 BC – Windermere interstadial in Britain, the warm phase at the end of the last glaciation preceding the Younger Dryas; perhaps it began 12,000 BC

10,900–9,700 BC – mini ice age called the Younger Dryas causes sharp decline in temperatures over much of the northern hemisphere. Younger Dryas was triggered by vast meltwater probably from Lake Agassiz flowing into the North Atlantic, which caused disruption to thermohaline circulation

c. 10,900–9,700 BC – the Younger Dryas causes severe problems in Natufian culture from drought; Natufians abandoned settlements and became nomadic; on the shores of disappearing lake Galilee, Natufians began farming; others began herding

c. 10,700 BC – extinction of the North American megafauna, including giant sloths, American lion, giant tortoises, Smilodon, dire wolves, giant beaver, giant Columbian mammoth, woolly mammoth, mastodons, American cheetah, scimitar cats (Homotherium), American camels, and American horses

10,000 BC – possible human population at 4 million
c. 10,000 BC – Jericho is a settlement, and before that a camping ground for Natufian hunter-gatherer groups

c. 10,000 BC – the Komsa culture (Komsakulturen), a Mesolithic culture of hunter-gatherers in Northern Norway, in which the Komsa people settled the Norwegian coastline as glaciation receded at the end of the last ice age (11,000 and 8000 BC); the Komsa may be proto-Saami speakers

10,200–8,000 BC – settlement of Mureybet, on the west bank of the Euphrates in northern Syria:
10,200–9,700 BC – Phase IA: the Natufian occupation
9,700–9,300 BC – Phases IB, IIA and IIB: Khiamian
9,300–8,600 BC – Phases IIIA and IIIB: Mureybetian
8,600–8,200 BC – phase IVA: Early PPNB
8,200–8,000 BC – phase IVB: Middle PPNB
c. 10,000 BC – Jericho is a settlement, and before that a camping ground for Natufian hunter-gatherer groups

9,700 BC–present – the Holocene epoch

from 9,700 BC – the Holocene epoch climate stability (with higher temperatures and regular rainfall) allowed the development of sustained cultivation and a reliable subsistence economy probably in northern Syria and Jordan (where wild cereal strands were more difficult to find)

after 9,700 BC – after the end of Younger Dryas, climate in Near East perfect for farming, which then spreads with combination of farming and herding

c. 9,500–c. 8,000 BC – Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA):
10,200–8,800 BC – Khiamian period
c. 9,500–c. 8,000 BC – Pre-Pottery Neolithic A
c. 7,600–c. 6,000 BC – Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
c. 6,100–c. 5,100 BC – the Halaf culture (in south-eastern Turkey, Syria, and northern Iraq)
c. 6,500–c. 3,800 BC – the Ubaid period in Mesopotamia
c. 5,500–c. 5,000 BC – the Halaf-Ubaid Transitional period in Mesopotamia
5,500–4,800 BC – the Samarra culture in northern Mesopotamia
c. 9,500–c. 8,000 BC – Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA):
c. 9,500 BC – temple complex at Göbekli Tepe built
c. 9,300–c. 7,500 BC – Tell Aswad
c. 9,000–7,000 BC – Abu Hureyra
8,920–7,110 BC – Cafer Höyük
8,400–8,100 BC – Nevalı Çori
8,300–c. 7,550 BC – ’Ain Ghazal
8,200–7,400 BC – early occupation of Aşıklı Höyük
c. 7,870–5,840 BC – Tell Ghoraifé

c. 7,600–c. 6,000 BC – Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
7,500–5,700 BC – Çatalhöyük
c. 7,230–6,800 BC – Tell Ramad
7,200–6,600 BC – Çayönü
c. 7,040 BC – Hacilar in southwestern Turkey
c. 7,000 BC – Ugarit (Ras Shamra) settled
c. 6,500 BC – Can Hasan III in south Turkey
c. 9,500 BC – Pre-Pottery Neolithic A people in the southern Levant had developed small bins and larger storage silos systems for grain at Dhra’, Gilgal I, Netiv Hagdud, and Wadi Fidan 16

c. 9,500 BC – first phase of construction of the temple complex at Göbekli Tepe

9,500–7,000 BC – Göbekli Tepe in south-east Turkey is a pre-pottery Neolithic A settlement where massive T-shaped stone pillars are erected, the world’s oldest known megaliths

c. 9,300–c. 7,500 BC – Tell Aswad a settlement near modern Damascus in Syria, with walls and houses; the earliest exploitation of domesticated emmer wheat c. 9,000–8,500 BC, with pigs, sheep, goats and cattle

c. 9,000–7,000 BC – Abu Hureyra is resettled as a Pre-Pottery Neolithic A site

9,000 BC
c. 9,000 – sedentary agriculture develops in the Near East in the Holocene:
c. 7,000 BC – agriculture in the Yangzi and Yellow River basins
7,000–4,000 – agriculture in highland New Guinea
2,500 BC – agriculture in south India
3,000–2,000 BC – agriculture in Andean South America, central Mexico and Africa
2,000–1,000 BC – north-east America
8,920–7,110 BC – settlement of Cafer Höyük, northeast of Malatya, Turkey in the Euphrates valley

c. 8,800 – 4,900 BC – Mesolithic period in Europe

c. 8,500 BC – domesticated cereals such as einkorn, emmer, and barley imported into Cyrus; wild goats and cattle may have been brought in earlier

8,400–8,100 BC – Nevalı Çori is a settlement on the middle Euphrates, southeast Turkey; Nevalı Çori had temples and monumental sculpture, and the oldest domesticated Einkorn wheat was found there

8,300–c. 7,950 BC – ’Ain Ghazal is a settlement in Jordan, with mud-brick houses; phase II settlement ends c. 7,550 BC

c. 8,300 BC – domesticated pigs present at Cafer Höyük northeast of Malatya, Turkey; pigs spread to the south Levant by 7,000–6,500 BC, and central Anatolia c. 6,500 BC

c. 8,200 BC – goats domesticated in the region from the east Taurus to the south Zagros and Iranian Plateau

8,200–7,400 BC – early occupation of Aşıklı Höyük

c. 8,000 BC – end of the Quaternary extinction event of the megafauna, which was a long process from the mid-Pleistocene

c. 8,000 BC – wall of Jericho constructed; domestication of goats in the Near East; domestication of dogs from wolves in Asia

8,000 BC – world population is possibly around 5,000,000

c. 8,000–7,000 BC – the hypothetical Austric proto-langauge is spoken in the Burma-Yunnan frontier. The proposed Austric macrofamily has two subgroups:
(1) Hmong-Mien and

(2) a proto-langauge that gave rise to
(i) Austroasiatic and
(ii) Austro-Tai including Austronesian and Tai-Kadai (e.g., Thai and Lao; see map here).
See here.

c. 7,870–5,840 BC – settlement of Tell Ghoraifé, east of Damascus, Syria

c. 7,600–c. 6,000 BC – Pre-Pottery Neolithic B in the Near East; this was ended by Bond climatic event 5

c. 7,500 BC – Mesolithic hunter-gatherers reach Ireland

c. 7,500–3,500/3000 BC – Neolithic Subpluvial (Holocene Wet Phase), a period of wet and rainy conditions in the climatic history of northern Africa

7,500–5,700 BC – settlement of Çatalhöyük, a large Neolithic and Chalcolithic proto-city in southern Anatolia

c. 7,230–6,800 BC – Tell Ramad is settled, southwest of modern Damascus; Tell Ramad had various types of domesticated wheat, barley, flax and emmer wheat

7,200–6,600 BC – Çayönü, a Neolithic settlement in southeast Turkey, has cultivated emmer wheat, and domestic cattle and pigs

c. 7,040 BC – Hacilar is a settlement in southwestern Turkey

7,000 BC
c. 7,000–2,000 BC – time of the Proto-Uralic language, ancestral to the Uralic language family; the Proto-Uralic homeland may have been around the Kama River, close to the Great Volga Bend and the Ural Mountains; Proto-Uralic language diverged into Proto-Samoyedic and Proto-Finno-Ugric:
(1) Finno-Ugric
(i) Finnic
Baltic Finnic
Estonian
Finnish
Karelian
Livonian
Ingrian
Sami (Lapp languages)
Permic
(ii) Ugric
Ob Ugric
Hungarian
(2) Samoyedic
Nenets
Enets
Selkup
c. 7,000 BC – farming spreads into Elam

7,000–3,000 / c. 1,700 BC – Neolithic Europe; 7,000–3,000 BC in southeast Europe; c. 4,500–1,700 BC in northwest Europe

c. 7,000 BC – Neolithic Ugarit (Ras Shamra) is settled

c. 6,500 BC – Can Hasan III is an aceramic Neolithic settlement in south Turkey

c. 6,500–4,000 BC – Neolithic Anatolian farmers from northern Greece and north-western Turkey started migrate into central Europe through the Balkan route and then by the Mediterranean route to the Iberian Peninsula (see here)

c. 6,500–3,800 BC – Ubaid period, a prehistoric period of Mesopotamia
c. 5,300 and 4,300 BC – Ubaid period in North Mesopotamia
c. 6,500 BC – first known settlement in southern Mesopotamia established at Eridu by farmers with the Hadji Muhammed culture, which was derived from the Samarran culture of north Mesopotamia; the archaeological history of Sumer:
6,500–4,100 BC – Ubaid period (Neolithic to Chalcolithic pottery)
4,100–2,900 BC – Uruk period (Late Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age I)
4,100–3,300 BC – Uruk XIV–V
3,300–3,100 BC – Uruk IV period
3,100–2,900 BC – Jemdet Nasr period (Uruk III)
2,900–2,800 BC – Early Dynastic I period
2,800–2,600 BC – Early Dynastic II period
2,600–2,500 BC – Early Dynastic IIIa period
c. 2,500–2,334 BC – Early Dynastic IIIb period
c. 2,334–2,218 BC – Akkadian Empire period
c. 2,218–2,047 BC – Gutian period
c. 2047–1940 BC – Ur III period
c. 6,400 BC – the Black Sea, until this time a fresh water lake, is connected to the Mediterranean Sea, perhaps in a flood

6,250–5,050 BC – in China, domesticated millet is farmed in northern China at Xinglonggou, Yuezhang, Dadiwan, Cishan, and several Peiligang sites

6,200 BC – Bond climatic event 5 ends Middle Eastern Neolithic B culture (see Bond event), a sudden cold period lasting 200 to 400 years causing problems to humans worldwide and migrations in search of food and water

c. 6,100 BC – the Storegga Slide

c. 6,100 BC – Britain gradually becomes an island after a tsunami from the underwater Storegga Slide and the later bursting of Lake Agassiz (which flooded the oceans and caused sea levels to rise in the space of two years) permanently floods Doggerland (Dogger Bank, an upland area of Doggerland, is believed to have remained as an island until at least 5000 BC)

6,000–5,000 BC – the time of the Proto-Altaic language with its homeland in Central Asian steppes. The Altaic languages:
Turkic
Mongolic
Tungusic
6,000 BC – the Copper Age begins in the Fertile Crescent; the Torres Strait (separating Australia from New Guinea) is formed as sea levels rise

c. 6,000 BC – the Grand Banks of Newfoundland (underwater plateaus south-east of Newfoundland on the North American continental shelf) are submerged by rising sea levels

c. 6,000 BC – Neolithic Ugarit (Ras Shamra) is a fortified city

6,000 BC

c. 6,000 BC – the ancestors of the Austronesians migrate from South China to Taiwan

5,700–4,500 BC – time of the Vinča culture (the Turdaș culture or Turdaș-Vinča culture), a Neolithic archaeological culture in Central Europe and Southeastern Europe, of Old Europe

c. 5,500–4,800 BC – Samarra culture in Mesopotamia

c. 5,500 BC – agriculture spreads throughout ancient Egypt

5,500 BC – copper technology (e.g., a copper axe) used in Serbia

5,000 BC

c. 5,000 BC – speakers of pre-proto-Indo-European migrate into the regions north of the Black Sea from central Asia

5,000–3,500 BC – Danube Valley civilization (or Vinča culture)

5,000–4,000 BC – the Sahara in its wet phase may have been home to the proto-Semitic speakers

4,300–3,300 BC – Chalcolithic age in the Near East

4,000 BC – possible human population at 7 million

c. 4,000–3,000 BC – beginning of migrations of the Austronesian-speaking people from Taiwan to the Philippines, Borneo, Indonesia and the Pacific islands (see map here).

c. 4,000 BC – the Proto-Sino-Tibetan language still undifferentiated; the Proto-Sino-Tibetan homeland was possibly around the sources of the Yellow, Yangtze, Mekong, Brahmaputra, Salween, and Irrawaddy rivers

4,000–3,000 BC – time of the Proto-Dravidian language in India; some scholars think that Dravidian and the ancient Elamite language form the Elamo-Dravidian language family

4,000–2,000 BC – possible date of the Proto-Kartvelian language, which was spoken in the western and central areas of the Lesser Caucasus

c. 4,000–3,100 BC – the Uruk period in Mesopotamia

c. 3,900 BC – 5.9 kiloyear event (Bond event 4), which intense aridification of various regions

c. 3,900 BC – the Sahara becomes a desert during Bond event 4 or the 5.9 kiloyear event. A severe drought occurs ending the Ubaid period and a migration of people from the Sahara in search of food and water to Egypt

c. 3,800–3,500 BC – possible emergence of Proto-Semitic language group

c. 3,800–c. 3,350 BC – the Middle Chalcolithic Ghassulian culture in the Southern Levant

3,700–3,600 BC – Minoan culture emerges in Crete

3,500–1,700 BC – Chalcolithic Europe (Copper Age) period of prehistoric Europe

3,500–2,340 BC – cities develop in Sumeria

3,500–2,300 BC – Yamna (or Pit Grave Culture) culture of Indo-European-speakers in the Pontic-Caspian, a late Copper Age/early Bronze Age culture; followed by north: Corded Ware culture (c. 2,900–2,350 BC); west: Catacomb culture (c. 2800–2200 BC); east: Poltavka culture (2,700–2,100 BC), Srubna culture

c. 3,500 BC – the Sahara becomes a desert and Proto-Semites may have emigrated into the Nile Delta and Palestine; the collapse of the Ghassulian culture in Palestine c. 3,300 BC may have been caused by this migration

c. 3,400—c. 2,000 BC – the Kura–Araxes culture (or early trans-Caucasian culture) spread from the Ararat plain north into the Caucasus by 3,000 BC, and then south Caucasus, northwestern Iran, the northeastern Caucasus, eastern Turkey, and Syria; these people were ancestors of Hurrian, Urartian and Northeast Caucasian language speakers; (see map here); most probably home of proto-Hurro-Urartian, which developed into Hurrian, Urartian and possibly the Kassite language. See the map here. Also dated to 3,500 to 2,450 BC

c. 3,300–1,200 BC – Bronze Age in Near East

3,300–2,800 BC – Early Harappan Ravi Phase of the Indus Valley civilisation

c. 3,300 BC – Ötzi the Iceman dies (on border of modern Austria and Italy); his body discovered in 1991 in a glacier of the Ötztal Alps

3,300–2,500 BC – Afanasevo culture in the Minusinsk Basin and the Altai Mountains

c. 3,200–600 BC – Bronze Age in Europe

c. 3,200–c. 2,000 BC – Cycladic culture, an Early Bronze Age culture of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea

c. 3,100–1,900 BC – Corded Ware culture in central and eastern Europe

c. 3,100 BC – Narmer Palette

c. 3,100 BC – earliest phase of Stonehenge

3,100–2,600 BC – time of the archaic Sumerian language

3,000–2,000 BC – Indo-European-speaking Yamnaya-culture people swept into Europe from the Russian steppe

c. 3,000 BC – Akkadians migrate into northern Babylonia?

3,000 BC – possible human population at 14 million

c. 3,000–1,000 BC – common Proto-Balto-Slavic language in eastern Poland, Russia and the Ukraine

2,900–2,350 BC – Early Dynastic period in Mesopotamia (Middle Chronology; 2800–2230 BC under Short Chronology)

c. 2,700—2,100 BC – the Poltavka culture, a middle Bronze Age culture of the middle Volga near Don-Volga canal into north of present Kazakhstan; Proto-Indo-Iranian speakers

c. 2,686–c. 2,181 BC – Old Kingdom of Egypt

c. 2,667–2,648 BC – step pyramid of Djoser

c.2,600 BC – large urban centres appear in the Indus Valley civilisation at Harappa, Ganeriwala, Mohenjo-Daro, Dholavira, Kalibangan, Rakhigarhi, Rupar, and Lothal; c. 1,052 cities and settlements develop

2,600–1,900 BC – height of the Indus Valley civilisation

2,400–2,000/1,700 BC – Indo-Europeans speakers arrive in Greece bringing with them the Proto-Greek language that would evolve into Mycenaean Greek and then the later Greek dialects of Classical Greece

2,340–2,316 BC – reign of Lugalzagesi (Lugalzaggesi; c. 2,294–2,270 BC under short chronology); the last Sumerian king who began his rule from Umma, and who conquered Sumer as king of the third dynasty of Uruk; he conquered Kish, Lagash, Ur, Nippur, Larsa, and Uruk. He made Uruk his new capital (see the map here)

c. 2,340–c. 2,284 BC – Sargon of Akkad, first ruler of the Akkadian empire

2,350–2,170 BC – Akkadian empire (Middle Chronology; 2230–2050 BC under Short Chronology)

c. 2,300 BC – the Hattians are attested in Anatolia in the Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets from the period of Sargon of Akkad; the Hattians may be descendants of Anatolian farmers

c. 2,266–c. 1,761 BC – Third Kingdom of Mari

2,200 BC – the Bond Event 3 (or 4.2 kiloyear event) causes the collapse of the Egyptian Old Kingdom and the Akkadian Empire

c. 2,181–c. 2,055 BC – First Intermediate Period of Egypt

c. 2,150 BC – invasion of Mesopotamia by the Guti?; defeat of Ur-Utu of Uruk

c. 2,115 BC – conquest of Akkad by the Guti?

c. 2,154 BC–c.2,112 BC – Gutian dynasty of Sumer (Middle Chronology)

2,112–2,004 BC – Third Dynasty of Ur (Middle Chronology; 2055–1940 BC under Short Chronology)

2,100–1,800 BC – the Sintashta culture of Indo-European proto-Indo-Iranian speakers, a Bronze Age archaeological culture of the north Eurasian steppe; the earliest known chariots found in Sintashta burials (see map here)

2,100–1,800 BC – Amorite migration into Mesopotamia

c. 2,100–1,700 BC – time of the use of Cretan hieroglyphic on Crete

c. 2,055–c. 1,650 BC – Middle Kingdom of Egypt

2,025–1,378 BC – Old Assyrian Empire

before c. 2,000 BC – migration of Hittites into Anatolia, either from Balkans or the Caspian Sea, possibly from 3,000 to 2,000 BC. Some scholars put the arrival as early as c.4,000 BC. For Sturtevant’s Indo-Hittite hypothesis (1926) which places the split of Indo-Hittite from Pre-Proto-Indo-European language as early as 7,000 BC, see here. For another view, see here

2,000 BC – possible human population at 27 million

c. 2,000–900 BC – the Andronovo culture, a Bronze Age culture in western Siberia and the west Asiatic steppe; the culture of the Indo-Iranians; Andronovo culture gave rise to the Saka (Scythians), Sarmatians and Alans.

c. 2,000 BC – Stonehenge completed

c. 2,000–700 BC – Bronze Age in China

c. 2,000 BC – early Proto-German develops in northern Germany and in southern Scandinavia

c. 2,000 BC – last woolly mammoths go extinct on Wrangel island, an island in the Arctic Ocean

c. 1,900 BC – Minoan Old Palace (or Protopalatial) period begins in Crete

1,894–1,595 BC – the Amorite Dynasty of Babylon

c. 1,830 BC – Mari becomes the seat of the Amorite Lim dynasty under king Yaggid-Lim

c. 1,809–c. 1,776 BC – Shamshi-Adad I, an Amorite king of the Old Assyrian Empire, conquers a large area in north Mesopotamia

1,800–1,300 BC – Troy VI archaeological period

1,800–1,600 BC – the Indo-European speakers of India split off from Indo-Iranian language

c. 1,800–1,450 BC – period of use of Linear A script on Crete for the Minoan language, which was also used on the Aegean islands (Kea, Kythera, Melos, Thera) and Greek mainland (Laconia)

c. 1,795 BC – Shamshi-Adad I occupied Mari

c. 1,792–1,750 BC – rule of Hammurabi in Babylonia (middle chronology)

1,700–1,600 BC – height of the Minoan civilization

c. 1,732–1,460 BC – Sealand Dynasty in southern Mesopotamia

c. 1,650–1,550 BC – Second Intermediate Period of Egypt

c. 1,650 BC – Hyksos conquest of Memphis and the collapse of the 13th Dynasty of Egypt

c. 1,642–c. 1,540 BC – Minoan eruption of Thera (Santorini eruption)

c. 1,600–after c. 1,180 BC – Hittite empire

c. 1,600–1,100 BC – Mycenaean Greece

1,595 BC – Hittites sack Babylon and end Old Babylonian Kingdom

1,595–1,155 BC – Kassite Dynasty of Babylon

c. 1,550 BC – Ahmose I (ruled c. 1,539–1,514 BC) expelled the Hyksos and their last king Khamudi from Egypt

c. 1,550–c. 1,077 BC – New Kingdom of Egypt

c. 1,500 BC – migration of Indo-Iranians into Iran and northern Mesopotamia who become the elite of the Mitanni kingdom

c. 1,500 BC – migration of Indo-European speakers into northern India (Vedic people)

c. 1,500–1,300 BC – kingdom of the Mitanni, a Hurrian-speaking state in north Syria and southeast Anatolia, ruled by a Indo-Iranian elite (see map)

c. 1,490 BC – Mycenaean conquest of the Minoans

1,450 BC – the oldest Mycenaean writing, derived from the older Linear A, which remains the undeciphered earlier script of the Minoan language

c. 1,450–1,200 BC – period of the use of Linear B script for Mycenaean Greek, found in Crete (Knossos) and mainland Greece (Pylos, Mycenae, Thebes, Tiryns)

1,392–934 BC – Middle Assyrian Empire

c. 1,340–1,100 BC – Minoan Warm Period

c. 1,300–c. 750 BC – Urnfield culture, late Bronze Age culture of central Europe, within which was the Proto-Italo-Celtic homeland

1,279–1,213 BC – reign of Ramesses II

1,277 BC – an attack of the Sherden (or Shardana) on the Nile Delta repulsed and defeated by Ramesses II

c. 1,258 BC – the Treaty of Kadesh between the Hittite ruler Hattusili III and Rameses II

1,250 BC – Troy VI probably destroyed by an earthquake

c. 1,207–1,178 BC – the reign of Suppiluliuma II (the son of Tudhaliya IV), the last known king of the New Kingdom of the Hittite Empire (on short chronology)

1,200–c. 900 BC – the Proto-Villanovan culture in Italy (either early Etruscan or proto-Italic); possibly two waves of Tyrsenian-speakers came to Italy from north-west Anatolia c.1,100 BC and 900 BC; and c. 800 BC to Lemnos

c. 1,184 BC – Troy VIIa destroyed by war: there is evidence of fire and slaughter, which brought Troy VIIa to an end

c. 1,180 BC – the Hittite capital Hattusa burnt to the ground after invasions by the Kaskans, Phrygians and Bryges

c. 1,178 BC – invasion of Sea peoples during the battle of Djahy, between the forces of Ramesses III, fought in Djahy or modern day southern Lebanon

c. 1,155–1,025 BC – Dynasty IV of Babylon (from Isin)

c.1,150 – final destruction of citadel of Mycenae

c. 1,126–1,103 BC – reign of Nebuchadnezzar I

c. 1,100 BC – great Bronze Age civilizations collapse, probably by a severe drought; end of the Minoan Warm Period

c.1,100–1,000 – gradual invasion or migration of Dorians into mainland Greece (perhaps from c.1,000–900)

c. 1,069–c. 664 BC – Third Intermediate Period of Egypt
1069–945 BC – the 21th Dynasty of Egypt (ruled from Tanis)
945–720 BC – the 22nd Dynasty of Egypt (originally ruled from Bubastis), Meshwesh Libyans
837–728 BC – the 23rd Dynasty of Egypt, Meshwesh Libyan kings in Upper Egypt
732–720 BC – the 24th Dynasty of Egypt (ruled from Sais)
760–656 BC – the 25th Dynasty of Egypt (or the Nubian Dynasty or Kushite Empire)
c. 1,050–950 BC – migration of Ionians to the islands and west Anatolia

1,006–965 BC – traditional date of David, king of the ancient Israelites

1,000 BC

1,000–750 BC – the Dark Age in Greece

c. 1000 BC – proto-Thracians in the Balkans from which Dacians and Thracians develop

c. 950–900 BC – migration of Arameans and Suteans into Babylonia; in the late 10th or early 9th century BC the Chaldeans followed

965–925 BC – traditional date of Solomon, king of the ancient Israelites

945–720 BC – the 22nd Dynasty of Egypt (the Bubastite Dynasty), which originally ruled from the city of Bubastis

911–612 BC – the Neo-Assyrian Empire:
Kings of Assyria
911–891 BC – Adad-nirari II
891–884 BC – Tukulti-Ninurta II
883–859 BC – Ashurnasirpal II
859–824 BC – Shalmaneser III
824–811 BC – Shamshi-Adad V
811– 808 BC – Shammurāmat (or Sammuramat), regent
811–783 BC – Adad-nirari III
783–773 BC – Shalmaneser IV
772–755 BC – Ashur-dan III
755–745 BC – Ashur-nirari V
745–727 BC – Tiglath-Pileser III
727–722 BC – Shalmaneser V
722–705 BC – Sargon II
705–681 BC – Sennacherib
681–669 BC – Esarhaddon
668–c. 627 BC – Ashurbanipal
c. 631–c. 627 BC – Ashur-etil-ilani
626 BC – Sin-shumu-lishir
c. 627 – 612 BC – Sinsharishkun
612–c. 609 BC – Ashur-uballit II (ruled from the city of Harran)
900 BC

c. 900–700 BC – time of the Villanovan culture proper (Villanovan II), which developed to Etruscan culture

c. 900–800 BC – Scythians (Eastern Iranian speakers) migrate into southern Russia

860–590 BC – the era of the kingdom of Urartu (or Kingdom of Ararat or Van), an Iron Age kingdom situated on Lake Van in the Armenian Highlands. See map

859–824 BC – reign of Shalmaneser III

850 BC – the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III conquers Babylon and makes it king subject to Assyria

837–728 BC – the 23rd Dynasty of Egypt, of Meshwesh Libyan kings, who ruled Upper Egypt at the same time as the 22nd Dynasty

811–808 BC – Shammurāmat (or Sammuramat) is regent of Assyria for her son Adad-nirari III; she becomes the legendary queen Semiramis in Greek myth

800 BC
c. 800 BC – possible migration of Tyrsenian-speakers from north-west Anatolia to Lemnos (with the Lemnian language)

800–500 BC – Tyrsenian culture on Lemnos

c. 800–c. 500 BC – Hallstatt culture in Western and Central Europe, within which was the Proto-Celtic homeland

c. 800 BC – Iranian speakers who became the Medes and Persians migrate into Iran?

776 BC – traditional date of the first Olympic Games

760–656 BC – the Twenty-Fifth Dynasty of Egypt (or the Nubian Dynasty or the Kushite Empire), the last dynasty of the Third Intermediate Period of Ancient Egypt

760–740 BC – time of Eumelus of Corinth, a semi-legendary early Greek poet, who supposedly wrote the Titanomachy, Corinthiaca, Europia (Bougonia), and Return from Troy

750–650 BC – time of Hesiod, author of Works and Days, Theogony, and Shield of Heracles

750–480 BC – the Archaic Period in Greece

750–700 BC – Homeric poems the Iliad and Odyssey written down

747–721 BC – rule of Piye, the Kushite king and founder of the Twenty-Fifth Dynasty of Egypt who ruled from Napata in Nubia

743–724 BC – the First Messenian War between Messenia and Sparta

738 BC – Tiglath-Pileser III occupies Philistia and invaded Israel

732 BC – Assyria takes the Aramean state of Damascus, deporting many of its inhabitants

c. 728 – the Kushite Nubian ruler Piye invades Upper and Lower Egypt

727 BC – Babylonia becomes independent of Assyria

722 BC – Shalmaneser V dies during the siege of Samaria; Sargon II takes Samaria, ending the northern Kingdom of Israel and deporting 27,000 people into captivity

716–678 BC – early date for the rule of Gyges (founder of the Mermnad dynasty) as king of Lydia:
Lydian Kings
Tylonids (Heraclids)
795–759 BC – Ardys I
759–745 BC – Alyattes I
745–733 BC – Meles
733–716 BC – Candaules

Mermnads
716–678 BC – Gyges
678–629 BC – Ardys II (Ardysus II)
629–617 BC – Sadyattes
617–560 BC – Alyattes II
560–546 BC – Croesus

c. 680–644 – Gyges (alternative dating)
644–c. 625 BC – Ardys II (alternative dating)
c. 625–c. 600 BC – Sadyattes (alternative dating)
c. 600–560 BC – Alyattes II (alternative dating)
560–546 BC – Croesus
546 BC – Persian invasion by Cyrus the Great and defeat of Croesus
c. 714 BC – the Cimmerians (from the Pontic steppe) attacked Urartu

c. 710–650 BC – the Lelantine War, the war between Chalcis and Eretria in Euboea over the control of the fertile Lelantine Plain on the island of Euboea; many other city states join in

705 BC – the Cimmerians defeated by Assyrian forces under Sargon II; the Cimmerians conquered Phrygia in 696/5

700 BC

c. 700 BC – dating of Hesiod’s Works and Days and Theogony

687 BC – office of archon is established in Athens

685–668 BC – the Second Messenian War between Messenia and Sparta, after a helot slave rebellion

c. 680–644 – alternative dating of Gyges as king of Lydia:
Mermnads
716–678 BC – Gyges
678–629 BC – Ardys II (Ardysus II)
629–617 BC – Sadyattes
617–560 BC – Alyattes II
560–546 BC – Croesus

c. 680–644 – Gyges (alternative dating)
644–c. 625 BC – Ardys II (alternative dating)
c. 625–c. 600 BC – Sadyattes (alternative dating)
c. 600–560 BC – Alyattes II (alternative dating)
560–546 BC – Croesus

c. 617–c. 585 BC – Alyattes II (alternative dating)
c. 585–546 BC – reign of Croesus as king of Lydia (alternative dating)

546 BC – Persian invasion by Cyrus the Great and defeat of Croesus
679 BC – Cimmerians and Scythians cross the Taurus Mountains and attack Assyrian colonies in Cilicia

677 BC – Esarhaddon sacks Sidon

673 BC – Esarhaddon raids Egypt

671 BC – Assyrian invasion of Egypt by Esarhaddon; Esarhaddon drives Pharaoh Taharqa back to Nubia

664–610 BC – rule of Psamtik I (Psammeticus), the first of Saite or Twenty-Sixth Dynasty of Egypt

663 BC – Assyrian invasion of Egypt; sack of Thebes

654 or 652 – Gyges of Lydia dies in battle against the Cimmerians; the Cimmerians sack Sardis, and plunder Ionian colonies

c. 650–600 BC – first coins minted in Lydia and ancient Ionia

645–560 BC – Sparta fights wars with Tegea

644 – the Cimmerians occupy Sardis

632 BC – the Athenian aristocrat Cylon invades Attica from Megara

627–585 – Periander is the second tryrant of the Cypselid dynasty of Corinth

626–539 – Neo-Babylonian empire

626 – accession of Nabopolassar
626–605 – Nabopolassar
605–562 – Nebuchadnezzar II
562–560 – Amel-Marduk
560–556 – Nergal-shar-usur
556 – Labashi-Marduk
556–539 – Nabonidus
c. 619 BC – the Cimmerians are defeated by Alyattes of Lydia

612 BC – alliance of Medes, Babylonians and Susianians conquer the Assyrian capital Nineveh

610–595 BC – the reign of Necho II, a Pharaoh of the 26th Dynasty

609 BC – battle of Carchemish

c. 609 BC – Necho II (610–595) constructs a canal from the Nile to the Red Sea; he also founds Tell el-Maskhuta

c. 605–c. 562 BC – reign of Nebuchadnezzar II, king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire

600 BC
c. 600 BC – the Lydian king Alyattes captures Smyrna, and burns the Temple of Athena at Assesos near Miletus

590–580 BC – the reforms of Solon (c. 638–c.558 BC) in ancient Athens

c. 587–583 BC – possible early date for the accession of Croesus

28 May 585 BC – possible date of the battle of the Eclipse (battle of Halys) between the Medes under Cyaxares and the Lydians under Alyattes

c. 585–546 BC – reign of Croesus as king of Lydia

c. 585–550 BC – Croesus’ gold and silver coinage

570s BC – Croesus begins work on the Artemisium at Ephesus

559–530 BC – reign of Cyrus the Great:
559–530 – Cyrus the Great
530–522 – Cambyses
522 – Bardiya (Gaumata)
522–486 – Darius I
485–465 – Xerxes I
465–424 – Artaxerxes I
424 – Xerxes II
424–423 – Sogdianus
424–404 – Darius II
404–358 – Artaxerxes II
358–338 – Artaxerxes III
338–336 – Artaxerxes IV
336–330 – Darius III
546–528/27 BC – the tyrant Peisistratos controlled Athens

539 BC – Babylon conquered by Cyrus the Great

c. 538–522 BC – rule of the tyrant Polycrates of Samos

528/27 BC–514 BC – rule of the tyrant Hipparchus (528/27 BC–514 BC) and Hippias (528/27 BC–511/10 BC) in Athens

522 BC – the tyrant Polycrates of Samos is assassinated in Sardis

September 522–October 486 – reign of Darius I

514 BC – assassination of the Athenain tyrant Hipparchus

511/10 BC – the tyrant Hippias from Athens expelled by the Spartans

507–501 BC – Cleisthenes takes power and reforms Athenian democracy

500 BC
October 486–August 465 – reign of Xerxes I

480–322 BC – the Greek Classical Period

480–479 BC – the Persian invasion of Greece
Copper Age
c. 3,500–1,700 BC – Chalcolithic Europe (Copper Age)
4,300–3,300 BC – Chalcolithic age in the Near East

Bronze Age
c. 3,300–1,200 BC – Bronze Age in Near East
c. 3,200–600 BC – Bronze Age in Europe
c. 3,000–1200 BC – Bronze Age in South Asia

Iron Age
1,200 BC–500 BC – Iron Age in Ancient Near East
1,200 BC–1 BC – Iron Age in Europe
1,200 BC–200 BC – Iron Age in India
600 BC–200 BC – Iron Age in China

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