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World History Timelines

Timelines of World History


Most of the history of the ancient world has been collected by archaeologists, built in part by the use of fragmentary records, but also through myriad dating techniques. Each of the world history timelines on this list are part of larger resources addressing the culture, artifacts, customs and people of the many many cultures who have lived on our planet for the past 2 million years.

Stone Age/Paleolithic Timeline

Sculptor's Rendering of the Hominid Australopithecus afarensis
Dave Einsel / Getty Images
The Stone Age (known to scholars as the Paleolithic era) in human prehistory is the name given to the period between about 2.5 million and 20,000 years ago. It begins with the earliest human-like behaviors of crude stone tool manufacture, and ends with fully modern human hunting and gathering societies.

Jomon Hunter-Gatherer Timeline

The Jomon is the name of the early Holocene period hunter-gatherers of Japan, beginning about 14,000 BC and ending about 1000 BC in southwestern Japan and AD 500 in northeastern Japan.

European Mesolithic Timeline

The European Mesolithic period is traditionally that time period in the Old World between the last glaciation (ca. 10,000 years BP) and beginning of the Neolithic (ca. 5000 years BP), when farming communities began to be established.

Pre-Pottery Neolithic Timeline

The Pre-Pottery Neolithic (abbreviated PPN) is the name given to the people who domesticated the earliest plants and lived in farming communities in the Levant and Near East. The PPN culture contained most of the attributes we think of Neolithic--except pottery, which was not used in the region until ca. 5500 BC.

Pre-Dynastic Egypt Timeline

The Predynastic period in Egypt is the name archaeologists have given to the three millennia before the emergence of the first unified Egyptian state society.

Mesopotamian Timeline

Mesopotamia is an ancient civilization that took up pretty much everything that today is modern Iraq and Syria, a triangular patch wedged between the Tigris River, the Zagros Mountains, and the Lesser Zab River

Indus Civilization Timeline

Dancing Girl of Mohenjo Daro
Gregory Possehl (c) 2002
The Indus civilization (also known as the Harappan Civilization, the Indus-Sarasvati or Hakra Civilization and sometimes the Indus Valley Civilization) is one of the oldest societies we know of, including over 2600 known archaeological sites located along the Indus and Sarasvati rivers in Pakistan and India, an area of some 1.6 million square kilometers.

Minoan Timeline

The Minoans lived in the Greek islands during what archaeologists have called the early part of the prehistoric Bronze Age of Greece.

Dynastic Egypt Timeline

Ancient Egypt is considered to have begun about 3050 BC, when the first pharaoh Menes united Lower Egypt (referring to the river delta region of the Nile River), and Upper Egypt (everything south of the delta).

Longshan Culture Timeline

The Longshan culture is a Neolithic and Chalcolithic culture (ca 3000-1900 BC) of the Yellow River Valley of Shandong, Henan, Shanxi, Shaanxi, and Inner Mongolia provinces of China.

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