• 200,000 years ago: first appearance of Homo sapiens in Africa.
• 195,000 years ago: oldest Homo sapiens fossil—from Omo, Ethiopia.
• 170,000 years ago: humans are wearing clothing by this date.
• 120,000–90,000 years ago: Abbassia Pluvial in North Africa—the Sahara desert region is wet and fertile.
100,000 YEARS AGO
• 82,000 years ago: small perforated seashell beads from Taforalt in Morocco are the earliest evidence of jewelry found anywhere in the world.
• 70,000 years ago: earliest example of abstract art or symbolic art from Blombos Cave, South Africa—stones engraved with grid or cross-hatch patterns.
• 64,000 years ago: It has been speculated that the bow and arrow may have existed at this time in South Africa based on the discovery of stone points there.
50,000 YEARS AGO
• 50,000 years ago: earliest sewing needle found. Made and used by Denisovans.
• 45,000–43,000 years ago: Human colonization of Europe.
• 42,000 years ago: earliest evidence of advanced deep sea fishing technology at the Jerimalai cave site in East Timor—they were catching and consuming large numbers of big deep sea fish such as tuna.
• 40,000 years ago: extinction of Homo neanderthalensis.
• 40,000 years ago: oldest known figurative art the zoomorphic Löwenmensch figurine.
• 40,000–30,000 years ago: First human settlement in Australia.
• 33,000 years ago: oldest known domesticated dog skulls show they existed in both Europe and Siberia by this time.
• 29,000 years ago: The earliest ovens found.
• 28,000 years ago: Oldest known twisted rope.
• 28,000–24,000 years ago: oldest known pottery—used to make figurines rather than cooking or storage vessels (Venus of Dolní Věstonice).
• 26,000 years ago: people around the world use fibers to make baby carriers, clothes, bags, baskets, and nets.
25,000 YEARS AGO
• 25,000 years ago: a hamlet consisting of huts built of rocks and of mammoth bones is founded in what is now Dolní Věstonice in Moravia in the Czech Republic. This is the oldest human permanent settlement that has yet been found by archaeologists.
• 20,000 years ago: oldest pottery storage/cooking vessels from China.
• 16,500–13,000 years ago: first colonization of North America.
• 15,000–14,700 years ago (13,000 BC to 12,700 BC): Earliest supposed date for the domestication of the pig.
• 13,000–10,000 years ago: Late Glacial Maximum, end of Last Ice Age, climate warms, glaciers recede.
• 13,000–11,000 years ago (11,000 BC to 9,000 BC): Earliest dates suggested for the domestication of the sheep.
• 12,000 years ago (10,000 BC): Earliest dates suggested for the domestication of the goat.
• 11,000 years ago (9,000 BC): Earliest date recorded for construction of ceremonial structures at Göbekli Tepe in southern Turkey, as possibly the oldest surviving religious site on Earth.
• 11,000 years ago (9,000 BC): Emergence of Jericho, which is now one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
• 10,500 years ago (8,500 BC): Earliest supposed date for the domestication of cattle.
10,000 YEARS AGO: THE NEOLITHIC REVOLUTION
• 10,000 years ago (8,000 BC): The Quaternary extinction event, which has been ongoing since the mid-Pleistocene, concludes. Many of the ice age megafauna go extinct, including the megatherium, woolly rhinoceros, Irish elk, cave bear, cave lion, and the last of the sabre-toothed cats. The mammoth goes extinct in Eurasia and North America, but is preserved in small island populations until ~1650 BC.
• 10,000 – 9,000 years ago (8000 BC to 7000 BC): In northern Mesopotamia, now northern Iraq, cultivation of barley and wheat begins. At first they are used for beer, gruel, and soup, eventually for bread.
• 9,500 years ago (7500 BC): Çatalhöyük urban settlement founded in Anatolia. Earliest supposed date for the domestication of the cat.
• 7,500 years ago (5500 BC): Copper smelting in evidence.
• 7,000 years ago (5000 BC): late Neolithic civilizations, invention of the wheel.
• 6,000 years ago (4000 BC): Civilizations develop in the Mesopotamia/Fertile Crescent region (around the location of modern-day Iraq). Earliest supposed dates for the domestication of the horse and for the domestication of the chicken.
• 5,700 years ago: (3700 to 3600 BC): Minoan culture begins on Crete.
• 5,500 years ago: (3600 to 3500 BC): Uruk period in Sumer.
• 5,500 years ago: (3600 to 3500 BC) First evidence of mummification in Egypt.
• 5,200 years ago: (3200 BC): Writing is invented in Sumer, triggering the beginning of recorded history.
5,200 YEARS AGO: PRE-HISTORY ENDS; HISTORY BEGINS.
• 3200 BC: Sumerian cuneiform writing system.
3100 BC: Egyptian Civilization Begins
• c. 3000 BC: Egyptian calendar
• 3000 BC: First known use of papyrus by Egyptians
• 2700 BC: Minoan Civilization begins; ancient palace city Knossos reaches 80,000 inhabitants
• 2700 BC: The Old Kingdom begins in Egypt
• 2600 BC: Oldest known surviving literature: Sumerian texts.
• 2560 BC: King Khufu completes the Great Pyramid of Giza.
• 2500 BC: The mammoth goes extinct.
• 2334 or 2270 BC: Akkadian Empire is founded, dating depends upon whether the Middle chronology or the Short chronology is used.
• 2000 BC: Domestication of the horse
• 1800 BC: alphabetic writing emerges
• 1780 BC: Oldest Record of Hammurabi’s Code.
• 1600 BC: Minoan civilization on Crete is destroyed by the Minoan eruption of Santorini island
1600 BC: Mycenaean Greece era begins, Early Greek Civilization starts
• 1200-1150 BC: Greek Dark Ages. Bronze Age collapse in Southwestern Asia and in the Eastern Mediterranean region. This period is also the setting of the Iliad and the Odyssey epic poems
• 1200-1100 BC: Sea Peoples attack Rome, Greece, Egypt, and all other major coastal civilizations.
• 1100 BC: Use of Iron spreads.
• 800 BC: Rise of Greek city-states
753 BC: Founding of Rome
• 550 BC: Foundation of the Persian Empire by Cyrus the Great.
539 BC: The Fall of the Babylonian Empire. End of Mesopotamian Civilization.
• 525 BC: Cambyses II of Persia conquers Egypt.
• 512 BC: Darius I (Darius the Great) of Persia, subjugates eastern Thrace, Macedonia submits voluntarily, and annexes Libya, Persian Empire at largest extent.
• 509 BC: Expulsion of the last King of Rome, founding of Roman Republic (traditional date).
• 508 BC: Democracy instituted at Athens
• 499 BC: King Miletus (Greek City-State) caused all of the Ionian Greeks to rebel against the Persian Empire, beginning the Greco-Persian Wars.
• 490 BC: Greek city-states defeat Persian invasion at Battle of Marathon
• 480 BC: Persian invasion of Greece by Xerxes; Battles of Thermopylae and Salamis
• 447 BC: Building of the Parthenon at Athens started
• 432 BC: Construction of the Parthenon is completed
• 431 BC: Beginning of the Peloponnesian war between the Greek city-states
• 404 BC: End of the Peloponnesian War. Sparta conquers Athens.
• 331 BC: Alexander the Great defeats Darius III of Persia in the Battle of Gaugamela, completing his conquest of Persia.
• 326 BC: Alexander the Great defeats Indian king Porus in the Battle of the Hydaspes River.
• 323 BC: Death of Alexander the Great at Babylon.
• 202 BC: Scipio Africanus defeats Hannibal at Battle of Zama.
• 200 BC: Paper is invented in China.
• 149-146 BC: Third Punic War between Rome and Carthage. War ends with the complete destruction of Carthage, allowing Rome to conquer modern day Tunisia and Libya.
146 BC: Roman conquest of Greece. Greek Civilization Ends
• 49 BC: Roman Civil War between Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great.
• 44 BC: Julius Caesar murdered by Marcus Brutus and others; End of Roman Republic;
44 BC: Beginning of Roman Empire.
• 40 BC: Roman conquest of Egypt.
40 BC: Egyptian Civilization Ends
• 27 BC: Formation of Roman Empire: Octavius is given titles of Princeps and Augustus by Roman Senate – beginning of Pax Romana.
0 BCE/ 0CE: Approximate birth of Jesus of Nazareth
• 14: Death of Emperor Augustus (Octavian), ascension of his adopted son Tiberius to the throne.
• 33: Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, exact date unknown.
• 76: First recorded Ancient Olympic Games.
• 79: Destruction of Pompeii by the volcano Vesuvius.
• 98: After a two-year rule, Emperor Nerva dies of natural causes, his adopted son Trajan succeeds him.
• 106-117: Roman Empire at largest extent under Emperor Trajan after having conquered modern-day Romania, Iraq and Armenia.
• 117: Trajan dies of natural causes. His adopted son Hadrian succeeds him. Hadrian pulls out of Iraq and Armenia.
• 285: Diocletian becomes emperor of Rome and splits the Roman Empire into Eastern and Western Empires.
• 285: Diocletian begins a large-scale persecution of Christians.
• 292: The capital of the Roman Empire is officially moved from Rome to Mediolanum (modern day Milan).
• 313: Edict of Milan declared that the Roman Empire would tolerate all forms of religious worship.
• 330: Constantinople is officially named and becomes the capital of the eastern Roman Empire.
• 350: Constantius II is left sole emperor with the death of his two brothers.
• 378: Battle of Adrianople, Roman army is defeated by the Germanic tribes.
• 380: Roman Emperor Theodosius I declares the Arian faith of Christianity heretical.
• 395: Theodosius I outlaws all religions other than Catholic Christianity.
• 406: Romans are expelled from Britain.
• 407-409: Visigoths and other Germanic tribes cross into Roman-Gaul for the first time.
• 410: Visigoths sacks Rome for the first time.
• 415: Germanic tribes enter Spain.
• 429: Vandals enter North Africa from Spain for the first time
• 439: Vandals have conquered the land stretching from Morocco to Tunisia by this time.
• 455: Vandals sack Rome, capture Sicily and Sardinia.
• 476: Romulus Augustus, last Western Roman Emperor is forced to abdicate by Odoacer, a chieftain of a Germanic Tribe.
476: End of the Western Roman Empire.