Timeline of human prehistory

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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, after 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[edit]

Engraved ochre with grid or cross-hatch patterns from Blombos Cave, South Africa. One of the earliest examples of abstract or symbolic art dating from around 70,000 years ago.

Upper Paleolithic[edit]

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

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

Holocene[edit]

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.


See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]