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    *  Ancient  History  *    

Before Christ (B.C.) or

Before the Common Era (B.C.E.)

4.5 billion – 1 B.C. World History

Ra, Egyptian Sun God
(3000–2000 B.C.)
Egyptian Mythology



The Great Pyramid at Giza
(c. 2680 B.C.
Kim Storm



(c. 3000–1500 B.C.)
Peter F. Harrington



(582?–507? B.C.)



(563?–483? B.C.)



Confucius(551–479 B.C.)



Parthenon(447–432 B.C.)
Greek and Roman Mythology
Tina Diodati



(427?–348 or 347 B.C.)



Augustus Caesar
(63 B.C.A.D. 14)



Mayan Hieroglyphics
(c. 200 B.C.)



Pantheon in Rome
(27 B.C.; c. A.D. 118–128)
Greek and Roman Mythology
Elaine Ouellette
   4.5 billion B.C.
      Planet Earth formed.

   3 billion B.C.

      First signs of primeval life (bacteria and blue-green algae) appear in oceans.

   600 million B.C.
      Earliest date to which fossils can be traced.
   4.4 million B.C.
      Earliest known hominid fossils (Ardipithecus ramidus) found in Aramis, Ethiopia, 1994.
   4.2 million B.C.
      Australopithecus anamensis found in Lake Turkana, Kenya, 1995.
   3.2 million B.C.
      Australopithecus afarenis (nicknamed “Lucy”) found in Ethiopia, 1974.
   2.5 million B.C.
      Homo habilis (“Skillful Man”). First brain expansion; is believed to have used stone tools.
   1.8 million B.C.
      Homo erectus (“Upright Man”). Brain size twice that of Australopithecine species.
   1.7 million B.C.
      Homo erectus leaves Africa.
   100,000 B.C.
      First modern Homo sapiens in South Africa.
   70,000 B.C.
      Neanderthal man (use of fire and advanced tools).
   40,000 B.C.
      Pedra Furada, Brazil & Savannah River, South Carolina human habitation archaeological sites.
   35,000 B.C.
      Neanderthal man replaced by later groups of Homo sapiens (i.e., Cro-Magnon man, etc.).
   18,000 B.C.
      Cro-Magnons replaced by later cultures.
   15,000 B.C.
      Migrations across Bering Straits into the Americas.
        Paleo-Indian Culture inhabit America Continent.
   10,000 B.C.
      Semi-permanent agricultural settlements in Old World.
   10,000–4,000 B.C.
      Development of settlements into cities and development of skills such as the wheel, pottery,
      and improved methods of cultivation in Mesopotamia and elsewhere. The Ussher Chronology
      calculates the Bible Creation of the Garden of Eden occured in (4004 B.C.).
   5500–3000 B.C.
      Predynastic Egyptian cultures develop (5500–3100 B.C.); begin using agriculture (c.5000 B.C.)
      Earliest known civilization arises in Sumer (4500–4000 B.C.). Earliest recorded date in Egyptian
      calendar (4241 B.C.). First year of Jewish calendar (3760 B.C.). First phonetic writing appears
      (c. 3500 B.C.). Sumerians develop a city-state civilization (c. 3000 B.C.). Copper used by
      Egyptians and Sumerians. Western Europe is neolithic, without metals or written records.
      Krishna born (3228-3102 B.C.) father of Hinduism and Buddhism.
   3000–2000 B.C.
      Pharaonic rule begins in Egypt. King Khufu (Cheops), 4th dynasty (2700–2675 B.C.),
      completes construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza (c. 2680 B.C.). The Great Sphinx of Giza
      (c. 2540 B.C.) is built by King Khafre. Earliest Egyptian mummies. Papyrus. Phoenician
      settlements on coast of what is now Syria and Lebanon. Semitic tribes settle in Assyria. Sargon,
      first Akkadian king, builds Mesopotamian empire. The Gilgamesh epic (c. 3000 B.C.).
      Systematic astronomy in Egypt, Babylon, India, China. The Ussher Chronology calculate Biblical
      Noah born (2948-1998 B.C.) living 950 years with the Great Flood occuring in (2348 B.C.).
   3000–1500 B.C.
      The most ancient civilization on the Indian subcontinent, the sophisticated and extensive Indus
      Valley civilization, flourishes in what is today Pakistan. In Britain, Stonehenge erected according
      to some unknown astronomical rationale. Its three main phases of construction span
      (c. 3000–1500 B.C.)
   2000–1500 B.C.
      Hyksos invaders drive Egyptians from Lower Egypt (17th century B.C.). Amosis I frees Egypt
      from Hyksos (c. 1600 B.C.). Assyrians rise to power—cities of Ashur and Nineveh. Twenty-four
      -character alphabet in Egypt. Cuneiform inscriptions used by Hittites. Peak of Minoan culture
      on Isle of Crete—earliest form of written Greek. Hammurabi, king of Babylon, develops oldest
      existing code of laws (18th century B.C.). Abraham father of Judaism, Christianity and Islam
      is born (1900 B.C.) living 175 years.
   1500–1000 B.C.
      Ikhnaton develops monotheistic religion in Egypt (c. 1375 B.C.). His successor, Tutankhamen,
      returns to earlier gods. Greeks destroy Troy (c. 1193 B.C.). End of Greek civilization in
      Mycenae with invasion of Dorians. Chinese civilization develops under Shang Dynasty. Olmec
      Civilization in Mexico—stone monuments; picture writing. Father of Israel Moses born
      (1391-1271 B.C.) living 120 years.
   1000–900 B.C.
      Solomon (1011-931 B.C.) succeeds King David (1040-970 B.C.), builds Jerusalem temple.
      After Solomon's death, kingdom divided into Israel and Judah. Hebrew elders begin to write
      Old Testament books of Bible. Phoenicians colonize Spain with settlement at Cadiz. Adena
      Native American Culture (1000-200 B.C.) on East Coast of North America with Agriculture
      and Burial Mounds relative to Clovis Paleo- Indian Culture (15000 B.C.).
   900–800 B.C.
      Phoenicians establish Carthage (c. 810 B.C.). The Iliad and the Odyssey,
      perhaps composed by Greek poet Homer.
   800–700 B.C.
      Prophets Amos, Hosea, Isaiah. First recorded Olympic games (776 B.C.). Legendary founding
      of Rome by Romulus (753 B.C.). Assyrian king Sargon II conquers Hittites, Chaldeans, Samaria
      (end of Kingdom of Israel). Earliest written music. Chariots introduced into Italy by Etruscans.
   700–600 B.C.
      End of Assyrian Empire (616 B.C.)—Nineveh destroyed by Chaldeans (Neo-Babylonians) and
      Medes (612 B.C.). Founding of Byzantium by Greeks (c. 660 B.C.). Building of the Acropolis in
      Athens. Solon, Greek lawgiver (640–560 B.C.). Sappho of Lesbos, Greek poet (610–580 B.C.)
      Lao-tse, Chinese philosopher and founder of Taoism (born c. 604 B.C.).
   600–500 B.C.
      Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar builds empire, destroys Jerusalem (586 B.C.). Babylonian
      Captivity of the Jews (starting 587 B.C.). Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Cyrus the Great
      (600?-530 B.C.) of Persia creates great empire, conquers Babylon (539 B.C.), frees the Jews.
      Athenian democracy develops. Aeschylus, Greek dramatist (525–465 B.C.). Pythagoras, Greek
      philosopher and mathematician (582?–507? B.C.). Confucius (551–479 B.C.) develops ethical
      and social philosophy in China. The Analects or Lun-yü (“collected sayings”) are compiled by
      the second generation of Confucian disciples. Buddha (563?–483? B.C.) founds Buddhism in
      India. Zoroaster (628?-551? B.C.) founds Zoroastrianism.
   500–400 B.C.
      Greeks defeat Persians: battles of Marathon (490 B.C.), Thermopylae (480 B.C.), Salamis
      (480 B.C.). Peloponnesian Wars between Athens and Sparta (431–404 B.C.)—Sparta victorious.
      Pericles comes to power in Athens (462 B.C.). Flowering of Greek culture during the Age of
      Pericles (450–400 B.C.). The Parthenon is built in Athens as a temple of the goddess Athena
      (447–432 B.C.). Ictinus and Callicrates are the architects and Phidias is responsible for the
      sculpture. Sophocles, Greek dramatist (496?–406 B.C.). Hippocrates, Greek “Father of
      Medicine” (born 460 B.C.). Xerxes I, king of Persia (rules 485–465 B.C.).
   400–300 B.C.
      Pentateuch—first five books of the Old Testament evolve in final form. Philip of Macedon,
      who believed himself to be a descendant of the Greek people, assassinated (336 B.C.) after
      subduing the Greek city-states; succeeded by son, Alexander the Great (356–323 B.C.), who
      destroys Thebes (335 B.C.) conquers Tyre and Jerusalem (332 B.C.) occupies Babylon (330 
      B.C.), invades India, and dies in Babylon. His empire is divided among his generals; one of
      them, Seleucis I, establishes Middle East empire with capitals at Antioch (Syria) and Seleucia
      (in Iraq). Trial and execution of Greek philosopher Socrates (399 B.C.). Dialogues recorded by
      his student, Plato (c. 427–348 or 347 B.C.). Euclid's work on geometry (323 B.C.). Aristotle,
      Greek philosopher (384–322 B.C.). Demosthenes, Greek orator (384–322 B.C.). Praxiteles,
      Greek sculptor (400–330 B.C.). Chanakya (370-283 B.C.) father of economics and political
      science, Arthasastra, teacher of Maurya Emperor Chanaragupta (340-293 B.C.).
   300–251 B.C.
      First Punic War (264–241 B.C.): Rome defeats the Carthaginians and begins its domination of
      the Mediterranean. Temple of the Sun at Teotihuacán, Mexico (c. 300 B.C.). Invention of
      Mayan calendar in Yucatán—more exact than older calendars. First Roman gladiatorial games
      (264 B.C.). Archimedes, Greek mathematician (287–212 B.C.).
      Ashoka the Great (304-232 B.C.) Buddhist Maurya Emperor.
   250–201 B.C.
      Second Punic War (219–201 B.C.): Hannibal, Carthaginian general (246–142 B.C.),
      crosses the Alps (218 B.C.), reaches gates of Rome (211 B.C.), retreats, and is defeated
      by Scipio Africanus at Zama (202 B.C.). Great Wall of China built (c. 215 B.C.).
   200–151 B.C.
      Romans defeat Seleucid King Antiochus III at Thermopylae (191 B.C.)
      beginning of Roman world domination. Maccabean revolt against Seleucids (167 B.C.).
   150–101 B.C.
      Third Punic War (149–146 B.C.): Rome destroys Carthage, killing 450,000 and enslaving the
      remaining 50,000 inhabitants. Roman armies conquer Macedonia, Greece, Anatolia, Balearic
      Islands, and southern France. Venus de Milo (140 B.C.). Cicero, Roman orator (106–43 B.C.)
      Undefeated Roman General Dictator Sulla (138-78 B.C.) restores class freedom to Roman
      Empire. Roman General Politician Marcus Licinius Crassus (115-53 B.C.) becomes wealthest
      man in Roman history and richest man of all times.
   100–51 B.C.
      Julius Caesar (100–44 B.C.) invades Britain (55 B.C.) and conquers Gaul (France) (c. 50 B.C.).
      Spartacus leads slave revolt against Rome (71 B.C.). Romans conquer Seleucid empire.
      Roman general Pompey conquers Jerusalem (63 B.C.). Cleopatra Egyptian throne (51–31 B.C.)
      Chinese develop use of paper (c. 100 B.C.). Virgil, Roman poet (70–19 B.C.).
      Horace, Roman poet (65–8 B.C.).
   50–1 B.C.
      Caesar crosses Rubicon to fight Pompey (50 B.C.). King Herod the Great (73 B.C.-4 A.D.)
      made Roman governor of Judea (37 B.C.) developed water supplies and rebuilt the second
      temple of Jerusalam. Caesar murdered (44 B.C.). Caesar's nephew, Octavian, defeats
      Mark Antony and Cleopatra at Battle of Actium (31 B.C.), and establishes Roman empire
      as Emperor Augustus; rules 27 B.C.A.D. 14. Pantheon built for the first time under
      Agrippa, 27 B.C. Ovid, Roman poet (43 B.C.A.D. 18).


Some Ancient Civilizations


Approximate dates


Major cities




2350–2230 B.C.


Mesopotamia, parts of
Syria, Asia Minor,


Akkad, Ur, Erich




1800–889 B.C.


Mesopotamia, Syria


Assur, Nineveh,




1728–1686 B.C. (old)
625–539 B.C. (new)


Mesopotamia, Syria,






750–500 B.C.



northern Asia Minor





2850–715 B.C.


Nile valley


Thebes, Memphis,




900–396 B.C.


Northern Italy





900–200 B.C.



Athens, Sparta,
Thebes, Mycenae,




1640–1200 B.C.


Asia Minor, Syria


Hattusas, Nesa


Indus Valley


3000–1500 B.C.







700–547 B.C.


Western Asia Minor


Sardis, Miletus




835–550 B.C.








3000–1100 B.C.








559–330 B.C.


Iran, Asia Minor, Syria






1100–332 B.C.


Palestine (colonies:
Gibraltar, Carthage,


Tyre, Sidon, Byblos




1000–547 B.C.


Central Asia Minor






500 B.C.A.D. 300


Italy, Mediterranean
region, Asia Minor,


Rome, Byzantium




800–300 B.C.







3200–2360 B.C.




Ur, Nippur



1–999 (A.D.)  World History


Roman Aqueduct Montpellier, France
Tina Diodati






Japanese Pagoda
Erik Hjortshoj



Viking Ship (c. 900)

Birth of Jesus Christ (variously given from 4 B.C. to A.D. 7). After Augustus, Tiberius becomes emperor (dies, A.D. 37), succeeded by Caligula (assassinated, A.D. 41), who is followed by Claudius. Crucifixion of Jesus (probably A.D. 30). Han dynasty in China founded by Emperor Kuang Wu Ti. Buddhism introduced to China.
Claudius poisoned (A.D. 54), succeeded by Nero (commits suicide, A.D. 68). Missionary journeys of Paul the Apostle (A.D. 34–60). Jews revolt against Rome; Jerusalem destroyed (A.D. 70). Roman persecutions of Christians begin (A.D. 64). Colosseum built in Rome (A.D. 71–80). Trajan (rules A.D. 98–116); Roman empire extends to Mesopotamia, Arabia, Balkans. First Gospels of St. Mark, St. John, St. Matthew.
Hadrian rules Rome (A.D. 117–138); codifies Roman law, rebuilds Pantheon, establishes postal system, builds wall between England and Scotland. Jews revolt under Bar Kokhba (A.D. 122–135); final Diaspora (dispersion) of Jews begins.
Marcus Aurelius rules Rome (A.D. 161–180).
Oldest Mayan temples in Central America (c. A.D. 200).
Goths invade Asia Minor (c. A.D. 220). Roman persecutions of Christians increase.
Persian (Sassanid) empire re-established. End of Chinese Han dynasty.
Increasing invasions of the Roman empire by Franks and Goths. Buddhism spreads in China. Classic period of Mayan civilization (A.D. 250–900); develop hieroglyphic writing, advances in art, architecture, science.
Constantine the Great (rules A.D. 312–337) reunites eastern and western Roman empires, with new capital (Constantinople) on site of Byzantium (A.D. 330); issues Edict of Milan legalizing Christianity (A.D. 313); becomes a Christian on his deathbed (A.D. 337). Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325) defines orthodox Christian doctrine.
First Gupta dynasty in India (c. A.D. 320).
Huns (Mongols) invade Europe (c. A.D. 360). Theodosius the Great (rules A.D. 392–395)—last emperor of a united Roman empire. Roman empire permanently divided in A.D. 395: western empire ruled from Rome; eastern empire ruled from Constantinople.
Western Roman empire disintegrates under weak emperors. Alaric, king of the Visigoths, sacks Rome (A.D. 410). Attila, Hun chieftain, attacks Roman provinces (A.D. 433). St. Patrick returns to Ireland (A.D. 432) and brings Christianity to the island.
St. Augustine's City of God (A.D. 411).
Vandals destroy Rome (A.D. 455). Western Roman empire ends as Odoacer, German chieftain, overthrows last Roman emperor, Romulus Augustulus, and becomes king of Italy (A.D. 476). Ostrogothic kingdom of Italy established by Theodoric the Great (A.D. 493). Clovis, ruler of the Franks, is converted to Christianity (A.D. 496). First schism between western and eastern churches (A.D. 484).
Eastern and western churches reconciled (519). Justinian I, the Great (483–565), becomes Byzantine emperor (527), issues his first code of civil laws (529), conquers North Africa, Italy, and part of Spain. Plague spreads through Europe (542 et seq.). Arthur, semi-legendary king of the Britons (killed, c. 537). Boëthius, Roman scholar (executed, 524).
Beginnings of European silk industry after Justinian's missionaries smuggle silkworms out of China (553). Mohammed, founder of Islam (570–632). Buddhism in Japan (c. 560). St. Augustine of Canterbury brings Christianity to Britain (597). After killing about half the population, plague in Europe subsides (594).
Mohammed flees from Mecca to Medina (the Hegira); first year of the Muslim calendar (622). Muslim empire grows (634). Arabs conquer Jerusalem (637)
conquer Persians (641).
Arabs attack North Africa (670), destroy Carthage (697).
Venerable Bede, English monk (672–735).
Arab empire extends from Lisbon to China (by 716). Charles Martel, Frankish leader, defeats Arabs at Tours/Poitiers, halting Arab advance in Europe (732).
Charlemagne (742–814). Introduction of pagodas in Japan from China.
Charlemagne becomes king of the Franks (771). Caliph Harun al-Rashid rules Arab empire (786–809): the “golden age” of Arab culture. Vikings begin attacks on Britain (790),
land in Ireland (795). City of Machu Picchu flourishes in Peru.
Charlemagne crowned first Holy Roman Emperor in Rome (800). Charlemagne dies (814), succeeded by his son, Louis the Pious, who divides France among his sons (817).
Arabs conquer Crete, Sicily, and Sardinia (826–827).
Norsemen attack as far south as the Mediterranean but are thwarted (859), discover Iceland (861). Alfred the Great becomes king of Britain (871), defeats Danish invaders (878). Russian nation founded by Vikings under Prince Rurik,
establishing capital at Novgorod (855–879).
Beginning of Mayan Post-Classical period (900–1519). Vikings discover Greenland (c. 900). Arab Spain under Abd ar-Rahman III becomes center of learning (912–961).
Otto I becomes King of Germany (936).
Mieczyslaw I becomes first ruler of Poland (960). Eric the Red establishes first Viking colony in Greenland (982). Hugh Capet elected King of France in 987; Capetian dynasty to rule until 1328. Musical notation systematized (c. 990). Vikings and Danes attack Britain (988–999). Otto I crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope John XII (962).



1000–1899  (A.D.)  World History

1000–1099  (A.D.)  World History



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