Timeline of history (from the book Sapiens: a brief history of humankind by Yuval Noah Harrari)

  • (Format) Years before the present : event.
  • 13.5 billion : Matter and energy appear. Beginning of physics. Atoms and molecules appear. Beginning of chemistry.
  • 4.5 billion : Formation of planet Earth.
  • 3.8 billion : Emergence of organisms. Beginning of biology.
  • 6 million : Last common grandmother of humans and chimpanzees.
  • 2.5 million : Evolution of genus Homo in Africa. First stone tools.
  • 2 million : Humans spread from Africa to Eurasia. Evolution of different human species.
  • 500,000 : Neanderthals evolve in Europe and the Middle East.
  • 300,000 : Daily usage of fire.
  • 200,000 : Homo sapiens evolve in East Africa.
  • 70,000: The Cognitive Revolution. Emergence of fictive language. Beginning of history. Sapiens spread out of Africa.
  • 45,000 : Sapiens settle Australia. Extinction of Australian megafauna.
  • 30,000 : Extinction of Neanderthals.
  • 16,000 : Sapiens settle America. Extinction of American megafauna.
  • 13,000 : Extinction of Homo floresiensis. Homo sapiens the only surviving human species.
  • 12,000 : The agricultural Revolution. Domestication of plants and animals. Permanent settlements.
  • 5,000 : First kingdoms, script and money. Polytheistic religions.
  • 4,250 : First empire – The Akkadian Empire of Sargon.
  • 2,500 : Invention of Coinage – a universal money. The Persian Empire – a universal political order ‘for the benefit of humans’. Buddhism in India – a universal truth ‘to liberate all beings for suffering’.
  • 2,000 : Han Empire in China. Roman Empire in the Mediterranean. Christianity.
  • 1,400 : Islam.
  • 500 : The Scientific Revolution. Humankind admits its ignorance and begins to acquire unprecedented power. Europeans begin to conquer America and the oceans. The entire planet becomes a single historical arena. The rise of Capitalism.
  • 200 : The Industrial Revolution. Family and community are replaced by state and market. Massive extinction of plants and animals.
  • The Present : Humans transcend the boundaries of planet Earth. Nuclear weapons threaten the survival of humankind. Organisms are increasingly shaped by intelligent design rather than natural selection.
  • The Future : Intelligent design becomes the basic principle of life? Homo sapiens is replaced by superhumans?

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