Periods 1 & 2



40,000 BC

Most similar to modern day humans (these are homo sapiens while modern humans are homo sapiens sapiens). Appeared in Europe and spread over the continent. Around 10,000 BCE, during the ice age, they migrated over the ice bridge to North America.

End of the Neanderthals

28000 BCE

Homo erectus. NOT MODERN HUMANS. Went extinct around the same time the Cro-Magnon people appeared (went extinct 28,000 BCE).

Agricultural/Neolithic Revolution

8000 BCE

The climate was warming up from an Ice Age and there were dramatic changes in the development of agriculture along with social and political flourishes. DID NOT HAPPEN EVERYWHERE AT THE SAME TIME


8000 BCE - Present

Pastoralists are incredibly important to the spread of ideas like language, culture, religion, etc. Few remain today.

Çatal Hüyük

7250 BCE - 5400 BCE

Good example of an early neolithic town with development - in Anatolia.

Bronze Age

3300 bce - 2300 bce

Bronze (Sn and Cu)


2334 BCE - 2279 BCE

The ruler of Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia -- the world's first known empire.

Epic of Gilgamesh

2000 bce

Written in 2000s bce. Details the adventures of a real Sumerian king who ruled Uruk somewhere between 2750-2500 bce. It gives us insight one the Sumerian people at that time


2000 BCE

Founded Canaan in 2000 BCE. Jews, christians, and muslims all trace their religions back to Abraham.


1792 BC - 1750 BC

Ruled the Babylonian Empire (conquered Mesopotamia). Installed the Code of Hammurabi, a set of laws that dealt with various crimes and rights. Punishments were often based on one's social status.

Roman Republic

509 BC - 46 BCE

The representative Roman Government at the Senate. Battled with the Carthaginian Empire in the Punic Wars.


495 bc - 429 bc

Greek politician. "Golden Age of Pericles."


470 BC - 399 BC

Invented the Socratic Method; an influential Greek thinker.


428 BC - 348 BC

The student of Socrates who kept his teacher's ideas alive with THE ACADEMY


384 BC - 322 BC

One of Plato's students; tutored Alexander the Great. Invented the Golden Mean (emphasis on moderation). Believed in empiricism, trusting what one learned from observation of the senses.

Alexander the Great

336 BCE - 323 BCE

A model for future empires. He ruled Macedonia and expanded his dominion to India. His death caused the downfall of his great empire.

Julius Caesar

100 BC - 44 BC

The popularis in Rome who reformed the Republic, Julius Caesar, who was murdered by the Senate who was scared of his power.


27 BC - 14 AD

Created the Roman Empire and molded it to its height at the Pax Romana.

Pax Romana

27 BCE - 180 CE

Under Augustus Caesar's (Octavian) rule, Rome architecture, trade, and art flourished.

Roman Empire

27 BC - 476 ce

The Rome that experienced the Pax Romana, building of the Roman Road system, development of Christianity, and the splitting of its government when invaded repeatedly by Germanic tribes.

Start of Christianity and Jesus of Nazareth

33 CE

Jesus of Nazareth challenged traditional religious leaders and made his ideas popular among the urban poor, slaves, and women. Christianity is currently the largest (but not fastest growing) religion on earth.


98 ce - 117 ce

An important roman emperor who presided over the greatest military expansion in Roman history.

Germanic Invasions of Rome

200 ce - 476 ce

While the Roman empire had absorbed many people's with ease, the Germanic groups of the north refused to settle. They created turmoil that eventually led to the split of Rome.

"split" of the roman empire and its fall

284 ce

In 284 ce, under Diocletian's rule, Rome split into two parts: the western half, which continued to decline, and the Byzantine Empire, which persevered many more centuries (it ended in 1453).


313 CE

First Christian Roman emporer

Attila the Hun

406 CE - 453 CE

Attila lead the germanic Huns in their invasions of the Roman empire. He became the sole ruler of the Hunnic Empire after murdering his brother

South Asia

Establishment of Harappa and Mohenjo Daro

2500 bce - 2000 bce

Established by the indigenous Dravidians between 2500 and 2000 bce.

Solidification of Caste system

1500 BCE

As the Aryan people settled, the caste system solidified with them, a social hierarchy that determined one's status by their varna, of color of skin. Consists of Brahmins. Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, Shudras, and Dalits.

The "late Vedic Age" - Upanishads and Vedas

800 bce - 400 bce

Marked by the Aryans' growing awareness of Dravidian beliefs. The Vedas were Aryan. During this age, the Upanishads, which highlighted new concepts like karma, came about.

Archaemenid Empire

559 bce - 330 bce

Started by Cyrus the Great, the Archaemenid aka Persian Empire was one of the most ethnically tolerant empires. With an imperially administrative bureaucracy (created by Darius), it's rulers were able to keep tabs on everyone while allowing all the conquered people to maintain their religion and culture.

Start of Buddhism - Siddhartha Guatama

530 bce

Siddhartha Gautama, an elite unsatisfied by his life, went on a quest in 530 bce and founded Buddhism on the Four Noble Truths.


522 BC - 486 BC

Created the satrap bureaucracy, started the Royal Road, instituted a common currency. Very ethnically tolerant. His successor, Xerxes, eve constructed a gateway to welcome all of his diverse subjects.

Mauryan Dynasty - Chandragupta and Ashoka Maurya

400 bce - 180 bce

Under Chandragupta, the empire was divided into provinces and districts governed representatively of the emperor. Ashoka the Great expanded he empire massively and advocated strongly for Buddhism. He was an effective governor. Created the Rock and Pillar Edicts similar to hammurabi's code.

Gupta Dynasty

350 ce - 650 ce

During a Golden Age for India, the Gupta Empire advanced medicine and math. Hinduism also became the biggest religion in India as Buddhism traveled along the Silk Roads and spreading to China and east, south, and southwest asia.


King Menes

3100 bce

King Menes united Upper and Lower Egypt and established his capital in Memphis.

The Old Kingdom

2660 bce - 2160 bce

Kings and queens (theocrats) began to develop Egypt's strong central government. The noble class, however, grew strong enough to overthrow these rulers and in conjunction with a drought, the kingdom divided once more.

The Middle Kingdom

2040 bce - 1786 bce

Mentuhotep the 2nd reunited Egypt under the pharaoh's central government, who, in this age, emphasized public idolization. In this, art, religion, and literature experienced a renewal. Unfortunately, the kingdom was invaded by the pastoral nomadic Hyksos.

The New Kingdom

1570 bce - 1070 bce

When the Egyptians had mastered tools like the Hyksos, they overthrew their conquerors and expanded both south and north. Notely, Akhenation tried to change the state religion but failed. Ramses the Great built more temples and statues than any other pharaoh. After his death, Egypt fell under influence until modern times due to internal revolts and external invasion.

East Asia

Xia Dynasty

2100 BCE - 1750 BCE

It is questionable whether the Xia really existed or not. According to Chinese legend recorded 1000 years later, a man called Yu brought order to the region and passed the kingdom to his son Qi.

Shang Dynasty

1750 BC - 1045 BCE

Interpreted oracle bones and placed the first emphasis on ancestor veneration.

The Olmec

1200 bce - 400 bce

The foundation of several advanced civilizations is the Olmec. They traded with regions as far as 250 mi away and built large earthen pyramids to bury valuables. While their writing system didn't persevere through time, their ritual ball games, language, and use of feathered serpents provided the core of later empires such as the Mayan and Aztec societies.

Zhou Dynasty

1045 BCE - 400 BCE

Overthrew the Shang using the Mandate of Heaven to begin China's first Golden Age. They also kindled the Iron Age, which drastically changed Chinese agriculture. Fell due to a declining in power held by Zhou kings due to local revolts and invasions from the west.

Iron Age

600 bce

The development of iron tech like dikes. reservoirs, and irrigation canals by the Chinese during Zhou rule


551 bce

Confucius's disciples compiled his ideas into The Analects after he died. Confucianism was widely accepted in future dynasties because it placed emphasis on social hierarchy in the form of filial piety.

Laozi's Daoism

500 bce

Also spelled Taoism, the "Old Master's" teaching focused on harmony with everything, represented by Yin and Yang.

Warring States Period

400 bce - 200 bce

The declining centuries of the Zhou are commonly referred to as the Warring States Period in which three significant schools of thought emerged: Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism.


372 bce

Mencius is sometimes referred to as the Second Sage of Confucianism. He is most remembered for his claim that "human nature is good".

Han Fei's Legalism

233 bce

Legalism was utilized by the brutal Shihuangdi of the Qin Dynasty. It is based on the notion that a lawful society is best. Emphasizes favors and consequences. It failed to have the lasting effect that both Confucius and Laozi had on later societies.

Shihuangdi's Qin Dynasty

221 bce - 207 bce

Although short-lived, the Shihuangdi's rule in the Qin Dynasty is very influential - it established a centralized government, standardized weights/measurements/currency, and expanded the size of the Chinese Empire.

Han Dynasty

200 bce - 220 ce

Significant accomplishments: Civil Service Exam, Pax Sinica, and the Silk Roads. after failed attempts to pacify the poor by redistributing land, the Han Dynasty spiraled into decline due to peasant uprisings, notely the Yellow Turban Rebellion.

Ban Zhao

46 ce - 116 ce

Ban Zhao, an anomaly of her time, finished her dead brother's work on the Book of Han. She also wrote Lessons for Women, in which she opens by telling her readers she is not intelligent; then she illustrates a woman's role in the patriarchal society.

Yellow Turban Rebellion

126 ce

Many small farmers lost their lands to large landowners in order to pay their debts, inequality increased. When land reform failed, a series of peasant uprisings, with the Yellow Turban Rebellion being the most significant, was one of the factors that led to the downfall of the Han.


land bridge migration to americas

Approx. 20,000 BCE

During the Ice Age, waters had receded to the point where a land bridge between Asia and North America was crossable. Around approx. 20,000 years ago, Homo sapiens sapiens migrated out of Asia to the Americas and the land bridge was covered by the melting snowcaps many years later.

Mayans and Popul Vuh

1500 bce - 900 ce

One of the most significant ancient American civilizations, the Mayans ruled by city-state and were polytheistic. They are famous for their ritual ball game, impressive astronomical achievements, and area at its height.
The Popul Vuh, known as the Mayan Bible, was written by a Mayan descendant around 1550. It is an invaluable window to knowledge of the Mayans.

The Olmec

1200 bce - 400 bce

The Olmec, a primarily agricultural society, provided the foundation for several advanced civilizations such as the Aztec in the form of language and culture. They traded with regions as far as 250 mi away. **They are mst famous for their enormous monuments of human heads.


1000 bce - 200 bce

Originating in the Andes Mountains, the Chavin were united by religion. However, their political structure was weak and dissolved the civilization into several groups.


200 BCE - 700 CE

Following the Chavin, the Mochica originated in the Andes Mountains. Their society was built upon ayllus, a communal idea for work. Despite their strong social cohension, their culture eventually disappeared after 30 years of heavy rains followed by 30 years of drought.


Settlement of Islands throughout Oceania

58,000 BCE - 1000 CE

The Austronesian-speaking people who originated from southern China spread throughout Oceania on double-hull canoes, even reaching the far-away islands of Polynesia. Wherever they went, they spread their agriculture and way of life. However, Australia's aboriginals seem unreached.