- 4000 BC
World History Timeline: 12,000 to 4001 BCE
BCE The epoch described by geologists as the Pleistocene has
ended. The Holocene epoch begins - to today. With the exception
crossing a body of water to get to New Guinea and Australia, they have
arrived in places by walking.
BCE Stone spearheads and human DNA found in Oregon caves will
indicate "that at least two cultures with distinct technologies ...
shared the continent more than 13,000 years ago." (New York Times, July
BCE Comet debris smash into North America. According to
theory, it reversed the ice age thaw, and the recooling killed mammals
such as the saber-toothed tiger, dire wolf, and the wooly mammoth.
BCE Homo sapiens are the sole surviving creatures of the Homo
genus - a species with a superior ability to plan and communicate.
These humans have spread into most of the earth's habitable places.
Sparse populations allow for hunting game, gathering food that grows
wild and drifting from campsite to campsite. Storytelling and myth are
a major pastime.
BCE In Eurasia and North America, the woolly mammoth
(Mammuthus primigenius) has become extinct.
BCE People in the Middle East have domesticated goats and
dogs. And people are starting to grow their own food.
BCE Throughout the world, climates become warmer, wetter and
more stable. There are perhaps five million people in the world, most
of them hunter-gatherers.
21st century academics mark this as around the time that the shift from
hunter-gathering societies to settled farming begins. In the Jordan
Valley, figs are cultivated, while wild barley, oats and acorns are
being gathered. (See BBC News, June 2, 2006, "Ancient fig clue to first
BCE Hunter-gatherers in Southeast Asia begin growing crops to
supplement their food supply. In the Jordan Valley in Southwest Asia, a
walled settlement exists at Jericho. Mesopotamians are using clay
tokens to represent agricultural and hand manufactured goods.
BCE Tropical monsoons are making the Sahara green.
BCE Hunter-gatherers are living along the Seine River in what
is today the city of Paris.
BCE Tribal people in what is today Britain have domesticated
BCE In what is today Greece, people have domesticated sheep.
BCE In the Fertile Crescent, people are farming and raising
animals. Their farms anchor them to one place. Gods are seen as settled
into a temple and place.
BCE A man dies in the vicinity of what is now known as the
Columbia River. In 1996 CE his bones will be found almost entirely
intact and he will be called Kennewick Man. A projectile point will be
found embedded in his pelvis, but his bone grows around it, indicating
that he survived the wound.
BCE In what today is northwest Turkey agriculture appears,
and cow herders are producing what will be tentatively considered the
world's first dairy.
BCE Farmers from the Near East arrive in Europe and transform
the genetic landscape of Europe (See BBC News, Science and the
Environment, 5 Nov 2014). Growing crops and domesticating animals have
begun in southern and eastern Europe, including Greece.
BCE Agriculture is developing among hunter-gatherers in what
today is southern Mexico. Along the upper Nile, people are growing
sorghum, millet and wheat.
BCE Agriculture appears in what today is France.
BCE Sea levels have been rising, and - according to the
disputed "Black Sea Deluge Theory" - sea water suddenly begins pouring
into the Black Sea basin, flooding vast amounts of inhabited land and
sending people on new migrations with stories about a great flood.
BCE People in China are planting seeds.
BCE The first true farming communities appear in central
Europe (German archaeologist F. Klopfleisch). DNA conclude that a
closely related group of early farmers move into Europe from the Near
East. They are distinct from indigenous hunter-gatherers they
encountered as they spread around the continent
BCE The first metal tools are produced. Near what today is
the village of Herxheim, in southwest Germany, as many as 500 men,
women and infants are butchered and cannibalized - perhaps during one
of the periodic famines that occurred in agricultural societies.
BCE Farming reappears in Africa south of the Sahara in the
Niger Basin in the West. The Sahara at this time is grass and woodland
with an abundance of rainfall, rivers, lakes, fish and aquatic life.
People there are growing crops and raising sheep, goats and cattle.
BCE Egyptians are mining and smelting copper.
BCE Around now the Sahara is beginning to become desert again.
Y-DNA Haplogroup E1b suggest migrations have ocurred or will occur from
North Africa to Sicily, to the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula, from
Sicily to the Italian Peninsula and the Balkans. By the 21st century
from 5 to 10 percent of Germans will share this DNA from North Africa.
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