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Synoptic table of the principal old world prehistoric cultures

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Title: Synoptic table of the principal old world prehistoric cultures  
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Language: English
Subject: Chalcolithic, Prehistory, Prehistoric technology, Châtelperronian, Gravettian
Collection: Archaeological Cultures, Archaeology Timelines, Chronology, Prehistory
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Synoptic table of the principal old world prehistoric cultures

The synoptic table of the principal old world prehistoric cultures gives a rough picture of the relationships between the various principal cultures of prehistory outside the Americas, Antarctica, Australia and Oceania. It also serves as an index of the broad features of that prehistory to be followed through links to articles. Literate cultures are shown in brackets ().


The Principal prehistoric cultures of the Old World
Prehistoric Europe
Prehistoric Africa
Prehistoric Asia
Period & Climate Europe North Africa,
West Africa and Sahara
Central Africa,
South and East Africa
Middle East South Asia, and
Central Asia
East Asia and South-East Asia
1000 CE

(Middle Ages) (Caliphate) (Sahelian kingdoms) Mapungubwe (Caliphate) (Middle Kingdoms) (Song Dynasty)

Iron Age (and Roman Empire) (Ancient North Africa),
Nok, Ile-Ife
Bantu expansion (Classical Antiquity) (Iron Age India) (Han Dynasty)
11th century BCE (1000 BCE)

Urnfield culture

Bronze Age

Copper Age in Niger

Bantu expansion
Late Bronze Age
Early Iron Age
development of
Indian Iron Age
Chinese Bronze Age, Late and Final Jōmon in Japan
2000 BCE

Bell beaker
corded ware
domestication of the horse
Neolithic of Tichit

Middle Bronze Age (Sumer) Indus Valley civilisation

Chinese Neolithic
of Longshan
3000 BCE

Yamna culture,
enclosed villages
of Central Europe
Beginning of the Hunter-gatherer art
of South Africa
Early Bronze Age Regionalization Era
4000 BCE

Samara culture

Lower Neolithic
Danubian Neolithic

and Egyptian Neolithic
Beginning of Neolithic in East Africa Uruk period
(copper metallurgy)
Mehrgarh Neolithic
of Yang-Shao
rice-growing (?)
5000 BCE

Cardial and Linear Pottery
(agriculture, stock-rearing, Pottery)

oldest European megaliths[1]

Starčevo and Vinča culture
agriculture, stock-rearing (pigs, bovine, sheep)

Chalcolithic (copper metallurgy)

Neolithic of the Sahara/Sahel
Ubaid period
ceramic Cyprus

more megaliths than earlier, spreading southward into Levant and Cyprus[1][2]
Mehrgarh, Bhirrana in India Hongshan culture of Northeast Asia (c. 4700 BCE)

6000 BCE

Tardenoisian cultures
(gathering of legumes)
Neolithic (Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean )
Sesklo and Choirokoitia
Neolithic with ceramic
Ubaid period
Mehrgarh, Bhirrana (India) Neolithic of northern China

7000 BCE

Sauveterrian cultures

Komornica culture
Wiltonian Pre-ceramic B
Pre-ceramic A
Neolithic in Asia Minor
(wheat, barley)
hunter gatherers
of Jōmon (ancient Japan)
8000 BCE

Ahrensburg culture,
Azilian and Asiloid cultures (northern Spain, southern France)

Capsian Goats domestication Zagros in Iran
First towns Near East at Aşıklı Höyük and Jericho

Hoabinhian of Southeast Asia
9000 BCE

Backed point culture (Federmesser)

Mezine (Ukraine)



Oldest known megaliths: Hattians or their predecessors[2]

10000 BCE Holocene began
glacial ended (10,000 BCE)
glacial at its coldest (18,000 BCE)

Hamburg culture

Lupemban culture


Beginning of Neolithic religion at Göbekli Tepe (southern Anatolia)
Bhimbetka rock paintings south Asia pre-Jōmon ceramic (Japan)
20,000 BCE



Aurignacian (art)

Kostienki (western Russia)


Aurignacian (art)
Sơn Vi culture (northern Vietnam)
30,000 BCE

Homo neanderthalensis, Homo sapiens

Aurignacian (art)
Szeletian culture (Hungary)



Bhimbetka rock paintings, Balangoda Culture

40,000 BCE

Homo neanderthalensis, Homo sapiens

50,000 BCE

Homo neanderthalensis

Homo sapiens


Homo neanderthalensis


80,000 BCE

latest glacial began (93,000 BCE)

Homo neanderthalensis

Homo sapiens

Homo neanderthalensis
100,000 BCE

glacial ended (128,000 BCE)

Upper Acheulean
Homo neanderthalensis

Homo sapiens

Homo neanderthalensis


200,000 BCE
glacial began (350,000 BCE)

Homo neanderthalensis

Tayacian (southern France)

Homo sapiens


Homo neanderthalensis
artwork 248,000 BCE[3]


300,000 BCE

middle Acheulean
Homo neanderthalensis

Clactonian (England)

500,000 BCE

Lower Acheulean
Homo heidelbergensis
Homo neanderthalensis
worked pebbles

Lower Acheulean
Homo neanderthalensis Homo erectus pekinensis

1,000,000 BCE

worked pebbles
Homo antecessor (northern Spain, England, France)

Homo erectus
worked pebbles

lower Acheulean


worked pebbles
2,000,000 BCE

Homo habilis,[4]Homo ergaster Bhimbetka findings cupules[5]

See also


  1. ^ a b Egyptian pyramids=2630BCE (Djoser); French Carnac stones=3000~4500BCE; Dolmens=5000BCE in Western Europe, progressing to Russia, as well as progressing thru Italy & Cyprus then reaching Israel/Jordan/Syria 4000~3000BCE; Gilgal Refaim Stonehenge in Mideast associated w/the era & builders of Dolmens, aka "Rogem Hiri," also=3000-4000BCE but this is only the top-layer, an as-yet unexcavated layer is discovered underneath
  2. ^ a b A.: Gobekli Tepe PPNA level: ~9000 BCE. B.: Atlit Yam=semi-circle of megaliths in Mediterranean Sea south of Haifa (Natufians), "sudden" abandonment 6270 BCE~6700 BCE noted by archaeologist--see "Marchant, Jo (25 Nov 2009)" ref in Yam Atlit article--ergo, is necessarily older than 6270 BCE but no date of construction found.
  3. ^ Israel Museum exhibits figurine/sculptureNational Library of Australia
  4. ^ Wilford, John Noble. "Fossils in Kenya Challenge Linear Evolution". New York Times. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  5. ^ Chakravarty, Kalyan Kumar; Bednarik, Robert S. (1997). Indian Rock Art: And Its Global Context. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 59.  
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