Prehistoric & Archaic Mesoamerica
Tlatilco Mask, 1100-600 BCE






















One of the most complete, and best preserved pre-human hominin skeletons
  • Found in 1974 in Ethiopia
  • Australopithicus afarensis
3.6 - 3 million year-old "Lucy"











Perhaps the earliest tool user?
Kenyanthropus platyops, "The flat-faced man of Kenya,"
a 3.2 - 3.5 million-year-old skull found in Lake Turkana in 1999











Prehistoric Human Migration











Paleolithic Era, "The Old Stone Age"
40,000 - 8,000 BCE

"Age of food gathering"
ca. 4,000,000 BCE
Descendents of humans begin to walk upright
ca. 3.5 - 2,000,000 BCE
Earliest evidence of toolmaking
ca. 2,500,000 - 230,00 BCE
Earliest cultures form
ca. 290,000 BCE
Earliest known marks, "cupules," made by humans in cave in North Central India
ca. 1000,000 BCE
Modern humans first appear
ca. 70,000 - 8,000 BCE.
Last Ice Age in Europe
Waterworn pebble resembling human face
Tools and ochre found in the Blombos Cave
Waterworn pebble resembling human face, South Africa, ca. 3,000,000 BCE.
Engraved ochre and bone tools, Blombos cave, South Africa, ca. 75,000 - 80,000 BCE.


ca. 50,000 BCE
Earliest known works that we might call "art" made
Tool kits become more complex
Appearance of fully modern language
ca. 40,000 BCE
Earliest known stone figures in Europe













ca. 50,000 - 10,000 BCE
Humans cross land bridge (now submerged) called Beringia
ca. 28,000 BCE
Earliest known cave paintings in Europe
Humans begin practicing ritual burial
ca. 12,500 BCE
Evidence of early humans in Monte Verde, Chile
ca. 10,500 BCE
Earliest uncontested evidence of humans at southern end of South America
ca. 11,000 BCE
Invention of stone hunting points, Clovis
ca. 8000 - 1000 B.C.
Modern climate patterns emerge
Plants and animals domesticated in Europe
Earliest evidence of deliberate burial and potential human sacrifice
ca. 4300 BCE
Earliest firmly dated maize cob found in cave, Oaxca
ca. 3300 - 3000 BCE
Earliest forms of writing
Earliest ceramic figures in Mexico
ca. 2500 BCE
Construction of pyramids in Egypt











Clovis points found in Mexico











Camelid sacrum in the shape of a canine head, Tequixquiac, Central Mexico, 14,000 - 7000 BCE.