This timeline of human prehistory comprises the time from the first appearance of Homo sapiens in Africa 200,000 years ago to the invention of writing and the beginning of history approximately 5,500 years ago. It covers the time from the Middle Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) to the very beginnings of the Bronze Age . The divisions used are those delineating the European Stone Age; however, many regions around the world underwent various stages of Stone Age development at different times.

All dates are approximate and based on research in the fields of anthropology , archaeology , genetics , geology , and linguistics . They are all subject to revision based on new discoveries or analyses.

Middle Paleolithic

Upper Paleolithic

Mesolithic

Neolithic

Bronze Age

See also