This is my own summary. I am no expert but it is well researched. Please contact me if you know additional important details, events and dates.
13,700,000,000 years ago : BANG
..4,500,000,000 Earth formed.
..3,700,000,000 amoebas developed.
.....520,000,000 enough oxygen in atmosphere to support the Cambrian Revolution – a sudden increase in plants and oxygen breathing animals.
.....180,000,000 first mammals appeared.
.........4,000,000 homo like species appeared.
.........1,800,000 Homo Erectus climbed down from the trees. Humans start making rough hand axes and cleavers.
............400,000 – 150,000 learnt to control then make fire (human life started being fun).
............120,000 burials simultaneously with grave goods in them (shells with wear marks – used as fashion) "symbolic behaviour".
..............50,000 Neanderthals died out (very last fossil 35,000).
..............40,000 bows and arrows invented.
..............28,000 elaborate grave goods, imaginary beings depicted, shamanistic practices.
Civilisation Started15,000 years ago, after the last ice age, grass produced a larger grain. 12,000 years ago civilisation started. Humans started farming. The possibility of storing large grain grasses (wheat, barley and rice) in a common central storage place over a period of years avoided famine, (also linseed for lamp oil and clothes). Life slowly became more fun. Population started increasing, and new technical discoveries developed exponentially.
10,000 years ago (8,000 B.C.) melting and use of copper.
5,300 : Bronze from mixing copper and tin.
5,000 : Pyramids in Egypt and Peru and stone-circles in Europe. The increased population was set to work, moving great big stones for the Gods.
4,000 : First books (Indian Vedas, Jewish Old Testament, Chinese I Ging) and a general increase (among the rich in prosperous cultures), of abstract thinking.
4,000 : The spoked wheel (robust and lightweight) started being developed. It took another thousand years till the hub mechanism was developed enough for general practical use.
3,500 : Steel – originally made from mixing cow dung (carbon) with iron, provided cheap, workable material for all sorts of utensils and tools, lightweight weapons and armour, also wheel-rims and wheel-hubs.
3,000 : The beginning of military warfare. Rulers wanted power, territory, and to beat each other.
2,500 : Buddha inspired by the wheel, wanted Nirvana
2,000 : Jesus wanted One God for everyone.
In CE. 325, as the Roman Empire collapsed, the Christian Eastern and Catholic churches suddenly became the official religions. They became the main authority and unifying force in the western world. They introduced a new understanding of God as a Holy Trinity. In CE. 610 Mohammed reintroduced the simple One God.
In modern Europe from 1450 onwards Gutenberg's printing press revolutionised the spread of information based on the written word.
Then in 1517 came Martin Luther's reformation – which 'horny Henry VIII' embraced in 1533, and in England opened up the possibility of freedom of thought and belief for an entire population, without the wars it had caused in Europe. The policy of freedom of thought, led to centuries of success for England.
The printed word and freedom of belief, led to unprecedented mind-boggling developments, and cultural and political revolutions throughout Europe and N. America for the next few hundred years. Until around 1920 when in the 'Western World', the value of each individual was established, everyone received the opportunity of schooling, and the right to vote.
The developments also led to capitalism, modern banking with its policies of debt and inflation, and the industrial revolution – so that by the 1800s Britain's C02 emissions and CO2 emissions per person, were far greater than all the other nations of the world added together.
Throughout civilisation there has been an exponential population increase. More people lived in the 20th century than in all the time before added together.
The ancient wooden spoked wheel remained unchanged till around 1600 with the invention of trains and trams. Industrial trains and railway networks developed around 1850, then cars were invented around 1900. And so, the increased population became mobile.
The cultural meltdown we experience now, will only happen once in the history of our planet. The present exchange of ideas, beliefs and values, is the most important crossing point human cultures will ever make… it could be a magical time.
Please continue with The Speed of Modern Life