Chronology of Human Technology

Glenn Morton (
Sun, 25 May 1997 21:54:06 -0500

About a month ago, a friend ask me to post a list of technological
accomplishments of fossil man. This is what I have come up with. What you
will notice is that the pace of invention quickens as time goes by but many
quite human items were invented before Homo sapiens was on earth.

Age BP Oldest example of... Place Species

2.0 kyr continuous industrial worksite Bigo, Uganda H.s.
2.0 kyr grammar text Greece H.s.
3.0 kyr census Israel H.s.
3.0 kyr iron mine Hungary H.s.
4.0 kyr oldest song Ur, Iraq H.s.
4.5 kyr Maya farming Belize H.s.
4.8 kyr fixed calendrical date Egypt H.s.
5.0 kyr extrabibilcal person's name Egypt H.s.
6.0 kyr iron object Egypt H.s.
6.0 kyr existant ship England H.s.
6.0 kyr horse domesticated Ukraine H.s.
6.5 kyr gold jewelry Varna,Bulgaria H.s.
7.0 kyr wine Zagros Mt Iran H.s.
7.5 kyr two-stage domed kiln Yarim Tepe,IraqH.s.
8.4 kyr dugout canoe Pesse,Holland H.s.
9.0 kyr fragment of cloth Turkey H.s.
9.0 kyr pigs domesticated Greece H.s.
9.0 kyr goats domesticated Jarmo Iran H.s.
9.0 kyr continuously existing religion Australia H.s.
9.4 kyr boat paddle Star Carr,U.K. H.s.
9.5 kyr sheep domesticated Turkey H.s.
10 kyr wooden Australian boomerang Australia H.s.
10 kyr depiction of warfare Australia H.s.
11 kyr basket Danger Cave, Utah H.s.
11 kyr wooden arrow Germany H.s.
12 kyr city Mureybet,Syria H.s.
12 kyr arrowhead San Teodoro, Sicily H.s.
13 kyr flint sickle Middle East H.s.
13 kyr first pottery Japan H.s.
13 kyr copper working various H.s.
13 kyr toothpick South Africa H.s.
13-14 kyr extant wooden hut remains Monte Verde, Chile H.s.
14 kyr fish hooks Europe H.s.
14 kyr homo sapien religious sanctuary El Juyo, Spain H.s.
18-19 kyr bone sewing needle Europe H.s.
19.3 kyr twisted fiber cord Ohalo, Israel H.s.
19. kyr fishing net Ohalo II,Israel H.s.
20 kyr ivory boomerang Oblazowa, Poland H.s.
23 kyr ground stone tools Malangangerr, Australia H.s. or a.H.s.
25 kyr net fishing Willendra Lake, AustraliaH.s.
25 kyr puppet Brno, Moravia H.s.
27 kyr impression of woven cloth E. Europe H.s.
27 kyr ceramics Dolni Vestonice H.s.
30 kyr human cremation Lake Mungo, Australia H.s.
32 kyr coal mine Landek, Czechoslovakia H.s.
35 kyr fossil collection Arcy-sur-Cure H.s.n.
36 kyr glue Umm el Tiel, Syria ?
39 kyr cave painting Carpenter's Gap, Australia a.H.s.
43-67 kyr 7 note diatonic musical scale Divje Babe I, Slovenia H.s.n.
45 kyr Neanderthal flute Divje Babe I, Slovenia H.s.n.
50 kyr shaman's cape Hortus, France H.s.n.
60 kyr Neanderthal hut/tent Molodova, Russia H.s.n.
68 kyr Murder by spear Shanidar, Iran H.s.n.
70-80 ky Neanderthal art, pseudoVenus Drachenloch, Switzer H.s.n.
70-80 kyr musical instrument-flute Haua Fteah, Libya H.s.n.
73 kyr use of coal for fire Les Canalettes H.s.n.
75-116 kyr rock engraving Jinmium, Australia a.H.s.
80 kyr Homo sapiens wooden spear Mt. Carmel, Israel H.s.
80 kyr Neanderthal bone tool Regourdou, France H.s.n.
80 kyr religious sanctuary Drachenloch,Switzerland H.s.n.
90-100 kyr whistles Prolom II, Crimea a.H.s.
100 kyr earliest burials various H.s. & H.s.n.
110 kyr underground mining Lion Cave, Swaziland ?
110-130 kyr Neanderthal spear Lehringen, Germany H.s.n.
130 kyr burial Krapina, Croatia H.s.n.
130 kyr food processors various a.H.s.
140 kyr over-horizon sailing Australia a.H.s.
200 kyr post hole Lunel-Viel a.H.s.
200 kyr Neanderthal bedding Lazaret, France H.s.n.
200 kyr Neanderthal living floor Grotte d'Aldene H.s.n.
230 kyr European human dung Terra Amata, France H.e.?
240 kyr upper Paleolithic blade tools Kenya ?
240-700 kyr woodworking Gesher Benot Ya'aqov H.e.
250 kyr Invention of Mousterian tools Vaufry Cave, France ?
300 kyr geometric engraving Pech de lAze H.e.
300 kyr Siberia inhabited-clothing needed Diring Yuriakh ?
300 kyr jewelry various H.e.
330 kyr Depiction of human form Berekhat Ram, Israel H.e./a.H.s
350 kyr stone wall Bhimbetka, India a.H.s/H.e.
3-400 kyr Scalping Bodo,Ethiopia H.e.
3-400 kyr huts Bilzingsleben,Germany H.e.
3-400 kyr paved social area Bilzingsleben,Germany H.e.
400 kyr wooden spears Schoningen, Germany H.e.
400 kyr 3 component composite tools Schoningen, Germany H.e.
400 kyr tools made by other tools Schoningen, Germany H.e.
400 kyr wooden boomerang Schoningen, Germany H.e.
500 kyr mineral collection Zhoukoudian, China H.e.
500 kyr Asian fire Zhokodian, China H.e.
700 kyr over ocean travel Flores, Indonesia H.e.
750 kyr European fire Escale Cave, France H.e.
800-900 kyr Homo erectus bedding Wonderwork Cave, S. A. H.e.
970 kyr European structure Soleihac Cave H.e.?
1.0 MYR tanning hides Swartkrans, South Africa H.e.
1.5 MYR evidence of fire Swartkrans South Africa H.e.
1.5 MYR woodworking Koobi Fora, Kenya H.e.
1.6 MYR Man-made representational art Olduvai Gorge H.e.?
1.6 MYR working with animal hides Swartkrans H.e.
1.6 MYR bone tool Swartkrans H.e.
1.7 MYR Human compassion East Africa H.e.
1.8 MYR over ocean travel? Orce, Spain H.e.
1.9 MYR Right-handedness Koobi Fora H.e.
1.95 MYR Larynx capable of Speech Africa H.e.
2.0 MYR Brain structure for Language Lake Rudolf H.h.
2.0 MYR Windbreak structure Olduvai H.e.
2.5 MYR Genus Homo Lake Rudolf H.r.
2.6 MYR Stone tools Gona,Ethiopia ?
3.0 MYR recognized art Makapansgat,South Africa
3.4 MYR TMJ Disease Laetoli, Tanzania
4.0 MYR Bipedalism Kanapoi, Kenya
5.5 MYR earliest hominid fossil Lothagam, Kenya A. ?

H.s = Homo sapiens
H.s.n.= Homo sapiens neanderthalensis
a.H.s.= archaic Homo sapiens
H.e. = Homo erectus
H.r. = Homo rudolfensis = Australopithecus africanus = Australopithecus anamensis
A. ? = Australopithecus species unknown


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