Jews, Church & Civilization
TimeLine Volume I
Note regarding dates of the early universe:
If one asks 12 different astrophysicists one will
get 12 slightly different variations of the dates
(and of the particulars).
If one asks the same physicist the same question
12 months later, one will also get a slightly different variation (and slightly different particulars).
The same issue relates to other scientific groups
with a scientific stake in the datings.
The sequence that I have articulated is my
understanding of the rough consensus as of the
official closing–point of this work, June, 2008.
THE EARLY ELEMENTS
‘lightest elements’ Elements #1 – #2
‘lighter elements’ Elements #3 – #25
‘heavier elements’ Elements #26 and higher
Elements #1 and #2 of the Periodic Table, hydrogen(#1) and helium (#2), the 'lightest elements,' are both created by Big Bang nucleosynthesis during the first twenty minutes of the universe. [Tiny traces of the next two elements, lithium (#3) and beryllium (#4), are also synthesized at this point.]
As stars evolve, elements #3 thru #25, the so to speak 'lighter elements' of the Periodic Table are created in the process. These twenty-three elements are created / 'cooked' in ordinary stars in the course of their lifetimes.
Starting with iron, (element #26), the 'heavier elements' are created in supernova explosions (see entry below: 12.95 billion BCE :SUPERNOVAS). These supernova explosions both create the heavier elements and spew both sets of elements (lighter and heavier) forth across the heavens. [Note that all these elements appear in our own bodies today.]
As of 2010, there are 118 known elements. 94 of these occur naturally on earth.
Infinity BCE: QUEST FOR POTENTIAL
Infinity BCE – 14 billion BCE: ADVANCED META–PHYSICAL REALMS CONCRETIZE
c. 13.7 billion BCE: “CREATION”
(a.k.a. The Big Bang)
*** A half billion years transpire ***
The first 26 elements of the Periodic Table are created in the process.
c. 13.2 billion BCE: GRAVITY EXERTS ITS PULL
Gravity starts to pull together huge regions of relatively dense cosmic gas from the far reaches of the cosmos.
Within half a billion years, this dynamic will be forming the vast, swirling collections of stars we call galaxies. These galaxies, in turn, form clusters, of which one—the so–called Local Group cluster—will eventually contain our own Milky Way galaxy.
c. 12.95 billion BCE: SUPERNOVAS
Supernovas, collapsing hi–mass stars, start creating the heavier elements (that is, the elements heavier than iron).
The heavier elements are created in the massive fusion reactions in the superheated and super–compressed imploding and exploding cores of the supernovas.
To date, over 90 elements heavier than iron have been uncovered.
In addition, supernovas
–seed their respective galaxies with heavy elements;
–heat their respective galaxies with the energy of their radiation;
–stir up their respective galaxies with the force of their blast waves;
and, last but not least,
–cause new stars to form.
Note: Stars with at least 3–10 times the mass of our sun are potential candidates for “supernova” status.
c. 12.7 billion BCE: GALAXIES
–continue to emerge and the Milky Way coalesces.
*** Approximately 8.1 billion years transpire ***
4.6 billion BCE: THE SUN
4.5 billion BCE: OUR SOLAR SYSTEM
*** A half billion years transpire ***
4 billion BCE: “LIFE”
The first living cell appears, probably as self–replicating RNA, such as bacteria.
3.9 billion BCE: PHOTOSYNTHESIS
*** Four hundred million years transpire ***
3.5 billion BCE: DNA
First strand of DNA appears.
*** Approximately 1.5 billion years transpire ***
2 billion BCE: “SNOWBALL THEORY”
Possible global Ice Age.
*** A half billion years transpire ***
1.5 billion BCE: ORGANISMS
–with cell nucleus containing DNA appear.
*** A half billion years transpire ***
1.2 billion BCE: SEXUAL REPRODUCTION
–leads to an explosion of evolution.
1 billion BCE: MULTI–CELLULAR LIFE APPEARS
First algae and seaweeds appear in the ocean.
*** A half billion years transpire ***
c. 540 million BCE: CAMBRIAN EXPLOSION
Some 50 phyla (basic body plans) suddenly and simultaneously appear—the first appearance of complex animal life.
With the appearance of complex animal life, predator–prey dynamics manifest, as well.
Darwin apparently viewed the Cambrian Explosion as one of the principal objections to his theory of evolution by natural selection.
Note: The Cambrian Explosion has never been even near–adequately explained by mainstream science, perhaps because mainstream science is too “bounded.”
*** 80 million years transpire ***
c. 460 million BCE: LIFE MOVES ASHORE
At first, primitive plants and algae, then arthropods such as spiders and scorpions.
*** 70 million years transpire ***
c. 390 million BCE: AMPHIBIANS
Amphibians evolve from freshwater fish, developing lungs (from swim bladders) and legs (from fins).
*** 55 million years transpire ***
c. 335 million BCE: THE FIRST FORESTS
*** 270 million years transpire ***
c. 300 million BCE: REPTILES
Reptiles evolve from amphibians,
courtesy of the amniotic egg,
which allows reproduction on land.
Small mammals subsequently evolve from reptiles in the 250–230 million BCE period.
275 million BCE: LARGE MAMMALS
Mammals approximately the size of later respectable–sized dinosaurs evolve from reptiles and roam the planet but become extinct during…
250 million BCE: THE PERMIAN EXTINCTION (a.k.a. the Permian–Triassic Extinction)
“The mother of all extinctions”
Catastrophic worldwide volcanic eruption and/or drought causes about 75 percent of all species to become extinct.
Note: at this point in time, “worldwide” means Pangaea–wide, with Pangaea being the C–shaped super–continental land mass spread across the equator. It is the sole significant land mass.
200 million BCE: DINOSAURS (meaning “terrible lizards”)
–and pterosaurs (flying reptiles)
c. 150 million BCE: BIRDS
They are believed to have primarily evolved from ancestors of flying dinosaurs.
*** 36 million years transpire ***
c. 114 million BCE: FLOWERS
*** 50 million years transpire ***
65 million BCE: DINOSAURS BECOME EXTINCT
Enormous meteor 6 miles in diameter hits Mexico; creates impact crater 100 miles across, simultaneous with catastrophic volcanic eruptions in the Greater India region.
The resultant mega dust–cloud enveloping Earth destroys the dinosaurs one way or another.
65 million BCE: LARGE MAMMALS (AGAIN)
–evolve and flourish.
The largest mammal ever to have lived is the Blue Whale, currently an endangered species.
Potentially up to 190 tons and 110 feet long, the Blue Whale is considerably larger than the largest extinct dinosaur.
The Blue Whale probably evolved from an animal resembling the hippopotamus, which had returned back to the sea.
Note: Humans are, of course, also mammalian and will appear later.
*** 61 million years transpire ***
4 million BCE: EARLIEST HOMINIDS
(Precursors of human lineage)
French and Chadian paleontologists assert that the “Toumai” male fossil, discovered in 2001 in the Djurab Desert in northern Chad, is the earliest hominid. Standing 4 feet high at age twenty, and with a nuclear family group of about six, paleontologists date him to 7 million BCE—i.e. 230,000 generations back—but the current consensus (June 2008) is that Toumai, whatever he is, is not the earliest hominid, but rather a precursor of hominids.
So, which fossil is the earliest hominid?
The famous “Lucy” fossil was discovered in 1974 in Ethiopia. The American anthropologist, who discovered her, Donald Johanson, was listening to the Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” as he unearthed her remains… hence, “Lucy.” Lucy (3.2 million BCE) is considered by consensus the first clear–cut hominid fossil, and hominids as a group are dated to 4 million BCE.
3 million BCE: NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA BECOME JOINED
–courtesy of volcanic activity around Panama.
This joining allows migration of animals and affects ocean currents, triggering an Ice Age.
1.8 million BCE: HOMO ERECTUS EMERGES
780,000–400,000 BCE: PEKING MAN
Peking Man was an example of Homo Erectus. Remains were discovered in Zhoukoudian, China near Beijing in 1923–27.
130,000 BCE: NEANDERTHAL MAN
–evolves in the savannas of Africa and migrates to other continents. Neanderthal will die out in 33,000 BCE.
120,000 BCE: HOMO SAPIENS (Latin for “wise/knowing man”)
The first anatomically modern humans, evolved from Homo erectus, not from Neanderthal, appear in Africa.
So, if one generation is calculated as 30 years, then from the earliest hominids (4 million BCE) until Abraham (1700 BCE) will be 133,000 generations; from the first Homo sapiens (120,000 BCE) until Abraham will be 3,933 generations; and from Abraham to the current day will be 123 generations.
Therefore, the period from Abraham to the present represents only about 3 percent of the time since the appearance of anatomically modern humans.
18,000 BCE: Homeo Floresiensis liveD on Flores, Indonesia
Homo Floresiensis, (“Flores Man,” nicknamed the Hobbit) which has a very small body and brain, and which is possibly a new species, lived contemporaneously with humans on the Indonesian island of Flores. Its tenure spanned from somewhere starting in the 75,000–20,000 BCE zone until 12,000 BCE before becoming extinct. Note that Neanderthal Man became extinct c. 33,000.
The other possibility is that “Flores Man” is not a new species, but, rather, a line of homo sapiens with retarded growth aspects to its physiology. This theory has distinguished advocates, as well.
The fossil which was uncovered, and which has been dated at 18,000 BCE has been named LB1. If “Flores Man” is indeed a new species, it would be the non–modern human species which existed the latest into history.
As of the closing point of this book, June 2008, the anthropology community is fairly evenly split on the issue: new species v. dwarf human. In June, 2007, a research team from Tel Aviv University published a paper arguing that the physiology of LB1 was very similar to that of humans afflicted with Laron Syndrome, which causes pituitary dwarfism, meaning that we are not dealing with a new species. All theories to date from both sides of the academic debate, including the Tel Aviv University paper, have been challenged vigorously.
13,000 BCE: AGRICULTURE
Agriculture, permanent settlements, and cities have archaeological traces in present–day Iraq.
11,000–7000 BCE:ROCK SHELTERS OF BHIMBETKA,INDIA
In the foothills of the Vindhya Mountains at the southern edge of the central Indian plateau, five clusters of natural rock shelters display paintings apparently from the Mesolithic Period (c. 11,000–7000 BCE) right through to the 9000–7000 BCE period.
9500 BCE: GRANARIES EMPLOYED
Jordan Valley: Storage areas for grain were located between buildings. By 8500 BCE, they were moved inside houses; by 7500 BCE they were in separate rooms in houses.
8700 BCE: METAL WORKING CARRIED OUT
Mesopotamia: Iraq: Copper pendant found in the area dated to this era.
7600 BCE: ZHENPIYAN, CHINA CULTURE
Archeological evidence related to this culture exists – on domestication of pig for the first time.
7500 BCE: PENGTOUSHAN, CHINA CULTURE
Analysis of Chinese rice residues shows that rice had been domesticated by this time in this culture.
6000 BCE: CISHAN, CHINA CULTURE
Archeological evidence related to this culture exists – on domestication of dog and chicken for the first time.
5500 BCE: FABRIC
Egyptians weave flax threads together to create fabric for the first time.
5000 BCE: BAIJIA, CHINA CULTURE
Archeological evidence exists related to this culture exists – on domestication of ox and sheep for the first time.
4400 BCE: HORSES DOMESTICATED
–power… transportation… farming… warfare.
4000 BCE: IRRIGATION CANALS EMPLOYED
Mesopotamia: Artificial channels for water are known to have been employed (in the area that is modern day Iraq and Syria).
4000 BCE: BANPO (CHINA) SCRIPT
Scholars still debate if it is actual writing or not.
4000 BCE: Water Clocks
China possibly saw the utilization of water clocks at this point.
3630 BCE: SILK
Approximate date of the oldest discovered silk in China – found by archaeologists in what is now Henan province – related to the late Yangshao period in China.
3500 BCE: EARLY BRONZE AGE
Invention of writing and the beginning of recorded history. Organization of city–states (c. 3500–2000 BCE).
c. 3500 BCE: THE SUMERIANS, PART 1
The Sumerians develop a phonetic alphabet, as well as the first numeral system and a system of weights and measures. Most of the surviving records are of business transactions.
c. 3500 BCE: BRONZE
Copper is combined with tin, creating the new metal bronze, which can be used in many tools.
c. 3250 BCE: PAPER
The central pulp of papyrus reed is split, dried, and glued together in Egypt to produce the first known paper.
c. 3250 BCE: HIEROGLYPHIC WRITING
The Egyptians develop a system of recording/writing known as hieroglyphics, which initially tell a story with pictographs.
c. 3200 BCE: THE SUMERIANS, PART 2
More advanced civilization begins. A system of city–states develops along the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers (modern–day Iraq).
Of course, the stage had been set by the Sumerians’ development of an alphabet 300 years earlier.
3100 BCE: 60 PLACE–VALUE
The Babylonians develop a base–60 (sexagesimal) place–value numeration system (as opposed to our base–10 system), where the value of a digit depends on its relative placement in the sequence.
With 12 factors (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20, 30 and 60) in their system, the Babylonians had rich mathematical material to play with.
The Babylonians inherited key components of the base–60 system from earlier Sumerian civilization. The Babylonian system is, of course, the basis of our 60–minute hour system.
3000 BCE: LONGSHAN (CHINA) CULTURE
During the Longshan Neolithic period, the buffalo are domesticated for the first time in China, and the plow may have been used.
c. 3000 BCE: FIRST CHARIOTS AND WAGONS
The wheels are made of wood, and are initially very heavy and cumbersome, as might be expected.
c. 3050 BCE: NARMER (a.k.a. Menes)
Founder of the first dynasty of Egypt and generally considered the first pharaoh.
3000 BCE: Candles employed
Egypt: Made out of beeswax
2800 BCE: SOAP IN USE
Mesopotamia: Ancient Babylon
A formula for soap has been found on a Babylonian clay tablet 600 years later, around 2200 BCE. The formula was apparently: water, alkali, and cassia oil.
c. 2800 BCE: CHINA
According to Chinese legend, China is ruled by the Three August Ones and the Five Emperors, sage–kings and moral–exemplars.
One of them, the Yellow Emperor, is possibly the royal ancestor of the Han Chinese.
Note that the earliest written records of China’s past date from approximately the thirteenth century BCE, the time of the Jewish Exodus.
These written records are inscriptions (spiritual/religious–related) on a trove of bones and shells known as the “Oracle Bones.”
The Shang Dynasty spans approximately 550 years, from 1600 BCE to 1046 BCE. It incorporates 31 kings, from Tang to Di Xin (a.k.a. Zhou, Zhou Xin, Zhou Wang). Note that this last emperor, notwithstanding his name,
is not a Zhou Dynasty emperor.
Over the 550–year span, the Shang Dynasty moves its capital six times, the last time to the city of Yin (modern–day Henan in east–central China), traditionally considered the “cradle of Chinese civilization.”
The Shang Dynasty is succeeded by the 800–year Zhou Dynasty (1046–256 BCE).
King Wu of Zhou invokes the so–called “Mandate from Heaven,” a celestial invocation of legitimacy to rule by divine right, employed by succeeding claimants to the Chinese thrown over the centuries.
(Author’s note: I use this line, with my three kids, with mixed results.)
The Zhou Dynasty, China’s longest, spans 37 emperors.
Note that for some reason, Zhou Dynasty emperors reign approximately 21 years on average, whereas preceding Shang Dynasty kings reign just 8 years on average.
In any event, in 221 BCE, Qin defeats the other six states, including the Zhou, and finally unifies China under the Qin Dynasty.
Note: Whenever you hear that so–and–so “unified a country,” do not assume that this was a nice and sweet “Boy Scout operation.”
2700 BCE: Alphabet
Egypt: Twenty–two Hieroglyphics employed. Civilization as we know it commences.
2700 BCE: PLUMBING (OUTDOOR)
Urban settlements in the Indus Valley. Earthenware pipes employing asphalt are used.
2700 BCE: PRECISION SURVEYING
–sets the stage for more advanced pyramid building in Egypt.
2697 BCE: YELLOW EMPEROR
This period is part of the Chinese mythology.
The Battle of Banquan, the first battle in Chinese lore….
2630 BCE: IMHOTEP
Vizier of Egypt designs and constructs the great Step Pyramid Complex of Pharaoh Djoser at Saqqara (2630–2611 BCE), the first stone pyramid (as opposed to mud brick).
The central pyramid rises about 20 stories.
Imhotep—doctor, sage, architect, astronomer and high priest—is credited as a founder of the Egyptian and Masonic mystery traditions.
2570 BCE: MORE ADVANCED SILK PRODUCTS
Silk and other items found at the Liangzhu culture site at Qianshanyang in Wuxing District, Zhejiang; silk items found there included a braided silk belt, silk threads, and woven silk.
c. 2560 BCE: GREAT PYRAMID OF GIZA
a.k.a. Khufu’s Pyramid, Tomb of Cheops, Khufu (with Khufu being a fourth dynasty Egyptian pharaoh)
The approximately seven–year construction was the world’s highest manmade structure, at 480.9 ft or 146.6 m, until 1300 CE, although height was certainly not its primary defining historical significance.
Note: The Great Pyramid was not surpassed in height until 3,652 years later, by the Lincoln Cathedral in Lincoln, England, in 1300.
c. 2500 BCE: STONEHENGE
A sophisticated civilization spawns Stonehenge over many centuries… but disappears from any radar.
The Stonehenge edifice itself seems to have been a spiritual/religious/astronomical edifice, marking, as well, seasonal solstices via the sun’s projection through its carefully laid out architectural apertures.
Edifices with a similar sun–centered spiritual/religious/astronomical dimension will manifest later in world history around the globe, including the well–known Incan Machu Picchu complex in the Andes Mountains, halfway around the world, 4,000 years later.
2500 BCE: DOORWAY ARCHES EMPLOYED
Indus Valley (current day India):
Dating 700 plus years still–further down the road in history, the oldest arched city gate in the world, 8 ft. wide, was found in Ashkelon, Israel, dating to the Middle Bronze Age (c. 1775 BCE). [Ashkelon is a coastal city on the (southern end of the) Mediterranean Coast of Israel, just north of the Gaza Strip.]
2500 BCE: Glass
Egypt: Glass beads found here dated to this time period. Whether they were the accidental by–product of metal production or the intended product, they nevertheless have been found there.
2400 BCE: PRECISE ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR
Used in Egypt into the Middle Ages for its accuracy.
2400 BCE: First known shipyard
–in Lothal, Indus Valley Civilization.
24th and 23rd centuries BCE: The Akkadian Empire
–At its peak (2300s–2280) pursuant to the conquests of King Sargon of Akkad (d. 2280 BCE).
Fuller span: 2334–2083 BCE; sometimes regarded as the first manifestation of empire in history; stretched from the Mediterranean at the northwest (modern day Syria) to the Persian Gulf in the southeast (modern day Kuwait). Hurrian kingdoms to the northeast; Elam kingdom to the southeast.