World History

Period up to c. 600 B.C.E

Topics

Subtopic

Hominid life: Prehistory studies the time before civil societies were birthed. According to prehistoric studies, hominid life has existed for 3 to 4 million years. While civil societies were birthed a mere 5,000 years ago, and the immediate ancestors of humans lived approximately 100,000 to 200,000 years ago, hominid life has existed for 3 million to 4 million years. In order to study this time period that existed before written records, historians turn to paleontologists, paleoclimatologists, anthropologists, and archaeologists for their knowledge of this era.


Continents: Antarctica had no native human population. The other six continents had a native population. Australia has the oldest surviving ethnic group, and scholars believe Africa to be the birthplace of humanity. Asia has the most diverse cultures, ethnicities, languages, and climates because of its size has the most diverse cultures, ethnicities, languages, and climates. Asia stretches from the Middle East to the Indian subcontinent and is separated into the distinct sub-regions of Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia. North and South America were settled by people from Asia. People migrated from Asia to North and South America over a temporary land bridge during the last Ice Age.


Water transport: Water transport, being the best mode for early transport, allowed for the exchanging people, food and other resources and ideas and Religious beliefs. Water transportation was hugely important as people both influenced, and were influenced, by their geography. The Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans played an especially dynamic role in helping people connect with other ethnicities and cultures from around the world.


Order of geographic migration of early humans: The order of geographic migration of early humans was from Africa to the Middle East to Southern Asia and Southeast Asia to Australia to Europe, Central Asia, and Siberia. All of this occurred between about 150,000 and 40,000 years ago, though the question of how people then spread to the Americas is more debatable, most people dating this occurrence to around 15,000 years ago.


The ice ages: It took longer for humans to move into Europe, Central Asia, and Siberia because of the cooler temperatures, resulting from the periodic ice ages. The ice ages occurred during the Pleistocene Epoch, which lasted from about 2.5 million years ago to 12,000 years ago. People still made it to Europe, Central Asia, and Siberia 40,000 years ago.