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c. 2600000 BCE - c. 12000 BCE
The Palaeolithic (or Old Stone Age) period, ranging from c. 2,6 million years ago until c. 12,000 years ago.
c. 12000 BCE
The Pleistocene epoch, ranging from c. 12,000 years ago. It is characterised by repeated cycles of glacials and interglacials.
40000 BCE - 10000 BCE
Venus figurines are produced in Europe.
c. 17000 BCE - 15000 BCE
Lascaux cave paintings.
c. 12000 BCE - c. 9000 BCE
The Mesolithic (or Middle Stone Age), lasting from the end of the last Ice Age until the start of agriculture, between c. 9000-c. 4000 BCE.
c. 11700 BCE
End of the most recent glacial episode within the current Quaternary Ice Age.
Wild sheep flocks are managed in the Zagros mountains.
Cultivation of wild cereals in the Fertile Crescent.
c. 9000 BCE - c. 3300 BCE
The Neolithic (or New Stone Age), lasting from the start of agriculture between c. 4000 BCE until the beginning of bronze use c. 3300 BCE.
Ovens in use in the Near East are applied to pottery production.
Long-distance trade in obsidian begins.
Domestication of goats.
Domestication of sheep.
Textiles of flax.
Domestication of pigs.
c. 6200 BCE
First copper smelting in Anatolia.
c. 6000 BCE
Domestication of cattle.
Irrigation and agriculture begin in earnest in Mesopotamia.
Hierarchical societies emerge in southeast Europe.
5000 BCE - 3000 BCE
Megalithic structures erected at Carnac, north-west France.
5000 BCE - 4000 BCE
Megaliths are erected at the Neolithic site of Locmariaquer, north-west France.
Invention of the plow.
First megalithic tombs in Europe.
Use of wool for textiles.
Invention of the wheel.