Strictly speaking, perhaps about 4 billion years ago when the first life forms might have appeared and we could stay some 2 million years ago when one branch of “australopithecine” – the southern great ape developed some skills in stone working which helped their descendants to move out of Africa, where we all began !!
About 1.5 million years ago, Homo Erectus, a much more advanced creature than the great apes, wandered over large and vast distances, tracking China and Java in the East, and France, Spain, England in the West. The tools were so useful that they passed on almost unchanged for more than a million years and spread over all inhabited world. They were first unearthed by 18th century by John Frere. He identified what proved to be an hand axe.
Recent research into the genetics had replaced press historical guesswork by respectable hypothesis. In the half century or so since Crick, Watson, Franklin & Gosling worked out the structure of DNA, the nucleic acid that served as a genetic code of instructions, palaeogeneticists have established the pattern of human evolution beyond reasonable doubt !!
An interesting conclusion is that every living person is descended from a single female, Mitochondrial Eve- the so called mitochondrial DNA is passed only matrilineally from the mother to child- who lived in Africa perhaps about 200, 000 years ago. And our latest common make ancestor is believed to have existed more recently, perhaps as few as 5000 years ago when Sumerian Civilization was flourishing !!
It seems that the human race is about 200,000 years old, and rather more than half of that period remained in its birthplace, Central Africa. Perhaps 85000 years ago adventurous emigrants crossed the Bab al Mandab, (a wide strait at the southern end of red sea). If they then turned right, and wandered off into Arabia and Southern Asia, they would have been discouraged to come across the remains- of indeed they are not caught in it- of a monstrous volcanic eruption in Sumatra, which produced the effect of a Nuclear Winter over the whole of the region, covering much of it with a thick layer of volcanic ash !!!
Let’s look into the survivors and members of the second great emigration, which began about 60000 years ago. This time they made it tho the Southern continent of Sahul, the land mass that then joined New Guinea and the islands tho Australia, arriving 40000 years ago. On the way, they have come across a related group, the recently identified small species Homo Floresiensis, ( Hobbit) with small brains but employing modern tools. Hobbits died out about 12000 years ago and some argues that they were in fact a train of modern man !!!
The original Australian population was later very little disturbed until the arrival of the Europeans in the layer 18th century. Thus Australian blood lines remained very much those of the earliest arrivals !!!
The movement onwards into Europe came after 60000 years with some branching off to the Indian sub continent where they encountered descendants of the first migration, producing a genetic division with contemporary northern Indians, who have a strong admixture of much later arrival.
Perhaps about 14000 years ago, betting strait was crossed and the population of America begun, while more recently, about 800 AD enterprising Polynesians sailed across the Pacific ocean to become the first New Zealanders !!!!
From Paleolithic to Neolithic, from bronze to iron, civilizations ate subdivided into cultures and the line of development is visible !!! From hunter, gatherer, to animal husbandry and fishing and then to agriculture is the chain of development which is observed along with the changing society and cultures. However, there still exist the communication link with the ancestors and their culture with the present ones.
P.S. Writing my first ever attempt on history and civilizations… Only because I saw her reading a book of missing civilizations in class one day… This is just another flavor to express my love for her !! More on this will come soon !!
Loads of love and respect !!