All TimePoints

Below is a list of all the TimePoints (recently modified TimePoints first). Select 'See More' to see the further details of a TimePoint.

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MapTime added by MapTime 2012 AD, 29 June

The creation of the MapTime website, representing the present day. See Blog for details.

Euro added by MapTime 1999 AD, 1 January

The introduction of the Euro as a common currency across 17 nations of the Eurozone. Source: Wikipedia

Cold War Ends added by MapTime 1989 AD, 2 December

Bush and Gorbachev announce the end of the Cold War at the Malta summit. The Soviet Union dissolves two years later.

Hiroshima added by MapTime 1945 AD, 6 August

The first use of an atomic weapon. A 13-18 kt atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima during the latter stages of WWII.

American Independence added by MapTime 1776 AD, 4 July

The US declared independence from the British Empire.

The Anthropocene begins added by MapTime 1775 AD

The industrial revolution begins and through the burning of fossil fuel and deforestation humanity causes the CO2 content of the atmosphere to increase. The Anthropocene has begun.

Columbus "discovers" America added by MapTime 1492 AD

Christopher Columbus lands in the Bahamas archipelago during an attempted round-the-world voyage to reach Japan.

Birth of Christ added by MapTime 4 BC

Estimated date for birth of Christ, adjusting for calendars etc. Source: Google

Writing added by MapTime 5 kya

The first writing is developed by the Sumerians in southern Mesopotamia.

Bronze Age added by MapTime 5.5 kya

Humans learn to make and use of bronze.

Biblical Creation Myth added by MapTime 6000 BC

Consensus age of the Earth from calculations based on the Old Testament Creation myth. This TimePoint featured in the original MapTime paper but has been taken out of the default TimeLine as it stood out as the only non-factual event. We might add an "Age of the Earth" TimeLine, which shows how (much) our understanding has changed over time.

Most recent warm interglacial state begins added by MapTime 10 kya

A regular change in Earths orbit causes a deglaciation and Earth enters an interglacial climate state (one of the many that have characterised the last 3 million years or so). This recent warm interval is known as the Holocene.

Agriculture & villages added by MapTime 10 kya

The beginning of civilization as various plants and animals were domesticated during the Neolithic Revolution. (

Cave Art added by MapTime 35 kya

Cave art in Chauvet, France.

Clothing/Jewellery added by MapTime 72 kya

Earliest known clothing and jewellery.

Homo sapiens appears added by MapTime 195 kya

The first Homo sapiens. Anatomically modern humans appear 100-300kya. See <> for more details.

Use of Fire added by MapTime 1.6 mya

Human ancestors first use fire.

Out of Africa added by MapTime 1.8 mya

The first migration of human ancestors out of Africa.

Stone Tools added by MapTime 2.5 mya

First stone tools.

Modern climate system is established added by MapTime 2.7 mya

Glaciation in the northern hemisphere intensified and sustained and extensive continental glaciation of both hemispheres occurs - our modern climate system is established with a variation from warm interglacials to cold glacial periods every ~40 kyr caused by subtle changes in the Earth's orbit. The Genus Homo (to which humans belong) first appears in the geological record at around this time.

Bipedal walking added by MapTime 5.8 mya

Possible bipedal hominids (Orrorin tugenensis).

Humans diverge from Chimps added by MapTime 6 mya

Most recent common ancestor of humans and chimps.

Hominidae added by MapTime 20 mya

Approx. age of divergence of Great Apes from gibbon lineage.

Antarctica becomes glaciated added by MapTime 34 mya

Antarctica first became glaciated (and has remained so largely ever since) at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary. Most likely this transition from greenhouse climate state to ice house is related to a decline in atmospheric CO2 and possibly the opening of the Drake Passage.

Meteor wipes out dinosaurs added by MapTime 65 mya

An asteroid or comet struck the Earth at the Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary possibly leading to the extinction of ~45 % of animal genera including ammonites ( and the dinosaurs (

K/T Extinction added by MapTime 65 mya

The mass extinction at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. End of the dinosaurs.

Grass added by MapTime 70 mya

First grasses evolve.

Flowers added by MapTime 130 mya

The first angiosperms (flowering plants) emerge.

Archaeopteryx (early birds) added by MapTime 150 mya

Archaeopteryx the most famous fossil in the evolutionary history of birds. Early bird evolution is still subject to debate.

Mammals added by MapTime 180 mya

Monotremes diverge from other mammals.

Warm bloodedness added by MapTime 200 mya

Earliest warm blooded proto-mammals.

Permian Extinction added by MapTime 250 mya

The largest mass extinction in Earth's history, at the end of the Permian.

Permian-Trassic extinction event added by MapTime 252 mya

Shortly after Pangaea assembled 96% of all marine species and 70% of all terrestrial vertebrate species (~76 % of genera) become extinct during the Permian-Trassic extinction event. Most probably as a result of the climatic disturbances associated with the eruption of the Siberian Traps large igneous province (

Pangaea assembles added by MapTime 300 mya

The supercontinent Pangaea assembles. This is associated with a period of major glaciation that terminates the greenhouse climate state that had characterised much of the last 200 million years,including the Carboniferous period ( a time when much of the worlds coal was deposited.

First deep rooting trees added by MapTime 385 mya

The first trees with deep rooting systems evolved at this time. This event signifies roughly when our modern terrestrial ecosystems were established.

Tetrapods added by MapTime 397 mya

First evidence for tetrapods (four-legged animals).

Insects and woody plants added by MapTime 400 mya

First insects and woody plants.

Land Plants added by MapTime 465 mya

Plants begin colonizing land.

First land plants added by MapTime 470 mya

The greening of the land. Land is colonised by the first land plants (simple mosses). This had a major impact on weathering and erosion as the mosses enhance weathering but increase slope stability.

Arthropod crawls onto land added by MapTime 500 mya

First exploration of land by euthycarcinoids.

Cambrian explosion/radiation added by MapTime 530 mya

The Cambrian explosion (or radiation). Complex multicellular animals with hard parts are now common in the oceans.

Cambrian Explosion added by MapTime 535 mya

The appearance during the Cambrian of fossils for most major animal phyla body forms over a few million years.

Chordates added by MapTime 540 mya

First chordates arise.

Atmospheric O2 rises to near modern values added by MapTime 600 mya

There is a further rise in atmospheric O2 from values of 1-10 % of modern to 100 % of modern values. This rise is associated with a second period of Snow Ball Earth and the rise of complex multicellular (but soft bodied) organisms (Ediacara biota).

Bilateral Symmetry added by MapTime 630 mya

Animals evolve bilateral symmetry (a defined "top" and "bottom") as seen in early worm fossils.

Multicellularity added by MapTime 900 mya

First multicellular organisms. One of the Major Transitions in evolution.

Eukaryotic Cells added by MapTime 2 bya

Eukaryotes arise by endosymbiosis.

Snowball Earth ends added by MapTime 2100 mya

A period of extensive glaciation affected the Earth,potentially covering the entire globe with a several km thick ice sheet - the first Snowball Earth period. Multiple events occurred each one lasting ~10 million years and likely terminated by a build of volcanic CO2.

Photosynthesis added by MapTime 2.15 bya

Earliest undisputed cyanobacteria fossils.

Snowball Earth added by MapTime 2.3 bya

Extreme global climate change as Earth freezes over.

Oxygen Atmosphere added by MapTime 2.4 bya

Oxidizing atmosphere appears.

The Great Oxygenation Event added by MapTime 2400 mya

The atmosphere became oxidised for the first time (O2 rose to ~1 to 10 % of modern levels). Photosynthetic bacteria pumped O2 into the atmosphere,~300 million years after the first appearance a change in the sinks of O2 out of the atmosphere (e.g. volcanic outgassing,organic carbon burial and/or methane oxidation) allowed O2 to build up.

Snowball Earth begins added by MapTime 2400 mya

A period of extensive glaciation affected the Earth,potentially covering the entire globe with a several km thick ice sheet - the first Snowball Earth period. Multiple events occurred each one lasting ~10 million years and likely terminated by a build of volcanic CO2.

Unequivocal evidence of life on Earth added by MapTime 2700 mya

Unequivocal evidence for the existence of photosynthetic cyano-bacteria found in rocks this age from Pilbarra Australia. Not actual fossils but the chemical compounds currently synthesised by cyanobacteria.

Modern-style plate tectonics begin added by MapTime 3100 mya

Modern-style plate tectonics begins and this causes a slow down in the growth of continental crust. Around 30 % less continental crust existed at this time compared to today.

Single Celled Life added by MapTime 3.5 bya

Oldest single celled fossil.

Life may have begun on Earth added by MapTime 3500 mya

Tantalising evidence that live began on Earth. Or at least this is the first time that life may have possibly indicated its presence through fractionating carbon in rocks of this age. Also some stromatolites possibly first appeared in the geological record at this time. Earth's climate had likely settled down to a similar to the modern range by now.

Late Heavy Bombardment added by MapTime 3800 mya

The gas giant Planets (Jupiter,Saturn,Uranus,Neptune) reach a critical size forcing Neptune into an eccentric orbit and into the Kuiper belt ( scattering debris throughout the solar system. Inner planets (including Earth and Moon) suffer intense meteorite bombardment (the late heavy bombardment), likely sufficient to sterilise the planet. Many craters on the moon and the Lunar Maria ( formed as a result of this event.

Crust on Moon forms added by MapTime 4400 mya

The anorthosite crust forming the highlands of the Moon forms. The oldest minerals found on the surface of the Earth, zircons from the Jack Hills conglomerate in Australia, formed at this time. The Earth's proto-ocean and proto-atmosphere also formed. The Earth's crust begins to differentiate from the mantle.

Moon forms added by MapTime 4500 mya

A Mars-sized body (~10 % of the Earths mass) collides with the Earth. The debris ejected shortly coalesces to form the Moon. The Earth's surface and proto-atmosphere is vaporised and a magma ocean forms encompassing the entire mantle. This event marks the end of Earths main accretion phase. Earth is uninhabitable for at least 200 million years.

Earth at 80% current mass added by MapTime 4537 mya

The Earth reaches around 80% of its current mass. Throughout accretion it has been separating into the metallic core and rocky mantle as it grows (the processes called differentiation). The outer surface of the planet consists of a magma ocean 100's of km deep.

Formation of Earth added by MapTime 4.54 bya

Approximate age of Earth. (Time of accretion not known.)

Mars fully formed added by MapTime 4555 mya

Mars, the fourth planet in the solar system, is formed completely

Planets form and grow added by MapTime 4563 mya

Planets begin to form and by now Vesta, the second largest asteroid in the solar system, had formed completely

First rocks form added by MapTime 4566 mya

Solar nebular continues to condense with the first "rocks" forming represented now by the carbonaceous and other chondrite meteorites. Timescale of formation ovelaps with the formation of the calcium-aluminium-rich inclusions.

Solar system begins added by MapTime 4567.3 mya

A shock wave from nearby supernova caused the molecular cloud to collapse and the initiation of the solar nebular representing the beginning of our solar system. Gravitational interactions cause the material within the cloud to spin and flatten out to form a protoplanetary disk. First minerals that condense from the cloud are now found as calcium-aluminium-rich inclusion in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites.

Supernova explosion added by MapTime 4567.4 mya

Supernova explosion released the elemental building blocks of our solar system to the stella void resulting in the formation of a molecular cloud.