Early Humans Timeline

Updated: 1/8/2021
Early Humans Timeline
You can find this storyboard in the following articles and resources:
Early Humans and Stone Ages

Early Humans: Lessons and Student Activities

Lesson Plans by Liane Hicks

Millions of years ago, our ancestors survived in a very different environment than we have today. They encountered large, terrifying mammals and had to work each day to ensure food and shelter for their survival. The Paleolithic Age saw advances with stone tools while the Neolithic Age brought the discovery of farming and permanent settlements. By investigating the past, we can gain greater insight into our relationship to the earth and each other.


Early Humans

Storyboard Description

Create a timeline that follows the progression of early humans from the Australopithecines to the Neolithic Era!

Storyboard Text

  • EARLY HUMANS
  • Australopithecines (Ardi & Lucy)
  • 4.4-1.4 MILLION YEARS AGO
  • Homo Habilis: Handy Man
  • 2.3-1.6 MILLION YEARS AGO
  • Homo Ergaster Erectus: Upright Man
  • 1.9 MILLION YEARS AGO
  • Homo Sapiens Neanderthalensis: Neanderthals
  • 400,000-40,000 YEARS AGO
  • Homo Sapiens Sapiens: Early Modern Humans
  • 35,000-12,000 BCE
  • NEOLITHIC ERA (NEW STONE AGE)
  • 12,000-3,000 BCE
  • Australopithecines were found in Ethiopia, Africa and lived over 4 million years ago. "Lucy" was found in 1974 and was considered the oldest at 3.2 million years old until "Ardi" was discovered in 1994. Ardi lived 4.4 million years ago. Australopithecines were about 3.5 feet tall and were bipedal.
  • Beginning of the Paleolithic Era. Homo habilis were more advanced than Australopithecines. They were taller with bigger brains and demonstrated the earliest use of tools. They were found in Africa around Ethiopia and Tanzania.
  • The first hominid to stand completely upright unlike Homo habilis and Australopithecines, who were hunched similar to apes. Upright Man also discovered fire. This allowed them to migrate from Africa into the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.
  • Neanderthals were skilled toolmakers and relied on hunting and gathering for survival. They lived in groups and migrated throughout Africa, Asia, and Europe.
  • Early Modern Humans migrated across the land bridge "Beringia" from Asia to North America. They were the first to inhabit all habitable continents. They had larger brains than Neanderthals and are our direct relative.
  • Humans during the Neolithic Age developed methods of farming. This meant that humans had a more stable food supply and were able to remain in one place for longer. The development of larger communities, cities, and new inventions and technologies followed.