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How far back?

Timelines

Which came first? Timelines help give you a sense of the development of human culture.

Timeline of musical events

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

On the table below, the columns labeled Famous Person and Tools are the important ones. The famous persons should be familiar from other history and even religion classes. The tools are more relevant to the development of the arts and society.

note: almost all the dates below are rounded off or approximate

Famous person Europe Tools
Western art history
5000 Abraham (1812 – 1637)

Stone AgeÖtzi the Iceman (3300)

Stonehenge, England – (3100 – 2200)

Bronze Age (temperatures around 1,000 degrees)

In England, the Bronze Age lasted from around 2100 to 700 BC

spindle and loom – Stone Age

sewing needles (28,000 BC)

woven cloth (7000 BC)

naalbinding – (6500 BC)

pictographic writing

pottery wheel (6000 and 4000 BC)

trumpet, Denmark (2000 BC)

percussion instruments added to orchestras, Egypt (2000 BC)

Alphabet, Egypt (2000 BC)

Wood-framed houses, China (6000 – 2000 BC)

1000 David (1040 – 970)

Papyrus

Guitar, lyre, trumpet, and tamborine, Hittites (Armenia) (1500)

Harps in Egypt  (1500)

Foot bellows (1500) (temperatures around 1,500 degrees, enough for iron)

800

Dipylon vases

Etruscan civilization

Iron Age begins (800 BCE)

Equal temperament musical tuning in China
600

Siddhārtha Gautama (aka Buddha) (563 – 483)

Confucius (551 – 479)

Laozi (aka Lao-Tse) (500’s)

Socrates (469 – 399)

masks and dance used in Greek theater (500)
400 Aristotle (384 – 322)Alexander the Great (356 – 323)

Ancient Greece (300 – 146)

Greece’s Golden Age

200 Ancient Rome (509 BCE – 476 CE)

Chinese invent paper and porcelain

Lost-wax casting

Quill pen

100 BC Julius Caesar (100 – 44)

Pompeii wall art

In England, the Iron Age ends with theRoman Conquest in 43 AD.

Just Intonation musical tuning system in Greece
famous person Europe Tools
200 AD Jesus Christ (c. 5 BCE – c. 30 CE) Migration period(200 – 700) invasions of the Roman Empire from the east and north
400 Mohammed (570 – 632) PantheonRoman Empire lost influenceIron Age ends in Northern EuropeDark Ages (300 – 900)
600 Charlemagne (742 – 814) Byzantine Papermaking, China
800
1000 Ibn al-Haytham
(also spelled Alhacen, Alhazen)
Bayeux Tapestry –gallery | videosViking Age (793–1066)Normans invade England from France (1066)Romanesque

Paper first manufactured in Europe

Tempera 

Fresco

Ink

1200 GothicMagna Carta (1215)Chartres cathedral (1260) Revival of paintmaking
1400 da Vinci Columbus Early RenaissanceHoly Roman Empire at its peak

Printing press (1465)

Oil paint 

Pastel

Ballet begins, Italy

famous person Europe Tools
1500 Michelangelo (1475 – 1564)Luther (1483 – 1546)Shakespeare (1564 – 1616) High RenaissanceNorthern Renaissance

First use of canvas

first novel (fiction)

use of equal temperament tuning in European music

1600 Rembrandt (1606 – 1669)Galileo (1564 – 1642) Baroquerise of nation-states to replace empires

Modern pencil

Opera

1700 Newton RococoEnlightenment
1750 Benjamin Franklin Neoclassism
1800 Napoleon Industrial RevolutionRomanticismRealism

Photography

Watercolors

1850 Abraham Lincoln Pre-Raphaelites

Tube paints

Fountain pen

1875 Van Gogh ImpressionismPost-Impressionism Ballpoint pen

Telephone
Light bulb
Automobile
1900 Dalí
Picasso
Abstraction
Fauvism 
Cubism
Futurism
Dada
Surrealism
Acrylic paint
Crayon
Airplane
1950 Pollock
de Kooning
Rothko
Stella
Warhol
Abstract Expressionism
Pop Art
Op Art
famous person Europe Tool