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Early History Timeline

5-3 Million BC - First hominids walk East and Southern Africa, known as Australopithecines or "Ape-Men"
3-1.5 Million BC - Early Stone Age
Emergence of Homo habilis "the toolmaker", using flaked stone scrapers.
1.75-1 Million BC - Evolution of Homo erectus
used of hand axes and shaped stone scrapers
1 million-40,000 BC - Middle Stone Age
Evolution of early form of Homo sapiens - modern man. Shaped stone points used for spearheads.
40,000-10,000 BC - Later Stone Age
Rise of Homo sapiens.
Development of bow and arrow
Evidence of rock paintings.
Hunter gathering lifestyle.
9,000-3,000 BC - Last major wet period in Africa. The Sahara is habitable with savannah, grassland and rivers.
Baked clay pottery found in African stone age communities.
Beginnings of agriculture and domestication of animals
500 BC - Evidence of iron smelting in Nigeria and central Niger. Spreads to rest of West Africa by 1000 AD
200-500 AD - Movement of Bantu peoples to east and southern Africa, "The Bantu Migrations."
1925 - Discovery of Australopithecus near Taung, South Africa.
1960's - Homo habilis skulls found in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania and Lake Turkana, Kenya
1974 - Semi-complete skeleton of "Lucy" found in Omo Valley, Ethiopia
1975 - Thirteen Australopithecus remains found in Hadar, Ethiopia.
- Homo Erectus skull found Lake Turkana
1976 - Australopithecus footprints found in Laetoli, Tanzania.
1997 - Discovery of Australopithecus in Sterkfontein, South Africa