Prehistory is a term used to describe the period before recorded history (i.e. before writing). Prehistory can be used to refer to all time since the beginning of the universe, although it is more commonly used in referring to the period of time since life appeared on Earth, or even more specifically to the time since human-like beings appeared.
- 4,000 Million Years Ago (MA) – Life begins on Earth.
- 600 MA – First multicellular organisms form on Earth.
- 505 MA – First vertebrate organisms form on Earth.
- 300 MA – First reptiles with the ability to reproduce out of water (allowing "colonization" of inland areas) form on Earth.
- 256 MA – First mammals form on Earth.
- 200 MA – Beginning of "Jurassic Era"; Dinosaurs are the dominant life form on Earth.
- 100,842,246 BCE was home to the Ornitho-Men and various species of giant insects, including ants and bees. The Dokris sent a hive to this year which sapped the Earth's radioactive minerals of its radioactivity, which in turn depowered the atomic weapons of the humans of the year 2287 and enabling their invasion of the planet. Kid Flash (Wally West) traveled to his year using the Cosmic Treadmill, and with the help of the Ornitho-Men, destroyed the hive.
- 65.5 MA – Earth experiences a mass extinction ending the domination of dinosaurs and other large creatures.
- 15 MA – First hominids form on Earth.
The Stone Age is a broad prehistoric period during which humans widely used stone for toolmaking. Stone tools were made from a variety of different sorts of stone. For example, flint and chert were shaped (or chipped) for use as cutting tools and weapons, while basalt and sandstone were used for ground stone tools, such as quern-stones. Wood, bone, shell, antler (deer) and other materials were widely used, as well. During the most recent part of the period, sediments (like clay) were used to make pottery. The date range of this period is ambiguous, disputed, and regionally variable; however, the period generally started around 2.5 million years ago and ended generally around 3300 BCE with the start of the Bronze Age.
- 2.5 Million Years Ago (MA) – First known use of stone tools on Earth.
- 1.8 MA – First appearance of Homo Erectus on Earth.
- 160 Thousand Years Ago (KA) – First Homo Sapiens.
- 145 KA - In Atlantis two powerful mystics named Calculha and Majistra became the most powerful sorcerers in the world. Calculha, a follower of the light, manipulated White Magic, while his only living equal, Majistra was a practitioner of the dark arts. Through their influence, Atlantis flourished and grew into an advanced community unlike any other on the planet. Although magic was the dominant means of power throughout the continent, noted intellectuals began to recognize the wisdom of science. While the rest of the world had yet to benefit from inventions such as the wheel, the Atlanteans were already developing highly advanced technological wonders.
- 40,000 BCE: The Sky Tribes of the Fourth World came to the cave-dwellers, gifting them with "fire, inspiration, and magic". Led by a prince the cave-men named Silverarm, they constructed four cities - Falias, Murias, Gorias and Findias - in which to rest. And when their work was done, they created a hero - a primordial mixture of god and mortal, born of unearthly science. Created to bring order, this being, named Aurakles, is Earth's first super-hero, sent to fight the 666 Monster of Chaos. To aid him, the gods give him the Seven Imperishable Treasures: the Unbreakable Sword, the Cauldron of Rebirth, the all-knowing Fatherbox, the Unstoppable Hammer, the Merlin Sprite born of living language, the steed Pegazeus... and the secret curse of the Spear whose name is both "Love" and "Vengeance". Years pass, as Aurakles raises the cave-dwellers. Their scientists build a time-engine, which they send into the future. And there it is found by Melmoth of the Sheeda. With it, the Sheeda trace a path back to the Neanderthals and "harrow" them - stripping them of all worth before they collapse unremarked.
The Bronze Age is the period when the most advanced metalworking (at least in systematic and widespread use) in a particular culture used bronze. This could either have been based on the local smelting of copper and tin from ores, or trading for bronze from production areas elsewhere. While different cultures progressed at different rates, the earliest accepted date for bronze manufacturing/use is 3300 BCE. The age is generally accepted to have ended in the 12th Century BCE with the start of the Iron Age.
- 1279 BCE: Ramses II becomes ruler of Ancient Egypt - ruling until 1213 BCE.
- An alchemist discovers a fallen meteor and takes a shattered fragment which he uses as the headpiece to a scepter later named the Orb of Ra.
The Iron Age is the prehistoric period in any area during which cutting tools and weapons were mainly made of iron or steel. The adoption of this material coincided with other changes in society, including differing agricultural practices, religious beliefs and artistic styles. Classically, the Iron Age is taken to begin in the 12th century BC and to have ended in the Mediterranean with the onset of historical tradition during Hellenism and the Roman Empire, in India with the onset of Buddhism and Jainism, in China with the onset of Confucianism, and in Northern Europe with the early Middle Ages. The earliest of these is generally accepted to be approximately 600 BCE.
- 1043 BCE: In Atlantis, a baby girl is born with the Mark of Kordax - blond hair. As tradition dictates, the child is placed in a basket and sent to the surface. She was to be named Gamemnae, a name which will be stricken from the roles as cursed forevermore.
- 1020 BCE: Gamemnae returns to Atlantis, and having learned fearsome magic in the meantime, raises the city above the waves. Then she gives the people a choice: suffer another catastrophe, or remain on the surface. She uses her magic to change her followers into air-breathers, and those who refuse suffocate in the air. She is referred to as "the Great Lady who conquered her people with sunshine and sea breezes."
- 1015 BCE: Aquaman and his Atlanteans arrive from the future. He meets Gamemnae alone for talks, and she begins pumping for information.
- 1000 BCE: Just after the defeat of the Justice League, Gamemnae has absorbed most of her followers. The last to fall is the Anointed One, whose last act is to denounce her. Just as she absorbs him, however, Manitou Raven creates the containment spell which will surround Atlantis for the next three thousand years, and buttresses it with the willpower of the Jutice League.
- In the DC Universe, the Prehistoric Era has differences from the real world, obviously. For example, Anthro received the gift of fire from Metron of the New Gods during Final Crisis... this happens much later than it would have normally in history, but it's sort of part of a retold primal creation myth.
- Appearances of Prehistoric Era
- Location Gallery: Prehistoric Era
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