Note: This is a work in progress.
Here are the last 60 centuries and some of what each one has given us. That makes it a largely technocentric history, yet I want some sort of overview at a century-by-century level.
Note: Older dates are often just a rough date of the oldest known case. Dates for plants and animals are when they became useful to humans. I use the middle value of ranges. My sources are Eurocentric.
The stuff in italics came from Europe or its diasporas.
One picture for every thousand years, one line for every hundred years:
-3600s: silk, popcorn.
-3500s: cities, brick (fired), wheel and axle, cart, sail, donkey, zoo, metal casting.
-3400s: Egyptian mummies, bronze.
-3300s: Otzi the Iceman.
-3000s: yam, oil palm, sorghum, potato, cassava, oven, bell, paper, cotton, shekel.
-2900s: Egypt, Jerusalem, dam.
-2800s: chair, book, page numbers, soap, 365-day calendar, yin and yang.
-2700s: tea, button, wire, acupuncture.
-2600s: Pyramid of Djoser, library.
-2500s: Great Sphinx, welding, carpet, iron, glass, sewer, ink, oranges, arch.
-2300s: empire, Stonehenge, beekeeping, courier service, chicken, dictionary.
-2000s: alphabet, ship, umbrella, dice, lock, bathroom, hour, minute, sling.
-1900s: chocolate, watermelon.
-1800s: pork as taboo. “Epic of Gilgamesh”.
-1700s: smallpox, water pipes.
-1600s: leavened bread, rubber ball.
-1500s: Greek, Sanskrit, Hinduism, Rigveda, flag, steel, boot, first Olmec heads.
-1300s: King Tut’s tomb, concrete, Yahweh.
-1200s: Chinese language, chopsticks, Judaism, Hebrew, tobacco.
-1000s: Beijing, abacus, sandwich, kite, camel, knitting, magnet.
-900s: Book of J, Hebrew alphabet, Aramaic.
-800s: “Book of Songs”, “Iliad”, “Odyssey”.
-700s: Rome, Olympics, pulley, buckle, Book of Isaiah (1-39), Psalms.
-600s: coin, world map, Roman alphabet, the beginning of the Great Wall of China.
-500s: Delhi, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Greek philosophy, Tao-te-Ching.
-400s: Parthenon, Book of Job, hammock, compass, history.
-300s: Alexandria, “Analects”, saddle, stirrup, Tollund Man, mouldboard plough.
-200s: China, windmill, Bhagavad Gita, Paris, nail, pipe organ.
-100s: watermill, the news, Book of Daniel, latitude and longitude.
000s: London, Halloween, Christianity, church, gospel, bound books, Colosseum.
100s: Mumbai, horseshoe, dome, north as “up”.
300s: Malay, Arabic, sugar, Christmas, ocean travel, the West.
400s: Japan, Vulgate.
500s: AD, English, Arabic numerals, toilet paper, article, quill pen, chess.
600s: Koran, Islam, mosque, English alphabet.
700s: BC, Baghdad, Japanese, German, mechanical clock, porcelain, velvet.
800s: Russia, French, gunpowder, printing, paper money, playing cards, Sufis.
900s: Hindi, Swahili, Spanish, rocket, canal lock, lens, fork.
1000s: Yiddish, movable type, tower clock, Islamophobia, “Beowulf”.
1100s: Timbuktu, Maori, grand jury, Bengali, Cantonese, cannon, fireworks.
1200s: Easter Island statues, Portuguese, glasses, bomb.
1300s: Leaning Tower of Pisa, Mexico City, gun.
1400s: Machu Picchu, Sikhism, printing press, 12-hour clock, drinking coffee.
1500s: Sao Paulo, Shakespeare’s plays, Protestantism, Gregorian calendar, crowns.
1600s: Taj Mahal, New York, NYPD, racism, KJV, newspaper, Western science.
1700s: blackface, metric system, chemistry, Fahrenheit, Britannica, Monticello.
1800s: electricity, bus, car, rail, bicycle, telephone, The Economist, film, blue jeans.
1900s: plastic, Mount Rushmore, motel, television, atom bomb, hip hop, Internet.
– Abagond, 2015.
Sources: Mainly: “1001 Inventions That Changed the World” (2009), Jack Challoner, general editor; “The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History” (2003) by J.R. McNeill and William H. McNeill; “1000 Inventions & Discoveries” (2002) by Roger Bridgman; Wikipedia (2015).
- also in this series:
- The last 13,000 years:
- The world
- The largest cities in history
- technocentric history
- demographically weighted world history