HUMANPAST.NET

Language                  5,000 BC
Africa
Southwest Asia
Egypt
Indus Valley
China
Europe
South America
Mesoamerica
North America
Other

Africa

 

Southwest Asia

 The usual conclusion from either glottochronology or pants' seats is that the PIE (Proto-Indo-European) language community may have started to break up into several daughter language communities by 3000 BC, surely by 2500 BC and not before 5000 BC. (114)

By such reasoning linguistic paleontology, even in the absence of any other evidence, would date the break-up of PIE as before 2000 BC but after 3300 BC. This conclusion agrees well with the one reached by extrapolating the differences between Hittite, Greek, and Sanskrit backward in time. If we wish to find traces of the first Indo-Europeans, we shall be safe to concentrate on the archaeological record between 2500 and 5000 BC, and perhaps slightly before 3000 BC. (114)

The oldest Sumerian documents known to us were written, according to some, in the fourth millennium BC, or, according to others, in the fifth millennium; but whichever view be accepted, they prove that the art of writing was established among the Sumerians at a very early period. In other words, they had at that time learned to use pictographs solely for the sound of the word which expressed the idea they represent, without any actual reference to the object depicted. When the use of the cuneiform script died out in Mesopotamia is not known, but it is certain that it was used in Babylon until the end of the first century BC. (118)

Egypt

 

Indus Valley

 

China

 

Europe

 

South America

 

Mesoamerica

 

North America

 

Other

 [Their] ancient language appears to be unrelated to any other, but a case has recently been put forward that there are many striking similarities between it and Basque, a western European language that had also been thought to be unique. (160)