The ArcBuilder Universe


TimeLine of the ArcBuilder Universe


The Paleoaster Period Civilization

15 to 1.33 million years ago


13 million years ago:  Homininae ancestors diverge from the ancestors of the orangutans, as represented by Pierolapithecus, the oldest common ancestor between Humans and the great apes.  The animal was adapted for an arboreal existence, such as a wide and flat rib cage, a stiff lower spine, and flexible wrists and shoulder blades.

7 million years ago:  The divergence between the ancestors of Humans and chimpanzees occurs.  This split might be represented by Sahelanthropus, a chimpanzee-sized primate which likely had similar habitats to that modern ape.  While it may have utilized a quadrupedal gait, moving in a bipedal fashion would have not been out of the question when conditions called for it.
5.4 million years ago:  The Mediterranean is at the height of the Messinian Salinity Crisis.  During this time the Mediterranean  Sea has been cut off from the Atlantic Ocean, and has evaporated away.  Descending to depths of up to 2.7 miles, the Basin is a vast desert, its lowest regions filled with hyper-saline lakes and rolling salt flats.  Where mainland river systems drain into the Basin there are long stretches of wetlands, vegetation, and life.  These rivers, however, decrease the further into the Basin they go, and eventually evaporate altogether.
5.33 million years ago:  The Zanclean Flood breaches the Gibraltar land bridge at the head of the Mediterranean Basin, allowing the Atlantic waters to rush into the desiccated Basin.  While the initial phase of the flood is slow, with a vast network of great waterfalls allowing the waters inward over several thousand years, a breaking point is reached where the onrush of several billion cubic meters of water every second are pounding down into the Basin, filling it within only a few months.
4.4 million years ago:  The genus Ardipithecus evolves, a very early representative of early hominines.  This was an arboreal animal with a relatively small brain size, but it may have moved in a habitual quadrupedal gait.  Despite this, its feet were still adapted to grasp branches, aiding it in moving through the trees as opposed to a purely ground dwelling lifestyle.
3.9 million years ago:  Australopithecus afarensis evolves and is likely an ancestral form to both later members of the genus, and to Homo as well.  Living in small family groups dominated by a single male with several breeding females, the creatures moved in an upright gait but were quite capable of climbing trees.  While they lived in forests, they would also venture into savanna habitats.  Largely vegetarian, they also supplemented their diets by scavenging animal carcasses.  indeed, there is evidence to show that they may have used unworked stones as primitive tools to aid in cutting meat from the bone.
3.0 million years ago:  The T'chebsoni species evolves into their modern form.
2.8 million years ago:  The first appearance of the genus Homo, as represented by Homo habilis.  The species is remarked upon for having extensively utilized worked stone tools, probably to aid in the butchering of carrion.  However, these beings were not effective large game hunters and were, in fact, often prey to the predators of the time, most notably the scimitar-toothed cat DinofelisHomo habilis coexisted with other Hominid species, such as Paranthropus, but because of their expertise in using stone tools and a less specialized diet, became the precursor to further evolved species.
1.9 million years ago:  The earliest appearance of Homo erectus, the likely direct ancestor of later forms of Homo.  While the species originated in Africa, it eventually spread throughout Asia, India, and as far west as Georgia.  These beings used stone tools that were much more diverse and sophisticated than their ancestors, Homo habilis, though of course these were still quite primitive in nature.  There is evidence, however, that they were capable of building simple rafts or boats, which accounts for their eventual migration to many Asian islands.  During their long history they learned of the use of fire, but there is no evidence that they ever cooked their food.  The use of fire may have therefore been one of security, even comfort.  It is believed that these were the first members of the Human family to live in true hunter-gatherer societies, and they may have commonly practiced inter-group cooperation, as well as extended care for the sick or infirm members of their communities.

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The ArcBuilder Universe is a science fiction project established, authored, and copyrighted ©
by John M. Dollan 2002-2016
This page first uploaded in February 15, 2016
Most recent update for this page February 15, 2016