10th millennium BC

This article is about the period. For Roland Emmerich's 2008 film, see 10,000 BC (film). For the reality show, see 10,000 BC (TV show). For more remote dates, see Timeline of prehistory.
  • 100th century BC
  • 99th century BC
  • 98th century BC
  • 97th century BC
  • 96th century BC
  • 95th century BC
  • 94th century BC
  • 93rd century BC
  • 92nd century BC
  • 91st century BC

The 10th millennium BC marks the beginning of the Mesolithic and Epipaleolithic periods, which is the first part of the Holocene epoch. Agriculture, based on the cultivation of primitive forms of millet and rice, occurred in Southwest Asia.[1] Although agriculture was being developed in the Fertile Crescent, it would not be widely practiced for another 2,000 years.

The world population was between one and ten million people,[2] most of whom were hunter-gatherer communities scattered over all continents except Antarctica and Zealandia. The Würm glaciation ended, and the beginning interglacial, which endures to this day, allowed the re-settlement of northern regions.


Göbekli Tepe, Şanlıurfa, 2011
The Stone Age

before Homo (Pliocene)


Lower Paleolithic
Early Stone Age
Control of fire
Stone tools
Middle Paleolithic
Middle Stone Age
Homo neanderthalensis
Homo sapiens
Recent African origin of modern humans
Upper Paleolithic
Late Stone Age
Behavioral modernity, Atlatl,
Origin of the domestic dog


Microliths, Bow, Canoe
Heavy Neolithic
Shepherd Neolithic
Trihedral Neolithic
Pre-Pottery Neolithic


Neolithic Revolution,
Pottery Neolithic

Old World


North America



Environmental changes

c. 10,000 BC:

c. 9700 BC: Lake Agassiz forms

c. 9700 BC: Younger Dryas cold period ends; Pleistocene ends and Holocene begins; Paleolithic ends and Mesolithic begins; Large amounts of previously glaciated land become habitable again

In popular culture

Chronological studies


  1. Roberts (1994)
  2. "Historical Estimates of World Population". US Census Bureau. Retrieved 25 December 2010.
  3. Kislev et al. (2006a, b), Lev-Yadun et al. (2006)
  4. Pankhurst, Richard (1998). The Ethiopians. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-631-18468-3.
  5. "First Buildings May Have Been Community Centers", Science, 2 May 2011.
  6. "Farming Got Hip In Iran Some 12,000 Years Ago, Ancient Seeds Reveal", 5 July 2013
  7. Ker Than (15 August 2013). "Oldest North American Rock Art May Be 14,800 Years Old". National Geographic. Retrieved 16 August 2013.


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