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Encyclopedia > Classical civilization

The span of recorded history is roughly 5,000-5,500 years, with cuneiform possibly being the oldest form of writing. Genetic evidence, however, points to the first appearance of human beings about 150,000 years ago. There is also a growing body of evidence that Homo sapiens first left Africa about 60,000 years ago. For further information about human origins, see Human evolution.


Ancient history is from the period of time when writing and historical records first appear, roughly 5,500 years before the Common Era. For some, the discovery of Agriculture, roughly 6,000 BCE is the beginning of ancient history. The end of ancient history is A.D. 476 (the fall of the Western Roman Empire).


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