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The Pleistocene
Pleistocene
( /ˈplaɪstəˌsiːn, -toʊ-/,[2] often colloquially referred to as the Ice Age) is the geological epoch which lasted from about 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the world's most recent period of repeated glaciations. The end of the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
corresponds with the end of the last glacial period and also with the end of the Paleolithic
Paleolithic
age used in archaeology. The Pleistocene
Pleistocene
is the first epoch of the Quaternary
Quaternary
Period or sixth epoch of the Cenozoic
Cenozoic
Era.[3] In the ICS timescale, the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
is divided into four stages or ages, the Gelasian, Calabrian, Middle Pleistocene
Pleistocene
(unofficially the 'Chibanian') and Upper Pleistocene (unofficially the 'Tarantian').[4][5][note 1] In addition to this international subdivision, various regional subdivisions are often used. Before a change finally confirmed in 2009 by the International Union of Geological Sciences, the time boundary between the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
and the preceding Pliocene
Pliocene
was regarded as being at 1.806 million years Before Present (BP), as opposed to the currently accepted 2.588 million years BP: publications from the preceding years may use either definition of the period.

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Dating 3 Paleogeography and climate

3.1 Glacial
Glacial
features 3.2 Major events 3.3 Palaeocycles

3.3.1 Milankovitch cycles 3.3.2 Oxygen
Oxygen
isotope ratio cycles

4 Fauna

4.1 Humans

5 Deposits 6 See also 7 Notes 8 References 9 External links

Etymology[edit] Charles Lyell
Charles Lyell
introduced the term "pleistocene" in 1839 to describe strata in Sicily
Sicily
that had at least 70% of their molluscan fauna still living today. This distinguished it from the older Pliocene
Pliocene
Epoch, which Lyell had originally thought to be the youngest fossil rock layer. He constructed the name "Pleistocene" ("Most New" or "Newest") from the Greek πλεῖστος, pleīstos, "most", and καινός, kainós (latinized as cænus), "new";[7] this contrasting with the immediately preceding Pliocene
Pliocene
("More New" or "Newer", from πλείων, pleíōn, "more", and kainós; usual spelling: Pliocene), and the immediately subsequent Holocene
Holocene
("wholly new" or "entirely new", from ὅλος, hólos, "whole", and kainós) epoch, which extends to the present time. Dating[edit]

Human timeline

view • discuss • edit

-10 — – -9 — – -8 — – -7 — – -6 — – -5 — – -4 — – -3 — – -2 — – -1 — – 0 —

Human-like apes

Nakalipithecus

Ouranopithecus

Sahelanthropus

Orrorin

Ardipithecus

Australopithecus

Homo habilis

Homo erectus

Neanderthal

Homo sapiens

Earlier apes

LCA-Gorilla separation

Possibly bipedal

LCA-Chimpanzee separation

Earliest bipedal

Earliest stone tools

Earliest exit from Africa

Earliest fire use

Earliest in Europe

Earliest cooking

Earliest clothes

Modern speech

Modern humans

P l e i s t o c e n e

P l i o c e n e

M i o c e n e

H

o

m

i

n

i

d

s

Axis scale: million years Also see: Life timeline and Nature timeline

The Pleistocene
Pleistocene
has been dated from 2.588 million (±.005) to 11,700 years BP[8] with the end date expressed in radiocarbon years as 10,000 carbon-14 years BP.[9] It covers most of the latest period of repeated glaciation, up to and including the Younger Dryas
Younger Dryas
cold spell. The end of the Younger Dryas
Younger Dryas
has been dated to about 9640 BC (11,654 calendar years BP). It was not until after the development of radiocarbon dating, however, that Pleistocene
Pleistocene
archaeological excavations shifted to stratified caves and rock-shelters as opposed to open-air river-terrace sites.[10] In 2009 the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) confirmed a change in time period for the Pleistocene, changing the start date from 1.806 to 2.588 million years BP, and accepted the base of the Gelasian as the base of the Pleistocene, namely the base of the Monte San Nicola GSSP.[11] The IUGS has yet to approve a type section, Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP), for the upper Pleistocene/ Holocene
Holocene
boundary (i.e. the upper boundary). The proposed section is the North Greenland Ice Core Project ice core 75° 06' N 42° 18' W.[12] The lower boundary of the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
Series is formally defined magnetostratigraphically as the base of the Matuyama (C2r) chronozone, isotopic stage 103. Above this point there are notable extinctions of the calcareous nanofossils: Discoaster pentaradiatus and Discoaster
Discoaster
surculus.[13][14] The Pleistocene
Pleistocene
covers the recent period of repeated glaciations. The name Plio-Pleistocene has, in the past, been used to mean the last ice age. The revised definition of the Quaternary, by pushing back the start date of the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
to 2.58 Ma, results in the inclusion of all the recent repeated glaciations within the Pleistocene. Paleogeography and climate[edit]

The maximum extent of glacial ice in the north polar area during the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
period.

The modern continents were essentially at their present positions during the Pleistocene, the plates upon which they sit probably having moved no more than 100 km relative to each other since the beginning of the period. According to Mark Lynas
Mark Lynas
(through collected data), the Pleistocene's overall climate could be characterized as a continuous El Niño
El Niño
with trade winds in the south Pacific weakening or heading east, warm air rising near Peru, warm water spreading from the west Pacific and the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
to the east Pacific, and other El Niño
El Niño
markers.[15] Glacial
Glacial
features[edit]

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Pleistocene
Pleistocene
climate was marked by repeated glacial cycles in which continental glaciers pushed to the 40th parallel in some places. It is estimated that, at maximum glacial extent, 30% of the Earth's surface was covered by ice. In addition, a zone of permafrost stretched southward from the edge of the glacial sheet, a few hundred kilometres in North America, and several hundred in Eurasia. The mean annual temperature at the edge of the ice was −6 °C (21 °F); at the edge of the permafrost, 0 °C (32 °F). Each glacial advance tied up huge volumes of water in continental ice sheets 1,500 to 3,000 metres (4,900–9,800 ft) thick, resulting in temporary sea-level drops of 100 metres (300 ft) or more over the entire surface of the Earth. During interglacial times, such as at present, drowned coastlines were common, mitigated by isostatic or other emergent motion of some regions. The effects of glaciation were global. Antarctica
Antarctica
was ice-bound throughout the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
as well as the preceding Pliocene. The Andes
Andes
were covered in the south by the Patagonian ice cap. There were glaciers in New Zealand
New Zealand
and Tasmania. The current decaying glaciers of Mount Kenya, Mount Kilimanjaro, and the Ruwenzori Range
Ruwenzori Range
in east and central Africa were larger. Glaciers existed in the mountains of Ethiopia
Ethiopia
and to the west in the Atlas mountains. In the northern hemisphere, many glaciers fused into one. The Cordilleran ice sheet
Cordilleran ice sheet
covered the North American northwest; the east was covered by the Laurentide. The Fenno-Scandian ice sheet rested on northern Europe, including Great Britain; the Alpine ice sheet on the Alps. Scattered domes stretched across Siberia
Siberia
and the Arctic shelf. The northern seas were ice-covered. South of the ice sheets large lakes accumulated because outlets were blocked and the cooler air slowed evaporation. When the Laurentide
Laurentide
ice sheet retreated, north central North America
North America
was totally covered by Lake Agassiz. Over a hundred basins, now dry or nearly so, were overflowing in the North American west. Lake Bonneville, for example, stood where Great Salt Lake
Great Salt Lake
now does. In Eurasia, large lakes developed as a result of the runoff from the glaciers. Rivers were larger, had a more copious flow, and were braided. African lakes were fuller, apparently from decreased evaporation. Deserts on the other hand were drier and more extensive. Rainfall was lower because of the decreases in oceanic and other evaporation. It has been estimated that during the Pleistocene, the East Antarctic Ice Sheet thinned by at least 500 meters, and that thinning since the Last Glacial
Glacial
Maximum is less than 50 meters and probably started after ca 14 ka.[16] Major events[edit] Further information: Timeline of glaciation

Ice ages as reflected in atmospheric CO2, stored in bubbles from glacial ice of Antarctica.

Over 11 major glacial events have been identified, as well as many minor glacial events.[17] A major glacial event is a general glacial excursion, termed a "glacial." Glacials are separated by "interglacials". During a glacial, the glacier experiences minor advances and retreats. The minor excursion is a "stadial"; times between stadials are "interstadials". These events are defined differently in different regions of the glacial range, which have their own glacial history depending on latitude, terrain and climate. There is a general correspondence between glacials in different regions. Investigators often interchange the names if the glacial geology of a region is in the process of being defined. However, it is generally incorrect to apply the name of a glacial in one region to another. For most of the 20th century only a few regions had been studied and the names were relatively few. Today the geologists of different nations are taking more of an interest in Pleistocene
Pleistocene
glaciology. As a consequence, the number of names is expanding rapidly and will continue to expand. Many of the advances and stadials remain unnamed. Also, the terrestrial evidence for some of them has been erased or obscured by larger ones, but evidence remains from the study of cyclical climate changes. The glacials in the following tables show historical usages, are a simplification of a much more complex cycle of variation in climate and terrain, and are generally no longer used. These names have been abandoned in favor of numeric data because many of the correlations were found to be either inexact or incorrect and more than four major glacials have been recognized since the historical terminology was established.[17][18][19]

Historical names of the "four major" glacials in four regions.

Region Glacial
Glacial
1 Glacial
Glacial
2 Glacial
Glacial
3 Glacial
Glacial
4

Alps Günz Mindel Riss Würm

North Europe Eburonian Elsterian Saalian Weichselian

British Isles Beestonian Anglian Wolstonian Devensian

Midwest U.S. Nebraskan Kansan Illinoian Wisconsinan

Historical names of interglacials.

Region Interglacial
Interglacial
1 Interglacial
Interglacial
2 Interglacial
Interglacial
3

Alps Günz-Mindel Mindel-Riss Riss-Würm

North Europe Waalian Holsteinian Eemian

British Isles Cromerian Hoxnian Ipswichian

Midwest U.S. Aftonian Yarmouthian Sangamonian

Corresponding to the terms glacial and interglacial, the terms pluvial and interpluvial are in use (Latin: pluvia, rain). A pluvial is a warmer period of increased rainfall; an interpluvial, of decreased rainfall. Formerly a pluvial was thought to correspond to a glacial in regions not iced, and in some cases it does. Rainfall is cyclical also. Pluvials and interpluvials are widespread. There is no systematic correspondence of pluvials to glacials, however. Moreover, regional pluvials do not correspond to each other globally. For example, some have used the term "Riss pluvial" in Egyptian contexts. Any coincidence is an accident of regional factors. Only a few of the names for pluvials in restricted regions have been strategraphically defined. Palaeocycles[edit] The sum of transient factors acting at the Earth's surface is cyclical: climate, ocean currents and other movements, wind currents, temperature, etc. The waveform response comes from the underlying cyclical motions of the planet, which eventually drag all the transients into harmony with them. The repeated glaciations of the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
were caused by the same factors. Milankovitch cycles[edit] Main article: Milankovitch cycles Glaciation
Glaciation
in the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
was a series of glacials and interglacials, stadials and interstadials, mirroring periodic changes in climate. The main factor at work in climate cycling is now believed to be Milankovitch cycles. These are periodic variations in regional and planetary solar radiation reaching the Earth caused by several repeating changes in the Earth's motion. Milankovitch cycles
Milankovitch cycles
cannot be the sole factor responsible for the variations in climate since they explain neither the long term cooling trend over the Plio-Pleistocene, nor the millennial variations in the Greenland Ice Cores. Milankovitch pacing seems to best explain glaciation events with periodicity of 100,000, 40,000, and 20,000 years. Such a pattern seems to fit the information on climate change found in oxygen isotope cores. The timing of our present interglacial interval (known as the Holocene, Postglacial, or the Present Interglacial) to that of the previous interglacial, beginning about 130,000 years ago (The Eemian Interglacial), suggests that the next glacial might begin in about 3,000 years.[citation needed] Oxygen
Oxygen
isotope ratio cycles[edit] Main article: Oxygen
Oxygen
isotope ratio cycle In oxygen isotope ratio analysis, variations in the ratio of 18O to 16O (two isotopes of oxygen) by mass (measured by a mass spectrometer) present in the calcite of oceanic core samples is used as a diagnostic of ancient ocean temperature change and therefore of climate change. Cold oceans are richer in 18O, which is included in the tests of the microorganisms (foraminifera) contributing the calcite. A more recent version of the sampling process makes use of modern glacial ice cores. Although less rich in 18O than sea water, the snow that fell on the glacier year by year nevertheless contained 18O and 16O in a ratio that depended on the mean annual temperature. Temperature and climate change are cyclical when plotted on a graph of temperature versus time. Temperature coordinates are given in the form of a deviation from today's annual mean temperature, taken as zero. This sort of graph is based on another of isotope ratio versus time. Ratios are converted to a percentage difference from the ratio found in standard mean ocean water (SMOW). The graph in either form appears as a waveform with overtones. One half of a period is a Marine isotopic stage
Marine isotopic stage
(MIS). It indicates a glacial (below zero) or an interglacial (above zero). Overtones
Overtones
are stadials or interstadials. According to this evidence, Earth experienced 102 MIS stages beginning at about 2.588 Ma BP in the Early Pleistocene
Pleistocene
Gelasian. Early Pleistocene
Pleistocene
stages were shallow and frequent. The latest were the most intense and most widely spaced. By convention, stages are numbered from the Holocene, which is MIS1. Glacials receive an even number; interglacials, odd. The first major glacial was MIS2-4 at about 85–11 ka BP. The largest glacials were 2, 6, 12, and 16; the warmest interglacials, 1, 5, 9 and 11. For matching of MIS numbers to named stages, see under the articles for those names. Fauna[edit] See also: Quaternary
Quaternary
extinction event Both marine and continental faunas were essentially modern but with many more large land mammals such as Mammoths, Mastodons, Diprotodon, Smilodon, Aurochs, Short-faced bear, giant sloths, Gigantopithecus
Gigantopithecus
and others. Isolated places such as Australia, Madagascar, New Zealand
New Zealand
and islands in the Pacific saw the evolution of large birds and even reptiles such as the Elephant bird, moa, Haast's eagle, Quinkana, Megalania
Megalania
and Meiolania.

Pleistocene
Pleistocene
of Northern Spain
Northern Spain
showing woolly mammoth, cave lions eating a reindeer, tarpans, and woolly rhinoceros.

Pleistocene
Pleistocene
of South America
South America
showing Megatherium
Megatherium
and two Glyptodon.

The severe climatic changes during the ice age had major impacts on the fauna and flora. With each advance of the ice, large areas of the continents became totally depopulated, and plants and animals retreating southwards in front of the advancing glacier faced tremendous stress. The most severe stress resulted from drastic climatic changes, reduced living space, and curtailed food supply. A major extinction event of large mammals (megafauna), which included mammoths, mastodons, saber-toothed cats, glyptodons, the woolly rhinoceros, various giraffids, such as the Sivatherium; ground sloths, Irish elk, cave bears, Gomphothere, dire wolves, and short-faced bears, began late in the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
and continued into the Holocene. Neanderthals also became extinct during this period. At the end of the last ice age, cold-blooded animals, smaller mammals like wood mice, migratory birds, and swifter animals like whitetail deer had replaced the megafauna and migrated north. The extinctions hardly affected Africa but were especially severe in North America
North America
where native horses and camels were wiped out.

Asian land mammal ages (ALMA) include Zhoukoudianian, Nihewanian, and Yushean. European land mammal ages (ELMA) include Gelasian (2.5—1.8 Ma). North American land mammal ages (NALMA) include Blancan (4.75–1.8), Irvingtonian (1.8–0.24) and Rancholabrean (0.24–0.01) in millions of years. The Blancan extends significantly back into the Pliocene. South American land mammal ages (SALMA) include Uquian (2.5–1.5), Ensenadan (1.5–0.3) and Lujanian (0.3–0.01) in millions of years. The Uquian previously extended significantly back into the Pliocene, although the new definition places it entirely within the Pleistocene.

Humans[edit] Main articles: Human evolution, Paleolithic, and Models of migration to the New World The evolution of anatomically modern humans took place during the Pleistocene.[20][21] In the beginning of the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
Paranthropus species are still present, as well as early human ancestors, but during the lower Palaeolithic they disappeared, and the only hominin species found in fossilic records is Homo erectus
Homo erectus
for much of the Pleistocene. Acheulean
Acheulean
lithics appear along with Homo erectus, some 1.8 million years ago, replacing the more primitive Oldowan
Oldowan
industry used by A. garhi and by the earliest species of Homo. The Middle Paleolithic
Paleolithic
saw more varied speciation within Homo, including the appearance of Homo sapiens
Homo sapiens
about 200,000 years ago. According to mitochondrial timing techniques, modern humans migrated from Africa after the Riss glaciation
Riss glaciation
in the Middle Palaeolithic during the Eemian Stage, spreading all over the ice-free world during the late Pleistocene.[22][23][24] A 2005 study posits that humans in this migration interbred with archaic human forms already outside of Africa by the late Pleistocene, incorporating archaic human genetic material into the modern human gene pool.[25]

Hominin
Hominin
species during Pleistocene

Deposits[edit] Pleistocene
Pleistocene
non-marine sediments are found primarily in fluvial deposits, lakebeds, slope and loess deposits as well as in the large amounts of material moved about by glaciers. Less common are cave deposits, travertines and volcanic deposits (lavas, ashes). Pleistocene
Pleistocene
marine deposits are found primarily in shallow marine basins mostly (but with important exceptions) in areas within a few tens of kilometers of the modern shoreline. In a few geologically active areas such as the Southern California
Southern California
coast, Pleistocene
Pleistocene
marine deposits may be found at elevations of several hundred meters. See also[edit]

Climate state Geologic time scale Pleistocene
Pleistocene
megafauna Timeline of glaciation

Notes[edit]

^ The Middle Pleistocene and Upper Pleistocene
Pleistocene
are actually subseries/subepochs rather than stages/ages but, in 2009, the IUGS decided to replace each of them with a stage/age.[6]

References[edit]

^ Fan, Junxuan; Hou, Xudong. "International Chronostratigraphic Chart". International Commission on Stratigraphy. Retrieved February 11, 2018.  ^ Jones, Daniel (2003) [1917], Peter Roach, James Hartmann and Jane Setter, eds., English Pronouncing Dictionary, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 3-12-539683-2 CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link) ^ "Gibbard, P. and van Kolfschoten, T. (2004) "The Pleistocene
Pleistocene
and Holocene
Holocene
Epochs" Chapter 22" (PDF).  (3.1 MB) In Gradstein, F. M., Ogg, James G., and Smith, A. Gilbert (eds.), A Geologic Time Scale 2004 Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, ISBN 0-521-78142-6 ^ "International Chronostratigraphic Chart v2017/02". International Commission on Stratigraphy. 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2018.  ^ "Japan-based name 'Chibanian' set to represent geologic age of last magnetic shift". The Japan Times. 14 November 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2018.  ^ "Formal subdivision of the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
Series/Epoch". Subcommission on Quaternary
Quaternary
Stratigraphy (International Commission on Stratigraphy). 4 January 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2018.  ^ "Pleistocene". Online Etymology Dictionary.  ^ "Major Divisions". Subcommission on Quaternary
Quaternary
Stratigraphy. International Commission on Stratigraphy. 4 January 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2017.  ^ For the top of the series, see: Lourens, L., Hilgen, F., Shackleton, N.J., Laskar, J., Wilson, D., (2004) "The Neogene
Neogene
Period". In: Gradstein, F., Ogg, J., Smith, A.G. (Eds.), A Geologic Time Scale 2004. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ^ Moore, Mark; Brumm (2007). "Stone artifacts and hominins in island Southeast Asia: New insights from Flores, eastern Indonesia". Journal of Human Evolution. 52: 88. doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2006.08.002. PMID 17069874. Retrieved 10 April 2014.  ^ Riccardi, Alberto C. (30 June 2009) " IUGS ratified ICS Recommendation on redefinition of Pleistocene
Pleistocene
and formal definition of base of Quaternary" International Union of Geological Sciences ^ Svensson, A.; Nielsen, S. W.; Kipfstuhl, S.; Johnsen, S. J.; Steffensen, J. P.; Bigler, M.; Ruth, U.; Röthlisberger, R. (2005). "Visual stratigraphy of the North Greenland Ice Core Project (NorthGRIP) ice core during the last glacial period". Journal of Geophysical Research. 110: D02108. Bibcode:2005JGRD..110.2108S. doi:10.1029/2004jd005134.  ^ Gradstein, Felix M.; Ogg, James G. and Smith, A. Gilbert (eds.) (2005) A Geologic Time Scale 2004 Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, p. 28, ISBN 0-521-78142-6 ^ Rio, D.; Sprovieri, R.; Castradori, D.; Di Stefano, E. (1998). "The Gelasian Stage (Upper Pliocene): a new unit of the global standard chronostratigraphic scale". Episodes. 21: 82–87.  ^ National Geographic Channel, Six Degrees Could Change The World, Mark Lynas
Mark Lynas
interview. Retrieved February 14, 2008. ^ Yusuke Suganuma, Hideki Miura, Albert Zondervan, Jun'ichi Okuno (August 2014). "East Antarctic deglaciation and the link to global cooling during the Quaternary: evidence from glacial geomorphology and 10Be surface exposure dating of the Sør Rondane Mountains, Dronning Maud Land". Quaternary
Quaternary
Science Reviews. 97: 102–120. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.05.007. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link) ^ a b Richmond, G.M.; Fullerton, D.S. (1986). "Summation of Quaternary glaciations in the United States of America". Quaternary
Quaternary
Science Reviews. 5: 183–196. doi:10.1016/0277-3791(86)90184-8.  ^ Roy, M., P.U. Clark, R.W. Barendregt, J.R., Glasmann, and R.J. Enkin, 2004, Glacial
Glacial
stratigraphy and paleomagnetism of late Cenozoic deposits of the north-central United States, PDF version, 1.2 MB. Geological Society of America Bulletin.116(1-2): pp. 30-41; doi:10.1130/B25325.1 ^ Aber, J.S. (1991) "Glaciations of Kansas" Boreas 20(4): pp. 297-314 - (contains a summary of how and why the Nebraskan, Aftonian, Kansan, and Yarmouthian stages were abandoned by modern stratigraphers). ^ Rogers, A.R.; Jorde, L.B. (1995). "Genetic evidence on modern human origins". Human Biology. 67: 1–36.  ^ Wall, J.D.; Przeworski, M. (2000). "When did the human population start increasing?". Genetics. 155: 1865–1874.  ^ Cann, R.L.; Stoneking, M.; Wilson, A.C. (1987). "Mitochondrial DNA and human evolution". Nature. 325: 31–36. doi:10.1038/325031a0. PMID 3025745.  ^ Stringer, C.B. (1992) "Evolution of early modern humans" In: Jones, Steve; Martin, R. and Pilbeam, David R. (eds.) (1992) The Cambridge encyclopedia of human evolution Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, ISBN 0-521-32370-3, pp. 241–251. ^ Templeton, A. R. (2002). "Out of Africa again and again" (PDF). Nature. 416 (6876): 45–51. doi:10.1038/416045a.  ^ Eswarana, Vinayak; Harpendingb, Henry; Rogers, Alan R (2005). "Genomics refutes an exclusively African origin of humans". Journal of Human Evolution. 49 (1): 1–18. doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2005.02.006. PMID 15878780. 

Ogg, Jim; June, 2004, Overview of Global Boundary Stratotype Sections and Points (GSSP's, Stratigraphy.org, Accessed April 30, 2006.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pleistocene.

Wikisource has original works on the topic: Cenozoic#Quaternary

Late Pleistocene environments of the southern high plains, 1975, edited by Wendorf and Hester. Pleistocene
Pleistocene
Microfossils: 50+ images of Foraminifera Stepanchuk V.N., Sapozhnykov I.V. Nature and man in the pleistocene of Ukraine. 2010 Human Timeline (Interactive) – Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History (August 2016).

v t e

Quaternary
Quaternary
Period

Pleistocene
Pleistocene
Epoch Holocene
Holocene
Epoch

Early Middle Late

Preboreal Boreal Atlantic Subboreal Subatlantic

v t e

Geologic history of Earth

Cenozoic
Cenozoic
era¹ (present–66.0 Mya)

Quaternary
Quaternary
(present–2.588 Mya)

Holocene
Holocene
(present–11.784 kya) Pleistocene
Pleistocene
(11.784 kya–2.588 Mya)

Neogene
Neogene
(2.588–23.03 Mya)

Pliocene
Pliocene
(2.588–5.333 Mya) Miocene
Miocene
(5.333–23.03 Mya)

Paleogene (23.03–66.0 Mya)

Oligocene
Oligocene
(23.03–33.9 Mya) Eocene
Eocene
(33.9–56.0 Mya) Paleocene
Paleocene
(56.0–66.0 Mya)

Mesozoic
Mesozoic
era¹ (66.0–251.902 Mya)

Cretaceous
Cretaceous
(66.0–145.0 Mya)

Late (66.0–100.5 Mya) Early (100.5–145.0 Mya)

Jurassic
Jurassic
(145.0–201.3 Mya)

Late (145.0–163.5 Mya) Middle (163.5–174.1 Mya) Early (174.1–201.3 Mya)

Triassic
Triassic
(201.3–251.902 Mya)

Late (201.3–237 Mya) Middle (237–247.2 Mya) Early (247.2–251.902 Mya)

Paleozoic
Paleozoic
era¹ (251.902–541.0 Mya)

Permian
Permian
(251.902–298.9 Mya)

Lopingian
Lopingian
(251.902–259.8 Mya) Guadalupian
Guadalupian
(259.8–272.3 Mya) Cisuralian
Cisuralian
(272.3–298.9 Mya)

Carboniferous
Carboniferous
(298.9–358.9 Mya)

Pennsylvanian (298.9–323.2 Mya) Mississippian (323.2–358.9 Mya)

Devonian
Devonian
(358.9–419.2 Mya)

Late (358.9–382.7 Mya) Middle (382.7–393.3 Mya) Early (393.3–419.2 Mya)

Silurian
Silurian
(419.2–443.8 Mya)

Pridoli (419.2–423.0 Mya) Ludlow (423.0–427.4 Mya) Wenlock (427.4–433.4 Mya) Llandovery (433.4–443.8 Mya)

Ordovician
Ordovician
(443.8–485.4 Mya)

Late (443.8–458.4 Mya) Middle (458.4–470.0 Mya) Early (470.0–485.4 Mya)

Cambrian
Cambrian
(485.4–541.0 Mya)

Furongian (485.4–497 Mya) Series 3 (497–509 Mya) Series 2 (509–521 Mya) Terreneuvian
Terreneuvian
(521–541.0 Mya)

Proterozoic
Proterozoic
eon² (541.0 Mya–2.5 Gya)

Neoproterozoic era (541.0 Mya–1 Gya)

Ediacaran
Ediacaran
(541.0-~635 Mya) Cryogenian (~635-~720 Mya) Tonian (~720 Mya-1 Gya)

Mesoproterozoic era (1–1.6 Gya)

Stenian (1-1.2 Gya) Ectasian (1.2-1.4 Gya) Calymmian (1.4-1.6 Gya)

Paleoproterozoic era (1.6–2.5 Gya)

Statherian (1.6-1.8 Gya) Orosirian
Orosirian
(1.8-2.05 Gya) Rhyacian (2.05-2.3 Gya) Siderian
Siderian
(2.3-2.5 Gya)

Archean
Archean
eon² (2.5–4 Gya)

Eras

Neoarchean (2.5–2.8 Gya) Mesoarchean (2.8–3.2 Gya) Paleoarchean
Paleoarchean
(3.2–3.6 Gya) Eoarchean
Eoarchean
(3.6–4 Gya)

Hadean
Hadean
eon² (4–4.6 Gya)

 

 

kya = thousands years ago. Mya = millions years ago. Gya = billions years ago.¹ = Phanerozoic
Phanerozoic
eon. ² = Precambrian
Precambrian
supereon. Source: (2017/02). International Commission on Stratigraphy. Retrieved 13 July 2015. Divisions of Geologic Time—Major Chronostratigraphic and Geochronologic Units USGS Retrieved 10 March 2013.

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Continental glaciations

General

Canadian Shield Glacial
Glacial
history of Minnesota Lake Agassiz Lake Chicago Lake Tight Last Glacial
Glacial
Maximum Laurentide
Laurentide
Ice Sheet List of prehistoric lakes Post-glacial rebound Proglacial lake Teays River Timeline of glaciation

Landforms

Erosional

Fjord Glacial
Glacial
striae Ribbon lake Roche moutonnée Tunnel valley U-shaped valley

Depositional

Drumlin Drumlin
Drumlin
field Erratic block Moraine Pulju moraine Rogen moraine Terminal moraine Till plain Veiki moraine

Glacifluvial

Diluvium Esker Giant current ripples Kame Kame
Kame
delta Kettle hole Outwash fan Sandur

North American places

Canada

Arrowhead
Arrowhead
Provincial Park, Ontario Big Rock (glacial erratic), Alberta Cypress Hills (Canada), Saskatchewan Eramosa River, Ontario Eskers Provincial Park, British Columbia Foothills Erratics Train, Alberta Lion's Head Provincial Park, Ontario Origin of the Oak Ridges Moraine, Ontario Ovayok Territorial Park, Nunavut

United States

Chippewa Moraine
Moraine
State Recreation Area, Wisconsin Coteau des Prairies, South Dakota Devil's Lake State Park, Wisconsin Glacial
Glacial
Lake Wisconsin, Wisconsin Glacial
Glacial
Lakes State Park, Minnesota Horicon Marsh
Horicon Marsh
State Wildlife Area, Wisconsin Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail, Idaho, Oregon & Washington Ice Age National Scientific Reserve, Wisconsin Ice Age Trail, Wisconsin Interstate State Park, Minnesota & Wisconsin Kelleys Island, Ohio Kettle Moraine
Moraine
State Forest, Wisconsin Lake Bonneville, Utah Lake Lahontan, Nevada Lake Missoula, Montana Mill Bluff State Park, Wisconsin Oneida Lake, New York Two Creeks Buried Forest State Natural Area, Wisconsin Withrow Moraine
Moraine
and Jameson Lake Drumlin
Drumlin
Field, Washington Yosemite National Park, California

Eurasian and Antarctic places

Antarctica Hardangerfjord Killary Harbour Lambert Glacier Monte Rosa Ross Ice Shelf Svalbard

Time periods

Illinoian Stage Interglacial Interstadial Last glacial period Little Ice Age Older Dryas Pleistocene Pre-Illinoian Stage Quaternary
Quaternary
glaciation Sangamonian Stage Wisconsin glaciation Younger Dryas

Category

v t e

Prehistoric technology

Prehistory

timeline outline Stone Age subdivisions New Stone Age

Technology

history

Tools

Farming

Neolithic
Neolithic
Revolution

founder crops New World crops

Ard / plough Celt Digging stick Domestication Goad Irrigation Secondary products Sickle Terracing

Food processing

Fire Basket Cooking

Earth oven

Granaries Grinding slab Ground stone Hearth

Aşıklı Höyük Qesem Cave

Manos Metate Mortar and pestle Pottery Quern-stone Storage pit

Hunting

Arrow Boomerang

throwing stick

Bow and arrow

history

Nets Spear

Spear-thrower baton harpoon woomera Schöningen Spears

Projectile points

Arrowhead Bare Island Cascade Clovis Cresswell Cumberland Eden Folsom Lamoka Manis Site Plano Transverse arrowhead

Systems

Game drive system

Buffalo jump

Toolmaking

Earliest toolmaking

Oldowan Acheulean Mousterian

Clovis culture Cupstone Fire hardening Gravettian
Gravettian
culture Hafting Hand axe

Grooves

Langdale axe industry Levallois technique Lithic core Lithic reduction

analysis debitage flake

Lithic technology Magdalenian
Magdalenian
culture Metallurgy Microblade technology Mining Prepared-core technique Solutrean
Solutrean
industry Striking platform Tool stone Uniface Yubetsu technique

Other tools

Adze Awl

bone

Axe Bannerstone Blade

prismatic

Bone tool Bow drill Burin Canoe

Oar Pesse canoe

Chopper

tool

Cleaver Denticulate tool Fire plough Fire-saw Hammerstone Knife Microlith Quern-stone Racloir Rope Scraper

side

Stone tool Tally stick Weapons Wheel

illustration

Architecture

Ceremonial

Göbekli Tepe Kiva Standing stones

megalith row Stonehenge

Pyramid

Dwellings

Neolithic
Neolithic
architecture British megalith architecture Nordic megalith architecture Burdei Cave Cliff dwelling Dugout Hut

Quiggly hole

Jacal Longhouse Mud brick

Mehrgarh

Neolithic
Neolithic
long house Pit-house Pueblitos Pueblo Rock shelter

Blombos Cave Abri de la Madeleine Sibudu Cave

Stone roof Roundhouse Stilt house

Alp pile dwellings

Wattle and daub

Water management

Check dam Cistern Flush toilet Reservoir Water well

Other architecture

Archaeological features Broch Burnt mound

fulacht fiadh

Causewayed enclosure

Tor enclosure

Circular enclosure

Goseck

Cursus Henge

Thornborough

Oldest buildings Megalithic architectural elements Midden Timber circle Timber trackway

Sweet Track

Arts and culture

Material goods

Baskets Beadwork Beds Chalcolithic Clothing/textiles

timeline

Cosmetics Glue Hides

shoes Ötzi

Jewelry

amber use

Mirrors Pottery

Cardium Grooved ware Linear Jōmon Unstan ware

Sewing needle Weaving Wine

Winery wine press

PrehistArt

Art of the Upper Paleolithic Art of the Middle Paleolithic

Blombos Cave

List of Stone Age
Stone Age
art Bird stone Bradshaw rock paintings Cairn Carved Stone Balls Cave
Cave
paintings

painting pigment

Cup and ring mark Geoglyph Golden hats Guardian stones Megalithic art Petroform Petroglyph Petrosomatoglyph Pictogram Rock art

Stone carving

Sculpture Statue menhir Stone circle

list British Isles and Brittany

Venus figurines

Burial

Burial mounds

Bowl barrow Round barrow

Mound Builders
Mound Builders
culture

U.S. sites

Chamber tomb

Severn-Cotswold

Cist

Dartmoor kistvaens

Clava cairn Court tomb Cremation Dolmen

Great dolmen

Funeral pyre Gallery grave

transepted wedge-shaped

Grave goods Jar burial Long barrow

unchambered Grønsalen

Megalithic tomb Mummy Passage grave Rectangular dolmen Ring cairn Simple dolmen Stone box grave Tor cairn Tumulus Unchambered long cairn

Other cultural

Astronomy

sites lunar calendar

Behavioral modernity Origin of language

trepanning

Prehistoric medicine Evolutionary musicology

music archaeology

Prehistoric music

Alligator drum flutes Divje Babe flute gudi

Prehistoric numerals Origin of religion

Paleolithic
Paleolithic
religion Prehistoric religion Spiritual drug use

Prehistoric warfare Symbols

symbolism

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