Understanding Evolution: your one-stop source for information on evolution
Resource library Teaching materials Evolution 101 Support this project

The ChronoZoom Time Atlas of Earth History and Big History

By the ChronoZoom Team

"Big History" is the currently active effort to bring together in a unified way all of the information about the past, both humanistic and scientific. It is now taught at a number of high schools, colleges and universities. However, one of the problems for anyone teaching Earth history or Big History is how to help students – or anyone – to comprehend the time scales. The panels below help address this challenge by presenting Big History in a sequence of time scales. The panels cover intervals of time that differ by about a factor of ten, but rather than rigid, order-of-magnitude separations, each panel begins at a significant date in history. Each panel is accompanied by a page of text, discussing the historical features shown in the panel.

Users may view the panels and text side by side on a computer monitor to facilitate zooming in on the graphic panel, or may opt to print the entire document in book form or select individual time periods: (For the best user experience, we recommend downloading the documents and viewing directly in Adobe Reader.)

  Chart Text Introduction
Panel 0 Chart Text Big Bang and Cosmos
Panel 1 Chart Text Cosmos (13.8 Ga to now)
Panel 2 Chart Text Earth and Life (4.567 Ga to now)
Panel 3 Chart Text Phanerozoic (541 Ma to now)
Panel 4 Chart Text Cenozoic (66 Ma to now)
Panel 5 Chart Text Pliocene-Pleistocene (5.33 Ma to now)
Panel 6 Chart Text Bruhnes Normal and Ice Age (780 ka to now)
Panel 7 Chart Text Out of Africa (60 ka to now)
Panel 8 Chart Text Civilization and Writing (3,500 B.C. to now)
Panel 9 Chart Text Global Reconnection (1400 A.D. to now)
Panel 10 Chart Text Cold War / Long Peace (1945 to now)
Panel 11 Chart Text Dating and Periodizing History (Last 5 years)
Panel 12 Chart Text The Character of History (Last 6 months)

"now" = 2000 A.D.     B.C. = B.C.E.     A.D. = C.E.
Ga = billion years ago     Ma = million years ago     ka = thousand years ago

 


 

Teachers' lounges 9-12 Undergrad 6-8 3-5 K-2

All-level resources
Guide to Evo 101

Conceptual framework

Teaching resource database

Image library

Dealing with objections to evolution

Correcting misconceptions

Alignment with science standards

Suggest a lesson or resource for Understanding Evolution