Here is pre-history on a geologic and paleontologic scale. The paleontologic scale edges on to history, which is traditionally human-centric.
Earth created: 4,570,000,000 years ago = 4.57e9 YA = 4,570 MYA.
Life on earth begins with Prokaryotes (cells without a nuclues, that lead to 2 of 3 domains of life: bacteria and archaea): 3,700 MYA.
Eukaryotes (complex cells with a nucleus, the 3rd domain of life), appear: 2,700-1,600 MYA.
Sexual reproduction develops: 1,200 MYA.
Rodinia, the 1st supercontinent forms: 1,100 MYA.
Multicellular organisms appear: 1,000 MYA.
Rodinia the 1st supercontinent breaks up: 750 MYA.
Pannotia the 2nd supercontinent forms: 600 MYA.
Pannotia the 2nd supercontinent breaks up: 550 MYA.
The Phanerozoic, the current eon, starts of with the Paleozoic era which starts with the Cambrian period. The Phanerozoic eon has 3 eras.
Paleozoic era starts 542 MYA. Its 6 periods in order: Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous (Mississippian and Pennsylvanian), and Permian.
Cambrian explosion, creates all the major body plans (phyla) of modern animals: 542/488 MYA.
Eyes develop: 543 MYA. This happened quickly: There were no eyes 544 MYA.
The Cambrian-Ordovician extinction events. The 1st of 7 extinctions events. 488 MYA.
The Ordovician-Silurian extinction events. The 2nd of 7 extinction events. 444 MYA.
The Late Devonian extinction events. A prolonged (20 MY) extinction that killed off 70% of all species. The 3rd of 7 extinction events. 360 MYA.
Pangea the 3rd and latest supercontinent forms: 300 MYA.
The Permian-Triassic extinction event, aka The Great Dying. Kills 95% of all marine species and 70% of all land species. The Wilkes Land crater, the cause of this extinction event was discovered in 2006. The 4th and greatest of 7 extinction events. 251 MYA.
Mesozoic era starts 251 MYA. Its 3 periods in order: Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous.
Triassic-Jurassic extinction event. The 5th of 7 extinction events. 200 MYA.
Pangea the 3rd and latest supercontinent breaks up: 180 MYA.
Common genetic ancestor of mice and humans: 100 MYA.
Cenozoic era, the present era, starts 65.5 MYA. Its 2 periods in order: Paleogene and Neogene.
Paleogene period starts 65.5 MYA.
The Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event. Kills of 50% of all species. The 6th of 7extinction events. 65 MYA.
The order of Primates splits into suborders: Strepsirrhini (non-tarsier prosimians) and Haplorrhini (Tarsiers, Monkeys, and Apes). 63 MYA.
The suborder Haplorrhini with its Haplorrhines splits into infraorders: Tarsiiformes (Tarsiers) and Simiiformes (Simians). 58 MYA.
Current ice age begins: 40 MYA.
The infraorder Simiiformes with its Simians splits into parvorders: Platyrrhini (New World monkeys) and Catarrhini. 40 MYA.
The parvorder Catarrhini splits into superfamilies: Cercopithecoidea (Old World Monkeys) and Hominoidea (Apes). 25 MYA.
Neogene period, the current, starts 23.0 MYA. It has 4 epochs.
Miocene epoch starts 23.03 MYA.
The superfamily Hominoidea with its Hominoids splits into families: Hylobatidae (the Lesser Apes or Gibbons) and Hominidae (the Great Apes). 18 MYA.
The family Hominidae with its Hominids splits into subfamilies: Ponginae (Orangutans) and Homininae (Gorillas, Chimpanzees, and Humans). 14 MYA.
The subfamily Homininae with its Hominines splits into tribes: Other subtribes: Gorillini (Gorillas) and Hominini (Chimpanzees and Humans). 7 MYA.
Pliocene epch starts 5.33 MYA.
The tribe Hominini with its Hominins splits into subtribes: Paninina (Chimpanzees) and Homonina (Humans and extinct relatives). 5/3 MYA.
Pleistocene epoch starts 1.81 MYA = 1,810 KYA. This corresponds to the start of the Paleolithic age (Old Stone Age) of archaeology.
Homo erectus, an ancestor of modern man, develops in Africa and migrates to other continents. Brain cavity: 950-1100 cm3. 1.8 MYA.
2005-04-08t22:40:38Z: My first Wikipedia article edit! In the article on Timeline of evolution [W], the arrival of Homo erectus was listed as "1.8 kYA" and I corrected it to "1.8 MYA". It's a minor edit, but I'm still very happy about it.
Homo heidelbergensis (Heidelberg Man), an ancestor of modern man. Brain cavity: 1100-1400 cm3. 800/300 KYA.
The anthropologic scale overlaps with the geological/paleontological scale and is based more upon evidence regarding behavior and will vary by area.
Paleolithic age = Old Stone Age. From the first stone tools (ca. 2 MYA) to the start of the Holocene epoch (10 KYA).
Mesolithic age = Middle Stone Age. From the start of the Holocene epoch (10 KYA) to the development of farming (ca 8 KYA or 6000 BCE depending on area). If the area had less glaciation, then the Mesolithic Age in that area is referred to as a Epipaleolithic age because it would have started and ended earlier.
Oldest written records: 5500 BCE
Neolithic age = New Stone Age. From the development of farming to the use of metal tools.
Chalcolithic = Copper Age.
Bronze Age. Bronze is copper and tin.
Iron Age. Once an area hits an Iron Age, it usually has historical records.
Tarquin the Proud revolts and forms Roman Republic. 509 BCE.
Democracy. 509-278 BCE.
Rome conquers Italy. 400-270 BCE.
Rome conquers Carthage in Punic Wars. 264-200 BCE.
Civil War, between Marius of the Poulares (poor) and Sulla of the Optimates (rich), marks the end of the Roman Republic. 88-82 BCE.
The gladiator Spartacus lead slave rebellion but is crucified. 73 BCE.
The First Triumvirate share power over Rome. 60 BCE. It consisted of Pompey (106-48 BCE), Marcus Licinius Crassus (112-53 BCE), and Gaius Julius Caesar (100-44 BCE). They are opposed by Cicero (106-43 BCE).
Gaius Julius Caesar crosses the Rubicon River in the first act of Civil War in the Roman Republic. Early January 49 BCE.
Gaius Julius Ceasar rules Rome as consul, tribune, censor, dictator, and ruled by decree. 49-44 BCE.
Caesar murdered by Brutus and Cassius. Ides of March 15, 44 BCE.
The Second Trimvirate formed. 43 BCE. It consisted of Mark Antony (83-30 BCE), M. Aemiius Lepidus, and C.Julius Ceasar Octavianus (a.ka. Octavian or Octavius, although he preferred to be called Caesar.
Second Triumvirate dissolved when Octavian defeated Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium. 31 BCE.
Octavian rules as Augustus Caesar, an absolute Monarch. 31 BCE to 14 AD. He rules rome as Princeps (first citizen), Imperator (commander-in-chief), and Augustus (with absolute power).
Emperors rule Rome. 14-192 AD.
Barracks Emperors, i.e. army rules Rome. 192-284.
Emperor Diocletian (234-305, ruled 284-305) divides Rome into east and west for efficiency.
Emperor Constantine (ruled 306-337) reunifies Rome and then divides it by establishing Constantinople in what is now Turkey.