5,000 BCE to 476 CE
This time period covers the rise of earliest civilizations such as Pre-dynastic Egypt, China, Sumer and Mesopotamia to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in 476 CE.
5th century to early 15th century
This time period typically begins with the collapse of the Western Roman Empire and includes bubonic plague (black death), the rise of Islam, the Crusades and the beginning of the Renaissance.
Age of Discovery
15th century to the early 17th century
This time period covers explorations of Africa and the Americas by Christopher Columbus and other European explorers, the search for the Northwest Passage, and advancements in cartography, navigation and shipbuilding.
Late 17th century to the present
This time period includes James Cook’s exploration of the Pacific Ocean including Australia, New Zealand, and the Hawaiian Islands; the exploration of the Arctic Circle and Antarctica; and present-day voyages to the deepest parts of the ocean.