Science Chronology: 10,000 BC - AD 1600

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Material below is mainly adopted from Science & Technology: People, Dates & Events. Philips, 2000, pp. 2-21.

  Astronomical Biological Medical Chemical Physical
10,000 BC   pre 10,000 BC Pig is domesticated in Mesopotamia as early as 13,000 BC.

c. 9000 BC Einkorn wheat is domesticated in the Levant; sheep and goats are domesticated, for food, in western Asia.
8000 BC   c. 8000 BC Pumpkins and squashes are domesticated in Central America.

c. 7500 BC Potatoes and chili peppers are domesticated in the central Andes.

c. 7000 BC Dog[1] [2] is domesticated in Mesopotamia; water buffalo and chickens are domesticated in Asia; cattle are domesticated in Asia Minor.
6000 BC   c. 6000 BC Durum wheat is domesticated in Asia Minor.

c. 5000 BC Horse is domesticated, for food, on central Asian steppe and millet is domesticated in China.

c. 4500 BC Guinea pig is domesticated, for food, in the central Andes; maize is domesticated in Central America.
4000 BC   c. 4000 BC Pigs are domesticated in Southeast Asia.

c. 3500 BC Alpaca and llama are domesticated in the central Andes; donkeys are domesticated in western Levant.
3000 BC c. 2300 BC Observations are made by the Chinese and Babylonians, including comets and constellations c. 3000 BC Peanuts are domesticated in the central Andes; camels are domesticated on Arabian peninsula.

c. 2500 BC Yak is domesticated in modern-day Tibet.
c. 3000 BC Filling of teeth is practiced in Sumeria.

c. 2500 BC Contraception is practices by the ancient Egyptians.
2000 BC     c. 1550 BC Central control function of the brain is discovered by physicians in Egypt.    
1000 BC c. 1000 BC Egyptians devise a calendar based on the motion of the star Sirius (Dog Star).

721 BC Solar eclipse is recorded in Babylon.

585 BC Solar eclipse is said to have been predicted by Thales of Milētos.
c. 1000 BC Reindeer are domesticated in Siberia; oats are cultivated in Europe.

c. 520 BC Behavior and structure of animals are studied using dissection by physician Alkmaiōn of Kroton.
c. 600 BC New Babylonian (Chaldean) empire is renowned for advances in medicine and astronomy.

c. 550 BC Kos and Cnidus are renowned for their medical schools.

c. 535 BC Human dissection for medical study is introduced by Alkmaiōn of Kroton; he pioneers embryology.
c. 600 BC Three-element theory—that all mater consists of a combination of mist, earth and water—is introduced by natural philosopher Thales of Milētos (c. 636 - c. 546 BC).

c. 530 BC Fact that air is the primary substance is proposed by natural philosopher Anaximenes of Milētos (d. c. 500 BC).
c. 600 Fact that rubbing amber produces electrical charge is said to have been observed by Thales of Milētos.

c. 550 BC Mathematical relationship between the length of a string and the pitch of the sound it makes when vibrating is said to have been discovered by philosopher Pythagoras of Samos (c. 580 - 500 BC).
500 BC 432 BC Nineteen-year Metonic cycle, made up of seven years containing 12 lunar months and twelve years of 12 lunar months, is discovered by Meton of Athinaios. c. 450 BC Detailed studies of human anatomy are made by Hippokrates of Kos (c. 460 - 377 BC). c. 460 BC Fact that disease has natural causes is recognized by Hippokrates of Kos; frees medicine from superstition, emphasizing clinical observation. c. 450 BC Four-element theory—that all mater is made of a combination of earth, air, fire, and water—is introduced by Empedoklēs (Empedocles) (c. 490 - c. 430 BC).
400 BC c. 360 BC Observatory is built by Eudoxos of Knidos.

352 BC Supernova explosion is recorded by the Chinese.

c. 340 BC Precession of the equinoxes is discovered by Babylonian Cidenas.

c. 330 BC Aristotélēs (384 - 322 BC) develops Eudoxos of Knidos' planetary system; he maintains that the Earth is an unmoving sphere at the center of the universe.

c. 330 BC Fact that the tides are caused by the moon is proposed by mariner Pytheas of Massalia (fl. 4th century).
c. 350 BC Animals and plants (about 500 known species) are classified into eight classes by Aristotélēs.

c. 340 BC Arteries and veins are distinguished by Praxagoras of Kos; he thought that arteries carry air and veins carry blood from the liver.
c. 310 BC Herophilos of Chalkedon (c. 335 - c. 280 BC) and, later, Erasistratos of Ioulis (c. 304 - 250 BC) contribute to Alexandria's flourishing school of medicine.   c. 400 BC Atomic theory—that all matter consists of indivisible particles called atoms—is developed by Demokritos of Avdira (Democritus of Abdera) (c. 460 - c. 370 BC), probably based on previous (c. 450 BC) ideas of Leukippos of Milētos.

c. 340 BC Philosopher Straton of Lampsakos (d. c. 270 BC) proposes, incorrectly, that heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones.

306 BC Atomic theory of Demokritos of Avdira (Democritus of Abdera) gains support from Epikouros (c. 341 - 270 BC).
300 BC 260 BC Sun-centered universe (solar sysem) is thought to have been proposed by Aristarchos of Samos (c. 310 - c. 230 BC); Aristarchos attempts to calculate distances of the sun and moon from the earth. Much later, it is supported by Seleukos (Seleucus, c. 190 BC) and al-Sijzi (c. 950 - c. 1020) before it elaboration by Nicolaus Copernicus (1473 - 1543).

240 BC Earth's circumference is calculated by Eratosthenes of Kyrēnē (c. 276 - 194 BC).

240 BC Mention of Haley's Comet is made by the Chinese, who later (87 BC) again observe the comet.
c. 300 BC Detailed studies of plants (more than 550 species) are made by Theophrastos of Eresos (c. 372 - c. 286 BC).

c. 290 Duodenum and prostate gland are discovered and named by Herophilos of Chalkedon.
c. 300 BC Treatise on medicine is written by Dioklis of Karystios.

c. 290 BC Human dissection to aid understanding of how the body works is undertaken by Herophilos of Chalkedon; he identifies the brain as the center of thought and divides the nervous system into motor and sensory systems.
c. 270 Five-element theory—that all matter is made of a combination of earth, fire, water, wood, and metal—is introduced by Zou Yan.  
AD 1 AD 8 - 25 Later (Eastern) Han dynasty is a period of great research in astronomy; phases of the moon and planetary motion are studied.

c. 150 Earth-centered system of the universe is formalized by Klaudios Ptolemaios (Ptolemy) (c. 90 - 168) in his book Mathematike Syntaxis (Almagest).

185 Supernova explosion is observed by the Chinese.
AD c. 50 Surgeon Pedanios Dioskoridos describes in De Materia Medica (Latin) over 500 plants that can be used medicinally.

77 Encyclopedic 37-volume work Historia Naturalis (Natural History) is compiled by Gaius Plinius Secundus (Piny the Elder; 23 - 79).

c. 100 Dried chrysantheum flowers are used as an insecticide by Chinese farmers.

c. 175 Principles of human anatomy and physiology are established by Aelius Galenus (Galen) (c. 129 - 199).
AD c. 30 Latin treatise on medicine is written by Roman author Aulus Cornelius Celsus; 1500 years later his name was partly adopted by Swiss physician Paracelsus.

c. 70 Use of liver from a mad dog to protect against rabies is suggested by Roman scholar Gaius Plinius Secundes (Pliny the Elder).

116 Major work on gynaecology is published by Soranos of Ephesos, who practiced in Alexandria.

c. 175 The use of human pulse as an aid to medical diagnosis is introduced by Aelius Galenus (Galen).
200 350 The Maya, of Central America, calculate the length of a year on Venus.

365 Moons of Jupiter are discovered, using the naked eye, by the Chinese.
  c. 250 Mi Huangfu writes a treatise on acupuncture, a system of medical treatment in use in China since c. 2500 BC. 250 Mica is used for making windows in China.  
400 500 The works of Indian astronomer Aryabhata (476 - 550) mention the earth's rotation and epicyclic movements of planets        
600     c. 640 Symptoms of diabetes are noted by physician Chen Chuan.

c. 650 Symptoms of lead poisoning are described by physician Paulos of Aigina.
750 Preparation of several acids and their salts, including ethanoic (acetic) acid, is described by alchemist Jabir ibn Hayyan (Geber) (c. 720 - c. 815)  
800 c. 980 Andromeda nebula is discovered by astronomer Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi (Al-Sufi or Alzophi) (903 - 986)   c. 900 Measles and smallpox are recognized as different diseases by Persian-born physician Muhammad ibn Zakariya Razi (Al-Razi or Rhazes) (865 - 925) c. 880 Ethanol (alcohol) is distilled from wine by alchemists in on Arabic peninsula, and later (1150) in Europe; its preparation is described (1300) by alchemist Arnaldus de Villa Nova (c. 1235 - 1312).  
1000 1054 Supernova explosion in the constellation Taurus (later to become the Crab nebula) is observed by the Chinese.   c. 1000 Ghānoon dár tèb (Canon of Medicine), a five-volume seminal book on general medicine, is written by physician Ibn Sina (Avicenna) (980 - 1037).

1067 Hospital for lepers is founded by soldier El Cid (Sayyid) (c. 1043 - 1099.
  1010 How lenses work is described by natural philosopher Ibn Al-Haytham (Alhazen) (c. 965 - 1040). His treatise on optics also contains theories on refraction and reflection and accurately describes vision.
1100     1150 Bloodletting as a treatment for diseases is advocated by physician Abu Marwan ibn Zuhr (Avenzoar) (1091 - 1161).

1170 European textbook on surgery, Practical Surgery, is written by Roger of Salerno.
  1187 Magnetic compass is described in Europe by Alexander Neckham (1157 - 1217), although already known for at least two centuries in Sung China.
1200   c. 1260 Pulmonary circulation (of the blood, through the lungs) is discovered by physician Ibn al-Nafis (1213 - 1288), although the discovery is forgotten until remade in 1546.   c. 1242 Gunpowder is introduced into Europe from the East.

c. 1250 Semi-metallic element arsenic (symbol As) is likely discovered by Albert von Bollstädt (Albertus Magnus) (1193/1206 – 1280).
1269 Properties of magnetic poles are described by Pierre Pelerin de Maricourt (Petrus Peregrinus) (fl. 1269).

1275 Mathematically satisfactory explanation of the rainbow is given by Kamal al-Din al-Farisi (1267 - 1319); scientific explanation of the rainbow, in terms of reflections within a raindrop, is also given by Dietrich von Freiberg (Theodoric of Freiberg) (c. 1250 - 1310). Much later (1611), a similar explanation is offered by ecclesiastic Marco de Dominis (1566 - 1624).
1300   1333 Botanical garden is established in Venezia (Venice). 1320 Benefit of stitching wounds is discovered by Henri de Mondeville (1260 - 1320).

1340 Black Death (plague) breaks out in Asia and soon reaches Europe; between 1348 and 1350 it kills one-third of Europe's population.
c. 1300 Sulphuric acid is described by alchemist known as Pseudo-Geber or False Geber, later (1775) rediscovered by Joseph Priestley (1733 - 1804).

1300 Alum is discovered in Rocca, Spain, and later (1470) in Tuscany.

1315 Ammonia is described by Ramon Llull (c. 1235 - 1315).
c. 1360 Advances are made in kinematics with the application of geometry to the laws of motion by Nicole Oresme (c. 1320~1325 - 1382).
1400 1472 Comet (later called Halley's comet) is discovered by Johannes Müller von Königsberg (Regiomantus) (1437 - 1476); it was recorded by Chinese astronomers as early as 240 BC, again later (87 BC), and was also observed in 1066.   1414 Influenza is described (in France).

1493 Medicinal use of tobacco by Native Americans is recorded by Christopher Columbus (1451 - 1506).

1493 Syphilis occurs in Spain and later (1495) Italy (though as early as 1200-1250); it is described and named by Girolamo Fracastoro (c. 1478 - 1553), who used mercury as a treatment.

1497 Surgical treatment of gunshot wound is introduced by Hieronymus Brunschwig (c. 1452 - 1512).
1500   c. 1500 Human anatomy is studied by Leonardo da Vinci (1452 - 1519).

1517 Fact that fossils are the remains of once living organisms is proposed by Girolamo Fracastoro (c. 1478 - 1553).

1517 Homologies between bones in various types of vertebrates are discovered by Pierre Belon (1517 - 1564).
1504 Iron prosthetic hand is made for mercenary knight Götz von Berlichingen (1480 - 1562).    
1530 1538 Fact that a comet's tail always points away from the sun is discovered by Girolamo Fracastoro. 1538 Optic nerves are discovered by anatomist and surgeon Costanzo Varolio (Constantius Varolius). 1530 Laudanum (tincture of opium) is used in treatment (and named) by physician and alchemist Paracelsus (Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombast von Hohenheim) (1493 - 1541).    
1540 1543 Theory of sun-centered "universe" (the solar system) is published by Nicolaus Copernicus (1473 - 1543)—proposed by him 30 years previously—three years after it had been revealed by his coworker Georg Joachim de Porris (Rheticus) (1514 - 1576); the notion of heliocentrism was proposed as early as third century BC by Aristarchos of Samos and supported by Seleukos (Seleucus, c. 190 BC) and al-Sijzi (c. 950 - c. 1020). 1546 Lesser (pulmonary) circulation of the blood (from the heart to the lungs and back) is rediscovered by Realdo Colombo (Renaldus Columbus) (c. 1516 - 1569) and, independently (c. 1553), by Miguel Serveto Conesa (Michael Servetus) (1511 - 1553).

1546 Term fossil is introduced by Georg Pawer (Georgius Agricola) (1494 - 1555)
1542 Appendicitis is described by Jean Fernel (1497 - 1558).

1543 Eight-volume On the Structure of the Human Body, the earliest known book on human anatomy based entirely on observation, is published by Andreas van Wesel (Andreas Vesalius) (1514 - 1564).

1546 Fact that microbes, or germs, cause disease is proposed by Girolamo Fracastoro.
1550 1550 Fact that comets are not in the earth's atmosphere (as previously thought) is proved by Girolamo Cardano (Jerome Cardan) (1501 - 1576), later (1577) confirmed by Tycho Brahe. 1552 Eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the throat, is discovered by anatomist Bartolomeo Eustachi (c. 1520 - 1574), although it had earlier (1546) been described by Giovanni Ingrassia (1510 - 1580) and much earlier (c. 520 BC) by Alkmaiōn of Kroton (Alcmaeon of Croton).

c. 1555 Fallopian tubes, connecting the ovaries to the uterus, are discovered by Gabriele Falloppio (Fallopius) (1523 - 1562).

1558 Historia Animalium, the basis of modern zoology, is completed by Konrad Gessner (1516 - 1565)
1550 Ligature for stopping arterial bleeding during surgery is introduced by Ambroise Paré (c. 1517 - 1590); much later (1674), his compatriot Morel extends it to the exterior of a limb as the tourniquet.    
1570 1577 Nova in the constellation Cassiopeia is discovered by Tycho Brahe (1546 - 1601) 1573 Pons Varolii, a nerve tract in the brain, is discovered by Costanzo Varolio.

1574 Valves in veins are discovered by Girolamo Fabrizio (Hieronymus Fabricius) (1537 - 1619).
    1576 Magnetic dip is discovered by Robert Norman (b., c. 1560).

1577 Principle of the siphon is discovered by William Wellwood (d., c. 1622).
1580   1580 Existence of male and female flowers (on different plants) is discovered by Prospero Alpini (Prosper Alpinus) (1553 - 1616).

1583 Method of classifying plants by their structure is introduced by Andrea Cesalpino (1519 - 1603).
    1586 Fact that different weights dropped from the same height fall at the same rate (in a vacuum) is demonstrated by Simon Stevin (Stevinus) (1548 - 1620), and later (after 1610) taken up by Galileo Galilei (1564 - 1642).
1590 1592 Nova in the constellation Cetus is discovered by astronomers in Joseon (Korea).

1596 Star that varies widely in brightness (later named Mira Ceti) is discovered by David Fabricius (1564 - 1617), who mistakes it for a nova.
1592 Earliest known European description of the coffee plant is given by Prospero Alpini.

1599 Earliest comprehensive book on zoology is written by Ulisse Aldrovandi (Aldrovandus) (1522 - 1605).
1597 Rhinoplasty (plastic surgery to reconstruct the nose by grafting tissue) is perfected by Gasparo Tagliacozzi (1545 - 1599), though plastic surgery is traced back to c. 800 BC (Sushruta Samhita). 1597 Preparation of hydrochloric acid is described by Andreas Libau (Libavius) (c. 1540 - 1616), later (1775) rediscovered by Joseph Priestley (1733 -1804).  

See also



  1. Scott, John Paul (1974). "Dogs, Wolves, and Men". Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 54. ISBN 0226743381. 
  2. Viegas, Jennifer (2008-10-17). World's first dog lived 31,700 years ago, ate big, Retrieved 2012-04-18. "The discovery could push back the date for the earliest dog by 17,700 years, since the second oldest known dog, found in Russia, dates to 14,000 years ago."
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