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635Mil BC
541Mil BC
The Ediacaran Period featured pre-Cambrian animals whose fossils were later found in Australia, Canada, the English Midlands and China. Creatures called rangeomorphs dated to this period.
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310Mil BC
Fossils of 2 spider species from Coseley, England, Eocteniza silvicola and Protocteniza britannica, dated to about this time.
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125Mil BC
In 2010 British and Chinese scientists reported that Sinosauropteryx, a squirrel-sized dinosaur from this period, was covered in complex feathers colored in a subdued palette of chestnut and white stripes. It was first discovered in China in 1996 in fossil beds dated to 124.6-122 million years ago, during the late Barremian to early Aptian stages of the Early Cretaceous.
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50Mil BC
In 2008 a well-preserved skull of a bird, named Dasornis emuinus, unearthed on the Isle of Sheppey, east of London, was dated to 50 million years ago. Dasornis was said to have been "like an ocean-going goose, almost the size of a small plane."
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700000 BC
In 2005 scientists said that 32 black flint artifacts, found in river sediments in Pakefield in eastern England, date back 700,000 years and represent the earliest unequivocal evidence of human presence north of the Alps.
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450000 BC
180000 BC
In 2007 scientists using sonar reported that at least 2 massive floods during this period cut Britain off from the European continent. Evidence of humans living in Britain began to show up only from about 60,000 BC.
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42200 BC
39500 BC
Home sapiens populations were living in England by this time.
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11000 BC
The earliest amber artifacts are from this time and were found in caves in Cheddar, England. The British Isles were connected to Europe and the English Channel could be walked across.
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9000 BC
Archeologists in 2010 reported that a circular shaped home was built about this time next to an ancient lake at Star Carr, near Scarborough, in northeastern England. At this time Britain was still connected to continental Europe.
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4050 BC
Agriculture arrived fully formed in Kent, Engalnd, about this time.
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3200 BC
2500 BC
Henges, enormous ditches enclosing circular constructs dating to this period, were enigmatic features of Neolithic and Bronze age Britain. In 2008 researchers dating cremated bones concluded that Stonehenge was initially established as a “domain of ancestors,” and that burials were a major component in all its stages.
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3000 BC
In Britain timber temples were constructed about this time prior to stone circles. Remains of one was found in 1997 at Stanton Drew in Somerset that measured 443 feet on the outer diameter.
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3000 BC
In 2009 archeologists identified a site named "Bluehenge," dating to about this time, about a mile (2km) away from Stonehenge. It was named after the color of the 27 Welsh stones that were laid to make up a path. The stones were gone but the path of holes remained.
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3000 BC
In 2013 British researchers proposed a new theory for the origins of Stonehenge. They said it may have started as a giant burial ground for elite families around this time.
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2750 BC
Gilgamesh, a Sumerian King, ruled the city of Uruk (Babylonia) about this time, which had grown to a population of over 50,000. Gilgamesh was the subject of many epics, including the Sumerian "Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the Nether World" and the Babylonian "Epic of Gilgamesh." In 1844 Westerners discovered an epic poem based on Gilgamesh on stone fragments in Mosul, Iraq. In 1853 clay tablets inscribed with the tale were found in Nineveh, the former capital of Assyria. 5 Sumerian versions were later acknowledged. George Smith completed his translation of the Epic in 1874. In 2004 Stephen Mitchell published “Gilgamesh: A New English Translation.” Derek Hines authored “Gilgamesh.”
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2600 BC
2500 BC
British archeologists reported in 2007 that houses found at Durrington Walls near Stonehenge, the world's largest known henge (an enclosure with a bank on the outside and a ditch inside), were radiocarbon dated to this time.
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2500 BC
At Stonehenge a ditch and bank area was created on the grassy chalkland about this time.
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2500 BC
Shards of pottery dating to about this time were later excavated in Wiltshire, England, close to Stonehenge, followed patterns originating in Orkney, a Scottish archipelago.
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2500 BC
In 2015 British archaeologists said they had found the buried remains of a mysterious prehistoric monument close to the famous Stonehenge heritage site dating back to about this time. The discovery was made at Durrington Walls -- a so-called "superhenge" located less than three km (1.8 miles) from Stonehenge.
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2400 BC
2200 BC
Archeologists in 2008 said evidence from Stonehenge dating to this period indicated that the site was used as a place of pilgrimage for the sick.
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400 BC
250 BC
Amateur treasure hunters in late 2016 found gold jewelry buried in Staffordshire that date to about this time. The objects included three torcs and a bracelet decorated in Celtic art likely made in France or Germany.
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370 BC
Hippocrates of Kos (b.~460), Greek physician of the Age of Pericles, died about this time. He is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine.
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325 BC
Pytheas (c380BC-310BC), Greek merchant, geographer and explorer, made a voyage of exploration to northwestern Europe around this time. He traveled around Great Britain, circumnavigating it between 330 and 320 BCE. He claimed to have sailed past Scotland and mentioned a land called Thule, where the surrounding ocean froze and the sun disappeared in winter.
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310 BC
Pytheas (b.c380BC), Greek merchant, geographer and explorer, died about this time. He made a voyage of exploration to northwestern Europe around 325 BCE. He traveled around a considerable part of Great Britain, circumnavigating it between 330 and 320 BCE.
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55 BC Aug 26
Roman forces under Julius Caesar invaded Britain. 80 war galleys with some ten thousand foot soldiers prevailed over the native Britons.
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54 BC Jul
Roman forces under Julius Caesar invaded Britain for a 2nd time. He was accompanied by Mandubracius, an exiled British chieftain. The expedition of 10,000 foot soldiers and 2,00 cavalry was followed by a number of privately owned vessels commissioned by Roman merchants eager to take advantage of Caesar’s anticipated victory.
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54 BC
The Romans under Julius Caesar fought the first skirmishes with the Celts in England. British chieftain Cassivellaunus, who had killed the father of Mandubracius, led a guerilla style war against Caesar’s legions. Caesar’s forces prevailed and Cassivellaunus agreed not to make war against Mandubracius.
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43
The Romans under Claudius, the great nephew of Caesar, invaded and conquered Britain. They founded a settlement on the "Tamesis River" where a bridge could be built that grew to become London.
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57 Jan 8
A tablet with this date, making it Britain's earliest dated hand-written document. Archeologists in 2016 said it was one among hundreds discovered during excavations in London's financial district for the new headquarters of media and data company Bloomberg. It was an IOU in which one freed slave promises to repay another "105 denarii from the price of the merchandise which has been sold and delivered."
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71
York became the Roman provincial capital of Northumbria. From the 9th to the 11th centuries it was dominated by Norse warrior-kings and was called Jorvik.
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175
Roman forces defeated Sarmatian tribes on the Danube and Marcus Aurelius ordered them to provide 8,000 cavalry for the Roman fort of Brocavum, later Brougham, England. It had been built in the last decades of the first century. The fort was partially covered by a castle in the 13th century.
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208
Roman Emperor Lucius Septimius Severus brought his troublesome sons to the frontier fort of Brocavum, later Brougham, England, to campaign against the barbarians to the north and hopefully distract them from the temptations of Rome.
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268
Marcus Cassianius Latinius Postumus, a Roman emperor of Batavian origin, died about this time. He usurped power from Gallienus in 260 and formed the so called Gallic Empire. He was recognized in Gaul, Germania, Britannia and Iberia until his murder in 268.
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286
Carausius, a Roman naval officer, seized power in Britain and northern Gaul ruled until he was assassinated in 293.
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310
Roman Emperor Constantine built a defense tower at Eboracum on the banks of the River Ouse in what later became the English city of York.
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600
Germanic invaders, who occupied England after 600AD, saw themselves as a nation of immigrants, according to Prof. Nicholas Howe (1953-2006) of UC Berkeley, author of “Migration and Mythmaking in Anglo-Saxon England” (1989).
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687
Cuthbert, a former monk hermit and reluctant bishop of Lindisfarne, died. His life and “miracles” were set down by the Venerable Bede. A gospel commissioned to honor Cuthbert was placed in his coffin around 698. His remains were carried to the mainland when the monks and people of the island fled Viking invaders, and ended up in Durham. In 1104 the coffin was opened in preparation for a formal reinterment and the book was re-discovered. It was given to the Jesuits in 1769 and in 2011 they sold it to Britain for £9 million.
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796
821
Anglo Saxon king Coenwulf of Mercia, ruled a kingdom that covered vast swathes of the English midlands and northern counties to the southeast. In 2001 a metal detector enthusiast discovered a gold coin beside the River Ivel in Bedfordshire, southern England. The 4.25 gram coin depicts Anglo Saxon king Coenwulf of Mercia.
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866 Nov
Danish Viking Ivar the Boneless first invaded the trading port of Eoforwic, the old Roman settlement of Eboracum. The Jorvic Viking settlement was discovered in 1976 when workers in York excavated for a new shopping center.
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899 Oct 26
Alfred the Great (b.849), writer and king of Wessex (871-99), died. He helped to bring about the English state, the Royal Navy and English universities. He translated Pope Gregory’s “Pastoral Care,” the universal history by Orosius, Bede’s Ecclesiastical History, and the “Consolation of Philosophy” by Boethius.
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900
The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance, an Old English pagan ritual, used horns from reindeer that dated to about this time. A dozen male dancers in Staffordshire traditionally performed the dance once a year in early September. The first rendition of the Horn Dance was recorded near the town of Abbots Bromley in 1226.
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929
Eadgyth (910-946), the sister of King Athelstan and the granddaughter of Alfred the Great, was given in marriage to Otto I, the king of Saxony and the Holy Roman Emperor. She had at least two children before her death in 946 at age 36. In 2010 her remains were found in Magdeburg Cathedral in northern Germany.
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937
King Athelstan unified the various Saxon and Celtic kingdoms following the battle of Brunanburgh. He was the brother of Eadgyth, wife of Holy Roman Emp. Otto I, and is generally considered to have been the first King of England.
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960
England’s King Edgar imposed an annual tribute of 300 wolf skins on Idwal, king of Wales.
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1066 Oct 14
King Harold and his army locked into a massive shield wall and faced Duke William, William the Conqueror, and his mounted knights near the town of Hastings, Battle of Hastings. Duke William planned a three point attack plan that included a) heavy archery b) attack by foot soldiers c) attack by mounted knights at any weak point of defense. The bloody battle gave the name Sen Lac Hill to the battle site. The Normans won out after Harold was killed by a fluke arrow. This placed William on the throne of England.
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1085
William the Conqueror ordered the Domesday survey of English manor's production capacity in order to collect taxes. The survey was completed in 1086.
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1093 Aug 12
In England the foundation stone for Durham Cathedral was laid down. The main chapel was completed in 1175. It served as the seat of the Bishop and the church of the Benedictine monastery of Durham.
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1100 Aug 2
William II (44), [Rufus], k ing of England, was shot dead in New Forest.
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1100 Aug 2
Henry I (1068-1135), the son of William the Conqueror, became King of England. He soon published the Charter of Liberties to persuade barons that he would behave more reasonably than his brother William Rufus.
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1102
In England the Westminster Council outlawed “the selling of men like brute animals.”
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1118 Dec 21
Thomas Becket (d.1170), archbishop of Canterbury, was born (some sources say 1120). His close friend Henry II of England later ordered his martyrdom.
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1154 Dec 19
Henry Plantagenet of the Angevin dynasty was crowned Henry II, King of England with Eleanor of Aquitaine as queen.
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1162 May 23
Thomas Becket was elected archbishop of Canterbury.
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1164 Jan 30
Henry II held a council at the Clarendon hunting lodge and presented a document called the Constitutions of Clarendon. In sixteen constitutions he sought less clerical independence and a weaker connection with Rome. Thomas Becket, the archbishop of Canterbury, refused to sign.
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1164 Nov 2
Thomas Becket, the archbishop of Canterbury, fled England and landed in Flanders.
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1169 May 1
The Norman invasion of Ireland, a two-stage process, began when a force of loosely associated Norman knights landed near Bannow, County Wexford. This was at the request of Dermot MacMurrough (Diarmait Mac Murchada), the ousted King of Leinster, who sought their help in regaining his kingdom. Stage 2 began in 1171 with the arrival of Henry II.
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1170 Dec 2
Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, returned to Canterbury from France.
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1171 Oct 18
Henry II (1133-1189) arrived in Ireland from France with an army and declared himself "Lord of Ireland". All of the Normans, along with many Irish princes, took oaths of homage to Henry by November, and he left after six months. He never returned, but in 1177 he named his youngest son, Prince John, as Lord of Ireland.
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1173 Feb 21
Pope Alexander III canonized Thomas Becket (~1118-1170) of Canterbury.
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1173
Queen Eleanor took the part of her young son in his rebellion against Henry II. The rebellion was put down and Henry imprisoned Eleanor. She remained imprisoned for 16 years.
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