Food for 9 Billion

Food for 9 Billion: Our timeline begins with the invention of agriculture around 10,000 BC, just after the last Ice Age. Prior to the domestication of plants and animals, people survived by hunting, gathering, and fishing. Around 70,000 BC humans began to migrate from Africa to Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Americas. This period is known as Exodus. The world population was under 10 million.

0000-04-24 18:53:39

Population About 200 Million

Total number of humans at time of Christ’s birth is less than one-sixth the number of people living in India today. Note that estimates vary from 150 million to 400 million. .

0100 BC-10-01 00:00:00

Trip Hammer

Chinese millers use hydraulic hammers to pound and polish grain.

0200 BC-10-01 00:00:00

Imperial Agriculture

Vast Roman Empire facilitates exchange of foodstuffs among regions with different climates and conditions.

0400 BC-10-01 00:00:00

Food for Health

Greek physician Hippocrates tells students, "Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food."

0500 BC-01-01 00:00:00

Population 100 Million

Confucius develops ethical philosophy in China. Buddha founds Buddhism in India. Aeschylus writes plays in Greece. Olmec civilization covers much of Central America. North America populated by hunter-gatherers and small farming societies. Celts dominate Europe. Persian empire rules Middle East.

0500 BC-10-01 00:00:00

Planting in Rows

Chinese farmers stop broadcasting seed and start planting in rows. Makes weeding easier and cuts down on wasted seed.

0500-10-01 00:00:00

European Life Expectancy 48 Years

Improvements in sanitation and medicine reduce the death rate.

0700-10-01 00:00:00

Medieval Green Revolution

For 600 years, Muslim traders spread seeds, foods, and know-how throughout Africa, Europe, Middle East, and Asia.

0900-10-01 00:00:00


Widely used in Iran and Afghanistan. Vanes harness wind power to grind grain. Some evidence of windmills as early as 2000 BC in Babylon. Windmills catch on in Europe in 12th century.

1200-01-01 00:00:00

Draft Horses

Allow farmers to cultivate much larger areas. Iron plows have been in use since before 400 BC.

Food for 9 Billion

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