Recorded ancient history starts when writing was invented. Prehistory is marked by the Early Stone Age or the Paleolithic Era, which was followed by New Stone Age or Neolithic Era. The Agricultural Revolution was from 8000 and 5000 BC; it was during this time that the humans started farming and animal husbandry and settled down to form villages and then civilizations. Expansion of these villages required one to travel and travelling from one place to the other lead to development of transport.
The development of farming also lead to division of labor and also lead to the stratification of society into upper class, middle class and lower class. More and more civilizations arose and the population grew, spreading all over the world.
The history of the old world, especially the Mediterranean and Europe, is divided into Antiquity or ancient history until AD 476, and the Middle Ages or Postclassical Ages until the 15th century. This age also included the Islamic Golden Age and Renaissance period, the Early Modern period which lasted from the 15th century through the 18th century, and also comprised of Age of Enlightenment and Late Modern period. Finally, from the Industrial Revolution till present day comprises contemporary history.
Many important inventions such as printing bought an end to the Middle Ages and heralded the scientific revolution. Growing knowledge and technology quickly bought about the Industrial Revolution by the 18th century. Since the 18th century the world has seen quick changes like increase in population, wars, weapons, commerce, trade, technology, environmental degradation, pollution etc.