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Work in progress: Timeline of Natural and Cultural Curiosities

There is less time between man and the T-Rex than between the stegosaurus and the T-Rex. And the oldest tree still alive is nearly five-thousand years old. This is even older than the Pyramid of Djoser, the oldest stone building in Egypt. It is these sorts of curious facts that inspired me to construct the timeline of curiosities.  


About the project


In this timeline, time is rendered as accurately as possible, with the aim of giving a realistic insight into how long life has existed on earth and how briefly modern man has lived in this universe. Not only are the objects and events shown in their correct order in the timeline, but the distance in time between them is also proportionally represented. In this respect the timeline is unique. 


Its backbone is formed by the great events and revolutions (the eight thresholds) in nature as described in the multi-disciplinary research field of ‘big history’. By illuminating certain details, the larger time-blocks are given their own identity. Sometimes funny, sometimes informative, sometimes amazing.

The timeline is composed of several booklets that can be folded out into a large poster. The last few centimetres of one timeline are always enlarged in the next. Thus there is room for showing all sorts of extraordinary events that man supposedly knows at the time of the timeline’s construction. The knowledge about various subjects featuring in the timeline keeps on developing. As a result, dates and connections in the timeline reveal more about the present than the past. Therefore, the Timeline of natural and cultural curiosities is first and foremost a personal portrayal of the beauty of time.

About the process


The third booklet, Timeline of humans, is the first file that I have 'completed'. It shows the last part (5 million years), of the evolution of humans. This is the part of the evolution after the split with chimpanzees, our closest relative. 

I am currently working on booklet nr. 4, Timeline of first cultures and agriculture, which spans 80,000 years. Meanwhile I am collecting data for the other timelines as well. 

I am working on this project in Dutch and will probably have it translated in English at some point. 

Invitation to participate

If you would like to contribute in any way –for example if you have bizarre facts that you think should find room in this Timeline, if you found a mistake in my stories or drawings, or if you are interested in joining forces for publication– I look forward to your email (! 


One of the studies for booklet 2, Timeline of Life


A few studies of possible techniques, exploring the style and aimed atmosphere.


Oil pastel as a preferred technique for the 'specials'

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