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  Lebanon and Syria
     
c. 13.7 billion years ago
 
Narrative history in HistoryWorld     
Big Bang, an unimaginably large explosion from an unimaginably small particle - according to modern theory the first moment of the universe       
c. 13.7 billion years ago
 
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Hydrogen and helium nuclei form in the first three minutes, with perhaps another 300,000 years before they combine with electrons to form atoms       
c. 13 billion years ago
 
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As gravity exerts its pressure within parts of the expanding fireball, subnuclear particles merge into more complex elements       
c. 12 billion years ago
 
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The first galaxies begin to form, as self-contained gravitational systems with gases gradually coalescing into stars      
c. 4.6 billion years ago
 
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A new galaxy, the Milky Way, forms - and one of its stars is our sun      
c. 4.6 billion years ago
 
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The new star settles down, while nuclear dust in the vicinity coalesces into planets and asteroids orbiting the sun      
c. 4.5 billion years ago
 
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The earth condenses into a solid sphere, with an inner core which is extremely dense and hot      
c. 4 billion years ago
 
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The earth's surface settles into a heaving turmoil of rock and water      
c. 3.5 billion years ago
 
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Fossilized bacteria have been found in rock 3.5 billion years old in Africa      
c. 3 billion years ago
 
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Single-celled water creatures, such as algae, begin the 2-billion-year process of evolving into slightly more complex forms of life