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Religion has been a factor of the human experience throughout history, from pre-historic to modern times. The bulk of the human religious experience pre-dates written history. Written history (the age of formal writing) is only roughly 5,000 years old.[1] A lack of written records results in most of the knowledge of pre-historic religion being derived from archaeological records and other indirect sources, and from suppositions. Much pre-historic religion is subject to continued debate.

Religious practices in prehistory

Middle Paleolithic (200,000 BC – 50,000 BC)

Despite claims by some researchers of bear worship, belief in an afterlife, and other rituals, current archaeological evidence does not support the presence of religious practices by modern humans or Neanderthals during this period.[2]

50th to 11th millennium BC

10th to 6th millennium BC

Ancient era

Extent and major sites of the Indus Valley civilization. The shaded area does not include recent excavations.

Christs era

1st to 5th centuries

Middle Ages (5th–15th centuries)

See also: History of religions § Middle Age

5th to 10th centuries

11th to 15th centuries

Early modern and Modern eras

See also: History of religions § Modern period

16th century

17th century

18th century

19th century

20th century

21st century

See also

Notes

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Bibliography