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World population from 10,000 BCE to 2,000 CE. The vertical (population) scale is logarithmic. The history of the world is the history of humanity , beginning with the Paleolithic Era. Distinct from the history of Planet Earth (which includes early geologic history and prehuman biological eras), world history comprises the study of archeological and written records , from ancient times on. Ancient recorded history begins with the invention of writing. [ 1 ] [ 2 ] However, the roots of civilization reach back to the period before the invention of writing .