Timeline of the Ancients: Lantian Period: 10 Thousand to 5 to 10 Million Years Ago

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Timeline of the Ancients


This timeline is part of a larger timeline that covers the over 50-million-year history of the Ancients. To view the entire timeline, visit Timeline of the Ancients, which also includes an overview of the Ancients' evolutionary path and author's notes.

Date Range Period Human Ascended Galaxy Notes
Over 50 million years ago Alteran Yes Uncertain Original home galaxy, often referred to as simply the Ori galaxy because only the Ori remained there. The Altera and their brethren the Ori were humans on the evolutionary path toward ascension, but it is unknown if there were ascended beings who existed before or during this period, and if they existed, whether or not the humans were aware of them. The Ori greatly outnumbered the Altera and were preparing to wipe them out because of their conflicting philosophical views. By the end of this period, the only Ancients that existed were the Altera, the mountaintop villagers who chose to leave their home aboard a single spaceship rather than engage in a war. The Ori were left behind to continue on their own path.
5 to 10 million years ago to 50 million years ago Ancient Yes Possible Primarily in the Milky Way, their new home that they named "Avalon". The Altera became known as the Ancients. This period includes the establishment of the Stargate network in the Milky Way, the exploration of their new home galaxy and others through the launch of their exploration fleet of Stargate-seeding starships and follow-up exploration vessel Destiny (see Stargate Universe), the formation of alliances, the advancement in weapons and other technology, the development of the means to collect and store their accumulated knowledge, and the continued research into the acceleration of evolution through genetic alteration to achieve ascension. Some of the Ancients had evolved to the point that they could ascend on their own. The defining moment that ends this period is the occurrence of the plague that swept throughout the galaxy that forced the Ancients to ascend, to leave the galaxy, or to die out. Because of the plague and the heightened research into ascension, the Ancients never boarded Destiny, but instead left the exploration fleet to continue on its automated course.
10,000 years ago to 5 to 10 million years ago Lantian Yes Yes Pegasus. The Ancients were called the Ancestors by the humans of the Pegasus galaxy. This period opens with the plague sweeping throughout the Milky Way that forced the Ancients to leave the galaxy in one form or another—whether it be by ascending, by leaving the galaxy as humans (in spaceships, for example), or by dying out. The Ancients that ascended joined together in a collective called The Others. The Ori, although not hit by a plague, also ascended and established themselves as the gods of the religion "Origin". This period also includes the creation of the second generation (evolution) of humanity in the three galaxies: the original Altera/Ori home galaxy, the Milky Way, and Pegasus. As they did in the Milky Way, the Ancients in Pegasus built a Stargate network and settled on several planets. By the end of this period, more Ancients had ascended and apparently joined their own ancestors who were with The Others; however, no more ascended beings joined the Ori because the Ori did not wish to share their power and prevented their humanity from evolving to the point where they could ascend on their own or through the use of advanced technology. This period ends when the last of the Lantian survivors of the Wraith-Ancient War abandoned Atlantis and used the Stargate to return to Earth, where they blended into Earth's societies, left the planet through the Stargate, or ascended.
Present to 10,000 years ago Legacy Possible Yes All except original home galaxy. This is when the majority of Ancients are Ascended Beings, and other races use and abuse their legacy. At the beginning of this period, the Lantian Ancients had just returned to Earth after abandoning Pegasus to the Wraith and chose to blend in with Earth's societies, to leave Earth through the Stargate, or to ascend. Proof of the Ancients' blending into the human population of the Milky Way is the natural occurrence of the ATA gene (Ancient Technology Activation gene) that allows the possessor to activate and interface with genetically-keyed Ancient technology, as well as the cultural influences of the world's ancient civilizations. Some Ancients from earlier in this period survived into the modern era in human form via stasis, time travel, or some other form of technological means, while a few Ascended Ancients chose to retake human form. This period includes the reopening of the Stargate in modern times and a near-repeat of history as the humans of Earth assimilate the Ancients' legacy, which not only includes knowledge and technology, but also old rivalries that the Ancients had failed to resolve. It also includes the discovery of Destiny, which opened up the universe to exploration (albeit limited) and to the exposure to new life forms untouched by Ancient hands.


5 to 10 Million Years Ago

This time estimate is based on what was determined by the researchers at the Antarctic Outpost as to when the city-ship Atlantis left Earth for the Pegasus Galaxy. (Stargate Atlantis: 1.01 "Rising Part 1")

Several of the events in this section don't have specific dates, but illustrate the development of the civilizations created by the Ancients and the Ori in their galaxies.

A plague sweeps through the Milky Way Galaxy; Ancients ascend; Ancients leave Earth in the city-ship Atlantis; Ancients and Ori create the second generation of humanity in three galaxies:
  • A plague swept through the galaxy and killed many of the Ancients. A similar plague was created by the Ori Priors in modern times that prompted Daniel to believe that the Ori had been responsible for this older plague, but that was mere conjecture and has never been confirmed. A Prior created the "Prior Plague" using his own DNA as a foundation, which would suggest that the plague that swept through the Milky Way was a product of the Ancients' own doing as they experimented with DNA manipulation to achieve ascension. Evidence of the Ancients' research into altering one's DNA in order to achieve ascension was the existence of very sophisticated DNA Manipulation Devices, two of which were found on planets that would later be designated as P3X-367 and P3X-584. (4.06 "Window of Opportunity", 6.16 "Metamophosis", 6.22 "Full Circle", 9.05 "The Powers That Be", 9.09 "Prototype", 9.10 "The Fourth Horseman Part 1")
  • Some Ancients tried to develop a time machine to undo this tragedy, but they failed, shut the machine down, and let the end come. (4.06 "Window of Opportunity")
  • During this time, the Ancients who survived the plague either ascended or left the galaxy (perhaps in a city-ship like that of Atlantis or by intergalactic Stargates, for example). Most likely none of the Ancients who left the galaxy were carriers of or infected with the plague. (6.04 "Frozen", 6.22 "Full Circle"; Stargate Atlantis: 1.01 "Rising Part 1")
  • The Ancients had been in the process of creating their crowning achievement on the planet Vis Uban, but they had to stop work because of the plague. Vis Uban, or "Place of Great Power", was abandoned and its was the last Stargate address listed in the Ancient Repository of Knowledge that was located on the planet P3R-272, which has been called the "Place of Our Legacy", probably meaning that this particular Repository had the complete record of the Ancients before they left the galaxy (either physically or through ascension) or died of the plague. (2.16 "The Fifth Race", 7.01 "Fallen Part 1", 7.21 "Lost City Part 1")
  • Ancients on the city-ship Atlantis in Antarctica left Earth to start over and settled on a planet they named "Lantia" in the Pegasus Galaxy. They left behind an Ancient woman who stayed at the Outpost and who was later discovered buried in the ice. She carried the plague, so it is possible this is why she was left behind. (6.04 "Frozen", Stargate Atlantis: 1.01 "Rising Part 1")
  • Rumors of the existence of the Clava Thessara Infinitas, or "Key to Infinite Treasure", were later established that said that the Ancients stored away vast riches, including weapons, before their ascension. The Clava Thessara Infinitas is supposed to lead one to this treasure if one can decode the key. Presumably, this key is a Stargate address. (10.08 "Memento Mori", 10.16 "Bad Guys", 10.19 "Dominion")
  • The Ancients (it is unknown which group) used the device on Dakara to seed the galaxy with new life, thus creating the second evolution of humanity in the galaxy. This creation most likely was done only to Earth via the Stargate since man is believed to have evolved first on Earth and then was spread throughout the galaxy by the Goa'uld through the use of starships or of the Stargate network that the Ancients left behind. (Stargate: The Movie, 1.03 "The Enemy Within", 8.18 "Threads")
  • At about the same time, the Ori were also ascending and created a second generation of humanity in their home galaxy. The ascended Ori added to (or if it didn't exist, created) The Book of Origin about worshiping them as gods because they discovered that they could gain more power in the ascended planes through man's relinquishing of his free will (this generation of humanity was most likely created solely to empower the ascended Ori). The Ori promised to help their followers to ascend, since these humans couldn't ascend on their own because they are not advanced enough in their evolution, but this promise was a lie since the Ori did not intend to share their power. (9.03 "Origin Part 3", 9.10 "The Fourth Horseman Part 1")
  • The ascended Altera/Ancients joined in a collective called "The Others" that used their combined power to shield the existence of humanity in the Milky Way and Pegasus galaxies so that the Ori didn't know that they existed or where to find them. (9.03 "Origin Part 3")
  • The Ori taught their humanity that the Altera/Ancients were "evil spirits" and wrote about the rift that separated them in The Book of Origin. The Altera's mountaintop settlement was called "Ortus Mallum", and after they left, the Ori followers built their capital city, the City of the Gods, on the plains nearby. This new settlement came to be known as Celestis. (The actual time that this city was built is not known.) The City of the Gods was the training place for men to become the Priors of the Ori and the abiding place of the ascended Ori. (9.02 "Avalon Part 2", 9.03 "Origin Part 3", 9.11 "The Fourth Horseman Part 2", Stargate: The Ark of Truth)
  • Several generations of Ori Priors and unbelievers alike searched the ruins of the Alteran mountaintop settlement. Whenever the Priors found artifacts that pre-dated the Ori ascension, they deemed them as heretical and then brought them to the City of the Gods to be burnt in the fires. Heretics searched for evidence to discredit the Ori's word and intention and gathered up these artifacts in secret until they could obtain enough proof that would cause even the most fervent believers to doubt the Ori. (9.02 "Avalon Part 2", 9.03 "Origin Part 3", 9.19 "Crusade Part 1", Stargate: The Ark of Truth)
  • Humans in the Ori's home galaxy were spread apart on different planets and traveled to and from Celestis using ring transporters. (9.03 "Origin Part 3", 9.19 "Crusade Part 1", Stargate: The Ark of Truth)
  • The Ancients in the Pegasus Galaxy from the city-ship Atlantis seeded the galaxy with humanity and unwittingly created their future rival, the Wraith. The Wraith were the result of the blending of the DNA of the iratus bug and humans. This blending resulted in the Wraith's need to feed on humans for their own survival. (Stargate Atlantis: 1.01 "Rising Part 1")
  • It's possible that more than one city-ship left the Milky Way when Atlantis did since an identical city-ship was later found on another planet in Pegasus, but it was in poor condition and almost totally buried; only the central tower protruded above the ground. Some of the humans who populated this planet in modern times had Ancient DNA and were most likely descendants of humans and Ancients who lived in that city-ship. Additionally, there might have been a city-ship associated with the "Lantian city" built on Praclarush Taonas, a planet the Ancients abandoned as soon as they learned of their sun's impending death. (10.03 "The Pegasus Project"; Stargate Atlantis: 2.15 "The Tower")
  • Lantian Ancients built great cities, one of which was on the planet Athos. They also built research facilities on other planets, including one where they experimented in mini-drone technology. The original, larger size of these drones were already operational in their Milky Way Outposts. The Ancients added another level of security to protect their mini-drone research by requiring that only someone with a pass key could activate the drones. The Ancients in Atlantis also continued in their research into accelerating evolution to achieve ascension. (7.22 "Lost City Part 2"; Stargate Atlantis: 1.01 "Rising Part 1", 1.03 "Hide and Seek", 3.14 "Tao of Rodney", 4.14 "Harmony")
  • Lantian Ancients also decided that they'd interact with their human creation so that they could exchange knowledge and friendship. Some of this interaction, however, was much more on the experimental level: they seeded human settlements on several planets and linked to them with a computer interface from which the people were given instructions on how to build their societies. Each planet in this "sociological experiment" had an array of 100 satellites that communicated with a control center in a building on the east side of Atlantis. The people looked to their "oracle", whom they deemed a deity, for guidance all the way down to how to dress and how far to develop. This experiment is in sharp contrast to the non-interference rules of the Lantians' ascended brethren who had joined in the collective of The Others. (Stargate Atlantis: 3.15 "The Game")

1 Million Years Ago

This time estimate is based on Carter's calculations as to how long ago the Praclarush sun started to turn into a red giant. (7.22 "Lost City Part 2")

Several of the events listed in this period have no exact dates, but are included to show the development of other life forms in addition to humans in the galaxy.

More Ancient settlements decay and are lost, but some are taken over by other races/lifeforms:
  • Praclarush Taonas was made uninhabitable at least one million years ago, based on Carter's estimate. The Ancient Outpost that remained stayed intact when its shield held back lava that eventually formed a dome once the molten rock cooled down. (7.22 "Lost City Part 2"; Stargate Atlantis: 1.01 "Rising Part 1")
  • Microscopic organisms retreated into an orb because of the death of their world (later designated as P5C-353) 100,000 years ago. (2.07 "Message in a Bottle")
  • Crystalline entities occupied a planet designated as P3X-562. Similar entities also existed in Pegasus. (1.07 "Cold Lazarus"; Stargate Atlantis: 4.04 "Doppelganger")
  • Sentient liquid lifeforms took over a planet with ruins now covered completely in water. (4.07 "Watergate")
  • Energy lifeforms took over the former planet of the Ancients designated as P4X-377. (4.20 "Entity")
  • Firefly-like energy lifeforms lived on a moon later designated as M4C-862 and similar lifeforms developed on a planet in Pegasus. (4.19 "Prodigy"; Stargate Atlantis: 1.12 "The Defiant One")
  • Amphibious humanoids emerged as a technologically-advanced race on the planet Oannes. (1.13 "Fire and Water")
  • Goa'uld symbiotes and Unas developed concurrently on P3X-888. The symbiotes began taking the Unas as hosts. They eventually developed the ability to travel through the Stargates and in starships. (Stargate: The Movie, 4.08 "The First Ones")

100 Thousand Years Ago

This time estimate is based on the conversation that Dr. Daniel Jackson had with a representative of the Lost Tribe of the Asgard in the Pegasus Galaxy during the fifth year of the Atlantis Expedition. (Stargate Atlantis: 5.11 "The Lost Tribe Part 2")

The Asgard's historical record begins:
  • According to a member of the Lost Tribe of the Asgard, this is when a major historical era began for the Asgard civilization. In the modern era (within the last 10,000 years), the remnant of that civilization split into at least two groups when cloning became the only means for the perpetuation of the species: those who sanctioned the experimentation on human beings and those who did not. The group that sanctioned these experiments took advantage of the Ancient-Wraith War in Pegasus to move about freely while the rest of the galaxy was in turmoil. The group that didn't sanction such research eventually were unable to solve their cloning problem and ended their own existence, but not without passing on their legacy to those of the Stargate Program on Earth. (5.22 "Revelations", 7.03 "Fragile Balance", 10.20 "Unending"; Stargate Atlantis: 5.11 "The Lost Tribe Part 2")

11 to 30 Thousand Years Ago

Alternate means of survival are explored by races who remained after the Ancients left the Milky Way; Lantia's sun has two CME events:
  • The humanoid race from the Ida Galaxy known as the Asgard were exploring deep space in spaceships. The distance was great enough that they had to use some form of suspended animation to survive. One of the ships was lost, but rediscovered by the Asgard 30,000 years later. Only one of the travelers remained intact, and the Asgard hoped to use his DNA as a template to reverse the degradation that the Asgard race had experienced due to their sole use of cloning as a way to perpetuate their race. (5.22 "Revelations")
  • About 15,000 years ago, an Ancient science vessel named Adaris was hit by a blast of radiation from a coronal mass ejection (CME) from Lantia's sun in Pegasus. The entire crew was killed except for the pilot, who opened a hyperspace window just as the ship was hit. He flew back to Lantia, just slightly ahead of the radiation wave, and arrived in time to warn everyone in the city. The Ancients raised the city's shield and extended it far enough to protect a large portion of the planet from the blast. The Ancients recorded such CMEs in their database and found that the sun went through an unusually turbulent sunspot cycle every fifteen thousand years. There were only two entries for these CMEs in the Atlantis database that was accessed in modern times, which might indicate that these events were part of a new phase of their sun's life since the Ancients had been there for 5-10 million years and would have recorded more events if there had been any. No details are available about what happened when the CME occurred 30,000 years ago, other than there might still be evidence of mass extinction on the parts of the planet that weren't protected by Atlantis's shield. (Stargate Atlantis: 1.01 "Rising Part 1", 3.12 "Echoes")
  • Humans were settled on the planet known as Altair, but they had to develop a way to preserve themselves when the surface of their planet became toxic. They created android bodies in which to harbor copies of their consciousnesses. It is possible these humans did not originate from the Milky Way, as it has been proven that their civilization existed at least 11,000 years ago, which is approximately 1,000 years before the Goa'uld discovered humanity on Earth and began spreading man to other planets in the galaxy through the Stargate network and by starship. It is also possible that the Ancients seeded more than one planet 5 to 10 million years ago. (1.19 "Tin Man")

10.1 Thousand Years Ago

According to the records associated with Project Arcturus, the war with the Wraith lasted at least one hundred years. (Stargate Atlantis: 2.06 "Trinity")

Atlantians awaken the Wraith and start a hundred-year war:
  • The Ancients in Atlantis awakened the Wraith and a war was started when the Wraith began to consume human populations (by sucking out their life forces). Scientists of the city started to develop nanites to kill Wraith from within, but the nanites exceeded their programming and took on human form. These human-form Replicators were settled on Asuras and came to be known as Asurans. It is speculated that the Asurans tried to realize their original programming by developing a nanovirus that would kill human populations so that the Wraith would starve to death. The Ancients sent their warships to Asuras and bombarded the Asuran settlement to destroy them because they were deemed a failed experiment, but unbeknownst to them, some nanites survived and began to build their society once more. Very little documentation concerning the Asurans' existence was left in the Atlantis database. (Stargate Atlantis: 1.13 "Hot Zone", 3.05 "Progeny", 4.08 "The Seer")
  • Other types of technology created by the Ancients to fight in the war were developed: one was meant to accelerate the evolution of an individual to achieve ascension; others were weapons, some of which were abandoned before they were completed: Lagrange Point Satellite was placed as a last line of defense for Atlantis and fired a powerful energy beam; Project Arcturus on the Dorandan homeworld was meant to be a powerful energy weapon, but the technology was untested and ended up killing several of the Ancients and Dorandans before the Wraith returned to the world and destroyed it; a device that was aimed at killing Wraith from within by creating explosive tumors turned out to be harmful to everyone in proximity, including Ancients and humans; an underwater drilling platform was designed to draw geothermal energy into Atlantis, but was abandoned, apparently when the siege on the city began. (Stargate Atlantis: 1.12 "The Defiant One", 2.06 "Trinity", 3.14 "Tao of Rodney", 3.17 "Sunday", 3.18 "Submersion")
  • At the height of the war, the Ancients built a hangar facility on the planet Taranis where they kept one of their damaged warships, the Hippaforalkus, named after an Ancient general. The facility's shields were powered by geothermal energy drawn from the magma chamber in the caldera of a dormant supervolcano. Because of the dangers of causing the volcano to reawaken, the Ancients programmed in several failsafes to prevent the shields from being run continuously at maximum capacity for an extended period of time. (Stargate Atlantis: 2.19 "Inferno")
  • The Ancients created a place called "Sanctuary" where they and others could hide from Wraith attacks inside a time dilation field. The shielded bubble was powered by a Potentia (what would later be called a Zero Point Module (ZPM)), and time within it was approximately 250 times faster relative to time outside of it. The doorway into Sanctuary was only one-way, meaning that once a person stepped inside, he couldn't turn around and go back out. The main purpose of the Sanctuary wasn't just for the humans who found it to hide from the Wraith, but for the last of the Ancients to seek the path to ascension. (Stargate Atlantis: 2.12 "Epiphany")
  • During the war with the Wraith, an ascended Ancient named Chaya (also known as Athar) was so enraged at what the Wraith were doing that with a single thought she destroyed those who were about to attack a planet named Proculus in the Pegasus Galaxy. This caught the attention of The Others, and they punished her by limiting her protection to that planet alone. No one coming to the planet for sanctuary could stay, and she was not allowed to help other worlds. She loved these people so much and wanted to interact with them, so from time to time, she'd temporarily retake human form to live among them, and in modern times, she posed as the priestess to the protective "god" Athar. Chaya was the name she used when she was the human priestess and Athar was her ascended form's name. (Stargate Atlantis: 1.14 "Sanctuary")
  • One by one, Ancient worlds fell to the Wraith. The Ancients abandoned their great cities, including the one on the planet Athos, which the Athosian humans called the City of the Ancestors. The Athosians never ventured into the city for fear that their entry would summon the Wraith. (Stargate Atlantis: 1.01 "Rising Part 1")
  • The Ancients sent out three of their powerful warships deep into Wraith territory, and they were captured by the Wraith. The Wraith used the ships' ZPMs to power a cloning facility that produced thousands upon thousands of their drone soldiers. After that, the war was won for the Wraith because they severely outnumbered the Ancients and could execute relentless attacks. (Stargate Atlantis: 4.12 "Spoils of War")
  • The Wraith attacked and weakened another Ancient warship. The Ancients lost communications, and their shields were also failing, but they managed to escape into hyperspace, even with engine damage. Then, they realized that their main drive was giving off deadly radiation, so they were forced to abandon ship. They had every intention to return to the ship and repair it, but didn't get the chance. The warship was left to drift in a two-hundred-year elliptical orbit around a nearby dwarf star. (Stargate Atlantis: 4.05 "Travelers")
  • The Ancients began hiding Potentias throughout the galaxy. One such place was the planet Dagan, where the people worshiped the Ancients, and so when a Lantian came to the planet with the Potentia and asked that they hide it from the Wraith, the Sudarian people took the request quite seriously. A brotherhood of fifteen monks was formed, called the "The Quindosim", whose sole purpose was to protect the sacred artifact. Their hope was that one day the Lantians would return and reward the Sudarian people for completing their task. The Quindosim, which included one "Master Handler", five "Protectors", and nine "Stone Carriers", knew that the potential existed that all of them would be lost in Wraith cullings, so they left behind a series of clues so that the Potentia would continue to be protected, yet still be retrievable for when the Lantians returned for it. (Stargate Atlantis: 1.16 "The Brotherhood")
  • The Ancients' battleship Aurora was crippled far from Atlantis, so the crew placed themselves into stasis chambers for the long trip back to Lantia. The crew was still in stasis when the galaxy fell to the Wraith. (Stargate Atlantis: 2.09 "Aurora")
  • One device created by the Ancient named Janus (most probably during the last few years of the war) actually originally did what it was designed to do: cause Wraith ships to vaporize when they engaged their hyperdrives. Janus tested the Attero Device for three days when suddenly Stargates around the galaxy were exploding when activated. Even though the Attero Device was designed to interfere with the subspace frequency that only Wraith were known to use in their hyperdrives, it was somehow interfering with the operation of active Stargates through unprecedented power buildups. The Attero Device, which could only be activated with someone with the Ancient Technology Activation gene, was shut down. Janus stored the key to the Device in his secret lab in Atlantis and left the generating plant intact on the planet later designated as M6H-987. (Stargate Atlantis: 5.10 "First Contact Part 1", 5.11 "The Lost Tribe Part 2")

Articles on the Ancients

Library of the Four Races Repository of Knowledge Ancient Time Machine
Stargate Destroyer Ayiana of the Ancients Tablet Found on Abydos
Ancient Weapon on Dakara Ancient Timeship Merlin of the Atlantian Ancients

This series of articles covers the history, language, writings, knowledge, and technology of the Ancients.


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--DeeKayP 12:17, 23 April 2008 (PDT)