Antiquity can be divided into two periods:
Very little is known about this period, despite it lasting for twenty-five or thirty-five thousand years (Jason gives the translation first as 25,000 and then as 35,000 and never specifies which figure was mis-spoken. In later stories it is generally accepted that 25,000 is the correct number).
Early Antiquity is characterized by the expansion of the Empire of Roads and the Roads War against the Iname. During the period that followed, the Eladamri worked to erase all traces of the war, leaving little for modern archeologists to interpret.
Very little is known about Early Antiquity. The war was fought seemingly on all fronts, with the entire empire in a constant Total War, featuring ships, Roads, and weapons modern people cannot comprehend. The era was dominated by conflict, so much so that it became a way of life.
Classic Antiquity lasted from the end of the Roads War to the Fall of Roads and is characterized by the peace and prosperity the Eladamri enjoyed. The era was marked by tremendous social and technological advances, and is generally described as a truly utopian society.
Throughout the Mage Wars, Antiquity was completely forgotten. There are scattered references through the histories; but in general it was completely ignored. The focus had shifted from technology to magic, and as the Ancients were not known to wield magic, Antiquity was all but forgotten. 'Erased', some might say.
It was only in the Golden Age that historians first began to take note of the pre-history of the verse. Various ruins were charted (and often demolished), and a few discoveries were made. Mainly, it was the excavation of sites all around the known worlds that produced similar artifacts, which led scholars to conclude that a progenitor civilization had existed.
There also persisted in the oral traditions of many cultures a similar theme. They all spoke of a terrible and tragic, often highly distructive event, in which countless souls died, and the work of many lifetimes was undone. Though the similarities were vague enough to be discounted, they all pointed to roughly the same time-frame: the begining of the Age of Darkness.
The discovery of ancient writings was the main clue, though since writing had to be reinvented during the Age of Darkness, the old script could no longer be deciphered. But for scholars, this was the clincher: there had to be an ancient, Multi-Verse-spanning civilization that collapsed and began the Age of Darkness.
This was all concluded during the Golden Age; but throughout the Ages of the Alliance, little to no headway was made. They discovered ruins all over explored space, found traces of advanced technology, and unlocked more clues and hints in the ancient folk-tales of the verse. By the late Sixth Age, understanding of the ancients was limited to this: they covered all of the known worlds, possessed advanced technology, and fought a war. The exact scale and extent was unknown, but at best it was believed the Empire of Roads existed for perhaps three or four thousand years, at most.
Late in the Sixth Age, discovery was made by Hunter Jusenkyou during a highly classified mission: the capital city of the Empire of Roads. The race called themselves Eladamri, and their capital was a planet-covering city deep in Runarin space.
His crew also discovered a cipher which allowed them to translate the ancient language. This led to a radical shift in modern understanding of Antiquity. The report on the mission was taken by the Gudersnipe Foundation, where it was classified top-secret, and buried.
The ancient system for measuring time proved to be extremly difficult to interpret. It is believed the Eladamri employed a calendar that accounted for time-dilation, thus allowing for a trully universal system of measurement. Jason was eventually able to locate a 'simplified' calendar specified for use on Eladamri, the empire's capital.
The simplified calendar used a unit similar enough to the Dimensional Standard Year, which would allow for easy translations. Further, most dates on the non-simplified calendar also listed an equivelent 'capital' date. Thus, Jason was able to establish a chronology.