12th Century - Shona people arrive in the area, later establishing the empire of the Mwene Mutapa, which includes southern Zambia.
16th Century - Arrival of peoples from Luba and Lunda empires of Zaire to set up small kingdoms.
Late 18th Century - Portuguese explorers visit.
19th Century - Instability generated by migration as well as slave-trading by Portuguese and Arabs.
1851 - British missionary David Livingstone visits.
1889 - Britain establishes control over Northern Rhodesia, administering the area using a system of indirect rule which leaves power in the hands of local rulers.
Late 1920s - Discovery of copper, which later encourages an influx of European technicians and administrators.
1953 - Creation of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, comprising Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and Nyasaland (now Malawi).
1960 - UNIP (United National Independence Party) formed by Kenneth Kaunda to campaign for independence and dissolution of federation dominated by white-ruled Southern Rhodesia.
1963 - Federation dissolved.
1964 - Independence, with Kaunda as president.
Late 1960s and the 1970s - Key enterprises nationalised. Private land nationalised in an unsuccessful agricultural improvement programme.
1972 - Zambia becomes a one-party state, with UNIP as the only legal party.
1975 - Tan-Zam railway opened, providing a link between the Copperbelt to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam, reducing Zambian dependence on Rhodesia and South Africa for its exports.
1976 - Zambia declares support for the independence struggle in Rhodesia. Zambian help proves crucial to the transition of Rhodesia to an independent Zimbabwe.
1990 - Food riots.
1991 - Multiparty constitution adopted. Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) wins elections and its leader, Frederick Chiluba, becomes president.
1996 - Change to constitution effectively barring Kaunda from future elections. Chiluba re-elected.
1997 - Attempted coup.
1999 - A high court sentences 59 soldiers to death after they are found guilty of treason for the failed coup attempt in 1997.
2000 May - Fighting between Angolan forces and UNITA rebels spills over into Zambian territory.
2000 July - Environment Minister Ben Mwila expelled from the MMD and dropped from the cabinet after announcing his intention to run for president in 2001.
2000 December - UN officials estimate that up to 60,000 refugees fleeing fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo move to Zambia in less than a week.
2001 May - Setback for governing Movement for Multi-party Democracy as senior members hive off to create Forum for Democracy and Development. They're opposed to Chiluba's bid for a third term in office.
2001 June - Astronomers, tourists flock to Zambia for solar eclipse.
2001 July - Paul Tembo, former campaign manager for Chiluba who joined the opposition, is murdered shortly before he is due to testify against three ministers in a high-level corruption case.
2001 July - Zambia appeals for aid to feed some 2 million people after poor harvests caused by floods and drought.
2001 July - Final summit of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), launch of the African Union.
2001 August - Diplomatic tension after Angola allegedly captures 13 Zambian villagers, apparently in retaliation for arrest of Angolan troops who crossed into Zambia.
2001 September - About 100 people surrender to police after being accused of defaming President Chiluba by signing a petition accusing him of theft. They are released shortly afterwards.
2001 October - Influx of Angolan refugees fleeing new fighting at home.
2002 January - Levy Mwanawasa is sworn in as president amid opposition protests over alleged fraud and ballot rigging in December's presidential elections.
2002 July - Parliament, with the encouragement of the president, votes to remove ex-president Frederick Chiluba's immunity so he can be prosecuted for alleged corruption. He later challenges the decision in court.
2002 October - The government says it will not accept genetically modified (GM) maize to help alleviate severe food shortages facing three million people in the country.
Source : BBC