BibliOdyssey unpacks a few Victorian infographics: my, how far we've come, and my, what things we can also learn. The image here is Tableau De L'Histoire Universelle depuis la Creation jusqu'a ce jour (from the David Rumsey Map Collection); BibliOdyssey explains:
This is a fold-out print depicting all of human history from the time of creation (4693 BC = Adam & Eve; the great flood = 3300 BC) up to the date of publication (1858 by Eug. Pick, Paris). Vignettes of historically significant people, places and buildings etc are arranged along the borders.
This audacious document mirrors the style of a similar graphical print by Colton from 1842 [I don't think it's online] and is in the same ballpark as an 1836 chart by Emma Willard (see here).
The designer has employed something of a metaphorical display choice: civilisations are presented as a series of rivers -- the widths likely imply the comparative population level of each group versus the world's population -- which 'flow' down through history.