I would peg the stirrings of modern accepted and speculative Freemasonry at about the mid 1600's.
The ideas it contains, like a vessel, are archetypal to our race as humans; they come from our consciousness and our relationship with the divine. Yet, be careful: these ideas are not exclusive to Freemasonry, nor are they an indicator that Freemasonry existed in ancient days. For, as history will show, Freemasonry is the inheritor of spiritual and intellectual ideas--including modern times, such as the concept of Free Will. So, it is both ancient and modern.