Abstract In order to test the structural evolution changes of the standard solar model, we reconstruct a luminosity curve on a scale of a few millennia. This reconstruction is based on a previously reconstructed data series of the average behavior of the sunspot number. Then we study the model’s response to this luminosity curve for several evolution scenarios. The structural changes seem to be dominated by the dynamics of the upper layers of the star. Helioseismology analysis suggests that the external layers of the super-adiabatic region (on an extension of 0.2 R ⊙) could be responsible for these luminosity variations.