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The Holocene calendar, also known as the Holocene Era or Human Era (HE), is a year numbering system that adds exactly 10,000 years to the currently dominant (AD/BC or CE/BCE) numbering scheme, placing its first year near the beginning of the Holocene geological epoch and the Neolithic Revolution, when humans shifted from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to agriculture and fixed settlements. The current year by the Gregorian calendar, AD 2021, is 12021 HE in the Holocene calendar. The HE scheme was first proposed by Cesare Emiliani in 1993 (11993 HE).
Cesare Emiliani's proposal for a calendar reform sought to solve a number of alleged problems with the current Anno Domini era, which number the years of the commonly accepted world calendar. These issues include:
Instead, HE uses the "beginning of human era" as its epoch, arbitrarily defined as 10,000 BC and denoted year 1 HE, so that AD 1 matches 10,001 HE. This is a rough approximation of the start of the current geologic epoch, the Holocene (the name means entirely recent). The motivation for this is that human civilization (e.g. the first settlements, agriculture, etc.) is believed to have arisen within this time. Emiliani later proposed that the start of the Holocene should be fixed at the same date as the beginning of his proposed era.
Human Era proponents claim that it makes for easier geological, archaeological, dendrochronological, anthropological and historical dating, as well as that it bases its epoch on an event more universally relevant than the birth of Jesus. All key dates in human history can then be listed using a simple increasing date scale with smaller dates always occurring before larger dates. Another gain is that the Holocene Era starts before the other calendar eras, so it could be useful for the comparison and conversion of dates from different calendars.
When Emiliani discussed the calendar in a follow-up article in 1994, he mentioned that there was no agreement on the date of the start of the Holocene epoch, with estimates at the time ranging between 12,700 and 10,970 years BP. Since then, scientists have improved their understanding of the Holocene on the evidence of ice cores and can now more accurately date its beginning. A consensus view was formally adopted by the IUGS in 2013, placing its start at 11,700 years before 2000 (9701 BC), about 300 years more recent than the epoch of the Holocene calendar.
In 1924 Gabriel Deville proposed the use of Calendrier nouveau de chronologie ancienne (CNCA), which would start 10,000 years before AD 1, which is identical to Emiliani's much later proposal.
In 1963 E.R. Hope proposed the use of Anterior Epoch (AE), which also begins at the same point.
Conversion from Julian or Gregorian calendar years to the Human Era can be achieved by adding 10,000 to the AD/CE year. The present year, 2021, can be transformed into a Holocene year by adding the digit "1" before it, making it 12,021 HE. Years BC/BCE are converted by subtracting the BC/BCE year number from 10,001.
|Gregorian year||ISO 8601||Holocene year||Event|
|10001 BC||−10000||0 HE||Beginning of the Holocene Era|
|9701 BC||−9700||300 HE||End of the Pleistocene and beginning of the Holocene epoch|
|4714 BC||−4713||5287 HE||Epoch of the Julian day system: Julian day 0 starts at Greenwich noon on January 1, 4713 BC of the proleptic Julian calendar, which is November 24, 4714 BC in the proleptic Gregorian calendar : 10|
|3761 BC||−3760||6240 HE||Beginning of the Anno Mundi calendar era in the Hebrew calendar : 11|
|3102 BC||−3101||6899 HE||Beginning of the Kali Yuga in Hindu cosmology|
|2250 BC||−2249||7751 HE||Beginning of the Meghalayan age, the current and latest of the three stages in the Holocene era.|
|45 BC||−0044||9956 HE||Introduction of the Julian calendar|
|1 BC||+0000||10000 HE||Year zero at ISO 8601|
|AD 1||+0001||10001 HE||Beginning of the Common Era and Anno Domini, from the estimate by Dionysius of the Incarnation of Jesus|
|622, 1 AH||+0622||10622 HE||Migration of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina (Hegira), starting the Islamic calendar|
|1582||+1582||11582 HE||Introduction of the Gregorian calendar : 47|
|1912||+1912||11912 HE||Epoch of the Juche and Minguo calendars|
|1950||+1950||11950 HE||Epoch of the Before Present dating scheme : 190|
|1960||+1960||11960 HE||UTC Epoch|
|1970||+1970||11970 HE||Unix Epoch|
|1993||+1993||11993 HE||Publication of the Holocene calendar|
|2021||+2021||12021 HE||Current year|
The terms anno Domini (AD) and before Christ (BC) are used to label or number years in the Julian and Gregorian calendars. The term anno Domini is Medieval Latin and means "in the year of the Lord", but is often presented using "our Lord" instead of "the Lord", taken from the full original phrase "anno Domini nostri Jesu Christi", which translates to "in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ".
Common Era (CE) is one of the year notations used for the Gregorian calendar, the world's most widely used calendar era. Before the Common Era (BCE) is the era before CE. BCE and CE are alternatives to the Dionysian BC and AD notations, respectively. The Dionysian era distinguishes eras using the notations BC and AD. The two notation systems are numerically equivalent: "2021 CE" and "AD 2021" each describe the current year; "400 BCE" and "400 BC" are each the same year. The Gregorian calendar is used throughout the world today, and is an international standard for civil calendars.
An era is a span of time defined for the purposes of chronology or historiography, as in the regnal eras in the history of a given monarchy, a calendar era used for a given calendar, or the geological eras defined for the history of Earth.
The Julian calendar, proposed by Julius Caesar in AUC 708, was a reform of the Roman calendar. It took effect on 1 January AUC 709 , by edict. It was designed with the aid of Greek mathematicians and astronomers such as Sosigenes of Alexandria.
AD 1 (I), 1 AD or 1 CE is the epoch year for the Anno Domini calendar era. It was the first year of the Common Era (CE), of the 1st millennium and of the 1st century. It was a common year starting on Saturday or Sunday, a common year starting on Saturday by the proleptic Julian calendar, and a common year starting on Monday by the proleptic Gregorian calendar. In the Roman Empire, 1 AD was known as the Year of the Consulship of Caesar and Paullus, named after Roman consuls Gaius Caesar and Lucius Aemilius Paullus, and less frequently, as year 754 AUC within the Roman Empire. The denomination "AD 1" for this year has been in consistent use since the mid-medieval period when the anno Domini (AD) calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years. It was the beginning of the Christian/Common era. The preceding year is 1 BC; there is no year 0 in this numbering scheme. The Anno Domini dating system was devised in AD 525 by Dionysius Exiguus.
The proleptic Julian calendar is produced by extending the Julian calendar backwards to dates preceding AD 8 when the quadrennial leap year stabilized. The leap years that were actually observed between the implementation of the Julian calendar in 45 BC and AD 8 were erratic: see the Julian calendar article for details.
The Julian day is the continuous count of days since the beginning of the Julian period, and is used primarily by astronomers, and in software for easily calculating elapsed days between two events.
In chronology and periodization, an epoch or reference epoch is an instant in time chosen as the origin of a particular calendar era. The "epoch" serves as a reference point from which time is measured.
The 10th millennium BC spanned the years 10,000 BC to 9001 BC. It marks the beginning of the transition from the Palaeolithic to the Neolithic via the interim Mesolithic and Epipaleolithic periods, which together form the first part of the Holocene epoch that is generally believed to have begun c. 9700 BC and is the current geological epoch. It is impossible to precisely date events that happened around the time of this millennium and all dates mentioned here are estimates mostly based on geological and anthropological analysis.
Chronology is the science of arranging events in their order of occurrence in time. Consider, for example, the use of a timeline or sequence of events. It is also "the determination of the actual temporal sequence of past events".
The Coptic calendar, also called the Alexandrian calendar, is a liturgical calendar used by the Coptic Orthodox Church and also used by the farming populace in Egypt. This calendar is based on the ancient Egyptian calendar. To avoid the calendar creep of the latter, a reform of the ancient Egyptian calendar was introduced at the time of Ptolemy III which consisted of the intercalation of a sixth epagomenal day every fourth year. However, this reform was opposed by the Egyptian priests, and the reform was not adopted until 25 BC, when the Roman Emperor Augustus imposed the Decree upon Egypt as its official calendar. To distinguish it from the Ancient Egyptian calendar, which remained in use by some astronomers until medieval times, this reformed calendar is known as the Coptic or Alexandrian calendar. Its years and months coincide with those of the Ethiopian calendar but have different numbers and names.
Dionysius Exiguus was a 6th-century monk born in Scythia Minor. He was a member of a community of Scythian monks concentrated in Tomis, the major city of Scythia Minor. Dionysius is best known as the inventor of Anno Domini (AD) dating, which is used to number the years of both the Gregorian calendar and the (Christianised) Julian calendar. Almost all churches adopted his computus for the dates of Easter.
A calendar era is the period of time elapsed since one epoch of a calendar and, if it exists, before the next one. For example, it is the year 2021 as per the Gregorian calendar, which numbers its years in the Western Christian era.
The Ethiopian calendar, Eritrean calendar, or the Ge'ez calendar is the principal calendar used in Ethiopia and Eritrea, which also serves as the liturgical year for Ethiopian and Eritrean Christians belonging to the Orthodox Tewahedo Churches, Eastern Catholic Churches, and Eastern Protestant Christian P'ent'ay Churches. It is used as both a civil calendar and an ecclesiastical calendar. The Ethiopian calendar is a solar calendar that has more in common with the Coptic calendar of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and Coptic Catholic Church, but like the Julian calendar, it adds a leap day every four years without exception, and begins the year on August 29 or August 30 in the Julian calendar. A gap of seven to eight years between the Ethiopian and Gregorian calendars results from an alternative calculation in determining the date of the Annunciation.
The Era of the Martyrs, also known as the Diocletian era, is a method of numbering years used by the Church of Alexandria beginning in the 4th century AD/CE and by the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria from the 5th century to the present. Western Christians were aware of it but did not use it. It was named for the Roman Emperor Diocletian who instigated the last major persecution against Christians in the Empire. Diocletian began his reign on 20 November 284, during the Alexandrian year that began on 1 Thoth, the Egyptian New Year, or 29 August 284, so that date was used as the epoch: year one of the Diocletian era began on that date. This era was used to number the year in Easter tables produced by the Church of Alexandria.
Anno Mundi, abbreviated as AM or A.M., or Year After Creation, is a calendar era based on the biblical accounts of the creation of the world and subsequent history. Two such calendar eras have seen notable use historically:
Anno Lucis is a dating system used in Masonic ceremonial or commemorative proceedings, which is equivalent to the Gregorian year plus 4000. It is similar to Anno Mundi.
A year zero does not exist in the Anno Domini (AD) calendar year system commonly used to number years in the Gregorian calendar ; in this system, the year 1 BC is followed directly by year AD 1. However, there is a year zero in both the astronomical year numbering system, and the ISO 8601:2004 system, the interchange standard for all calendar numbering systems,. There is also a year zero in most Buddhist and Hindu calendars.
The Spanish era, sometimes called the era of Caesar, was a calendar era commonly used in the states of the Iberian Peninsula from the 5th century until the 15th, when it was phased out in favour of the Anno Domini (AD) system. The epoch of the Spanish era was 1 January 38 BC. To convert an Anno Domini date to the corresponding year in the Spanish era, add 38 to the Anno Domini year, such that Era 941 would be equivalent to AD 903. A date given in the Spanish era always uses the word era followed by a feminine ordinal number. This contrasts with the AD system that uses the masculine anno (year): i.e., era millesima octava versus anno millesimo octavo.
The Preboreal is an informal stage of the Holocene epoch. It is preceded by the Tarantian and succeeded by the Boreal. It lasted from 10,300 to 9,000 BP in radiocarbon years or 8350 BC to 7050 BC in Gregorian calendar years. It is the first stage of the Holocene epoch.
Setting the beginning of the human era at 10,000 BC would date [...] the birth of Christ at [25 December] 10,000.