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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 transitioned from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to agriculture and fixed settlements. The current year by the Gregorian calendar, AD 2020, is 12020 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 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 would later propose that the start of the Holocene 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.
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, 2020, can be transformed into a Holocene year by adding the digit "1" before it, making it 12,020 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 [ citation needed ] and Minguo calendars [ citation needed ]|
|1950||+1950||11950 HE||Epoch of the Before Present dating scheme :190|
|1970||+1970||11970 HE||Unix Epoch|
|1993||+1993||11993 HE||Publication of the Holocene calendar|
|2020||+2020||12020 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 notation systems for the world's most widely used calendar era. BCE is the era before CE. BCE and CE are alternatives to the Dionysian BC and AD system respectively. The Dionysian era distinguishes eras using AD and BC. Since the two notation systems are numerically equivalent, "2020 CE" corresponds to "AD 2020" and "400 BCE" corresponds to "400 BC". Both notations refer to the Gregorian calendar. The year-numbering system used by 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.
A year is the orbital period of Earth moving in its orbit around the Sun. Due to the Earth's axial tilt, the course of a year sees the passing of the seasons, marked by change in weather, the hours of daylight, and, consequently, vegetation and soil fertility. In temperate and subpolar regions around the planet, four seasons are generally recognized: spring, summer, autumn and winter. In tropical and subtropical regions, several geographical sectors do not present defined seasons; but in the seasonal tropics, the annual wet and dry seasons are recognized and tracked.
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 its time, year 1 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.
An epoch, for the purposes of chronology and periodization, 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.
Year 1 BC was a common year starting on Friday or Saturday of the Julian calendar and a leap year starting on Thursday of the Proleptic Julian calendar. It is also a leap year starting on Saturday, in the Proleptic Gregorian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Lentulus and Piso. The denomination 1 BC for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years. The following year is 1 AD in the widely used Julian calendar, which does not have a "year zero".
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 reckoned 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.
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 the Anno Domini (AD) era, which is used to number the years of both the Gregorian calendar and the (Christianised) Julian calendar. Almost all churches adopted his computus (calculation) 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, the Gregorian calendar numbers its years in the Western Christian era.
The Ethiopian calendar or known by Eritreans Eritrean calendar is the principal calendar used in Ethiopia and also serves as the liturgical year for Christians in Eritrea and Ethiopia belonging to the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Eastern Catholic Churches, the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, and P'ent'ay Churches. The Ethiopian calendar is a solar calendar which in turn derives from the Egyptian calendar, 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 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 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 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.
The year zero does not exist in the Anno Domini (AD) system commonly used to number years in the Gregorian calendar and in its predecessor, the Julian calendar. In this system, the year 1 BC is followed by AD 1. However, there is a year zero in astronomical year numbering and in ISO 8601:2004, as well as in all 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 a 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.
In the geologic time scale, the Meghalayan is the latest age or uppermost stage of the Quaternary. It is also the upper, or latest, of three subdivisions of the Holocene epoch or series. Its Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) is a Krem Mawmluh Cave formation in Meghalaya, northeast India. Mawmluh cave is one of the longest and deepest caves in India, and conditions here were suitable for preserving chemical signs of the transition in ages. The global auxiliary stratotype is an ice core from Mount Logan in Canada.
The Anthropocene Working Group (AWG) is an interdisciplinary research group dedicated to the study of the Anthropocene as a geological time unit. It was established in 2009 as part of the Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy (SQS), a constituent body of the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS). As for 2019, the research program features 35 members, including a working group convener and a Secretary, respectively the palaeobiologist Jan Zalasiewicz and the geologist Colin Neil Waters. The main goal of the AWG is providing scientific evidence robust enough for the Anthropocene to be formally ratified by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) as an Epoch within the Geologic time scale.
Setting the beginning of the human era at 10,000 BC would date […] the birth of Christ at [25 December] 10,000