Holocene calendar

Holocene calendar

The Holocene calendar, popular term for the "Holocene Era count" or "Human Era count", uses a dating system similar to astronomical year numbering but adds 10,000, placing a zero at the start of the "Human Era" (HE, the beginning of human civilization) the approximation of the Holocene Epoch (HE, post Ice Age) for easier geological, archaeological, dendrochronological and historical dating. The current Gregorian year can be transformed by simply placing a 1 before it (ie: #expr: {year|CURRENTYEARPAGENAME}+10000 ). The "Human Era" proposal was first made by Cesare Emiliani in 1993 (11993 HE). [http://www.readersadvice.com/mmeade/house/holocene.html] [http://weseman.com/page.php?form=human_era_calendar]

Western motivation

Cesare Emiliani's proposal for a calendar reform sought to solve a number of problems with the current Gregorian Calendar, which currently serves as the commonly accepted world calendar. The issues include:
* The Gregorian Calendar starts at the presumed year of the birth of Jesus Christ. This Christian aspect of the Gregorian calendar (especially the use of "Before Christ" and "Anno Domini") can be irritating, or even offensive, to non-Christian people. [http://www.religioustolerance.org/ce.htm]
* Biblical scholarship is virtually unanimous that the birth of Jesus Christ would actually have been a few years prior to AD 1. This makes the calendar inaccurate insofar as Christian dates are concerned.
* There is no year zero as 1 BC is followed immediately by AD 1.
* BC years are counted down when moving from past to future, thus 44 BC is after 250 BC. This makes calculating date ranges in the Holocene era across the BC/AD boundary more complicated than in the HE.Instead, HE sets the start, the epoch, of the current era to 10,000 BC. This is a first approximation of the start of the current geologic epoch, not coincidentally called 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 entirely within this time. All key dates in human history can then be listed using a simple increasing date scale with smaller dates always occurring before larger dates.

Gregorian conversion

Conversion to Holocene from Gregorian AD dates can be achieved by adding 10,000. BC dates are converted by subtracting the BC year from 10,001.

A useful validity check is that the last digit of BC and HE equivalents must add up to 1 or 11.


* [http://timelines.ws/0A1MILL_3300BC.HTML Timeline of World History]
* " [http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2451.2004.00457.x News and comment] ", "Geology Today", 20/3 (2004) 89–96.

See also

* Before Present
* Calendar Era
* Common Era
* Julian Period

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