Human Era: A Calendar for the Whole of Humanity

The many shortcomings of the conventional christian respectively gregorian calendar – like for example the year zero problem – are well-known today. From a non-Christian perspective the situation is even more unacceptable to the point, where there is little more than mere convenience which justifies the perpetuation of a de facto antiquated system. But old habits die hard, which is the reason for the failure of many attempts to establish alternative calculations of time. A common but ultimately unsatisfying method is to simply rename the calendar in Current or Common Era (CE). But this doesn’t solve any of the technical problems nor does it addresses the issue of cultural affiliation: The conventional christian calendar is based upon a far too limited and biased perspective: the allegedly birth of Christ. This starting point in no way does justice to the great history of mankind.

Enter Cesare Emiliani. In (1)1993 the renowned geologist and micropaleontologist published an article in the Nature journal called “Calendar reform” which over the years caught more and more attention. Emiliani sets the beginning of his calendar on a major turning point both in terms of geology as well as human civilization (as a whole): the start of the Holocene in 10.000 BCE. This allows a very/fairly easy conversion from the conventional calendar, because you just need to add 10.000 years for all dates of the Common Era, which means we currently live in the year 12017 of the Holocene or Human Era (short HE).

There is a very colourful video which illustrates the advantages of this Holocene calendar:

Advantages at a glance:

  • Starting point is based on a geological as well as an civilization-related benchmark of fundamental importance
  • Universally applicable for the whole of mankind
  • Solution of the Year zero problem as well as a facilition for the calculation of timespans
  • Basically every archaeological and historical epoch can be depicted with positive year dates
  • The history of human civilization is shown in a chronological comprehensible perspective

Finally an overview of important events with the new calendar:

Year Event
0 HE Approximate start of the Holocene
~ 400 HE Establishment of Göbekli Tepe (oldest stone structure of mankind to date)
~ 2500 HE Beginning of the settlement of Çatalhöyük
~ 4300 HE Spreading of the Linear Pottery culture in Central Europe
~ 5200 HE Construction of the Goseck circle
~ 6900 HE First construction phase of Stonehenge
~ 8600 HE Trundholm sun chariot
9248 HE Legendary founding of Rome
9888 HE Battle of Noreia between Cimbri/Teutons and Romans
10009 HE Battle of the Teutoburg Forest
10410 HE Sack of Rome by the Visigoths
10793 HE Viking raid of Lindisfarne and beginning of the Viking Age
11066 HE Norman conquest of England
11648 HE Peace of Westphalia (End of Thirty Years’ War)
11991 HE End of the Cold War
12020 HE Establishment of the first heathen Hof in Reykjavík since the end of the Viking Age