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12,022 Year of the Human Era

A few years back I watched a video on Youtube (which I'll link at the bottom) about adding ten thousand years to the current calendar to form the Holocene Era calendar. This calendar begins not with a major religious event, but with major construction projects. Roughly Twelve thousand years ago, pre-agricultural humankind built a series of intricate stone circles and carved them with images of animals. The name it was given by the peoples who built it over centuries is lost to time, but it is now known as Göbekli Tepe. It is from this first and other gatherings of ancient ingenuity that the concept of tracking time in the Holocene (or Human) era springs. First proposed by Italian-American Scientist Cesere Emiliani, his intention was to create a system that more evenly reflected people from all walks of life and places around the globe.

So, why this particular point in time? It falls just after the end of the last ice age, when prehistoric humans had only stone tools and the strength of their backs. This also lines up with the Gregorian calendar, currently in use for most of the world. From what archaeologists have uncovered, Göbekli Tepe is the oldest known construction site to date and was begun around the same time as the Lascaux Cave paintings in France were drawn(circa year 1 H.E.). Skip ahead five centuries and what was a green hilltop has been excavated and several rings of stone pillars have been erected in geometric patterns.

I imagine some clear starry night at the end of summer and a celebration marks a momentous occasion. There are thousands of people eating and drinking in the starlight and flickering fires. It is the end of work on the complex and the start of something even more momentous. In those centuries of toil, it was noticed that where the seeds from last year's picking were tossed, now grew berries and nuts. Far from Göbekli Tepe, near rivers, people began to toss seeds in designated areas with easy access to water. They formed settlements instead of following herds. Each year, people had gathered to work on creating this temple complex. Now it was used to hold what had been learned through the years. Teachings, tales, and techniques are exchanged between villages at celebrations such as this one. Knowledge and culture spread from rivers to far away lands until eventually humanity resides across the globe. Though they never knew it, those ancient peoples were also celebrating the birth of history. Eventually, rivers around Göbekli Tepe dried up. The land changed and people forgot about what they had wrought. Earth reclaimed the hill after a few centuries and millennia but now, it had the bones of civilization resting within, waiting to be uncovered.

That's my own romantic speculation, but it may not be far from the truth. By 1 H.E., people were already spread sparsely around the world. Tribes followed different prey and lost touch, languages changed and died out, but people kept spreading and kept creating through the millennia. Thus many, many different calendars were eventually introduced.

Humanity's time could use some standardization. A temporal Metric System, if you will. While various faiths, peoples, countries and cultures can keep their own calendars, the general populace and scientific community need to make the switch to the Holocene calendar. Much like the Metric System, getting people to adopt it is a slow process, but that's what this is all about. Using the H.E. calendar is important because there are repeating patterns, both beautiful and terrible, that can be seen and interpreted easier with a broader view of history.

At the end of the article is a link to the best resource I've found if you, dear reader, are totally onboard with the HE Calendar Reform Idea like I am. There's a timeline, a conversion app, and a ton of interesting information that I encourage you to check out. I live in Florida, and while I am American, I don't like to think of myself as Floridian or American. I like to think of myself as Terran since we now live in a science fiction-fantasy world. By which I mean: Ideas that, even a century ago would be considered science fiction are now commonplace. Smartphones, GPS, space exploration, etc. Then, there are the discoveries and inventions of ages past that would have been sorcery to the generations before we began developing civilization. Things like writing, pottery, crop rotation and money. When viewing history the way most people do now, it's a view that starts not at the beginning or the end of our Human story, but at a spot in the middle. It skews the length of time some of our achievements took to accomplish. In some cases, the time it took to accomplish, forget, then re-complete.

Now, it's 12,022 H.E. and for the first time in a long time, I'm giving my year a Theme. If you've never done a theme, it's like a new years resolution but broader and more fluid. 12,022 is going to be my year of the Human Era. The nice thing about themes is how interpretive they can be. Sure, I'll be touting the merits of the H.E. calendar, but I'll also be working on my connections to my family and friends, sharing human history and pondering how being human may change in the future. I wish you the best for the year 12,022 and encourage you to find a theme for yourself. Stay Sound!

A New History for Humanity - Kurzgesagt

Your Theme - CGP Grey