But while months and days are based on the planet's gravitational forces, and thereby grounded in reality, the third aspect of our dating code is a total mess. Rather, we need to find another, closer Year One to begin things.
This, as you'd imagine, is where things get chaotic.“At no point in world history has there ever been a single uniform dating system that's unanimously agreed to be shared by everyone,” says Dr. E., which uses the same Year One starting point, but removes the religious implications by referring to Common Era.
The abbreviation "BP", with the same meaning, has also been interpreted both of which requested that publications should use the unit "a" for year and reserve the term "BP" for radiocarbon estimations. A large quantity of contemporary oxalic acid dihydrate was prepared as NBS Standard Reference Material (SRM) 4990B. This value is defined as "modern carbon" referenced to AD 1950.
The next question might be, what qualifies as a year significant enough to base an entire dating system upon it?
(Let's not even discuss Year Zero, seeing as this jockeying for Year One position occurred before the concept of zero had even been invented.) If we wanted to allow for commerce, trade, and simple communication across cultures to develop, we needed to be living in the same year. The Byzantine Empire started its first year in what was considered the year of creation (our 5509 B. The Church of Alexandria began its Year One in what is now 284 A. And two, when most people see it, they think it stands for Christian Era and Before Christian Era, so it doesn't really solve the problem people wanted to solve.” As the world continued to “shrink” due to the establishment of trade routes and expansion of population and as once-insular communities started opening up and exploring, a single Year One would have inevitably dominated.
The Greeks were among the first to try to get everyone running on the same year. D., to coincide with the rise of Roman emperor Diocletian into power. C.—that is, “before Christ”—wasn't introduced until 1627, by a French astronomer. D., so decided to figure that in by counting backwards. The specifics of which one are not particularly important.
At its core, that date—any date really—is just a code.
It's a three-part system allowing those in various locations and points of time to distinguish when an event occurred or will occur. Spoilers: The planet's been around longer than any of us—or any of our ancient relatives—can remember.