List of time periods  

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This page List of time periods is part of the history series.Photo: western face of the Parthenon
This page List of time periods is part of the history series.
Photo: western face of the Parthenon

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The categorization of time into discrete named blocks is called periodization. This is a list of such named time periods as defined in various fields of study. Major categorization systems include cosmological (concerning the various time periods in the origin and evolution of our universe), geological (concerning time periods in the origin and evolution of earth ) and historical (concerning time periods in the origin and evolution of mankind).


Human time periods

These can be divided broadly into prehistorical (before history began to be recorded) and historical periods (when written records began to be kept).

Prehistorical periods

In archaeology and anthropology, human prehistory is subdivided around the three-age system. This list includes the use of the three-age system as well as a number of various designation used in reference to sub-ages within the traditional three.

The Lists of Time Periods going back as far as man can research:

The dates for each age can vary by region. On the geologic time scale, the Holocene epoch starts at the end of the most recent Ice age (around 10000 BC) and continues to the present. The beginning of Mesolithic is usually considered to correspond to the beginning of the Holocene epoch.

Historical periods

Calendar systems

Various societies in the past have created calendars to record events, such as religious observances and agricultural tasks. A common characteristic of most known calendars is that they measure time in relation to a particular point in history, known as the epoch date. A period between epoch dates is known as a calendar era.

Mythological and astrological time periods

Geologic time periods

The geologic time scale covers the extent of the existence of Earth, from about 4600 million years ago to the present day. It is marked by Global Boundary Stratotype Sections and Points. Geologic time units are (in order of descending specificity) eons, eras, periods, epochs, and ages; and the corresponding chronostratigraphic units, which measure "rock-time", are eonothems, erathems, systems, series, and stages.

The second and third timelines are each subsections of their preceding timeline as indicated by asterisks. The Cenozoic is sometimes divided into the Quaternary and Tertiary periods, although their use is no longer official.

Cosmological time periods

13.7 billion years ago: The Big Bang

Because of the scales involved (both very large and very small), cosmological time periods are usually described in seconds. In this table, each row is defined in seconds after the Big Bang, with earliest at the top of the chart.

Start End Period
Template:Val Template:Val Planck epoch
Template:Val Template:Val Grand unification epoch
Template:Val Template:Val Inflationary epoch
Template:Val Template:Val Electroweak epoch
Template:Val Template:Val Quark epoch
Template:Val Template:Val Hadron epoch
Template:Val Template:Val Lepton epoch
Template:Val Template:Val Photon epoch

Formation of Population I stars

Population I stars are also known as metal-rich stars. Our own sun is a Population I star and was formed about 5 billion years ago.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "List of time periods" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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