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This article is about the geological period. For dating the Holocene Era, see Human Era. For the Bon Iver song, see Holocene (song).

The Holocene /ˈhɒlɵsn/ is a geological epoch which began at the end of the Pleistocene (at 11,700 calendar years BP) and continues to the present. The Holocene is part of the Quaternary period. Its name comes from the Greek words ὅλος (holos, whole or entire) and καινός (kainos, new), meaning "entirely recent". It has been identified with the current warm period, known as MIS 1, and can be considered an interglacial in the current ice age based on that evidence.

The Holocene also encompasses the growth and impacts of the human species worldwide, including all its written history, development of major civilizations, and overall significant transition toward urban living in the present. Human impacts on modern-era Earth and its ecosystems may be considered of global significance for future evolution of living species, including approximately synchronous lithospheric evidence, or more recently atmospheric evidence of human impacts. Given these, a new term, Anthropocene, is specifically proposed and used informally only for the very latest part of modern history and of significant human impact since the epoch of the Neolithic Revolution (around 12,000 years BP).


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