If all of human history took place in a year

If all of human history took place in one year, from the invention of Egyptian hieroglyphics in -3200 to just now in 2023, that would come to 435 years a month, 100 years a week, or 14 years a day.

Carl Sagan’s Cosmic Calendar used this trick to show how vast all of time is, all 15 billion years of it. But the same can be done to human history – most people do not seem to understand how vast that is either.

This is something I am trying to wrap my head around.

The Sphinx appears in February, Herodotus, the “Father of History”, not till July, halfway through. Christ and Caesar appear in August. The Pilgrims show up at Plymouth Rock on December 3rd, two hours after the first Black people arrive in Jamestown in 1619. Radios and cars appear on Christmas Eve, etc. And all of that, in turn, fits into just the last 11 seconds on Sagan’s Cosmic Calendar. Each month on this calendar is just about a second on Sagan’s.

The History Calendar would go something like this, using Western Spotlight History:

  • Jan-Jul: Ancient Middle East (Egypt and Mesopotamia)
  • Jul-Sep: Classical Greece and Rome
  • Sep-Nov: Medievel and Renaissance Europe
  • Nov-Dec: Modern West, US history (Pilgrims to present)

The Bible, from Abraham to the Apostles of Christ, runs from March to August.

In particular:

This is most like the Mayan Long Count, which begins in -3114 and reached the end of baktun 12 in 2012 (which is why some were saying the world would end that year). A baktun divides history into periods of 394.3 years – close to the 435 years that each month here represents.

“The Rise of the West” (1963) by William H. McNeill, despite its name, is one of the less Eurocentric world histories I have. It devotes about this much space to each quarter of the year:

  • Jan-Mar: 110 pages
  • Apr-Jun: 140
  • Jul-Sep: 170
  • Oct-Dec: 400

The White Inventor Argument says White people are best because of their inventions. But they have been clearly ahead of China only since about 1800 or December 15th – the last two weeks. And already that is beginning to fade. Egypt was unsurpassed till about the end of May when the Sea People arrived.

– Abagond, 2023.

See also:


If all of human history took place in a year