Science

Scientists gave our historical era a new name

The International Commission on Stratigraphy put forward a proposal to change the system of geological and historical eras, taking into account newly discovered data. Formally, we live in the anthropocene era, when most of the events on the planet are under the influence of man. But it does not and can not have clear boundaries – instead, it is proposed to designate the current era as “Megalaya”, which started 4200 years ago.

According to the classical scheme now on Earth, the Cenozoic era, its last, Quaternary period. It is divided into the Pleistocene, when almost everything was covered with glaciers, and the Holocene – the ice left, wild people began to develop agriculture, construction, crafts, etc. But if from the position of global geology the Holocene is almost the same throughout its entirety, then for mankind there have been many real fateful events that clearly divided history into “before and after.”

The main divider is unanimously called the Great Drought, which began in 2300 BC. and lasted about 100 years. Ancient Egyptian civilization, the Kingdom of Lianzhu, the Akkadian Empire, the civilization of the Indus Valley – all these pro-state formations came to an extreme decline. Traces of a grandiose drought are in the stalagmites in India, on which monsoon levels are imprinted. The emerging prosperity of people almost gave way to total extinction, but our ancestors adapted and survived. And now we call this new era of Meghalayan Age.

Alas, not so simple. If earlier the boundaries between the epochs were determined by significant geological events, the start of Megalaye gave both a natural and cultural-historical incident. With the fact that Megalaya lies entirely within the boundaries of the artificial anthropocene, which lies within the natural Holocene. What criterion, natural or man-made phenomenon, should now dominate the definition of the boundaries of epochs? For example, if tomorrow there will be a Third World War with the exchange of nuclear strikes and the fate of humanity will again make a sharp turn due to a radical change of habitat, this will be the beginning of a new era? The arguments of scientists continue.

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