What Does BC, AD, BCE and CE Mean?; Göbekli Tepe; Non Nok Tha, Thailand

What Does BC, AD, BCE and CE Mean?

This is a system of dating that was first devised by Dionysius Exiguus back in AD 525 so he could calculate Easter. It was used and written about by Bede, an Anglo-Saxon Monk, in Britain during the 8th century.

BC – stands for before Christ and calculated from the year 1, as there is no year 0.

AD – stands for the Latin Anno domini, translated to – in the year of our Lord.

This system is used in the Western World in the Gregorian and Julian calendars for dating.

Bede ©Wiki Commons
©Wiki Commons

BCE and CE are more commonly used nowadays as there is a move away from religion.

BCE – stands for Before Common Era, or Before Christian Era.

CE – stands for Common Era or Current Era, sometimes even Christian Era.

BCE and CE are sometimes used instead of BC and AD. It can be very confusing, but once you understand they mean the same thing then it is up to you which one you prefer to use! Me? I still prefer and write with BC and AD!!


Archaeology Wow!!- Göbekli Tepe 

Göbekli Tepe, in Turkey,  is really an archaeological site, and I shall be writing more about it at a later date. But here, I am covering its discovery.

The site was first noted in 1963 when a joint survey of the area was undertaken by the University of Chicago and the Istanbul University. A farmer had spotted what looked like pieces of paving in the ground. The universities dug away at some of the surrounding soil and what they found has basically re-written part of our early history!

Göbekli Tepe ©Wiki Commons
Göbekli Tepe
©Wiki Commons

Between 1996 – 2014 excavations have been ongoing, and will continue into the future! Originally led by German archaeologist the late Klaus Schmit, they uncovered circles of standing stones that had been carved out in T-shapes with an abundance of animals carved on them.

The archaeologists have determined that the site dates from between 11,000 – 8,000 BC and had two phases of construction.

First phase

  • T-shaped pillars placed into position
  • Each pillar stands up to 6m high
  • Each pillar weighs about 20 tons
  • the pillars are placed onto holed dug in the bedrock
  • There are more than 20 circles of pillars altogether with more than 200 pillars in total!

Second Phase

  • Smaller pillars were used
  • Some were placed in rectangular rooms and not in circles as they had been in Phase 1

The site is located on a Tell about 15m high and with a 300m diameter and shows that the hunter-gatherer communities that lived in the area at the time were very complex. Much more complex than previously thought.

Gobekli Tepe Heykel ©Wiki Commons
Gobekli Tepe Heykel
©Wiki Commons

The site is now known to be the world’s first Temple complex -how cool is that!!

Watch this informative video for more about the site!!




  • Video – Gobekle Tepe – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MxJJSuzXe0
  • Gobekli Tepe Heykel – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:GobeklitepeHeykel.jpg#mediaviewer/File:GobeklitepeHeykel.jpg
  • Göbekli Tepe – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe,_Urfa.jpg#mediaviewer/File:G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe,_Urfa.jpg


Archaeological Site Guide – Non Nok Tha, Thailand

Non Nok Tha is an archaeological site located in Khon Kaen province in Thailand and covers 1.1 hectares. The site was first discovered in the 1960’s by Chester Gorman, and is village and burial mound. It dates to the Bronze Age and the site itself dates between 1,500 – 1,000 BC, however, finds show that people have lived on the site since 3,000 BC.

Non Nok Excavations © DONN T. BAYARD
Non Nok Excavations

The site was abandoned before the Iron Age and 217 burials have been identified so far. In some of them domesticated animals were buried with the people. Evidence from the excavations shows us that the people who lived there hunted and fished and there is also the first evidence of bronze working in Asia, using the lost wax technique – making this a very important site!

Non Nok Tha Pottery
Non Nok Tha Pottery

Pottery from the site is called Cord Impressed Pottery, where cord was pressed into the wet clay to decorate it. Together with the domesticated animal, the burials, hunting, fishing and the beautiful cord impressed pottery we are able to learn that the people who lived in the village, so long ago, had a social organisation structure and cared for each other – as the burials demonstrate!


  • Non Nok Excavations –  Bayard. D. T. 1968. Excavation at Non Nok Tha, North-eastern Thailand, 1968. An Interim Report. Asian Perspectives, XIII, 1970. Available at https://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/bitstream/handle/10125/19129/AP-v13n1-109-143.pdf?sequence=1
  • Higham. C. 1989. The Archaeology of Mainland Southeast Asia: From 10,000 B.C. to the Fall of Angkor. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Great Books to Read…….


Great Web Pages to Look At…….


Activity –  

One Comment on “What Does BC, AD, BCE and CE Mean?; Göbekli Tepe; Non Nok Tha, Thailand

  1. Pingback: Around the Archaeology Blog-o-sphere Digest #3 | Doug's Archaeology

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: