The Holocene is the geological epoch that began after the Pleistocene at approximately 11,700 years before AD 2000 and continues to the present.

The term "Recent" (usually capitalised) has often been used as an exact synonym of "Holocene", although this usage is discouraged in 21st-century work. The Holocene is part of the Quaternary period. Its name comes from the Greek words "holos" (whole or entire) and "kainos" (new), meaning "entirely recent".

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