The numbers in your calendar

PMWJ-CoverHave you ever consider the odd collection of numbers that make up the standard western calendar, 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day and varying numbers of days in the months and years. The origins of some of these numbers and the basis of the modern calendar go back over 6000 years.

The origins of the different numbers and how they became the modern calendar is told in my featured paper published in the July edition of PM World Journal.  To read the paper and sign up for the free monthly e-Journal go to:

For more papers on the history of project management see:


2 responses to “The numbers in your calendar

  1. Hi Pat, Interesting research. I could only read the intro. It seems that you are attributing the origin to ancient Egyptians. If you do some research on the literature in from Ancient India, you may find something more.

    Praveen Malik

    • Hi Praveen,

      I know modern numbers came to Europe from India via the Arabic empire and have a book on order that has the history of mathematics and counting traced back into pre-history: ‘The Universal History of Numbers: From Prehistory to the Invention of the Computer’. I also know the very basics of counting using fingers or knuckles goes back probably several thousand years before the Mesopotamians and Egyptians. And there were calendars in use in many parts of Asia from the earliest of times.

      However, the modern UTC calendar traces its roots back to the Romans, then the Greeks then the Egyptians and Babylonians. If there was exchanges of information between the Indus Valley and the ‘fertile crescent’ during the ‘Early Bronze Age’ or Neolithic period I would be interested in knowing – it would be a useful addition to the paper.

      The full paper as published can now be downloaded from:


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