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Timelines of the Battlestar Galactica series
All dates use the day of the Fall of the Twelve Colonies as the central time marker for all events in the series. Items that occur before the Fall are marked as "BCH", or "Before Cylon holocaust". Given the few and somewhat contradictory dates about the Colonials' ancient history and the exodus from Kobol, that part of the timeline is speculative.
The Cylon holocaust occurs more than 150,000 years before the present day.
- Unknown time: Human beings evolve on the planet Kobol. They consist of twelve tribes. They "live in utopia with the gods." The humans become technologically advanced. Artificial life-forms, machines, called Cylons, are created by the humans. A war against the machines occurs. The machines evolve and take humanoid form. This group is referred to in the Sacred Scrolls as the "Thirteenth Tribe".
- Over 17,000 years BCH: A supernova creates the Ionian nebula.
- ca. 4,000 years BCH: The Thirteenth Tribe reportedly leaves Kobol and builds the Temple of Hopes on another planet  This contradicts Ellen Tigh's statement that the temple was built 3,000 years ago (No Exit). They pray for guidance and are shown the way to Earth, the planet they colonize.
- ca. 3,600 years BCH: Pythia records her prophecies. Aside from reports of the landing on Earth and drawings of temples there, this book describes "the exile and rebirth of the human race" and a "dying leader" not making it to a "promised land," though how long before her writings that such events took place is not revealed.
- ca. 3,000 years BCH: A beacon is left at the Lion's Head Nebula, later marking the way to Earth. At some undated point, someone travels from Earth to Kobol, passing on information about Earth, including a map of its night sky 
- ca. 3,000 years to 2,000 years BCH: The humanoid Cylons of the Thirteenth Tribe prosper and begin to reproduce sexually. The technology of "organic memory transfer," or downloading, is abandoned.
- The Thirteenth Tribe produce their own mechanical Centurions to act as laborers for their civilization.
- ca. 2,000 years BCH: (The order of events on Kobol and Earth is uncertain. See also Sacred_Scrolls#The_.22One_Exodus.22_Interpretation, Sacred_Scrolls#The_Origin_of_Mankind)
- Samuel Anders, Tory Foster, Ellen Tigh, Saul Tigh, and Galen Tyrol, later collectively known as the "Final Five," are born on Earth.
- The Final Five work together in a research lab attempting to re-develop downloading technology. The effort is spearheaded by Galen Tyrol and Ellen Tigh.
- All five Cylons receive visions of beings nobody else can see warning them of an impending rebellion by Earth's Centurion population. The Final Five prepare a resurrection ship and leave it in orbit.
- The remaining Twelve Tribes leave Kobol and settle the Twelve Colonies.
- Lord of Kobol "Athena" kills herself in despair over this. A tomb is built for her containing a 3-D projection showing Earth and its Zodiac. The projection is activated by the Arrow of Apollo, which travels with the twelve tribes.
- The Centurion uprising occurs and the Thirteenth Tribe exterminates itself in a nuclear holocaust. Earth is left a nuclear wasteland. The Final Five die in the attack, and are resurrected on board their orbiting ship.
- The Final Five begin a journey at sublight speeds back to Kobol to find the other twelve tribes and inform them of Earth's fate.
- 2,000 years to 52 years BCH: The Twelve Colonies grow and prosper. Each colony acts as a sovereign nation, complete with inter-colonial wars.
- The Final Five arrive at the Temple of Hopes and modify it into the Temple of Five.
- The Final Five arrive at Kobol, finding the planet abandoned. They continue on in pursuit of the twelve tribes, heading toward the colonies.
Recent Colonial History
- At least 200 years BCH: Humans develop an immunity to the virus causing Lymphocytic encephalitis (A Measure of Salvation). 
- 69 years BCH: Saul Tigh supposedly born (defined by deleted scene in "Valley of Darkness" concerning the Brenik). This is actually a false memory planted by Cavil. William Adama born in Qualai, Caprica (Caprica pilot, Hero).
- 58 - 52 years BCH: Somewhere during this time, the Cylons of the Twelve Colonies are built to aid in hard labor and warfare (Miniseries). Their creators are unaware that they are repeating the actions of their ancestors on Kobol.
- 52 years BCH: Cylon revolt starts the first Cylon War (Colonial Day).
- 52 years BCH: Articles of Colonization signed (Colonial Day, RDM, April 11, 2005).
- 51 years BCH: Colonial ship Brenik is lost after a boarding action by Cylon Centurions (Valley of Darkness, deleted scene).
- ca. 50 years BCH: Battlestar Galactica enters service.
- 42 years BCH: William Adama begins his service in the Colonial Fleet as a Viper pilot, near the end of the Cylon War ("Hero", Razor Flashbacks).
- 40 years BCH:
- Mechanical Cylons begin experiments constructing humanoid forms of Cylon. They succeed in creating the First Hybrid and subsequent Hybrids, but no fully humanoid forms.
- The Final Five arrive in the Colonial solar system in the waining days of the war.
- The Five meet the local Cylons and negotiate an end to the war. They will give the Cylons biological bodies if the Cylons agree to end the war.
- Operation Raptor Talon conducted by the Colonial Fleet. Battlestar Columbia destroyed (Razor Flashbacks).
- Armistice ends the Cylon War. Cylons exile themselves from the Twelve Colonies (Miniseries). The First Hybrid and his Guardians part company with the other Cylons.
- William Adama musters out of the Colonial Fleet ("Scattered", Adama's dossier).
- 37 BCH: William Adama enlists as merchant marine and serves aboard inter-colony freighters ("Scattered", Adama's dossier).
- 37 to ca. 30 BCH:
- The Cylons establish a secret base known as The Colony, where research and development equipment belonging to the Final Five is stored.
- The Final Five create John Cavil, the first of the new Humanoid Cylons, and designate him model Number One. They raise him for some time.
- John matures and assists Final Five in the creation of seven other humanoid Cylon models. A resurrection system is built for the new models based on technology left over from the Thirteenth Tribe.
- ca. 30 BCH:
- Cavil murders model Number Seven, Daniel, out of jealousy by poisoning the amniotic fluid in which the Seven copies were maturing.
- The Final Five are murdered by Cavil and their consciousnesses are boxed.
- Cavil erases all knowledge of the Final Five and the missing model Number Seven from his fellow Humanoid Cylon models and specifically programs them not to think about either.
- Saul Tigh is resurrected and introduced to the colonies as a military officer with false history of fighting in the war.
- Ellen Tigh is resurrected and introduced into Colonial society sometime thereafter.
- ca. 28 BCH:
- ca. 27 BCH: William and Carolanne Adama meet and marry. 
- ca. 26 BCH: Lee Adama born. 
- ca. 24 BCH: Zak Adama born. 
- 23 years BCH: William Adama reinstated in the Colonial Fleet at the rank of Captain and is assigned to the battlestar Universal  ("Scattered" deleted scene, Adama's dossier).
- 21 years BCH: Saul Tigh reinstated in the Colonial Fleet at the rank of Captain by now-Major Adama (Scattered).  
- 20 years BCH:
- 17 BCH: William Adama assigned to the battlestar Atlantia, where he makes his 1000th Viper landing (Adama's dossier, "Act of Contrition").
- 13 years BCH: William Adama assigned as executive officer to the new battlestar Columbia (Adama's dossier).
- 11 years BCH: Laura Roslin begins her career in politics (Litmus).
- ca. 10 years BCH: Galen Tyrol enlists in the Colonial Fleet as a non-commissioned officer (Miniseries).
- 9 years BCH: William Adama promoted to commander and assigned as commander of the battlestar Valkyrie (Adama's dossier, "Hero").
- 7 years BCH: Saul and Ellen Tigh marry again ("Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part I", deleted scene).
- 6 years BCH: William Adama leads an aborted covert intelligence mission aboard Valkyrie. Daniel Novacek is shot down and captured by the Cylons. Adama and Tigh are subsequently assigned to Galactica (Adama's dossier, "Hero"). 
- 5 years BCH:
- 4 years BCH:
- 3 years BCH: Felix Gaeta assigned to Galactica (Miniseries).
- 2 years BCH:
- Caprica Six begins residence on Caprica (Downloaded), first encounters Dr. Gaius Baltar (Miniseries).
- Sharon Valerii begins service aboard Galactica (The Farm).
- Zak Adama dies in a flight school accident (Miniseries).
- Lt. Kara Thrace is re-assigned from flight school to Galactica (Act of Contrition).
- 1 Year BCH:
Events of the Miniseries
- Zero Hour:
- The Armistice Station is destroyed by Cylon forces.
- Laura Roslin is diagnosed with inoperable breast cancer.
- Galactica is decommissioned.
- The Twelve Colonies are heavily bombarded by nuclear bombs.
- Picon Fleet Headquarters is destroyed.
- Ellen Tigh is placed aboard the Rising Star by John Cavil shortly before it escapes the destruction of Picon ("Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down", "No Exit").
- Galactica's last Viper Mark VII squadron is destroyed.
- A battle near Virgon ends with the total loss of the remaining Colonial Fleet including the flagship Atlantia.
- The battlestar Pegasus luckily escapes the destruction of the Scorpion Fleet Shipyards ("Pegasus", "Razor").
- Galactica engages Cylon Raiders and survives with moderate damage and 85 dead.
- Last transmission from the Colonies received by Laura Roslin aboard Colonial Heavy 798 from a fellow secretary.
- Case Orange contingency mechanism assigns Roslin the office of the President of the Twelve Colonies.
- Roslin gathers stranded civilian and military ships in the vicinity of Caprica.
- Commander Adama assumes overall Fleet command and orders regroup at Ragnar Anchorage
- Roslin's fleet survives two Cylon attacks and meets at Ragnar.
- Galactica changes from battle stance to civilian protection, and escorts the civilian fleet from Ragnar towards the Prolmar Sector.
- Tyrol says that "Our initial radiocarbon dating suggests that the temple's at least 4,000 years old, which lines up with the exodus of the Thirteenth Tribe." (The Eye of Jupiter). This is the oldest date noted in the series's timeline, but also conflicts with the prior date of Pythia and her works as described by Elosha in "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part I", where she states that the exodus of all 13 tribes occurred approximately 2,000 years ago.
- Adama says that "According to Cottle, the virus was an exact match to one reported over 3000 years ago, right around the time that the 13th colony left Kobol" (A Measure of Salvation). This contradicts the two other dates of 2,000 and 4,000 years. While the dating is uncertain, it is the only clue to the beacon's age. That someone traveled back to Kobol is speculation, but an explanation for how Earth's sky could be displayed there. If true, it is still unknown on which of these two voyages the beacon was left behind.
- Doctor Cottle notes the time as "a couple hundred years ago", which is an indeterminate amount of time, but likely less than four or five hundred years.
- At the time of the Cylon attack, Tyrol has "ten years experience" (Miniseries), and has "served on battlestars since I was 18" (Resistance). This puts his birth in approximately 28 BCH, allowing for a few years leeway with the first comment. It is likely that Tyrol (and the two other remaining members of the Final Five, Samuel Anders and Tory Foster), was introduced into Colonial society at or around this point by John Cavil as part of his plan for revenge on his creators, human and Cylon alike (No Exit).
- The podcast for "Scattered" places their meeting "twenty years ago". In "Torn", Adama states that he has known Tigh for 30 years. Furthermore, Adama's dossier places his reinstatement into the Colonial Fleet at 23 BCH. Battlestar Wiki choses to use the more consistent dates.
- This date is assumed as follows: Zak died 2 BCH. Since he graduated from some kind of military academy, he would be at least 22 years old, following real world models. On a photograph of William Adama with his sons, Lee seems to be about two years older than Zak. Adama and his wife probably met not long before Lee's birth.
- This information comes from a prop used in the episode "Scattered".
- The time between Adama's and Tigh's reinstatement is not specified on screen. The February/March issue of Battlestar Galactica: The Official Magazine gives it as two years: "Adama reenlisted with the service and Tigh spent two years drinking before Adama pulled strings to get him back into service."
- In actually, this is Saul Tigh's entrance into to Colonial Fleet, not his return, as he did not serve in the Cylon War and all documents of his service and retirement were forged by John Cavil.
- While dialogue from "Hero" places these events at 1 BCH, this contradicts previously established dates about the time Adama and others served on Galactica. See Hero#Analysis for a detailed explanation why Battlestar Wiki chooses to treat this as a continuity error and change the date.
- Since Adama states that Tyrol has been under his commander for "over five years", this might also be one year earlier.