posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 10:52 PM
My research from my independent study last year:
The Mayans, as we know, were possibly THE most sophisticated Meso-American culture. They lasted 6 centuries from 250 to 900 AD. They were the first
American people to keep written records, one of the first peoples in the world to use a calendar, and are often credited with the creation of the
concept of zero. The Mayan actually had three different calendars, a calendar called the Tzolkin is known for being the sacred calendar, which is
based on the Pleiades star cluster. Later they combined this system on a lunar calendar based on the women’s moon cycle called Tun-Uc. The Tzolkin
calendar was probably adapted from Zapotec culture of Mexico. The short calendar had 260 day years, made up of 13 months of 20 days each. Each day of
the month had a name which corresponded to a god. This type of calendar dates back to 600 BCE, and is used to track star movement. The pyramid and
temple complexes which the Mayans are also famous for are based on this cycle. Each day of the month had different meanings which were used for
naming, weddings, and dates for rituals or battles. I had to do a little more research to understand this system and how it was used.
The Maya also had another type of calendar, called the Haab or Vague Year. It was highly advanced, only a quarter of a day off of the solar year. This
was the agricultural calendar and was used to plan planting and harvesting. The calendar was arranged by 20 day groups numbered zero to 19. There were
18 of these group-months in the year followed by an unlucky period called the Uayeb of 5 days, making a total of 365 days. The Haab and the Tzolkin
formed the calendar round of the Mayans which was a 52 year cycle, and at the beginning of each of these cycled there were great festivities and
celebrations, as well as new temples. The Haab is very similar to our own calendar and shows the great mathematical skill of the Maya.
The last type of calendar used by the Maya is the Long Count. Before I continue, I’d like to say that the reason I have been spending more time on
the Mayan calendar is due to the supposed end of the world in 2012, as predicted by this culture, and specifically this calendar. Because I will
probably be alive four years from now, I think this is somewhat important, and would like to understand this in greater detail. The Long Count has
been deemed by some as more accurate as the Julian Calendar. It starts at the Mayan year equivalent to January 1st, AD 1, which to them is 3114BC.
This date is 0-0-0-0-0. The cycles are made up of 394 years, and the Mayans accounted for 13 cycles. Turns out that the end of these 13 sets of cycles
occurs in 2012, which means the beginning of a new cycle. The Long Count is made up of numerous categories of time. A tun is 360 days. 20 tuns is a
katun. 20 tuns is a baktun. And 13 baktuns is the great cycle. Essentially the end of the Great Cycle meant the end of the world to the Mayans,
occurring on the winter solstice of 2012. This does not seem to mark the end of reality because the Mayans marked a royal anniversary to occur in
October 4772 AD. The Mayan calendar is a very complex, mystical system which is still maintained by calendar priests in Mexico and in Guatemala. The
calendar is still used for divination and ritual purposes, and has also been mentioned in many New Age books.