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Mayan Calendar Article Essay

3053 words - 13 pages

1 Running head: MAYAN CULTURE

The Mayan Culture By Lydia Ross


Table of Contents The Mayan Background The Mayan Calendar The Mayan Mathematics The Mayan Architecture Modern Day Mayan The Mayan Prophesy of 2012 References 3 4 6 8 11 12 14


The Mayan Background The Mayan Calendar has been used to predict the end of the world. The reason for this is that the calendar ends on December, 21, 2012. Many scholars and historians have argued that there will be some type of cosmic event signaling the end of the world on December, 21, 2012. Other scholars who oppose this opinion say that it is not the end of the world but the end of an era. They predict not ...view middle of the document...

These systems operated in parallel one to another. The three systems include the Long Count, the Tzolkin and the Haab. An example of the Mayan calendar date is represented as: 3 Cimi 4 Zotz. The elements of the date are described as: “ is the Long Count date 3 Cimi is the Tzolkin Date 4 Zotz is the Haab date” (Idea, 2008). The Long Count date represents the number of days since the beginning of the Mayan era and is therefore similar to the Julian Calendar (12 month solar calendar with an extra day every four years). The kin, similar to the Julian Calendar is a day, the basic unit of the Long Calendar. The following chart gives Name uinal Description (1 uinal = 20 kin = 20 days) (1 tun = 18 uinal = 360 days = approx. 1 year)


(1 katun = 20 tun = 7,200 days = approx. 20 years) (1 baktun = 20 katun = 144,000 days = approx. 394 years) baktun The kin, tun, and katun are numbered from 0 to 19.The uinal are numbered from 0 to 17.The baktun are numbered from 1 to 13. katun


The first date in the Long Count is written 13, While authorities disagree with how the Mayan calendar corresponds to the Julian calendar , most agree the Long Count calendar will reach 13, on December 21st or December 23rd , 2012 (Idea, 2008).

The Mayan calendar like the Mayan culture was a very sophisticated calendar. The ritual calendar was developed in Mesoamerican had 260 days. Each day had a specific name with up to 20 unique names. The names were represented by a unique symbol. Each day was also numbered from 1 to 13. Since their were 20 names, after 13 the number of the day started over. This calendar was used throughout the Mesoamerica region even before the beginning of writing. The name of the ritual calendar was the Tzolkin calendar. The Tzolkin was a religious calendar used for ceremonial purposes. It had 20 periods that lasted for 13 days. One full cycle of the calendar was 260 days. The significance of one cycle in the Tzolkin calendar is not known but might be linked to the Venus orbit which is 263 days. The days in the Tzolkin calendar are numbered from 1 to 13 with 20 different day names. Therefore the day name and the day number are incremented each day and advance in parallel. Because 13 and 20 cannot be evenly divided, it takes 260 days before a Tzolkin date repeats (Hare,2010). A list of the Tzolkin calendar follows below:

Maya Day Names & Approximate Meanings Imix Ik' Ak'bal K'an Chikchan Kimi Manik' Lamat Waterlily Wind Night Corn Snake Death head Hand Venus Chuwen Eb Ben Ix Men Kib Kaban Etz'nab Frog Skull Corn stalk Jaguar Eagle Shell Earth Flint


Muluk Ok

Water Dog

Kawak Ahaw

Storm cloud Lord

(The Mayan Astronomy Page, 2011)

While the Tzolkin and the Haab calendars do not have a year component, when a date from each calendar is combined, it is equal to a 52 year cycle. The Mayans also had a solar year which they tracked that had 365 days in it....

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