Mayan Calendar Essay

1471 words - 6 pages

The Mayans created an elegant system in which events were recorded in a linear relationship to one another. They had a total of twenty calendars that were written on stone monuments or even pottery that date back to as far as the fifth century BCE. The Mayans created three calendars that overlap. They are the Long Count calendar, the Haab Calendar, and the Tzolk’in calendar. Math, Astronomy, religion, culture, and architecture are all a part of the Mayan calendar systems.
The first calendar the Mayans used was the Tzolk’in. It is made up of the numbers twenty and thirteen and operates on a 260-day cycle. The Tzolk’in first day on the calendar is called Imix’ and starts with ...view middle of the document...

It was the longest calendar in Mesoamerica. But they were still not happy, they wanted a longer calendar to record over generations.
The Mayans created the Long Count calendar, which began on August 13, 3114 BC, to last about 5,125.36 years. It is divided up into five units: one day–Kin, 20 days–Uinal, 365 days-Tun, 7,200 days-Katun, 144,000 days-Baktun. The Long Count calendar has a total of 2,880,000 days in its cycle. Dates were written in five numbers but they were separated in four places (13.0.0.0.0). K’in counts single days and goes up to nineteen (13.0.0.0.1). After it hits nineteen in the far right place unit it goes back to zero and the second place unit goes to one. Each B’ak’tun is a little over 400 years. To the Mayans, 13 B’ak’tun represented a “full cycle of creation” which explains why everyone thought the world was going to end on December 21, 2012
The Mayans did not mark December 21, 2012 as the end of the world. In fact the stone it was written on was cracked at the very end making it unable to read. Many believed in the prophesy that the world was going to end because they had not yet found the rest of the calendar at this time. Then others believed that it was going to be a transformation or a new beginning of this world. Others say that we are living in the most important ear of the Mayan calendar because we are not in the fourth sun but not yet in the fifth sun.
People never bought into the world ending in December 21, 2012. Some felt like there needed to be events that happened to lead up the world ending and not just happening overnight. Also the fact that it was coming from centuries old calendar was ridiculous. Anything could happen to those calendars. How do they even know if they are reading them right or if they have all the pieces, which they didn’t. People still do think what the Mayans created was amazing, especially considering what time period they were in.

Works Cited

The Mayans created an elegant system in which events were recorded in a linear relationship to one another. They had a total of twenty calendars that were written on stone monuments or even pottery that date back to as far as the fifth century BCE. The Mayans created three calendars that overlap. They are the Long Count calendar, the Haab Calendar, and the Tzolk’in calendar. Math, Astronomy, religion, culture, and architecture are all a part of the Mayan calendar systems.
The first calendar the Mayans used was the Tzolk’in. It is made up of the numbers twenty and thirteen and operates on a 260-day cycle. The Tzolk’in first day on the calendar is called Imix’ and starts with the number one. The days go on in sequence until it reaches the thirteenth day. After the thirteenth day the calendar goes back to one but the names of the days move forward with the fourteenth glyph, 1x. Rotating like this, the two sets form 260...

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