Talk:Maya civilization

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Featured article Maya civilization is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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Edit Request 11/2014[edit]

{cn} requested to fact-check the claim that the Mayan calendar was "more" accurate than the Gregorian calendar: even the Main Article for Mayan calendar notes that its most accurate form (the Haab) was only accurate to 365.0 days (with Mayan knowledge that it wasn't exactly 365 days, BUT an accuracy to only 2 more digits, i.e. "365.xx": http://www.webexhibits.org/calendars/calendar-mayan.html). The Gregorian is accurate to 365.2425...4 digits or 365.xxxx (see Main Article for Gregorian calendar). The Gregorian has a "leap year," the Mayan Haab doesn't, and Leap Years don't happen EVERY four years (but we might not in our entire lifetime even see one of these cases where we'll skip a Leap Year), which is what gets the Gregorian from 365.25 to the more accurate 365.2425 accuracy. 72.183.52.92 (talk) 14:35, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 12 March 2015[edit]

maya carved stone really good Kobedimick (talk) 02:12, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

X mark.svg Not done as you have not requested a change. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 02:26, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

Tikal[edit]

I think there should be more information about Tikal, those are one, if not the most, important mayan ruins of the civlizattion. This including full paragraphs and pictures. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jrlujan88 (talkcontribs) 03:42, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

Since this is an article about the civilization as a whole, it is not appropriate to focus on any one city. I did a quick count, and Tikal is mentioned almost twice as much as any other city, and has four photos, even though other cities rivalled it in importance at different times. Tikal does already have a fairly detailed article of its own, with a number of subarticles on different aspects of the city - such as the North Acropolis, Lost World Complex, Plaza of the Seven Temples, and individual articles on the most important temples in the city (Temple I, Temple II, Temple III, Temple IV, Temple V, Temple VI and Temple 33). This list is not exhaustive, and there are other articles specifically dedicated to different aspects of the city. Best regards, Simon Burchell (talk) 08:30, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
Absolutely agree. Great improvements here btw! Time to archive the talk page again though (after 7+ years). Johnbod (talk) 13:17, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Johnbod - and thanks for the atlatl pic! All the best, Simon Burchell (talk) 13:31, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 5 May 2015[edit]

Pennsylvana =Pennsylvania

Srednuas Lenoroc (talk) 08:37, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for that - I've fixed the typo. Best regards, Simon Burchell (talk) 08:40, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

co relate Maya civilization with southern west cost of India ...Konkan[edit]

co relation of maya civilisation with southern part konkan , India is interesting. There is a temple of local deity "Maya Purvachari" the idol of the god resembles the idol and sculptures of maya civilisation. Any scholar interested for further information and study is welcome. I would like to help him . contact parag_samant@hotmail.com — Preceding unsigned comment added by 27.5.39.210 (talk) 10:07, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

The Maya people did not likely call themselves Maya and had no deity named Maya. Many other religions have a deity called Maya.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 11:11, 23 June 2015 (UTC)

Faulty English[edit]

In the Merchant's section the English is faulty.

The Maya had no pack animals, so all trade goods were either carried on the backs of porters when going overland. If the trade route followed a river or the coast, then goods were transported in canoes. => The Maya had no pack animals, so all trade goods were either carried on the backs of porters, or transported in canoes if the trade route followed a river or the coast. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 118.208.97.167 (talk) 05:23, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing that out - I've fixed the faulty phrasing. Best regards, Simon Burchell (talk) 10:44, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

Short Count[edit]

Simon: The text you support contains gross errors, like the editor saying that the Short Count is the same as the Calendar Round. I don't know what you think is un-cited. The text I added contains links to the main articles about this which discus it in more detail and they don't support the original version. What do you think needs more references? Senor Cuete (talk) 15:00, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

The article says:"Calendar Round (or Short Count)". No the Short count is not the same thing as the Calendar Round. Read the linked Short Count article. "Scholars have assumed that the Maya continued to regularly count cycles of the Calendar Round since they stopped using the Long Count" This is wrong. There's no reason to assume since the two citations to Milbrath and Tedlock establish that they did continue to use the Calendar Round - until now. Why add a few of the obviously wrong correlations? Many of these are listed in the cited main article:

"The Spinden Correlation would shift the Long Count dates back by 260 years; it also accords with the documentary evidence, and is better suited to the archaeology of the Yucatán Peninsula, but presents problems with the rest of the Maya region. The George Vaillant Correlation would shift all Maya dates 260 years later, and would greatly shorten the Postclassic period. " Huh? Isn't this un-cited? Also these "facts" are very questionabe. Yes, this brief section defers to the main articles (which are linked) and where this is all discussed and cited more thoroughly. Why is this a problem? Isn't the article better with factual text? Did you really read what I wrote carefully, or just hit revert? Senor Cuete (talk) 15:16, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

The calendar is not my strongest point, and there may have been confusion between calendar round and short count. However, at what point is anything uncited? Everything in the article is cited. None of the correlations is 100% solid, and there is no reason to leave out some of the alternatives, while stressing which is the currently preferred. The text you added should contain inline cites - it is no good at all relying on cites in a wikilinked article. Simon Burchell (talk) 08:37, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
I know that Wikipedia can't be a reference for itself. I'll try to find more citations. You are wrong about the GMT correlation. It IS 100% solid. Please carefully read Correlation section of the Long Count article is which Michael Coe is quoted as writing in Breaking the Maya Code: "In spite of oceans of ink that have been spilled on the subject, there now is not the slightest chance that these three scholars (conflated to GMT when talking about the correlation) were not right". The correlation question should have been dead and buried in 1950. The studies by the Teadlocks and Susan Milbrath which revealed that many ethnic groups still use the Calendar Round today, that these are all consistent with each other and the GMT correlation should have been the nails in the coffin of this debate. The main article lists many of the other proposed correlations and there is no reason to mention the few you added because none of them have any credibility. You say "The calendar is not my strongest point". If so they maybe you should let others that understand it write these sections. Senor Cuete (talk) 14:12, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
An inscription at the Temple of the Sun at Palenque records that on Long Count 9.16.4.10.8 there were 26 days completed in a 30 day lunation. Using the Modified Spinden correlation (489,383 days) you would get seven days. With the Spinden correlation (489,384 days) it would eight days. The Vaillant 1 correlation (679,183 days) would give you 15 days and the Vaillant 2 (774,083 days) would give you three. Using modern computer software it's trivial to test these against astronomical events in Maya inscriptions and codices and dismiss them. As you note, these don't agree with carbon dating of the lintels at Tikal, which was recently redone and agreed even more closely with the GMT. Why mention these? Doesn't it just muddy the waters with mis-information? Senor Cuete (talk) 16:04, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

No 13 bak'tun great cycle[edit]

The Ancient Maya by Sharer and Traxler is the source for most of this article and most of it is plagiarized from this source (113 out of 284 references) by Simon Burchell (1654 edits).

The table of higher orders of units of the Long Count copied from page 102 of Sharer and Traxler is correct. There are 20 bak'tuns in a pictun. The evidence for this is described in the Long Count article. Then on page 110 Sharer and Traxler describe the great cycle of 13 bak'tuns three times. This often repeated but apocryphal story is also copied from Sharer and Traxler into this article. This is impossible. Either there are 20 bak'tuns in a pictun or there are 13, not both. The answer is that THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE ANYWHERE IN ANY INSCRIPTION OR CODEX THAT THE MAYA EVER HAD A 13 BAK'TUN GREAT CYCLE and overwhelming evidence to the contrary is presented in the Piktuns and higher orders section of the Long count article. This is why the great cycle is not mentioned in either the Maya calendar or Long Count article. I have removed this statement from this article. Please read the linked articles carefully, particularly the Long Count Piktuns and higher orders section. This provides many examples from inscriptions and the Dresden Codex that there are 20 bak'tuns in a piktun. In order to be a reliable source, a secondary source would have to cite a primary source, namely an inscription or the Dresden codex serpent series. There are none. All inscriptions use 20 bak'tuns in a piktun. Senor Cuete (talk) 02:16, 4 September 2015 (UTC)

Regardless of what sources Sharer and Traxler cite, that is the most reliabel comprehensive source on Maya civilization, used in virtually all university level courses on the topic since the first edition in the early 20th century. There is absolutely no basis for questioning its reliability or for removing facts from it because you personally do not agree. I am reinstating the statement. And you will not be ale to remove it untill you find a more reliable source that explicitly contradicts it. There is no requirement that secondary sources as reliable and respcted as this must cite a primary source for every statement found in them. Your own OR is not an argument.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 07:19, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Your accusation of plagiarism is extremely serious and needs to be backed up by evidence - or else it is a breachof the civilty policy.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 07:23, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Your insertion of a malformatted primary reference instead of Sharer and Traxler into a recently promoted FA is also highly problematic. And I have reverted it. If you wish to add it, then add it in addition to Sharer and Traxler, and format it correctly following the article's established style.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 07:23, 4 September 2015 (UTC)

Maunus, You should carefully read the Piktuns and higher orders section of the Long count article, including the references. This section cites many reliable sources for my assertion that there are 20 bak'tuns in a piktun. Sharer and Traxler don't actually cite any specific source for their assertion that there is a 13 bak'tun great cycle, because they don't use footnotes in their book, just vague nonspecific attributions in their appendix. Think about it Maunus - is it really possible that the Long Count used both 20 and 13 bak'tuns in a piktun? If so then why has nobody ever found one single inscription that is an example of a 13 bak'tun great cycle? Do you really think that the 19 references in the Piktuns and higher orders section of the Long count article with examples is original research? Do you think that authorities like Grofe, who's detailed mathematical analysis of the Serpent Series in the Dresden Codex proves that there are 20 bak'tuns in a piktun, are wrong? Do you think that Thompson really didn't find examples of this at Palenque and Copan? Do you think all of these authors are wrong? Sharer and Troxler is excellent but not infallible. You are probably using it as your textbook. It's Sharer and Troxler that don't cite any reliable sources for their text which is self-contradictory. Would you really like me to add text that specifically proves that there is no 13 bak'tun great cycle or is removing the incorrect assertion better? Senor Cuete (talk) 14:04, 4 September 2015 (UTC)

No, wikipedia articles are not reliable sources. Published textbooks by respected scholars read by hundreds of students every year and published in 10 editions are. Furthermore, most of the sources at the article you refer to do not look like they are of comparable quality as Sharer and Traxler. If you can provide an equally respectable source that explicitly states that there is another number of baktuns in a piktun then that claim can go in addition to the claim of Sharer and Traxler. It would have to be a recent, well-respected, academically published and peer reviewed, review source to be able to compete with Sharer and Traxler. Sharer and Traxler has been through 6 editions, each time with peer review and corrects - so no it is not infallible, but if a fact appears there there is VERY good reason to expect that it a good portion of Maya scholars find it to be correct. I used Morley and Sharer 4th edition when I took my first introduction to Maya culture in 1998, today my archeology colleagues use the 6th edition for their students. And I have never seen an introduction to Maya archeology syllabus that did not use one of its editions, it is quite simply the basic text in the field. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:14, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
OK, here's a compromise: I'll add some text saying that there's really no 13 bak'tun great cycle, citing the infallible bible of all things Mayan, the table on page 102 of Sharer and Traxler. Senor Cuete (talk) 15:09, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
I'm a bit late here, not much wiki time at the moment - but the accusation of plagiarism is obvoiusly false, and offensive. Everything in this article is cited, and I mean everything. Simon Burchell (talk) 15:13, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
"Plagiarism" was a bad choice of words, I apologize for that. Everything is NOT cited because Sharer and Traxler don't use any footnotes, only general loose attributions in their appendices. Theoretically you can't prove a negative, only a positive, by means of evidence. So theoretically I can't prove that there is no great cycle, only present a great deal of really great evidence, like Maya inscriptions, the Dresden Codex and page 102 of Sharer and Traxler. The same standard applies to those who say that there's a great cycle. Shouldn't they have to present some evidence for this? Somebody says there is, but without presenting any evidence for this it's a kind of academic weasel words. Senor Cuete (talk) 15:37, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
Yes it is cited because Sharer and Traxlers use of notes is of nore consequence for wikipedia. We cite it to them, because they are a reliable source. That is all we need to do. If there is a contrasting view then we can cite that also.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 15:39, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
  • We know that there is regional and historical differences in the use of the higher counts (Van Stone 2011[1]). David Stuart gives at least one example of a 13 baktun cycle, where the baktun count reverts to 1.0.0.0.0.0.0. after 13.19.19.17.19.(Stuart 2011:240 [2]). Hence it seems likely that the Maya sometimes did use a 13 baktun cycle, although perhaps not always. I would suggest perhaps a more cautious wording regarding the cycles above the baktun level.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 15:39, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Maunus: I very carefully read the the text of Stuart to which you linked and the abstract of Van Stone. Both of them agree with me that there are 20 piktuns. I don't see an example of what you say in Stewart. In fact, Stuart says that the next pictun will occur in the year 4772. I'll re-read this. The Van Stone abstract says that there is a possibility that some Maya group used 13. I don't have the full text of Van Stone, but I'll try to get it. Van Stone is an outspoken debunker of the 2012 Mayan Doomsday Hoax because there are 20 piktuns so I would be very surprised to see that he has changed his mind. Senor Cuete (talk) 16:00, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
They all agree that a piktun is 20 baktuns, but they also say that there are examples of the baktun cycle resetting after 13. Read Stuart again if you have to. He is quite explicit in saying that this is exactly what happened in at least one case.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:09, 4 September 2015 (UTC)

Maunus: I decided not to continue to discuss Stewart and Van Stone anymore because this is a Red herring. Even if we could agree that the Maya sometimes used some other variation of the Long Count this would not prove that there ever was a 13 bak’tun cycle of the long count as described in Sharer and Traxler. Changing the subject doesn’t help this debate. The burden of proof is on you. If you can find no evidence for a 13 bak’tun great cycle of the Long count, then this must be removed from the article. Your irrational belief in the infallibility of Sharer and Traxler doesn’t count. Sharer and Traxler is conflicted about this and vaguely cites several possible other secondary sources that may or may not mention this but you can be sure they don’t cite any primary sources because there aren’t any. Therefore I feel justified in removing the erroneous text to improve the article. You might want to read the comments about the calendrics in Sharer and Troller that I wrote on Simon Burchell’s talk page. Also your statement that I can’t edit this article to remove this error is a blatant case of WP:Ownership_of_content.

  • No, the burden of proof is on those who would contradict what is clearly a reliable source.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:15, 7 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Again Senor Cuete (talk · contribs), you need to make a better case for why Sharer and Traxler should be discarded - and then you need to get consensus for your proposed changes. You can't just driveby tagbomb an FA like that. Especially when you know the content is sourced and that two editors disagree with your argument.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 03:48, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Maunus: the table shows that there are 20 baktuns in a piktun then the text says that there are 13. How is this not self-contradictory? This is not "driveby tagbombing". You are a bully, carrying out a personal vendetta against me. Senor Cuete (talk) 04:05, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Yeah yeah and you are a paranoid fool, but that shouldn't stop us from having a civil conversation. You are right that there is an implicit contradiction between the table and the last paragraph, but there are several ways that this could be resolved. As we established above, the most accurate would be to specifically mention that the piktun is sometimes described as having 13 and sometimes as having 20 baktuns, depending on the scholar and on the specific source.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 04:14, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 28 October 2015[edit]

What is this? What is it you want? Johnbod (talk) 13:19, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

Ok, what he is after can be seen on this sub-page diff. He had pasted the entire article, plus changes, here. He wants a new section "Present-day Maya people" "Currently, there are thousands of Mayan decedents across Mexico, many of which still live by Lake Tenochtitlan. The mayan language still lives on in Mexico. It is spoken by many natives, as an attempt to keep their culture alive. One of the most famous things that the Mayans left behind was their infamous calendar that allegedly predicted the end of the world in 2012."

Johnbod (talk) 13:34, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

Won't add as is - no references (& various spelling errors etc). This is covered in the "Persistence of Maya culture" section, if you got that far. Johnbod (talk) 13:38, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

Suggested edit in section "Postclassic period (c. 950 - 1539)"[edit]

Pursuant to discussions had with a fellow editor (User:Maunus), I would like to make the following suggestion for an edit, meant at clarifying the reason for Mayapan's demise. The suggested edit, if accepted, will be added in the third and final paragraph, and reads as follows:

Mayapan was abandoned around 1448, after a period of political, social and environmental turbulence that in many ways echoed the Classic period collapse in the southern Maya region. According to Diego de Landa Calderon (1524 - 1579), the city was abandoned following the country's enslavement by a certain chieftain of the Yucatecan nation (in collusion with a garrison of Mexica Indians), and which ill-treatment eventually led to internecine war, culminating in the city's demise in circa 1441.[1] [2] [3] The abandonment of the city was followed by a period of prolonged warfare, disease and natural disasters in the Yucatán Peninsula, which only ended shortly before Spanish contact in 1511. (the continuation here remains unchanged, as it appears in the article)

NOTES:

  1. Yucatán Before and After the Conquest, by Diego de Landa.
  2. Mayapan Yucatan Mexico, H.E.D. Pollock, Ralph L. Roys, T. Proskouriakoff & A. Ledyard Smith, Publication 619: Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D.C. 1962, (Introduction) p. 8
  3. Kukulcan's Realm: Urban Life at Ancient Mayapán, Marilyn Masson & Carlos Peraza Lope, University Press of Colorado 2014, chapter 8: Militarism, Misery and Collapse ISBN 978-1-60732-319-8
But what is the reason that including the sentence on da Landa's statement would improve the section? I honestly don't see the need for this - the section is about Maya civilization in the post-classic - not about Mayapan. Also there are some language problems, e.g. "and which ill-treatment eventually led to internecine war". Also I have never heard of a post-classic "Yucatecan nation".·maunus · snunɐɯ· 00:46, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Since the section refers to postclassic Maya civilizaton, and since it mentions Mayapan explicitly - including its demise - it is only being fair to historians to give a more complete picture of its fall, just as mentioned in historical records, and by scholars of our generation.Davidbena (talk) 01:25, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
"Yucatecan" nation is the actual word used in the earliest historical records to describe the Maya who lived in the Yucatan Peninsula.Davidbena (talk) 01:27, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
This is a giant topic and it requires concision and avoidance of excessive detail. The complete picture belongs in the article on Mayapan. And as Marilyn Masson pointed out, Landa is not a good source to take at face value and simply quoting him is likely to be misleading unless accompanied by interpretation and critical analysis from historians. I would support only the inclusion of the setences "Mayapan was abandoned around 1448, after a period of political, social and environmental turbulence that in many ways echoed the Classic period collapse in the southern Maya region. The abandonment of the city was followed by a period of prolonged warfare, disease and natural disasters in the Yucatán Peninsula, which only ended shortly before Spanish contact in 1511.", cutting the mention of de Landa.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 01:30, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Okay, I agree with your assessment. We'll make the insertion according to your "abridged" suggestion. Thanks.Davidbena (talk) 01:36, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

Definition sentence[edit]

Apparently a couple of editors don't like using the word "Maya" twice in the definition sentence preferring instead to contort the language in different possible and impossible directions. None of the proposed wordings (striking "Maya peoples", eponymous people, its people) are preferable and both alter the meaning of the definition making it either inaccurate or uninformative. First of all there is not one but many Maya peoples, and they do not belong to the civilization (making "its people" improper) rather they constructed it and it has therefore been named after them - hence it is the civilization that is "eponymous" not the peoples (see this guide to the use of the word [3]) - and furthermore "eponymous" is just a terrible word to use in an encyclopedia especially in definitions, unless you are writing about rock albums. And finally Maya civilization is defined by having been developed by Maya peoples - hence any attempt to avoid explicitly saying this in the definition makes the definition inaccurate.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 17:04, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

I agree, the context requires duplication of the word Maya in order to accurately define the topic. All the best, Simon Burchell (talk) 17:11, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
Please explain what is inaccurate or uninformative about "The Maya civilization was a Mesoamerican civilization noted for its hieroglyphic script". Yaris678 (talk) 18:25, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
It is not an accurate definition because the definition is that it was developed by the Maya peoples, not that it used a specific script.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 18:33, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
There's a link in the template. Using "Maya" twice is utterly redundant. You can explain the fine details in the article's body, perhaps in a dedicated "etymology" section, but please keep it out of the first sentence of the lead. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 18:30, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
No, it is not redundant, but necessary. It would be redundant only if it didnt add information, which it does.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 18:33, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

RfC: Definition[edit]

I reviewed the closure after reading the ANI thread and the talk page of the original closer. Clearly there was no bad faith involved here. The question was worded as a double negative, making it difficult to understand for outside parties what 'yes' and 'no' meant, and I had to read the RFC a few times before I got it. Consensus is to include the double wording - "Should it be omitted?" has been answered "no." Please, please be clear when you're asking questions so we can avoid this kind of misunderstanding. Katietalk 14:51, 19 March 2016 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This RfC asks if the wording of the definition sentence should omit a second mention of the word "Maya". And if so which construction should be preferred. Please answer by Answering either "yes" or "no" and if Yes add also your preferred wording.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 18:35, 27 January 2016 (UTC)

Survey[edit]

  • No The definition of the Maya civilization is that it was developed by the Maya peoples - there is no accurate way to define the topic without mentioning this explicitly. The doule use of the word is therefore not redundant.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 18:36, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes. The dual use of the word is utterly redundant - who else would develop a Maya civilisation than Maya people!? Further that it actually was developed by them can be introduced in a far less tautological manner in the remainder of the article, so the lead sentence should be "The Maya civilization was a Mesoamerican civilization noted for its hieroglyphic script" as noted above by Yaris678. The current formulation is literally being laughed at on Facebook and I'd be amazed if it wasn't also being laughed at elsewhere. Thryduulf (talk) 18:40, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
But this is not a definition, which Wikipedia requires in the first sentence.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 18:58, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
As a concrete suggestion for how this could be achieved, just change the start of the second sentence from "The Maya civilization developed in an area" to "Developed by the Maya peoples, the civilisation arose in an area". Thryduulf (talk) 18:44, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
That doesn't solve the problem of the definition. If there is a consensus to change it, I would suggest instead dropping the "maya civilization", so that we writie "The civilization of the Maya peoples developed in Mesoamerica and is known for its script...."·maunus · snunɐɯ· 19:04, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
WP:IAR is there for a reason... Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 19:01, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
Yes, but this does not improve the wording, only make it inaccurate.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 19:04, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes - either from the wording I enacted in my edits or Thryduulf's proposal above works. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 19:01, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
  • No - I see no problem with the prior wording, and the current {now reverted} version maintains redundancy, using the word civilization twice in the same clause. This is a common situation with articles on various empires, dynasties, and civilizations, but the previous wording dealt with it adequately. Further, WP:BEGIN states that "the page title should be the subject of the first sentence." The change makes the opening more awkward than any perceived redundancy of using Maya twice. Unnamed Facebook users are laughing? Oh noes! Ask them how they would word it; that should be really good for a laugh. Laszlo Panaflex (talk) 19:23, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
Just pointing out that WP:BEGIN says tells us to "Remember that the title of the article need not appear verbatim in the lead".·maunus · snunɐɯ· 19:54, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes. I also think some people are missing the point about redundancy. If we are insisting that the first sentence gives a definition... OK... but let's not give it a circular definition. A more sensible definition would talk about the location and the time period. Yaris678 (talk) 20:22, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
The definition is not circular, Maya peoples are not defined by being the people who drove the Maya civilization, but by speaking languages of the Mayan linguistic family.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 20:31, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
Is it coincidence that they all contain the word Maya? Or was one named after the other? Yaris678 (talk) 22:06, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
It is a little complicated but basically the naming order is language > peoples > civilization. It would also be an accurate definition to say "The Maya civilization was developed by peoples speaking the Mayan languages".·maunus · snunɐɯ· 02:08, 28 January 2016 (UTC)
I also think that:
  • All the arguments given for the "The Maya civilization was a Mesoamerican civilization developed by the Maya peoples" are reasons why the wording is not as stupid as it sounds, rather than reasons why we shouldn't use less stupid-sounding wording.
  • The above wording also says "Maya peoples, noted for their hieroglyphic script—the only known fully developed writing system of the pre-Columbian Americas" and so appears to be going off on a diversion about the script of the people, rather than talking about things specific to the civilisation. (As far as I can tell, the script is actually specific to the civilisation. Certainly, the article on the Huastec civilization says that they were Maya people that didn't use the Maya script.)
  • The above wording grammatically odd. It says "The Maya peoples, noted for ... its art" we would expect "noted for their art" ... but I am guessing "its" refers to the Maya civilisation.
Yaris678 (talk) 18:41, 28 January 2016 (UTC)
Yep, its refers back to the civilization, which was developed by Maya peoples. And yes the Huastecs didnt use the Maya script, and neither do most maya people to do, which is also why the script has "its" and not "theirs". It is the civilization that is noted for these things. The peoples are noted for having developed the civilization, but that is a different story.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 18:58, 28 January 2016 (UTC)
Do you see what I mean about grammatical oddness? Or do you think "The Maya peoples, noted for ... its art" is OK? Yaris678 (talk) 13:48, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
Do you see what I mean about the apparent diversion? Or do you think it is OK to appear to talk about the people's script, in an article about the civilisation? Do you see that if the script is specific to the civilisation it is easiest not to mention is immediately after we have mentioned the people? Yaris678 (talk) 13:58, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
No, I don't agree, I think this is a perfectly normal and intelligible construction. The unintended reading can be further averted by inserting an "and" before "noted".·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:02, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
Cool. I have fixed the "grammatical oddness" / "unintended reading" as you suggested.
It would be nice if someone could address "All the arguments given ... are reasons why the wording is not as stupid as it sounds, rather than reasons why we shouldn't use less stupid-sounding wording."
Yaris678 (talk) 17:54, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
Adding the "and" is fine. On the other argument you are incorrect, I have given quite detailed argumentation for why the proposed alternative wordings are worse than the existing one.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 18:20, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
In response to "The Maya civilization was a Mesoamerican civilization noted for its hieroglyphic script" you said this wasn't a definition. This is taking a narrower understanding of the word "definition" than is often applied in Wikipedia. Furthermore, it can be easily addressed by adding the words "largest" and "classic", as in "The Maya civilization was the largest Classic Mesoamerican civilization, noted for its hieroglyphic script".
In response to the idea of defining the Maya civilization in terms of its location, as was done on the Main Page, I've seen nothing specific. Do you also hold that this is not a definition?
If we look at WP:BEGIN, the sentence on a definition says "If its subject is definable, then the first sentence should give a concise definition: where possible, one that puts the article in context for the nonspecialist. Similarly, if the title is a specialised term, provide the context as early as possible." This "definition" in terms of Maya people does not put things in context for the non-specialist reader. You have to be someone who knows who the Maya people are. I have seen no argument put forward about everyone knowing about the Maya people. I've only seen the assertion that Maya civilization must be defined in terms of its people. I've seen the assertion (by Keegan) that this is how anthropology works. I've seen no evidence that this is how anthropology works. I've seen no argument as to why, if this is how anthropology works, we should go with this definition that is understandable by anthropologist (i.e. specialists) but not by non-specialists.
Yaris678 (talk) 14:22, 30 January 2016 (UTC)
  • No I get Maunus's point. Assuming that X civilization is named after X people makes common sense, but it's not how anthropology always works. X civilization is named after Y people, and it only generally happens that the civilization is eponymous. There are many civilizations founded by peoples not named after/for the civilization, so I think that saying that the Maya civilization is named after the Maya people is an absolutely fair and important part of the definition. Keegan (talk) 21:16, 27 January 2016 (UTC)
  • No This needs to be specific. It does not necessarily follow that the Maya civilization would be developed by the Maya people. For example, the Huastec civilization was also developed by the Maya people. The defefinition is not circular. The Maya people developed the Maya civilization, but there are many millions of Maya people alive today who belong to the Maya culture, or speak a Mayan language, but do not belong to the historical Maya civilization. Simon Burchell (talk) 09:31, 28 January 2016 (UTC)
    I think you have just made a very good argument that "The Maya civilization was a Mesoamerican civilization developed by the Maya peoples" is insufficiently specific. Yaris678 (talk) 11:35, 28 January 2016 (UTC)
Not that I can see. In fact that pretty much sums it up, and ideally requires two uses of the word "Maya". Simon Burchell (talk) 12:47, 28 January 2016 (UTC)
Not that you can see. OK. I will try to spell it out. If there was more than one civilisation of maya people, saying "was a civilisation of maya people" could refer to either, whereas saying "was a Mesoamerican civilization in an area that encompasses southeastern Mexico, all of Guatemala and Belize, and the western portions of Honduras and El Salvador." tells us which civilisation we are talking about, which is funny cos that is exactly what appeared on the main page when the article was featured. Yaris678 (talk) 17:37, 28 January 2016 (UTC)
I would say that I disagree with Simons argument in that I dont think most scholars talk about a separate "Huastec civilization" - Huastecs are simply one of the Mesoamerican Gulf cultures along with the Totonacs.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 17:41, 28 January 2016 (UTC)
  • No for the various reasons given above. I don't think I have anything to add. Doug Weller talk 17:13, 28 January 2016 (UTC)
  • No per Maunus. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 01:29, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
  • No for the various reasons given above, although I don't think it matters that much. Johnbod (talk) 18:40, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
  • No - Summoned by bot. Agree with Maunus' arguments. Seems pretty clear at this point. Meatsgains (talk) 02:00, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
  • No - I agree with Maunus' argument as well. Comatmebro User talk:Comatmebro 23:03, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Post-closure comments[edit]

  • I think this closeure is highly problematic. The closer states that there is a rough consensus for the position voiced by three editors, against the position supported by 9 editors. The closer also states flatly that the minority position is correct, and does not provide an actual or acceptable rationale for how the weighing of the arguments with a 3/1 ration can fall in favor of the minority position.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 19:21, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
I agree - it doesn't appear to reflect the actual discussion at all. Simon Burchell (talk) 20:23, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
I am undoing the closure which Robert McClenon (talk · contribs) himself acknowledges is based on a misunderstanding.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:59, 18 March 2016 (UTC)

Reversion of edits to calendar section[edit]

This is a personal vendetta against me by Maunus, who will always revert anything I do to correct the gross factual errors in this section. Even though he knows what I have written is absolutely correct he will never allow it. He won't study this. He won't read what I wrote. He won't read the supposed references in Sharer and Troxler - which contradict what it says in their book. Shame on you Maunus. What you're doing is totally contrary to all of the principles and rules of Wikipedia. Also this article is nothing more than a condensed version of one book - Sharer and Troxler. Senor Cuete (talk) 03:57, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

No, no vendetta. But you didnt get any consensus for these edits the last time round so I dont know why you would think you could simply insert them now with no discussion. I did see the basic point that you were objecting to, the way that the section didnt clearly distinguish between the different cycles and the ling count. I've made some edits to try to address that but I am open to a discussion on how to represrnt it bettwe, but it would need to be based on sources this time and not just on your own claims about what is right and what is wrong.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 04:00, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm willing to cite a huge number of sources as I mentioned in the previous discussion - principally the authors that Sharer and Troxler supposedly studied to write the calendar section of their book and came to the conclusion that there are both 13 and 20 Bak'tun cycles. Also you should actually read the Van Stone article you mention because it says that I am correct and there is no 13 bak'tun cycle. Wikipedia is not a democracy. The quality of the arguments is important. My willingness to cite numerous definitive references vs. Sharer and Troxler can't be contradicted. Yes, obviously some sort of vendetta or other logical problem. Also it's not really two contributors vs. me. The other editor you use to claim the moral high-ground is being silent except to say that he doesn't know about this. Senor Cuete (talk) 04:17, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Would you also be willing to begin spelling Loa Traxler's surname right? There are two sources that mention the existence of some inscriptions with 13 baktun cycles one is Van Stone the other is Stuart. I think you should probably provide those sources you have and then we can file an RfC to get wider outside input.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 04:26, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Maunus PLEASE READ the Van Stone article. You keep claiming it says that there are either 13 or 20 bak'tuns. It doesn't. You are simply mis-interpreting the abstract. The page to which you link in Stuart is incomprehensible gobltygook which contains arithmetically and historically impossible nonsense. Senor Cuete (talk) 15:49, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Indeed the quality of argument is important. So far your main argument has been that major Maya scholars Sharer and Traxler are incompetent, that the reknowned Maya epigrapher David Stuart writes gobbledygook and impossible nonsense. Your only source has been the Wikipedia article to which you are the main contributer. And the your main counterclaim to Van Stone article is that you believe he writes the opposite of what he is clearly writing. So excuse me if I am not particularly swayed. I have added a sentence noting that both 20 and 13 baktun piktun counts are found in different cities.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 18:26, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Mark van Stone, 2011 p. 190 "Maya Long Counts invariably reset the Era Date odometer from 13 Pik (13 Bak'tuns) back to 1, so one might assume that the next order up, also at 13, would reset as well, and perhaps the next, and the next, and on up" ... "The surprise here is that the coefficient of the Piktun (the next higher order above the Bak'tuns) is (still) 13. As mentioned above, one might expect that, when the Bak'tun coefficient reset to 1, the Piktun coefficient would also have reset, triggering the next higher-order coefficient, etc. Alternatively, it might perhaps have risen to 14. But Yaxchilan HS2 Step VII’s Piktun coefficient stays stuck at 13. Apparently the calendar-priests of Yaxchilan (and perhaps also at Cob´a) considered these higher-order coefficients as purely symbolic; they do not accumulate time like the ‘real’ lower-order coefficients. Perhaps the priests in these cities did expect that the Long Count would restart after the 13.0.0.0.0 in December 2012. They do not, unfortunately, tell us explicitly one way or another" (i.e. at Yaxchilan and Tortugero piktun = 13 Baktun) But at Palenque: "In terms of understanding the 2012 date, this text is critical. It tells us two important things. First, the Palenque priest-prophets did not expect the Long Count calendar to reset after it reached 13. Instead, the next Bak�tun will be 14.0.0.0.0, and then 15.0.0.0.0, and on up to the 20th, when it finally resets and the odometer clicks over the next-higher digit to reach 1.0.0.0.0.0". What van Stone is saying is that there is variation, and some cities used 13 baktuns in a piktun and others used 20.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 17:42, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
No, he's not. Perhaps if you read this again and study this subject, someday you will comprehend it. Senor Cuete (talk) 16:09, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I comprehend it fine thank you. And this is in fact the main point of the entire article. So maybe either you produce a source and a coherent argument or you leave the issue alone? You are not engaging in an actual discussion here just hand waving. We will have to start and RfC if you insist to have it your way. So prepare some actual arguments and some actual sources which you will need to convince people that you are right. I have written an email to Dr. Van Stone so that he may himself clarify the proper interpretation of his article.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 18:22, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

RfC: Maya Calendar: How many piktuns in a kalabtun?[edit]

There is consensus to mention the 13 baktuns/piktuns. The argument against mentioning this view did not supply any sources. It also claimed that including the information is original research, but this is clearly not the case given the sources, which participants unanimously consider reliable. All participants are reminded to assume good faith. This RfC was quite a bit more contentious than it needed to be. (non-admin closure) ~ RobTalk 13:31, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This Rfc asks how the article should describe the Maya calendar, in terms of the number of piktun cycles in a '. Should we

A. Describe the Maya calendar system as uniformly using 20 piktuns per kalabtun? (Sources include: )

or should we

B. Mention that some inscriptions use seem to 13 baktuns in the previous piktun and 13 piktuns in the current kalabtun? (Sources for this include Sharer & Traxler, Van Stone 2011, Stuart 2011 (also [4], Carter 2014)
Survey
  • B. Three major specialist sources describe how some inscriptions clock over after 13 piktuns (at least forthe piktun from 3114BCE to 2012CE). Van Stone specifically argues that this is because of local variation in how the larger cycles are counted. That is enough that we need to include this view. Describing it as if the Maya uniformly used the base 20 clock for the higher order cycles would be false. I propose using the following text to describe this:" The Maya used the Long Count Calendar to fix any given day of the Calendar Round within their current great Piktun cycle consisting of either 20 or 13 bak'tuns. Specifically texts in Palenque demonstrate that the bak'tun cycle that ended in 3114 BCE had only 13 bak'tuns, which means that the current piktun cycle is exceptional in containing 13 + 20 bak'tun. There may have been some regional variation in how these exceptional cycles were managed."·maunus · snunɐɯ· 18:31, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
  • B. Maunus' arguments seem solid, and the counterargument seems little more than "I disagree" without producing any referncing. Simon Burchell (talk) 09:30, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Discussion

According to Maunus, The Ancient Maya by Sharer and Traxler says that Long Count inscriptions can have either 13 or 20 bak'tuns. This is a lie. The Ancient Maya has a poorly written section about the calendar that contradicts itself about this. Maunus deliberately INTERPRETS this to say this. Maunus' deliberate misinterpretation of this material can't be in the Wikipedia because it's original research. Ironically this section of The Ancient Maya is supposedly based on Thompson who wrote: "I have throughout assumed that the baktuns were grouped, not in 13's, but in 20's, for the evidence supporting a vigesimal count of baktuns in Dresden and at Palenque and Copan is too strong to be overridden."

According to Maunus The Van Stone article says that some Long Count inscriptions used 13 bak'tuns. This is a lie. The Van stone article shows a non-standard Long count inscription. Even though Van Stone says in the next sentence that this does not shed any light on whether the scribes in this location expected 13 or 20 bak'tuns, Maunus deliberately misinterprets this text to say that there could be 13 or 20 bak'tuns. This can't be in the article because it's original research. Ironically Van Stone was one of the most vocal debunkers of the 2012 Mayan doomsday hoax. His argument: There is no 13 bak'tun cycle in the Long Count.

In 2012 Many authors rushed books into print to make money on the 2012 Mayan doomsday hoax. Sadly one of these was Stuart. The passage in Stuart that Maunus wants to cite is so horribly written that it's quite difficult to understand what Stuart was trying to say but just about the only thing that this doesn't say is that there was a 13 bak'tun cycle in the Long Count. Once again, Maunus is lying. This passage is so confusing that it's easy for Maunus to deliberately mis-interpret it to say that Stuart believes that there was a 13 bak'tun cycle. Once again this can't be in the article because it's original research. In his other writing, Stuart has been absolutely clear that there are 20 bak'tuns in a piktun.

Maunus points out that all existing Long Count inscriptions give the starting date of the current creation as a whole lot of 13s.13.0.0.0.0. He misinterprets this to prove that there was a 13 bak'tun cycle in the Long Count. Even if this was right it can't be in the article because it's original research.

In order to make his point Maunus resorts to the classic techniques of pseudoscientific disinformation: Cherry picking the evidence, lying about what it says and misinterpreting it.

Do you want this to be a high-quality article containing main-stream scientific consensus, citing numerous reliable sources or the fringe theories of a single author who is actually quite ignorant of this subject and has an axe to grind.

The choice is yours.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Senor Cuete (talkcontribs)

I shall disregard your nasty tone and your accusations of bad faith. Again you provide no sources in support of your claims that I am mistaken. Yesterday I received word from professor van Stone, who confirmed that I did indeed correctly interpret his argument in the 2011 article. I also checked with my former colleague Nicholas Carter, who pointed me to a recent article of his that I now integrated into the article. Van Stone and Carter additionally corrected me in one part of my understanding of the issue, but pointed out that I was correct in another: I was incorrect in understanding that the Maya in general were undecided about the standard length of the Bak'tun and Piktun - indeed the standard length is considered to be 20 cycles. But Van Stone and Carter pointed out that the Maya Calendar considers the cycles in which they themselves lived to be exceptional in containing first 13 cycles, then resetting again to 1 and going up to 20 before the next cycle begins. They point out that creation texts show definitively that the Bak'tun that ended in 3114 BCE had only 13 k'atuns. For the current Piktun there is variation, with some texts describing it as having 13 bak'tuns (Yaxchilan, Tortuguero) and others as having 20 (Palenque). So the current description of the issue in the article is correct, and it does not commit any of the atrocities that Senor Cuete attributes to me.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:18, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Coment from Mark van Stone regarding the interpretation of his 2011 article[edit]

"Dear [Maunus],

When I set out to write "2012: Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya" in 2009, I was under the impression that the archaeological record supported both sides of the argument.

As my research progressed, I never found any emic evidence that *any* Maya believed that a Piktun consisted of only 13 Bak'tuns, save the one obvious 13.0.0.0.0 Period-ending at the beginning of this Creation. There was plenty of *etic* evidence, starting with Dr. Coe's conjecture that started this whole meme in 1965 (1st edition of "The Maya"), which he expanded in "Breaking the Maya Code."

Then, it became obvious in the 70s that the Palenque Maya believed *this* Piktun contains 20 Bak'tuns (thanks to decipherments by Linda Schele & co., as detailed in my book). Archaeologists & scholars looked at each other and said, sheepishly, 'I guess we were wrong about that 13-Bak'tun thing. It seems that the Maya believed the 13-Bak'tun period-ending in 3114 BC was a *one-time* event.' Like Noah's Flood. Like Christ's birth. Every piktun after the 13.0.0.0.0 "Planting of the Throne-Stones" in 3114 BC would have 20 Bak'tuns. The scholars moved on, but the meme voiced in Mike's books had escaped cultivation into the wider world. Now it was picked up by less-reputable scholars and pseudo-scholars and soon a whole subculture was preparing for the "end of the Mayan Calendar." Let me repeat: There is NO evidence that ANY ancient Maya believed that the "present" Bak'tun would *end* or reset to zero. *This idea is a completely modern conjecture.*

Now, a pair of monuments in Yaxchilan and in Cobá has put scholars' knickers in a twist, because they seem to contradict each other. (Again all this is in my "2012" book.) One has a then-current 5-digit date preceded by eight coefficients of "13," suggesting that the upper-order coefficients were "frozen" at 13; while the other one (with 20 "13" coefficients followed by .0.0.0.0) implied that the Piktun would be raised by one, to 14, in the coming cycle. It's kind of like an odometer clicking over to 1,000,000 miles (in some cars 100,000 miles), even though there is no seventh (sometimes sixth) digit to show it. On your dashboard it shows 000000, and looks like your car is all-new again. The record is unclear, but that discrepancy is why I said some calendar-priests seemed to believe one thing, and some another.

Mike and I have discussed this at length. He insists that the Maya "must have" imputed some extraordinary value on the then-in-the-future 13.0.0.0.0 date. His argument is strong, but there is actually no known evidence that they did. (At least, not yet.) A possible bit of support in that direction might be cited: The two known ancient mentions of the "2012" 13.0.0.0.0 date: Tortuguero Mon. 6 (on the cover of my book) and the La Corona step-text found in June 2012. (Too late to be included in my book). Both monuments were carved in the 9.13.0.0.0 K'atun, and the rulers seem to have been linking ahead to the next Big 13 date, for some reason. I conjecture (we do a lot of conjecturing) they were reflecting their "special" K'atun's numerology to the next "special" date. But there is nothing else to support that.

An even more-off-the-wall idea comes from the same Palenque inscription that mentions the 20th Bak'tun (the Temple of Inscriptions text). It counts ahead from the 9.12.0.0.0 (12th K'atun) during which Pakal the Great died, to the next Period-ending (9.13.0.0.0, the 13th K'atun), and says he would celebrate the P.E., wherever he was. Then it says he'd celebrate the end of the next-larger cycle (10.0.0.0.0, the end of the next Bak'tun), which was at that time 140 or so years in the future. Then the text goes to the NEXT-larger cycle, the 1.0.0.0.0.0 *piktun*-ending in 4774 AD (I think, forgive me if I misremember), and repeats that, "He'll be back."

The text is not terribly well-understood, but it also mentions two other future Bak'tun-endings: the 12.0.0.0.0 date (around 1619, if I recall), and the 14.0.0.0.0 date (around AD 2405[?]). Strikingly, it skips right over the 13.0.0.0.0 date, without a mention. Why? Perhaps because Pakal the Great missed the 9.13.0.0.0 date by nine years, and so he could not legitimately link himself to the 13th Bak'tun (though he *could* link to the 12th...).

Or perhaps it had to do with rivalry: Tortuguero and La Corona were part of the Calak'mul confederacy, and it was the Calak'mul ruler who celebrated the 9.13.0.0.0 (and linked to the 13.0.0.0.0) dates at La Corona; his liege/subordinate at Tortuguero did the same. In other words, the Palenque scribes were deliberately downplaying the great event (9.13.0.0.0) celebrated by her enemies (Palenque was part of the Tikál confederacy, blood-rivals to Calak'mul's). Maybe they disrespected the date specifically because it was so important to their rivals. All conjecture. No basis in fact or inscriptions, just a scholar/scribe trying to make sense of a confusing and fragmentary history. Do these theories make sense to you?

So, in short, I think that at least at Palenque, the calendar-priests disagreed with Sharer and Traxler. There may well have been schools of priests who would have agreed with S & T, (perhaps divided from Palencanos like Catholics from Protestants, see below), but there is no real evidence for such a belief... Yet.

Myself, I think it VERY likely that there was a spectrum of interpretations on the 13.0.0.0.0 vs. (20).0.0.0.0 Bak'tun.

Best, and thanks,
Mark Van Stone, Ph.D.

PS. By the way, David Stuart tried to reconcile the Yaxchilán and the Cobá dates by suggesting that the Piktun coefficient only changed after a cycle of 13 Bak'tuns, followed by a further 20 Bak'tuns. And likewise, the 13th Piktun would reset to zero, but its larger order, Kalabtun, would *not* reset till 20 more Piktuns had passed. In other words, there are *33* high-order cycles have to pass before the next-higher cycle clicks over a digit.

I think his interpretation extremely unlikely. He is trying to reconcile inscriptions from two different sites, one in which the calendar-priests apparently believed the higher orders fixed at 13 (like a stopped clock) and another, in a different city, where (in my interpretation) the priests believed the higher orders behaved like real numerals do: they click over to the next digit when the lower orders reach 20.

To me this discrepancy makes more sense than David's convoluted scenario. It seems as likely that some cities' scribes disagreed with each other on Calendrical matters, as Catholics and Protestants disagreeing about certain "truths" (or Sunni vs. Shi'a Islam; or Theravada vs. Mahayana Buddhism; or Guelph vs. Ghibelline in Medieval Italy); i.e., that one city's priestly "schools" had an interpretation different from some others'."

text refactored into quotebox by Koala Tea Of Mercy (KTOM's Articulations & Invigilations) 17:22, 19 March 2016 (UTC)

·maunus · snunɐɯ· 00:02, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Leaving aside personal attacks against Maunus (comment on the content, not the editor, and assume good faith), it seems to me, without having read the Van Stone book, that Maunus' arguments are solid. None of what Maunus is citing is a fringe theory, and all of it references respected Mayanists. Simon Burchell (talk) 09:28, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Maunus, thank you so much for having Van Stone confirm that what I said is correct. Obviously a Long Count Inscription can't locate itself in a 13 bak'tun cycle if there are 20 bak'tuns in a piktun. So the table is correct but the text is wrong. I'll fix the article accordingly. Senor Cuete (talk) 15:01, 14 February 2016 (UTC)
Van Stone is not confirming what you said. Your edits will be reverted unless they have consensus behind them. So maybe you should propose them here first.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 15:39, 14 February 2016 (UTC)
Don't worry Maunus, I was just kidding. I know you will always revert any good faith edits I make to this article, engage in editwaring and display WP:Ownership_of_content because of your personal vendetta against me. You said on my talk page: "You were right that Sharer and Traxler were incorrect in considering the number 13 to be the standard number of bak'tuns in a piktun". Also: "I have never claimed to be an expert in Maya calendrics, I have taken classes on the topic, but I am not an expert and the fact is it doesnt interest me much.". No kidding? You and Simon Burchell can't live without a crappy section of the article, plagiarized from Sharer and Traxler. Too bad for the readers of Wikipedia. Senor Cuete (talk) 16:05, 14 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I said those things, and I stand by them. If you had made a coherent argument and produced sources, instead of starting out with editwarring on an FA and making personal attacks against the editors who are following policy, then this process would ave been much easier.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 16:16, 14 February 2016 (UTC)
Senor Cuete, once again you accuse me of plagiarism. As I have previously explained, such an accusation is obviously false, and offensive. Before making such accusations, I suggest you understand what plagiarism is, and what it isn't. The section is not plagiarised (in fact nothing in the article is), and is referenced to reliable sources, whether you like those sources or not. Unless you can come up with solid references to support your point of view, this argument is going nowhere. Simon Burchell (talk) 10:25, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
  • I was called her by the feedback request service and know nothing about Mayan history. After reading the discussion so far, though, I would like to point out that when there is a disagreement about interpretation of historic data among sources written by subject experts and journalists, the article should reflect that in a neutral way, such as "This has been interpreted by most historians to mean XXX. This has been challenged by YYY, who concluded that ZZZ, but this idea has met with resistance from WWW, who claim that VVV" ---or some such thing, provided that both points of view are cited in reliable independent sources (even if the sources are citing them in order to refute them). If, however, one of the points of view is written about by one author and no other historians or science writers bother to discuss it at all in their publications, then it shouldn't be in the article.—Anne Delong (talk) 13:10, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
Anne: Obviously this isn't an argument about whether the text should be changed, the point here is that self-appointed Führer of this article, User:Maunus, thinks it's OK for him to decide whether and which other editors can make good faith edits, citing reliable sources. Senor Cuete (talk) 23:15, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
You havent cited a single fucking source in support of your changes. You just claim that whichever source I present in support of mine say the opposite of what they say. I don't doubt your good faith, but seriously unless you cite sources yuor proposed changes are a non-starter. Making changes to a wikipedia article requires two things: consensus and sources. You have failed to provide either.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 23:20, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Why is this being brought up here on the Maya civilization article and not the main article of Maya calendar or the sort-of sub article of Mesoamerican Long Count calendar? The section of this article should be just a summary of the Maya calendar article. How about just lifting the Introduction and Overview section from Maya calendar and deleting the chart? This is a survey article – short, sweet and simple with links to other articles for those readers who care to learn more. Simplify any wording that is controversial to the point where it no longer is and then explain the controversy in the main Maya calendar article. I would delete most of what is in the calendar subsection, including the chart, and add one thing -- a reference to 2012 (movie) and 2012 phenomenon along any other important current, cultural reference, not nothing more than a passing half-sentence reference. --Iloilo Wanderer (talk) 11:55, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
Good idea but Maunus will revert it. Senor Cuete (talk) 17:15, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
I do not revert edits that are supported by consensus. Iloilo wanderer's idea strikes me as entirely wrongheaded and a basic misunderstanding of what the job of this article is. The article's job is to inform the reader about the Maya civilization. The Maya calendar is an important aspect of the civilization and as such there needs to be a section summarizing the calendar. What the article does not need to do is to inform te reader about how recent pop culture has described the Maya civilization, hence links to the 2012 movie (which has absolutely zero relation to Maya civilization) or to the 2012 phenomenon (which was a fad with only a tenuous connection to the Maya civilization) are unwarranted. But if these ideas for changing the article are to be pursued that would have to happen through another RfC - because the substance in this one is another.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 18:22, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
The calendar does need to be summarised here in order to offer a complete treatment of the civilization - I doubt it could have passed FA without it. As Maunus says, the movie and the 2012 phenomenon are not particularly relevant to the Maya civilization - there really is no need to cover them here. This article is about the historic civilization, not New Age misconceptions or Hollywood renderings. Simon Burchell (talk) 21:33, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
Agree about pop culture. Senor Cuete (talk) 00:32, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Shouldn't the opening have references?[edit]

The entire opening has no references, how is that possible? --UnidentifiedHuman 04:12, 13 April 2016 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by UnidentifiedHuman721 (talkcontribs)

The opening is a summary of the rest of the article. Everything in the opening is already references in the article body. That is why per policy the opening or lead does not need references - except in cases where some information is specifically controversial.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 04:55, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
As Maunus says, referencing is often not required in the lead - all the information in the lead is a summary of the article body, and is referenced in the appropriate section - nothing here is controversial, so no additional cites are necessary. See WP:WHENNOTCITE. All the best, Simon Burchell (talk) 08:12, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

Bibliography[edit]

I suggest to add the following in the list of further readings:

Axel Riblekic (talk) 12:27, 8 August 2016 (UTC).

Given that Diamond is not recognized as an expert on Maya civilization, and that his arguments contradict and ignore those of actual experts I think we definitely should not cite Diamond in this article.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 12:36, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
I agree. Doug Weller talk 14:25, 8 August 2016 (UTC)
Likewise. Simon Burchell (talk) 15:32, 8 August 2016 (UTC)