Talk:Mesoamerican Long Count calendar/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Presentation

On Maya monuments long count dates are generally only given once, at the beginning of the inscription. This opens with the so-called ISIG (Introductory Series Initial Glyph) which reads tzik-a(h) hab’ [patron of Haab' month] "revered was the year-count with the patron of the month" [1]. Then follows the 5 places of the long count, usually with signs for the vales, though these are also indicated by position. This is followed by the tzolkin date written as single gylph and then by supplementary information. Most of this supplementary series is optional and has been shown to be related to lunar data. For instance, the age of the moon on the day and the calculated length of current lunation. Notable in this sequence is the glyph with nine variant forms labled G by early epigraphers. It has been connected with the cycle of Lords of the Night known from colonial era sources in Central Mexico but alternate explanations have also been offered.[1] [2] The date is concluded by a glyph stating the day and month of the Haab year. The text then continues with whatever activity occured on that date.

This is a rough draft of a new section, but I am not sure where it would work best. It is also worth mentioning that http://www.mesoweb.com/features/boot/DPLHS4.pdf reminded me that the names of long count periods are inventions of modern archeologists, since it was no longer in use by the colonial era and modern reconstruction of Classical Maya suggests that they used different ones. Perhaps k'in, winal, hab', winikhab', chan. Eluchil404 08:35, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

I went ahead and inserted this excellent paragraph in the article. Madman 14:47, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Mayan/Maya

Shouldn't this be called the "Mayan calendar" instead of the "Maya calendar"? It's like saying "the France government" instead of "the French government". — Tim McCormack 01:24, 2004 Oct 11 (UTC)

"Maya" is an adjective as well as a noun. While both "Maya" and "Mayan" are used as adjective forms in English, "Maya" seems prefered in the more scholarly works. -- Infrogmation 04:36, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)
"Maya" is the preferred adjective except when referring to the language, where "Mayan" is preferred. — Joe Kress 06:18, Oct 11, 2004 (UTC)
Okeydoke. It still seems a little awkward, but I'll accept that... — Tim McCormack 17:22, 2004 Oct 11 (UTC)
I used to think the same thing, and it does still seem awkward, but I agree that most scholarly and academic accounts use "maya" as both an adj and a noun. The Ungovernable Force 07:54, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Commendable article

I have to say this is one of the most lucid, intriguing wiki articles of this length I've seen.

Agree, this is a very good piece 135.196.228.114 11:31, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

I must say I'm impressed as well. Where did all the typos go? ;) Lusanaherandraton 07:52, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Start with 0 or 1?

According to the Maya calendar article, the days of the Tzolkin calendar begin with zero: 0 Ahau, 1 Imix, and so on. But on the Tzol'kin article itself the days the calenday begins 1 Ahau, 2 Imix (...). Which is it? Do we just not know?

Someone has confused the numbers associated with the Haab with those of the Tzolkin. The days of a Haab month are numbered 0-19, consisting of the numbers 1-19 plus the "seating of" a month glyph. Most regard the latter as day 0 of the named month, but some treat it as day 20 of the preceding (unnamed) month. But all sources state the day numbers of the Tzolkin are 1-13, not 0-12, along with 20 day names. Most list the day names beginning with Imix but a few begin with Ahau. — Joe Kress 23:48, Apr 9, 2005 (UTC)
Yes, it definitely starts with 1, however, the beginning of the Tzolkin ought to be 1 Imix, not 1 Ahau. In the Tzolkin, only the numbers 1 to 13 are used. Dylanwhs 15:55, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Merger

I merged Maya Long Count Calendar here because each article seemed to be the other's missing half. As someone not familiar with the subject, I found it a lot easier to understand reading about it in the sequence I've just arranged. -- Beland 03:28, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

I corrected some double redirects that ultimately point to the Maya calendar. --GraemeMcRae 21:42, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

That's fine as far as things stand now; however, there's much more which could be detailed about the Long Count than would otherwise fit into this present article covering all calendar types. Maya Long Count Calendar is probably deserving of its own article, but breaking it out again when sufficient extra detail is accumulated should not pose too much of a problem.--cjllw | TALK 22:55, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

Najt and "space-time"

I've removed the following passage from the text:

This concept was embodied by what is termed Najt, or the concept of time and space consisting of a single entity represented in a spiral format. By understanding time, the Maya believed they could gain power over their world.

As far as I can determine, najt (also nach, najat, naac' etc in various Maya languages) in modern Chol and Chorti has the meaning of "distance", or "far". Sources which mention "najt" in the terms above seem to be mainly mystical, modern interpretations, not necessarily bona fide sources when in comes to applying this to pre-Columbian Maya context. Also, in what way was "time and space" conceived of as a single entity- its meaning is not clear to me. If there are further specific references which review the point, would be happy to consider.--cjllw | TALK 08:10, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

Calculating the Tzolkin date portion

The text of this section of the article now reads:

The Tzolkin date is counted forward from 4 Ahau. To calculate the numerical portion of the Tzolkin date, we must add 4 to the total number of days given by the date, and then divide total number of days by 13.

(4 + 1383136) / 13 = 106395 and 5/13

This means that 106395 complete 13 day cycles have been completed, and the numerical portion of the Tzolkin date is 5.

To calculate the day, we divide the total number of days in the long count by 20 since there are twenty day names.

1383136 / 20 = 69156 and (16/20)

This means 16 day names must be counted from Ahau. This gives Cib. Therefore, the Tzolkin date is 5 Cib.

An anonymous person added this text:

*** This is not quite right: the remainder, when you divide by 13, ranges from 0 to 12. But the

Tzolkin dates go from 1 to 13. So you should add 3 to the day number, find the remainder when dividing by 13, and then add 1. ***

The change, as it was formatted by that anonymous person, is inappropriate for the article space. However, the person has a point. What if the remainder had been zero? For example, what if the day were 1383131, and the same calculation were performed? It strikes me that a change of one sort or another is needed here.—GraemeMcRaetalk 04:44, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

The maths is by using the modulo 13 of a number. Basically you are subtracting as many 13's as possible from the original number. Whatever is left is what you use to advance the count from the base date. If the remainder was 0, you don't advance that portion of the date. Dylanwhs 09:26, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

pictures

Date of the supposed end of the world

I always heard it was December 23, 2012, not December 21. What's up with that? December 21st is the solstice, maybe someone got confused. Perhaps there is a debate, but I have heard Decemeber 23 from several sources, including a video on the Mayan calendar. The Ungovernable Force 07:56, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

The difference between the two dates (dec 21 & dec 23) in 2012 for the completion of the current cycle is attributable to a slight difference in the base correlation factor used (for which there is not universal agreement). The great majority of reputable Mayanist scholars support a correlation between the Maya and Western calendars known as the Goodman-Martinez-Thompson (GMT) correlation; however, this correlation allows some latitude over three successive days for the starting point, and which of these three possible days is "correct" has not been decisively proven (at least not to the satisfaction of all parties). In the GMT correlation, the "starting point" of the cycle occurred on either 11, 12, or 13 August 3114BC (proleptic Gregorian dates). Depending on which of these is adopted (and each have had their proponents), a correspondingly-different end date will be arrived at, hence the different alternatives of dec 21 & 23. I agree that there's scope for expansion upon this point in the article.
As to the cycle ending at or near the December solstice, this is generally believed to be no more than a coincidence (ie, the calendar —the Long Count in fact is not a novelty of the Maya, but is known from earlier inscriptions in Mesoamerica— was not specifically designed to end at a solstice point). Nor is there any specific contemporary evidence from the inscriptions or codices that the cycle completion portended the end of the world, for the Maya. Hope this helps.--cjllw | TALK 01:05, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Wouldn't it help to disprove the claim actually having the date for the "13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.0.0.0.0" 'end of the world' to show how off the 2012 date is from the Mayan end of the world. Incidentally the Mayan 'end of the world' date appears to be far too large if 1.0.0.0.0.0 is in 4772 and would most likely correspond better to the end of the universe, which also ties in with the end of their last creation. Just a thought. --83.100.130.53 14:36, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Question for folks. I've noticed this on article and in the comments. The system described is vegesimal (base-20), yet the article and the comment above show 20 13's and 5 0's. Should it not instead be 15 13's and 5 0's? Or is there some other reason why there would be 25 entries in a base-20 system? If it isn't just a mistyping, there should be some clarification as to reasoning.
Bdevoe 16:31, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
That's the date recorded on the monument at Coba. The number of 13's is irrelevant, as it is obvious that they meant 13's in all higher places. No reasoning needs to be given, because that is what is written. --grr 19:12, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
When the Maya (or any other) number system is described as vigesimal/base-20, this means that when any given individual number is represented in a place-value notational number system, each digit is multiplied by the base (in this case, 20) raised to the nth power, where n is the position (starting with 0) of that digit's place in the representation. For example, in our own decimal/base-10 system, the number 1234 is equivalent to 4×100 + 3×101 + 2×102 + 1×103. A base-20 notation system requires 20 distinct symbols/groups of symbols to represent all of the digits which could occur in any given place (0,1,2,...19), for which the Maya typically used "bar-and-dot" symbols.
However, the number of places which could appear in a number's representation is not restricted by the base, and so the Maya base-20 has nothing to do with how many positions can be represented for their numerals, only how many values or digits there are to choose from to use in each individual place (ie, because ours is a base-10 system, this does not mean that our numerals have to have ten places, or that we would have to write "1234" as 0000001234).
To add to the confusion, the Maya Long Count system is not a purely vigesimal/base-20 system anyway, since the second-order place (tun) uses a multiplier of 18×20, instead of 20×20. Hope that helps.--cjllw | TALK 02:53, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
The Long Count may be considered purely vigesimal, if you consider the tun to be the primary unit, not the kin. The winal and kin are only the count of days since the start of the tun. --grr 07:52, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

How did they get October 13th, 4722 CE as the end date?

--Mdsats 05:57, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Take a look at the 13-baktun Cycle:
13.0.0.0.0 - August 11, 3114 BCE
1.0.0.0.0 - November 13, 2719 BCE
2.0.0.0.0 - February 16, 2324 BCE
3.0.0.0.0 - May 21, 1930 BCE
4.0.0.0.0 - August 23, 1536 BCE
5.0.0.0.0 - November 26, 1142 BCE
6.0.0.0.0 - February 28, 747 BCE
7.0.0.0.0 - June 3, 353 BCE
8.0.0.0.0 - September 5, 41 CE
9.0.0.0.0 - December 9, 435 CE
10.0.0.0.0 - March 13, 830 CE
11.0.0.0.0 - June 15, 1224 CE
12.0.0.0.0 - September 18, 1618 CE
13.0.0.0.0 - December 21, 2012 CE
1.0.0.0.0 - March 5th, 2407 CE
2.0.0.0.0 - June 28th, 2801 CE
3.0.0.0.0 - October 1st, 3195 CE
4.0.0.0.0 - January 3rd, 3590 CE
5.0.0.0.0 - April 7th, 3984 CE
6.0.0.0.0 - July 11th, 4378 CE
7.0.0.0.0 - October 13th, 4722 CE
8.0.0.0.0 - January 16th, 5167 CE
9.0.0.0.0 - April 20th, 5561 CE
10.0.0.0.0 - July 24th, 5955 CE
11.0.0.0.0 - October 26, 6349 CE
12.0.0.0.0 - January 29, 6744 CE
13.0.0.0.0 - May 3, 7138 CE
1.0.0.0.0 - August 5th, 7532 CE

In no way is October 13th, 4722 CE the end date, its the 7th baktun of the next Age. This is assuming you go by the 13-baktun Cycle (where 13=0). As the article itself states the last creation date was August 11, 3114 BCE (13.0.0.0.0), and the next is definitely December 21st, 2012.

The only way you can arrive at October 13th, 4722 CE as the end date is if you go by the 19-baktun Cycle, where in 14.0.0.0.0 = March 5th, 2407 CE and 19.19.17.19.19 = October 12th, 4722 CE, but if you do that it would be incorrect since the baktun only ranges from 1-13, as stated in the article itself. There is nothing above 13, after that a new Age begins.

--Mdsats 05:58, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Who said they have an end date in this creation? There is no evidence whatsoever that there is a limit to 13 baktuns. Just because the previous creation ended on a 13th baktun doesn't mean in any way that this creation will end on a 13th baktun. For that matter there is no evidence whatsoever that the Maya had any firm date at all for the end of this creation. The baktun count absolutely does not roll over back to zero after the 13th baktun in this creation, but must continue through the 14th-19th baktuns in this creation or the calendar round on the 1 piktun date from Palenque could not be correct. 1.0.0.0.0.0 (note the five zeros) must be in 4772 CE, otherwise the entire calendar system doesn't work. --grr 16:29, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Maya and eclipse cycles

It's been pointed out to me that a Tzolkin is 1.5 times an eclipse season; ie.

2 Tzolkin = 520 days
3 eclipse seasons = 519.93 days

Coincidence? Or did the Mayans track eclipse cycles (like the ancient Babylonians)? — Johan the Ghost seance 11:55, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Yes, it's a racing certainty that 2 × Tzolkins ≈ 3 × eclipse cycles is pure coincidence. The 260-day calendar is the oldest attested form of Mesoamerican calendar, pre-dating the Maya and any record of eclipse tables. However, the Maya were also certainly aware of the "windows" in which solar/lunar eclipses could occur, for there is ample evidence for them tracking such cycles. The tzolkin was not the mechanism by which they did this— they used calculation tables and the like for this purpose. In fact, the Dresden Codex has a far more sophisticated set of calculations than the one given above, which span 405 lunar months from a base date (equivalent to 12 Nov 755 CE) and identify "warning stations" for every one of the 77 solar eclipses in that span to within 2 days' accuracy (not all of which would have been visible from the Maya region). For lunar eclipses, 51 of 69 possible in that span are identified to within 1 day. The tables take into account precession of the nodes by interspersing the sequence of 6 lunar months with a 5 lunar month period as appropriate. Other adjustments were also made to further improve the table's accuracy.--cjllw | TALK 23:12, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for that, that's very interesting! I guess the real coincidence is that 3 eclipse seasons is so close to 520, when 520 has such "easy" factors. But I'm delighted to learn about the Maya's eclipse tracking. Cheers, — Johan the Ghost seance 12:51, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Ian Xel Lungold and 360 days Tun calendar

according to Deaths in November 2005 which states Ian Xel Lungold, 56 American researcher, speaker and creator of the Mayan Calendar and Conversion Codex. Ian Xel Lungold is at the origin of our current knowledge of the mayan calendar. and according to Ian Xel Lungold and his experience with shaman the 365 days 13 * 28 calendar he thought was the mayan calendar was in fact the dreamspell calendar. The mayan calendar (or tun calendar)is 360 days. source [3]

You may have heard some about the Haab calendar and its 19 month divisions of each 365 days, 18 months of 20 days and 5 days in the 19th month. This is the calendar most understood by the archeologists and so the most discussed in books and class rooms. The Haab was the solar year agricultural, bookkeeping, or civil calendar of the Maya developed most by the "post classic" Maya.

What you have not heard much about is the calendar that was central to the "classic" Maya called the TUN calendar of 360 days. This TUN calendar (18 months of 20 days) is directly connected to the Tzolkin and they run together like two gears, each day being a tooth on the respective gears.

Neither of these calendars is concerned at all with our earthly orbit around our particular star.

The Maya never connected the Tzolkin and the Haab calendar together. It was the Archeologists that did that. Jose was just following what he was taught by the archeologists, he never went to the Maya to discuss any of this. Last I heard, his position was that he has made improvements on the Mayan calendar with his Dreamspell and that’s fine and dandy as his view point.

The facts are though that the math in his system is flawed to the point that one day out of every 4 years needs be erased from creation just to keep his system going. (Day out of Time)

The Maya never connected the lunar calendar and the Tzolkin together either and here we have the seeds of the problem. As of now most of the planet has been fed erroneous information about the Mayan calendar.

Pursuant to meetings that I had in Guatemala, I am under solemn oath to the Mayan Elders of the Indigenous Council to do my best to straighten out all of this calendar confusion.

The sacred Mayan calendar has nothing to do with the cycle of this planet’s orbit. The sacred Mayan calendar has nothing to do with the cycle timings of this solar system.

It is time to get a much bigger view of creation than what is going on here on this little speck of creation that we call our earth home.

The sacred Mayan calendar has nothing to do with the cycle timings of this galaxy.

All of the Physical Universe is an Effect of Cause, all structure or alignments within creation are the effects of cause.

The sacred Mayan calendar always was and still is, keeping track of the cycles of Cause and we can note, just as the Maya did throughout their history, the record of the effects generated by these causes seen in the stars, planets and in their own societies. The ancient Maya knew that they were tapped into the mind of God. We are just now figuring out how they did that.

It was their calendar.

Now we understand their sacred calendar and its purpose. It is not used to tell time.

It is a tuning device for consciousness. The Mayan calendar was always a tool to tune your consciousness and engage your intuition. By paying attention to the flow of consciousness day by day on the Tzolkin calendar for instance, you start to become entrained to the Flow of Creation and your inner knowing responds. This is the power of the 13:20 ratio getting into gear and it is why you are intuitively guided to the Mayan calendar in the first place. The astrology associated with the calendar is icing on the cake.

The meanings of the 260 days of the Tzolkin calendar are made up of intentions numbered 1- 13 and 20 different aspects of creation. Each of these days has its own purpose and flavor. It is understood by the Mayan Elders that what ever day something comes into being physically, it comes into being with the energy of the day that it manifested and that it carries that energy for the duration of its existence whether physical or in memory. This applies to the day that you were born or the day you got married, started a business, dedicated a road or a pyramid temple or what ever. So what ever Gregorian day happens to be agreed upon to start a year cycle the meaning of that whole cycle to those in agreement, is set by the intent and aspect of the Mayan calendar day that the cycle began.

2004 for example started on 3 Akabal or 3 Night on the Mayan calendar. That means that this year is intended to be strong in action and communication about the aspect of the temple or the silent womb of creation, the void and the dreams which can be harvested from there.

In other words; 2004 is a year to communicate and take action on your dreams and by so doing, build the sanctity of your inner temple. source [4]

another source is the book Solving the Greatest Mystery of Our Time: The Mayan Calendar by Carl Johan Calleman there's also a video of a conference by Ian Xel Lungold "secrets of the mayan calendar unveiled" about which Ian himself says: Showing the tapes of my talks seems to work very well. Make copies give em away or sell cheap to get this out there everywhere. I'll be doing a whole bunch of that stuff really soon myself. [5]

Maybe this info should be verified, cross referenced and added in the article. Izwalito 24 February 2006

No, none of the above merits inclusion, even as cross-reference, to the article. It's transparent hokum, and Xel Lungold or whatever he calls himself is about as obscure and non-noteworthy a 'source' as there can be. It's all too easy to conjure up incoherencies such as these; there are many hundreds of similar blatherings to be found on the web, this one merits no particular attention.--cjllw | TALK 12:36, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
seems like a quick closeminded discard with no other explanation that it is too easy to find it incoherent. If it is so easy, I'd be happy read some of the conjuring.
Most of the "similar blatherings to be found on the web" I know take source in the mayan calendar coming to an end on december 2012 which is exposed in the same book Ian Xel Lungold based his work upon which is "Solving the Greatest Mystery of Our Time: The Mayan Calendar" by Carl Johan Calleman [6]. Carl Calleman himself says that it is a common misconception to believe that the mayan calendar is about "something" that will happen "in 2012". [7]
BTW if you check the first external link of the article which says "Source of most of this text" [8] it is one of these very websites and includes a link that very book and moreover this source loops back to the wikipedia article.
according to my readings Ian Xel Lungold and Carl Calleman worked together on the mayan calendar subject before the release of the book, and Lungold help Calleman in editing the book.
It should also be noted that Ian Xel Lungold changed his name from Philip Louis Wieme and has been a member of scientology for 9 years. [9] [10]
I understand a guy who has changed his name and has been a member of scientology can be looked upon as a dubious source of knowledge, but when it is the maya world studies center based in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico [11] who talks about the Tun calendar, I think you'll agree it is worth paying attention to what they have to say.
Some time afterwards the Maya started to notice the time it took the Sun to complete it's yearly cycle and the length of it was established in 28 thirteen-day periods which added up to 364 days, a length that did not adjust exactly to the cycle. We suppose that the astronomers and the mathematicians had different opinions and while the former held up that the exact measure of the cycle should be used the latter insisted in having a time period as close as possible to the real one that would make calculations simple, that is, a multiple of 20. Finally they agreed to create a 360 day year for calendric calculations they called Tun, it was divided in 18 months of 20 days, called the Uinal, each with a distinct name and numbers from 0 to 19 were also given to their component days. Then a period of five days called uayeb was added to the Tun year and this gave birth to the Haab calendar. In this calendar the uayeb were placed just before the beginning of the astronomical year. The Tzolkin and the Haab were then coordinated and this gave place to the calendar round. source [12]
My guess is that having an article about mayan calendars sourced in the publishing of the maya world studies center is better than in armageddononline.org.
Izwalito 24 February 2006
Izwalito, far from being a "closeminded discard" of the writings of Lungold and Calleman, my position is actually informed by some understanding of what over a century of serious Mayanist scholarship has had to say on the subject, as well an understanding of the history of how this knowledge was derived. That the present Long Count cycle completes in December 2012 is not in dispute; however neither Lungold nor Calleman can claim credit for this. The essentials of the calendar system were worked out as long ago as 1880 by Ernst Förstermann, and the correlation between the Long Count system and our present western (Julian/Gregorian) calendar now overwhelmingly accepted was first published by Joseph Goodman in 1905, and later refined and confirmed by Martinez Hernandez and J. Eric S. Thompson. It has been understood for over 70 years, and the great strides which have been made in the decipherment of Maya hieroglyphics since the 1950s have only further confirmed the details. I'd recommend Michael Coe's Breaking the Maya Code for a very readable account on the history of Mayanist scholarship.
Having read through Lungold's and Calleman's writings on that mayamajix site you provide, far from providing any innovation or exposé in this area it is quite evident that they have merely taken the basics from popular credible accounts such as Coe's and only added to it a veneer of New Ageist terminology, without even a pretence to have found such references in the texts actually left behind by the Classic Maya themselves (since such references do not exist). Phrases such as "tuning device for consciousness", "Flow of Creation" and "sanctity of your inner temple" ought to alert one to the esoteric (and unsubstantiated) nature of their contributions, and the links on that site to UFO sites, Bigfoot DVDs and the like only bolster the case for scepticism.
They are right however to criticise Jose Arguelles' "Dreamspell" calendar as a pure fabrication (for an effective debunking of his speculations, see here), but their own interpretations are similarly flawed, where they are comprehensible— just what is "All of the Physical Universe is an Effect of Cause" supposed to mean anyway?
Far from Lungold being "at the origin of our current knowledge of the mayan calendar", he and like-minded enthusiasts are, I'm afraid, at its outmost periphery- can you provide a single reference supporting his ideas from any established scholar?
As further examples of their conjuring:
  • The Maya never connected the Tzolkin and the Haab calendar together. This statement is patently false, given the interaction of these two to form the Calendar Round, which appears in thousands of extant Maya inscriptions.
  • The Maya never connected the lunar calendar and the Tzolk'in together. So what? They are different cycles. The statement is false when considering Initial Series glyphs, where Tzolk'in and and Lunar Series glyphs are combined (with others) in statements which fix an event to a Long Count date and the corresponding position of the Calendar Round and Lunar phase.
  • The "Tun" (360-day) calendar they claim to have identified appears to be indistinguishable from the tun component (= 18 × winal "months") of the Long Count, this is hardly a discovery.
  • Assuming by "sacred mayan calendar" he refers to the completion of 18 20-day "months", the various pronouncements that it is not (directly or alone) a record of earth's, the solar system's, or the galaxy's 'cycles' is again not a revelation. However, in combination with other cycles it is quite clear that aspects of the calendar do indeed track astronomical cycles, and in particular the Long Count does indeed fix events in linear time, and furthermore the Maya recorded and thought of events occurring in linear time. This site is well worth a look for a (serious) overview on Maya calendrics.
As for the armageddononline link, that appears to have been there a while and it actually reproduces material from wikipedia, not the other way around, and is not in fact the source for much of the article - thanks for pointing it out, I'll remove it.
The 'Maya World Studies Center' is not, despite its name, some "official" repository of Mayanist scholarship (far more comprehensive and recognised sites can be found at mesoweb and famsi, which contain many publications from accredited scholars). Its contents are fairly unremarkable and high-level summaries, and actually incorrect insofar as the passage you quote ascribes the calendar creation to the Maya - the Mesoamerican calendars pre-date the Maya civilization.
If you think there is anything specific of actual substance in the Lungold or other sources being unfairly treated, by all means mention them explicitly here on the talk page and their merits or otherwise can be discussed. From what I have read of them, I remain completely sceptical.--cjllw | TALK 02:05, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for these precisions, more that kind of discussion i was expecting in the first place. I understand this was not a closed minded discard but it looked like one to my novice eyes, sorry if I offended you in any way.
Just for the record, I'm not a supporter of Lungold or Calleman, and I'm not looking forward to give credits to John or Jane Doe for a 'discovery' (to my limited knowledge neither of them claims discovery). Let's focus on the subject that matters, mayan calendar and quality of this particular wikipedia article. Maybe I wasn't clear and pasting a big chunk of text wasn't the brightest idea, but my point here is improving the article. As I consider I don't know enough about the subject to edit the article I came here to discuss first.
I'm lacking spare time at the moment to properly dig for information, but I'll read about it ASAP.
Anyways IMHO it would be valuable to the article to add sections about the other calendars (I heard there's about 20 of them), even wrong ones such as the dreamspell. A good reason for that is the difficulty to find quality information about this on the web.
Izwalito 7 March 2006

Suggested Revisions

The first section states that natural phenomena such as the solar and lunar years can be tracked by the calendar. This is wrong. The Haab is only a vague solar year of 365 days and it diverges from the solar year of 365.2422 days over time. There is no lunar year in the Maya Calendar - only a series of six counted lunations.

The section about the end of the world is wrong. Yes, the Maya did ritual calculations way into the past and future but the people of the new world also believed that the world had been created and destroyed four times before. These are the four rectangular glyphs surrounding the center of the Stone of the Fifth Sun ("Aztec Calendar Stone"). The writer of this section states that 12.19.19.17.19 is only the end of a baktun but it is really the end of the thirteen baktuns of the Fifth Sun and is an end of the world date. The Maya told Diego de Landa this and painted a picture for his relacion that depicts the war god raining down projectile weapons to end the world.

It seems to me that there are three problems dogging the study of the Maya Calendar today:

1. Use of the Proleptic Gregorian Calendar. In reading books about calendars and astronomical algorithms I have never seen any reference to this. If as I believe, this system was invented by Thompson to make it easier for him to do the calculations in the pre-computer era and is only used by those attempting to do Maya Calendar calculations then we should abandon it.

2. The debate about the correlation constant was dead and buried until Linda Schele advocated the use of Lounsbury's correlation in her popular Maya book A Forest of Kings. In her own writing she says "I'm not a numbers person." and "I really don't understand these things.". Also she was urged not to write about this by Dennis Tedlock who really knew about it and told her that there were at least 18 other suggested hierophanies that were as good as Lounsbury's and that Lounsbury's made significant mistakes. In Wikipedia we are writing to educate people looking for information and should probably not muddy the waters by resurecting the debate about correlations.

3. Weird pseudoscientific spiritualisic gobblygook by writers like Jose Arguelles. An article about the Maya Calendar should be simple and stick to the facts about the calendar, not bizarre theories.

Rather than starting an editing war I wanted to put this here. If anyone can tell me what is wrong with the above statements maybe I wouldn't edit the page to reflect it.


206.54.78.72 18:16, 6 April 2006 (UTC)Tlaloc

I would have to agree with most of this, but I'm not crazy enough to edit these pages. ("Edit war! Edit war! Dance to the music!") I'd even go so far as to say these sorts of problems are holding back Maya studies in general.
The proleptic Julian calendar was in fairly common use, the proleptic Gregorian less so, but neither one was invented by Thompson. (See The Calendar FAQ.) Using a proleptic calendar does greatly simplify calculations when trying to calculate date spans. They aren't used much anymore, thanks to computers.
And kids, the multitude of wacko links at the end of the article have got to go. The world is not going to end in 2011, or 2012, or 2013. There are no mystical vibrations associated with the Maya, the Maya calendar, the Long Count, etc. It's just a calendar system and a number, and I can't understand why Wikipedia would want to support the scam artists coming up with this nonsense. (Blue Spectral Monkey, indeed.) 12.103.251.203 18:02, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Actually it is quite easy to do conversions to/from julian day numbers using algorithms developed by astronomers. 216.67.161.197 14:11, 15 April 2006 (UTC)Tlaloc

"The Classic Period Maya obviously did not believe that the end of this age would occur in 2012. According to the Maya, there will be a baktun ending in 2012, a significant event being the end of a 13th 400 year period, but not the end of the world."

- This is leading and uncorroborated. You (the writer) may have come to this conclusion in your own research, but it is an opinion and not a fact. Perhaps the Mayan's did believe the end of this age would occur in 2012...or perhaps you have conversed with them using time travel or astral projection ;)

it'll be reverted anyways.

Problems with Gregorian calendar

The problems with the calculations from Maya calendar to the Gregorian calendar and vice versa are overstated.

1. Historical research. If you sources use another calendar than your date-calculating-program, do a conversion before you enter dates in your program. (most likely: a rather trivial conversion from Julian date to Gregorian date). 2. Astronomical research. After you calculate the Julian day number of a Maya-date. You can convert this Julian day number without problems to any other calendar.

There is a problem if you mix up dates from different calendars but this goes for all date-conversions. Pukkie 06:27, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Discussion

Add any additional comments

There are contexts where "maya" is more widely used as an adjective than mayan. Eg. Maya society (24.200 google hits) but Mayan society (14.200 google hits), Maya archeology (2.350 google hits) but Mayan acheology (526 google hits), maya hieroglyphs (66.800 google hits), but mayan hieroglyphs (19.600 google hits). The last time we discussed this it was agreed that Mayan was only to be used to modify languages > mayan languages.Maunus 06:59, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Current naming is per standards decided on by Wikipedia:WikiProject Mesoamerica. Any renaming of these articles really needs to be discussed as a change of naming standards by the project. -- Infrogmation 22:00, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Actually askingn around people seem to agree that the adjective should be mayan. If someone can show me the rationale behind this idea I could be swayed to support the maya>mayan change.(although of courdse not as extensively as the now reverted changed would have done) Maunus 09:07, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
Asking around who, where? Wondering, -- Infrogmation 15:26, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
some of my linguistically inclined friends. I still havent heard any reasoning behind their preference though.Maunus 15:57, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
In the field of linguistics the more usual convention would indeed be to use Mayan, so your colleagues may be speaking from that frame of reference. However, in all other fields there's a marked preference for Maya only. For some explicit statements of this convention, see this introductory text at the Mesoweb site, and Endnote #1 in this summary by Mathews at Famsi. Thus the guideline at WP:MESO/G- "Mayan" for linguistics, "Maya" per everything else. This is of course just a convention, and one which is not always observed even in scholarly publications - however a review of the non-linguistic ones will show it is the convention most frequently applied. There are a number of others who consciously prefer Mayan over Maya- see for eg Justeson & Kaufmann's view, explained here. However I don't see a reason to change the current convention in en.wiki. --cjllw | TALK 00:41, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Comment. Actually, I'd support a move to Maya calendars, in the plural, since there are really a number of calendric systems covered here.--cjllw | TALK 08:15, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

I disagree. The Maya calendar consists of a number of parts, but all appear together in the typical Initial Series on most stellae. This just means that it is much more complicated than the typical old world calendar, which uses only a day, month and year, each identified in many different ways (the Pawukon calendar used in Indonesia is an exception). But the Maya did not identify the year, so they tripled the month and day info to compensate, using the haab, tzolkin, and long count portions (at least during the Classical period). — Joe Kress 17:16, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
OK. I suppose it depends on how you look at it. I was thinking more along the lines of a few other counts and cycles we presently barely touch upon here, such as the 819-day count and its extension into a cycle of 3276 days. Although the inscriptions correlate starting points for this count by counting back from Long Count dates, the relation between it and the LC is unclear. There's also the Postclassic Short Count, which I guess could be seen as merely an abbreviated LC, but its non-repetitive length is different at around 256 yrs. Others which could bear mentioning are the proposed 7-day count, and also for consideration whether to mention in this context other tracked astronomical cycles such as for venus & mars.--cjllw | TALK 06:23, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Should "Long Count" be a separate article??

Fellow editors: I have been doing a bit of work on the Long Count calendar on other articles (0 (number) and La Mojarra Stela 1 among them) and it would be easier for me to link back to the Long Count "article" contained within Maya calendar if Long Count were its own article.

Moreover, I think that the Maya 260-day, the 365-day, and the Long Count calendars are sufficiently separate matters and, at 33kb, this article is getting rather large.

Thoughts?? Madman 15:15, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Sounds fine to me. IMO first we should decide if "Long Count" should be the article title or some variation on the phrase. then spin it off into a seperate article, with a short summary and link here. -- Infrogmation 17:42, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
Madman: you're mad. The Long Count is part of the Maya calendar and you can't split this up.216.67.161.95 18:27, 17 August 2006 (UTC)Tlaloc
This is not a justification. Please, avoid personal attacks. -- Szvest 18:38, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
Tlaloc, I don't think Madman is suggesting that mention of the Maya LC be removed from this article, but instead that there is more than enough material to write on the LC itself to justify it having its own article. Also, LC inscriptions are known for a couple of other Mesoamerican cultures apart from the Maya.
I think that overall there's ample scope and material to justify a set of articles on the individual components of these calendars, and in fact we should have articles on each at both the Mesoamerican and individual-culture levels (some we already have, others need creating). For example:
and so on.
For the LC in particular, we could have both
Madman, I would suggest however that if you're keen to expand upon the (Mesoamerican) LC that you do so first (or also) at Mesoamerican calendars, which should give an overview and guide to all such systems with sections/{main} links to the more specific articles.
Per Infrogmation, need to decide upon appropriate titles- do we need to preface generic-sounding titles such as Long Count, Calendar Round, with a cultural qualifier (Mesoamerican, Maya, etc) in all instances? At the moment I think that might be best, but open to other suggestions.--cjllw | TALK 01:07, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Extra Cyle Information

I gleaned this off another calendar website awhile ago. (wish i had the link) but what of the extra cycles than what is on the page here?

Cycle Composed of Total Days Years (approx.)
kin 1
uinal 20 kin 20
tun 18 uinal 360 0.986
katun 20 tun 7200 19.7
baktun 20 katun 144,000 394.3
piktun 20 baktun 2,880,000 7,885
calabtun 20 piktun 57,600,000 157,704
kinchiltun 20 calabtun 1,152,000,000 3,154,071
alautun 20 kinchiltun 23,040,000,000 63,081,429

--—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Goodrob (talkcontribs) 24 October 2006.

The higher-order cycles and their pseudo names are briefly mentioned in the article, but I suppose they could be expanded upon a little more. However, since the article is already quite lengthy, I think it may be time to (re-)split some of the subtopics (eg Maya Long Count calendar into their own separate articles, and use the present one to summarise the main points and organise the related material (see also earlier discussion on this, somewhere above).--cjllw | TALK 23:36, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

The site is http://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/calendar/ . I don't know about the cycles. Reywas92Talk 21:34, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

0 to 12 Baktuns

There are 13 Baktuns, numbered 0 -> 12 so many of the Long Count Dates in the article are incorrect. Think about it. If the the Baktun number could be 13 then there would be 14 baktuns - numbered 0 to 13.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 216.67.161.230 (talk) 20:02, 5 December 2006 (UTC).

No, there were 20 Baktuns, numbered 0 to 19. It is a myth that the baktuns stopped being counted at 13. The previous creation ended on one of many 13th baktun's, but that doesn't affect the argument. (Arguments about the whether 0 really meant zero or completion of the previous unit to be deferred to someplace else.) --grr 16:57, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

According to what sources? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 216.67.161.139 (talk) 16:27, 23 December 2006 (UTC).

If you just think about what you're saying you will realize that you are wrong. All Maya calendar dates count forward from the creation of the fifth sun on 0.0.0.0.0 4 Ahau 8 Kumk'u - Monday, September 6th, -3113 Julian astronomical. If as you and the author of this part of the article say, there are 20 Bak'tuns and this date was really 13.0.0.0.0 then the Bak'tuns wouldn't have reached zero until seven more Bak'tuns had elapsed and 0.0.0.0.0 would occur on what everyone else calls 7.0.0.0.0 Monday June 8th, -353 Julian astronomical. We would still be in the 7th Bak'tun and the end of the 13th Bak'tun would still be 5 Bak'tuns away (2,766 more years). All the Long Count inscriptions such as 10.0.0.0.0 (Wednesday, March 9th, 830 Julian) would not even have occurred yet. The G.M.T. correlation would also have to be revised by 2,766 years. It is possible that there are 20 Baktuns but if so then the day before the creation of the fifth sun was 19.19.19.17.19 and the creation date of the fifth sun would still be 0.0.0.0.0. If there are 20 Bak'tuns then why would they go from 13 to zero on the creation date? The Calendar Round didn't zero on the creation date so why would the Long Count? I suggest that anyone interested in this read Anthony Aveni's wonderfull book that is cited in the references.

Long Count units K'ins, Winals, Tuns and K'atuns and months in the Haab are all counted from zero but according to the article Bak'tuns use 13 insead of zero and are counted as 13, 1... This is wrong. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.67.161.139 (talkcontribs)

Although your argument seems logical, the Maya did not share your logic because they explicitly identified the epoch of the Long Count as 13.0.0.0.0   4 Ahau 8 Cumku (Linda Schele and David Friedel, A Forest of Kings, pp 82-83, including a line drawing of the glyphs; J. Eric S. Thompson, Maya Hieroglyphic Writing, p.149, photo of the glyphs at Fig. 53,1). Lest you suspect that this is an aberration, these come from two widely separated cities, Quirigua in the south and Palenque in the west. Thompson states on the same page that when the Long Count was invented during baktun 7 or 8, the baktun was the longest cycle, 1 following 13 endlessly; but as the Maya acquired astronomical and calculation expertise, the baktun and all larger cycles became purely vigesimal, 0 following 19 endlessly. Even though the epochal "completion of 13 baktuns" was retained by the Maya for everyday usage, modern authors treat it as 0 baktuns for the purposes of calculation. Your favorite author, Anthony Aveni, agrees that the Maya used 13.0.0.0.0 but that he prefers to write it as 0.0.0.0.0 (Skywatchers, p.350 n.10). — Joe Kress 05:48, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Unfortunately, there are no known long count dates that record a date between 13.0.0.0.0 4 Ahaw 8 Kumk'u and 1.0.0.0.0 (please correct me if I'm wrong). So we have no information on how the Maya would have recorded dates in this range. My personal belief is that they would use 0.x.x.x.x instead of 13.x.x.x.x, but there is no way to know for sure. --grr 01:37, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Question on Long Count Dates with Different Starting Dates

I'm hardly an expert on the Mesoamerican calendar, but I've picked up a copy of Sylvanus Morley's "An Introduction to the Study of the Maya Hieroglyphs" at a book sale. I was wondering: this book mentions two dates, one on the east side of Stela C at Quirigua and one at the Temple of the Cross in Palenque, that start at 4 Ahau 8 Zotz, rather than 4 Ahau 8 Kumhu. I've never seen any reference to these two dates as unusual anywhere else. I realize Morley's book is more than a little dated now, given advances in our understanding of the Mayan script over recent years. Has this since been shown to be an error? How was it resolved? Or has the novelty just worn off and no one cares anymore? Elakazal 03:23, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Can't find the exact references at the moment, but I believe that the 4 Ajaw 8 Sotz' is the Calendar Round date which corresponds to the beginning of the 13-b'ak'tun cycle (of 1,872,000 days) which precedes the mythological Long Count starting point. That is, if at the LC starting point 13(0).0.0.0.0 (3114 BCE) the corresponding CR date was 4 Ajaw 8 Kumk'u, then projecting back further to the last time the LC had this configuration (-)13.0.0.0.0 -ie 1,872,000 days earlier, a day in 8239 BCE), the corresponding CR date is 4 Ajaw 8 Sotz'.--cjllw | TALK 03:32, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes if you go back another 13 baktuns before 4 Ajaw 8 Kumk'u, you wind up a 4 Ajaw 8 Sotz'. This would be the date ...13.13.13.0.0.0.0.0, with an infinite number of preceding 13s and 5 places (not four) set to zero.--grr 05:21, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Question on last date before next era

The other day you, Madman, reverted an edit here with the comment "Revert to last version by, er, me myself. Folks, before changing this again, let's discuss on Talk page. Thanks,"

The values I put there were taken directly from the source listed at the end of the paragraph. If that is the source we are using, we have to use the values it says. Any other values MUST be justified by their own sources. If you think other numbers are more accurate, fine, but you have to find a source to back that up. Until then, we'll just have to use the numbers in the book.

For a topic such as this -- with a lot of controversy, misunderstandings, and obscurity in the way -- citing sources and backing up claims is essential. That whole paragraph is referring to Forest of Kings, so the dates in Forest of Kings will be used.

I really don't see any debate here. The text on page 430 isn't ambiguous about this at all. I have no objection to including other numbers, but you must put them in their own section with their own references. I'm restoring my edits.

Kundor 12:53, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

I moved this from my Talk page because the discussion belongs here (as I mentioned).
Now, just because something appears in Forest of Kings doesn't mean that it's correct. I myself am very dubious that we are approaching the end of 13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.1.13.0.0.0.0. To me that implies that the calendar did not start in 3114. However, I am asking other folks who are more knowledgeable than I to weigh in on this. Madman 15:50, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
The 13s are correct, as far as the system expostulated in Forest of Kings goes. The calendar started with all the positions above the last 5 set to 13. They have all remained so, except the sixth from last. That one has finished its initial count and clicked over to 1. That sixth from last will have to work its way to the end of its cycle again before the seventh advances at all, and so forth.
I understand that other authorities prefer to use "0" instead of the more accurate "13" for purposes of mathematical convenience, but as I said my position is that we must stick by the facts provided by the sources we are citing. Kundor 23:19, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
Kundor has misunderstood A Forest of Kings by Linda Schele and David Freidel (1990). Page 430 has four dates:
13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13. 0. 0. 0. 0   4 Ahau   8 Cumku
                                 13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13. 9.15.13. 6. 9   3 Muluc 17 Mac
                                                         13. 0. 0. 0. 0   4 Ahau   3 Kankin 
                                                       1. 0. 0. 0. 0. 8   5 Lamat  1 Mol
The first date is the Maya epoch on August 13, 3114 BC from Coba. The second is the contemporary date October 21, 744 from Yaxchilan. The third (in the paragraph immediately above the other three) is the katun ending we are now approaching on December 23, 2012. The last is the future date October 23, 4772 from Palenque. All Western dates are in the Gregorian calendar using the Lounsbury correlation 584285—the last two are given in the text, whereas the first two were calculated by adding two days to the dates given by Calendrica (which uses the GMT correlation 584283). Note that there are only 20 13s, not 21 in the first date. That is, there are 19 13s prefixed to the epoch of 13.0.0.0.0.   1.13.0.0.0.0 is later, not earlier than 1.0.0.0.0.0. That is, the 13 in the sixth position of the epoch 13.13.0.0.0.0 does not roll over to 1 until the last date 1.0.0.0.0.0. The fifth position then continues 1.1.0.0.0.0, 1.2.0.0.0.0, through 1.13.0.0.0.0, and onward to 1.14.0.0.0.0, etc.
Much clearer is the table given in Maya Cosmos: Three Thousand Years on the Shaman's Path by David Freidel, Linda Schele, & Joy Parker (1993), page 65:
               13.13.13. 0. 0. 0. 1    5 Imix  9 Kumk'u   (Aug. 14, 3114 BC)
               13.13.13. 0. 0. 1. 0   11 Ahaw  3 Pop      (Sept. 2, 3114 BC)
               13.13.13. 0. 1. 0. 0   13 Ahaw  3 Kumk'u   (Aug.  7, 3113 BC)
               13.13.13. 1. 0. 0. 0    2 Ahaw  8 Mak      (May   1, 3094 BC)
               13.13. 1. 0. 0. 0. 0    3 Ahaw 13 Ch'en    (Nov. 15, 2720 BC)
               13.13.13. 0. 0. 0. 0    4 Ahaw  3 K'ank'in (Dec. 23, AD 2012)
               13. 1. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0   10 Ahaw 13 Yaxk'in  (Oct. 15, AD 4772)
                1. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0    7 Ahaw  3 Zotz'    (Nov. 22, AD 154587)
The latter explicitly states that we are approaching 13.13.13.0.0.0.0. — Joe Kress 00:53, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Upon counting, you are correct that there is an extra 13 prepended to the string. That's just an off-by-one error.
I also see that you may be correct about the 1 in the sixth position. The relevant portions of the text are:
13.0.0.0.0 will occur again on December 23, 2012 [. . .] we know that the Maya did not consider it to be the beginning of a new creation as has been suggested [. . .] recorded the creation date with twenty units above the katun as in [the Coba date, correctly transcribed by Joe Kress].
[. . .] each unit clicks from thirteen to one when twenty of the next unit accumulate. [. . .] all of the higher cycles of the calendar were still set at thirteen during Maya history. [. . .]
Since we are now approaching 13.0.0.0.0, the date would be indistinguishable from the creation date, as recorded at Coba, unless the sixth ticked over. I never considered that as a possibility, since it seems obvious that previous units tick over when otherwise the entire number would be repeated. It seems, however, that that's the case after all?
In that case, the text was already wrong before I changed it. I also still think that 13s should be used, as opposed to 0s, if we are citing Forest of Kings.
Here's my proposed changed text. I'll add it tomorrow, unless I'm told it's still wrong or someone else changes it.

There were many larger units that were usually not shown. When the larger units were shown (notably on a monument from Coba), the date of creation is expressed as 13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.0.0.0.0, where the units are 13s in the twenty places larger than the b'ak'tun. In this age we are approaching the same count again. However, this time the 13 in the fifth position from last is progressing towards 19, rather than being an initial value. After it reaches 19, it will be set to 0 and the sixth position, which has been 13 since the date of creation, will become 1.

--Kundor 23:25, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
The approaching k'atun ending will indeed be indistinguishable from that of the epoch. That may be one reason why many scholars change the epoch to all zeros. Unfortunately, that has the disadvantage of divorcing Long Counts dated before the epoch from their appropriate b'ak'tun completion. One from Palenque is 12.19.13.4.0, which should roll over to 13.0.0.0.0, not to 0.0.0.0.0. The Maya preferred complete b'ak'tuns, such as the explicit 10.0.0.0.0 from Palenque which completes all the historical 9s during Pacal's reign.
The approaching k'atun ending that was in the article (….0.0.0.13.0.0.0.0) was indeed erroneous. I had not done the necessary research to correct it until recently.
Your proposed paragraph is correct except for the phrase "the units are 13s in the twenty places larger than the b'ak'tun", which should be either "the units are 13s in the nineteen places larger than the b'ak'tun", or alternatively, "the units are 13s in the twenty places larger than the k'atun". Another possibility is "the units are 13s in the nineteen places larger than 13.0.0.0.0". — Joe Kress 04:36, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
Added, with modification.
A further question: Earlier in that paragraph, it says "Another 12.19.19.17.19 will occur on December 20 2012, followed by the start of the thirteenth b'ak'tun, 13.0.0.0.0, on December 21, 2012." Will this be the thirteenth b'ak'tun, or the fourteenth (the first also being labeled 13, the second 1, the third 2, and so on)? --Kundor 02:35, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
The problem with the text in A Forest of Kings is that it is *WRONG*. Linda Schele was a brilliant epigrapher but didn't understand astronomy and was innumerate. In writing about why she has written this in the book she said: (read this carefully)

"First of all, you must understand I am not a number person. I am a good friend of Floyd's and have watched him argue the correlation problem with David Kelley for 25 years. Floyd did not send me a preprint copy of his correlation paper because he knows I am not a number person, and the "Sky in Mayan Literature" was not available until very late 1992, when the manuscript for "Maya Cosmos" was going through its final editing process before going to Morrow for production. If you have published books, you know that any changes made after the stage of copy editing causes apoplexy in harried editors.

But I probably would not have cited Floyd's article anyway, because I was not attempting to make an argument about the correlation--only stating that David Freidel and I would be using the 285 correlation instead of the 283. Moreover, "Maya Cosmos" was written for the general public first and professionals secondarily. In my experience, there are people who think in numbers and who love them. For this kind of mentality (which Floyd and Dave Kelley have and I patently do NOT--this is a big joke between us), the Dresdon Codex, the eclipse tables, and other such things are the best way of entering Maya studies. But for most people, the numbers are opaque and mind numbing. For instance, I took Floyd's seminar on glyphs in 1974-1975. He taught us the Venus tables and the eclipse tables. I was supposed to have learned from the master. All of his lessons fell on deaf ears. I could not reproduce any of it and understood less. In the workshops here I describe the experience as "it all made sense when I heard it, but when I walked out the door, it dribbled out of my left ear." It's the "left ear" syndrome.

I finally learned how Venus works by taking EZCosmos 3 and adding the appropriate intervals over hundreds of years and watching what happened. I learned it through the geometry of the sky rather than the numbers. Same thing for the eclipse tables. The rows of number that Floyd put in this Encyclopedia of Science article were just that--rows of numbers. I learned how the eclipse table worked by using the eclipse finder in EZCosmos 4 to construct my own table for the Maya last summer in our Antigua workshop. This semester I did the same sort of thing in our Dresden seminar by using EZC 4's eclipse finder to check the Dresden eclipse table against the real world using all of its eligible base dates. After that, Floyd's numbers made sense to me.

At a conference here in Austin last November, Dennis Tedlock argued with me about this. He argued that there are other hierophanies just as good for the Venus pages as the ones Floyd Lounsbury presented. Dennis assumed as many others have, that I prefer the 285 for the same reasons as Floyd does. But you have to understand that I have never fully understood Floyd's reasons.

I have been convinced that the 584283-5 correlation was the correct family because of the astronomical alignments we kept finding, but as Dave Kelley says, the astronomy falls into regular periodicities that can be used to support many different correlations--as they have been for a hundred years. Dave doesn't even believe that the 584283 family is correct; for me the problem has been to chose between the 283 or 285. In general, the astronomy does not help because almost all of the known events have a one or two day or greater fudge factor in them. You cannot use them to select between the one or the other.

Dave Kelley gave me what I consider to be the critical clue twenty years ago. The eclipse table of the Dresden Codex lists a 13 Ahaw that falls on 9.17.0.0.0 13 Ahaw 18 Kumk'u if the initial 12 Lamat base date is used. In the Dresden sequence, this marks 9.17.0.0.0 as a new moon with an eclipse station. More over, the same augury that appears in the Dresden Codex also occurs on Quirigua E east side as the age of the moon in the lunar series. I take this to identify 9.17.0.0.0 both in the retrospective chronology of the Dresden and in the real time chronology of the Classic period as an eclipse station and a new moon.

584285 answers this limitation. It was a new moon and an eclipse eliglible date. There was no visible eclipse on that day at Quirigua, although there was one of about 20% at Tikal. However, there was a 94% umbral lunar eclipse on Feburary 4, 771 fifteen days after 9.17.0.0.0. That alone would have confirmed the correctness of the identification. 9.17.0.0.15 was a lunar eclipse and the next day is marked at Copan as the heliacal rising of the Eveningstar. 584283 puts 9.17.0.0.0 on Jan. 18, 771, which was not an eclipse date. Moreover, as I found out last summer in constructing a modern eclipse table with the Maya, 583283 does not place July 11, 1991 on an eclipse station and 584285 does. This was the date of the total eclipse over Guatemala City."


So all of you people that think Linda was so great: do you still think so now that her screw up in a Forest of Kings has caused so much trouble?—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 71.32.158.7 (talkcontribs) 3 April 2007.
Hi anon 71.32.158.7, please remember to sign your comments by using ~~~~ .
You'll need to make your point more explicit. That extensive quotation you've supplied is all well and good, but it's not all that relevant to the present discussion. This particular thread has not been about what correlation to use.
If you are intending to comment on whether or not the higher-order LC coefficients should be represented as 13's or 0's, then as far as the Coba LC date is concerned, the notation in Forest of Kings faithfully represents the coefficient values which actually appear on that inscription (Coba Stela 1), which are plainly seen to be all 13's from the b'ak'tun (20² tuns) place all the way up to the coefficient representing 2021 tuns. Here's a link to a drawing of that inscription, for verification. --cjllw | TALK 05:13, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
The point is that Linda wasn't really an authority on the Maya Calendar and made mistakes in A Forest of Kings. She didn't think it was that important to get it right anyway since A Forest of Kings was written as a popular book, not for professsionals. You site A Forest of Kings as a source of information about inscriptions with higher orders of dates above 13 Baktuns and about this she is probably correct. Then someone keeps coming back and changing the text to use the Thompson (astronomical, Lounsbury) correlation and the proleptic Gregorian calendar because that is what it says in your source. Linda probably got the information about the inscriptions from some source that she sites. I am moving and my copy is packed away so I can't look. Maybe you should site that instead204.227.204.239 15:50, 8 April 2007 (UTC)Tlaloc

Pictun and above

Eric Thompson was able to determine that the date of creation in 3114 BC – 13.0.0.0.0 was actually 0.1.13.0.0.0.0.0.0 in the extended version.

Does anybody have a source on that, and what the implications are?

Furthermore, in the Tzolkin and Haab dates corresponding to any Long Count date, it should pose to be no problem to determine wether the Baktun is mod13 or mod20?

I don't want to start a flame war, but to me if the 13 is used the same way as a 0, this is a strong indication that the system is mod13, especially if the writer wanted to document it. (A date of 0.0, with 1.0 following after one turn of the second digit, does not tell me what system is used. 12.0 followed by 1.0 indicates that, no matter what the second digit is (in this example, mod60), 12 = 0 and therefore the first digit is mod12.) Especially if there are no Baktuns or higher orders in sources that range more than 13.

Apart from that, from all I gather the "worlds" or "suns" seem to all come from Aztec sources; is there any source (and, if it's the Popol Vuh, where in the Popol Vuh) that really speaks of more than one world?

--85.181.35.144 23:25, 27 April 2007 (UTC)


The beginning

Have there been any speculations about why 3114 B.C. was chosen as the starting point, or is it simply assumed that they chose it at random? Esn 19:15, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

It almost certainly wasn't random. But why they picked that date is lost in history. If we burned all the books that had the history of the Julian Day and were just left with counts, we would have a similar effect. The Maya had other days which are significant, such as 9.9.9.16.0 1 Ahaw 18 K'ayab--the base date in the Dresden Codex Venus Pages, for which we have no understanding for why they are important. grr 12:37, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Connection to Great Year

Mabye I missed the mention of this in the article. It seems that there is some connection between the Long Count Calendar and a Great Year. There should probably be some mention of this in the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.229.113.252 (talk) 05:30, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Inscriptions Beyond 2012

The first paragraph in the section about Inscriptions beyond 2012 contains completely wrong Maya calendar calculations.

First of all the long count date 9.8.9.13.0 is calculated as March 24th 603 AD Gregorian. I don't use the proleptic Gregorian calendar but I can tell you that 9.8.9.13.0 was March 21st 603 using the Julian calendar and the G.M.T. correlation. The Proleptic Gregorian calendar diverges from the Julian calendar by 10 days in 1582 and gets farther from the Julian calendar as one goes back in time because of Gregorian leap centuries. I think the Gregorian date should be 12 days earlier than the Julian date (10 days for Gregorian calendar reform and 2 days for the two Gregorian leap centuries of 1,200 and 800) or March 12th. Linda and Floyd used the bogus Thompson, Lounsbury, "astronomical" correlation of 584,285 days in A Forrest of Kings but this should result in an error of only two days. I think the date given is wrong.

The number of days elapsed on the given Long Count is 135,710: (9 x 144,000) + (8 x 7,200) + (9 x 360) + (13 x 20) + 0 = 135,710.

The number of Long Count days in the distance number is 1,522,908: (10 x 144, 000) + (11 x 7, 200) + (10 x 360) + (5 x 20) + 8.

The Long Count plus the distance number is a Long Count day number of 1,658,618. This IS a Long Count of 1,0,0,0,0,8. This is the only part of the paragraph that is right.

This date is only eight days after the end of the 13th Bak'tun on December 12th, 2012 (1,0,0,0,0,0) - Saturday December 29th, 2012. The statement that this date is October 21st, 4772 is wrong and it's NOT "almost 3,000 years into the future".

The Calendar Round on that Long Count will be 12 Lamat, 11 K'ank'in so both the Tzolk'in and Haab' given in are wrong.

The length of a complete Calendar Round is 18,980 days. The number of days in the distance number divided by the length or the Calendar Round is 80 with a remainder of 4,508 days. This can't be a "Calendar Round anniversary" of the given starting date because the remainder isn't zero. It's possible that Pacal's accession to the throne occurred 4,508 days earlier than the Long Count date given but it doesn't say this in the article.

In the section titled Suggested Revisions somebody named Tlaloc posted a long piece of text saying that Linda Schele and David Freidel couldn't do Maya calendar calculations. He was right. Since this paragraph is so completely wrong, shouldn't it be removed from the article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Senor Cuete (talkcontribs) 16:58, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Similar problem(s) are evident in the caption of the inscription by Sylvanus Morley. Without knowing which western calendar and correlation constant he used you would conclude that the date given is wrong.Senor Cuete (talk)Senor Cuete —Preceding comment was added at 18:36, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

The Long Count date 9.8.9.13.0 is both March 24, 603 (Gregorian) and March 21, 603 (Julian) according to Calendrica. The Gregorian date approaches the Julian date as we go back in time until they are equal between March 1, 200 and February 28, 300 (just before the Council of Nicaea in 325), because the ten days dropped in 1582 accounted for the ten days that should have been dropped from the Julian calendar in the ten centennial years 300, 500, 600, 700, 900, 1000, 1100, 1300, 1400, and 1500 according to the rules of the Gregorian calendar. Note that 603 requires three centennial days to be dropped which indeed equals the three days between March 21 and 24.
You left off a 0 in the decimal equivalent for the given Long Count date of 9.8.9.13.0, so it is 1,357,100. When added to 1,522,908 the result is 2,880,008 which is indeed 20×144,000 + 8 or 1.0.0.0.0.8. You are correct that something is missing, his succession date of 9.9.2.4.8 5 Lamat 1 Mol, which was 4,508 days after 9.8.9.13.0. Here is Linda Schele's translation (pages 112–113) of the applicable glyphs (E1–H10) from the west panel (page 59) of the Temple of Inscriptions at Palenque from Notebook for the Maya Hieroglyphic Writing Workshop at Texas, March 22–23, 1986 (a virtual copy of March 26–27, 1983):
It was eight days, 9 uinals, 12 tuns since he was born Mah K'ina Pacal on 8 Ahau 13 Mol [9.8.9.13.0] until he was made the holder of the bundle of the succession Mah K'ina Pacal on 5 Lamat 1 Mol [9.9.2.4.8]. It was 8 days, 4 uinals, 2 tuns since 3 Ahau 3 Zotz', the seating of the tun [9.9.0.0.0]. It was 1 day, 12 uinals, 2 tuns, 9 katuns, 2 baktuns, 18 pictuns, 7 kabaltuns since he took office Zero-Square Nosed Beastie on 1 Manik 10 Zec [until] he took office [on 9.9.2.4.8 5 Lamat 1 Mol] Mah K'ina Pacal, Ahpo of Palenque. It was 8 days, 5 uinals, 10 tuns, 11 katuns, 10 baktuns [since 9.8.9.13.0 8 Ahau 13 Pop until] the Period Ending event [80th Calendar Round anniversary] 5 Lamat 1 Mol 1 pictun. It was 8 days since the seating of the tun on 10 Ahau 13 Yaxkin [1.0.0.0.0.0] until the Period Ending on 5 Lamat 1 Mol [1.0.0.0.0.8].
I can't copy the glyphs themselves which appear next to the translation. Text in square brackets does not appear as glyphs. Although I can't read the Mayan language, I can read the bar and dot numbers within the glyphs which do match the numbers of the stated Calendar Rounds, Long Counts, and distance numbers. So the text does not actually state "80th Calendar Round anniversary" but does explicitly state that "5 Lamat 1 Mol 1 pictun ... 8 days" is a Period Ending, which can only be 20.0.0.0.0.8 or October 21, 4772 (Gregorian) or September 17, 4772 (Julian). Hence King Pacal gave 20 baktuns to a pictun, and must have included baktuns 14–19 between baktun 13 and pictun 1 of a Long Count date. The left half of the west panel of the Temple of Inscriptions at Palenque is also shown (slightly enlarged) as plate 97 in Merle Greene Robertson, Volume I: The Temple of the Inscriptions of The Sculpture of Palenque (1983).
Voss and Kremer specifically state (page 2) in K'ak'-u-pakal, Hun-pik-tok' and the Kokum: The Political Organization of Chichén Itzá (PDF 1.59MB) that the Chichen Itza Initial Series date of 10.2.9.1.9 9 Muluk 7 Sak is July 30, 878 using the GMT-L (Lounsbury 1992) correlation of 584285, which is a Gregorian date corresponding to the unstated dates July 28, 878 (Gregorian) or July 24, 878 (Julian) when the GMT correlation of 584283 is used. The caption should make this clear. — Joe Kress (talk) 07:25, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
    • ^ Maya Chronology: Glyph G of the Lunar Series J. Eric Thompson American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 31, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1929), pp. 223-231