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wiki:user:the_mayan_people_and_their_calendar [2018/07/29 01:22] (current)
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 +==The Mayan==
 +
 +The Maya didn't invent the calendar, it was used by most cultures in pre-Columbian Central America – including the Maya – from around 2000 BC to the 16th century. The Mayan civilization developed the calendar further and it's still in use in some Maya communities today.
 +
 +
 +==Wheels working together==
 +The Mayan Calendar consists of three separate corresponding calendars, the Long Count, the Tzolkin (divine calendar) and the Haab (civil calendar). Time is cyclical in the calendars and a set number of days must occur before a new cycle can begin.
 +The three calendars are used simultaneously. The Tzolkin and the Haab identify and name the days, but not the years. The Long Count date comes first, then the Tzolkin date and last the Haab date. A typical Mayan date would read: 13.0.0.0.0 4 Ahau 8 Kumku, where 13.0.0.0.0 is the Long Count date, 4 Ahau is the Tzolkin date and 8 Kumku is the Haab date.
 +Calendar types
 +Gregorian calendar
 +Julian calendar
 +Mayan Calendar
 +Roman calendar
 +Chinese calendar
 +
 +
 +==The Tzolkin==
 +The divine calendar is also known as the Sacred Round or the Tzolkin which means “the distribution of the days”. It is a 260-day calendar, with 20 periods of 13 days used to determine the time of religious and ceremonial events. Each day is numbered from one to thirteen, and then repeated. The day is also given a name (glyph) from a sequence of 20 day names. The calendar repeats itself after each cycle.
 +==The Long Count==
 +The Long Count is an astronomical calendar which was used to track longer periods of time, what the Maya called the “universal cycle”. Each such cycle is calculated to be 2,880,000 days (about 7885 solar years). The Mayans believed that the universe is destroyed and then recreated at the start of each universal cycle. This belief still inspires a myriad of prophesies about the end of the world.
 +The “creation date” for the current cycle we are in today, is 4 Ahaw, 8 Kumku. According to the most common conversion, this date is equivalent to August 11, 3114 BC in the Gregorian calendar or September 6 in the Julian calendar.
 +
 +
 +==How to set the date==
 +A date in the Maya calendar is specified by its position in both the Tzolkin and the Haab calendars which aligns the Sacred Round with the Vague Year creating the joint cycle called the Calendar Round, represented by two wheels rotating in different directions. The Calendar round cycle takes approximately 52 years to complete.
 +The smallest wheel consists of 260 teeth with each one having the name of the days of the Tzolkin. The larger wheel consists of 365 teeth and has the name of each of the positions of the Haab year. As both wheels rotate, the name of the Tzolkin day corresponds to each Haab position.
 +The date is identified by counting the number of days from the “creation date”.
 +A typical long count date has the following format: Baktun.Katun.Tun.Uinal.Kin.
 +Kin = 1 Day.
 +Uinal = 20 kin = 20 days.
 +
 +Tun = 18 uinal = 360 days.
 +
 +Katun = 20 tun = 360 uinal = 7,200 days.
 +
 +Baktun = 20 katun = 400 tun = 7,200 uinal = 144,000 days.
 +
 +The kin, tun and katun are numbered from zero to 19; the uinal are numbered from zero to 17; and the baktun are numbered from one to 13. The Long Count has a cycle of 13 baktuns, which will be completed 1.872.000 days (13 baktuns) after 0.0.0.0.0. This period equals 5125.36 years and is referred to as the “Great Cycle” of the Long Count.
 +
 +==Modern Findings==
 +
 +The remains of a royal massacre uncovered at an abandoned Maya city are providing clues to the ancient mystery of why that civilization collapsed 1,200 years ago, according to a team of archaeologists. ​
 +
 +The skeletal remains and finery of the Maya nobles — about four dozen men, women and children — were discovered in May at the site of what was once Cancuén. The city, located in what's now Guatemala, was one of many Maya centers abandoned around 800, the time of the massacre.
 +"There are many things strange and fascinating about these burials,"​ says team leader Arthur Demarest of Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
 +Thirty-one bodies, the largest group, were buried in a cistern near the central pyramid. They still wore the jewelry — jades, jaguar-fang necklaces and seashells — and clothing that marked them as rulers.
 +
 +A Guatemalan team that has exhumed modern mass graves worldwide was called in to help handle the remains. Demarest and colleagues suggest the Maya massacre victims belonged to a ruling family and were assassinated by their conquerors.
 +The discovery provides more evidence that the city, littered with half-finished walls and spear points, was under siege in those days.
 +"​Archaeologists have known about some rather gruesome activities before at Maya locations,"​ says archaeologist David Friedel of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, who was not on the discovery team.
 +
 +But, he adds, "The Cancuén massacre of nobility is an exceptionally dramatic example of the violence marking the end of royal court life and divine kingship."​
 +The body of the slain ruler of Cancuén, Kan Maax, still wearing an identifying necklace, was found in a nearby shallow grave with the remains of his queen. Another dozen bodies of slain nobles were found a few miles away. Cancun had a 6-acre pyramidal palace blanketed with hundreds of huge stucco sculptures and craftsmen'​s workshops, along with cisterns that supplied water to commoners during the dry season.
 +Demarest believes that trade rivals of the kingdom from further down the Paison River conquered Cancuén and bumped off its rulers to establish their dominion. After the conquest, the site was abandoned amid long-term drought and warfare.
 +However, archaeologist David Webster of Penn State University says that inter-dynastic squabbles also were a common occurrence in that era, which might also explain the massacre. "There were only so many positions open for king then, and things could get pretty vicious,"​ he says, adding that he doubts trade in the region was extensive enough to justify an assault on Cancuén.
 +
 +Anthropologist Lisa Lucero of New Mexico State University in Las Cruces also cautions that each Maya center likely had its own history in terms of how it responded to the years of drought. That response may have included the sacrifice of nobles and the ritual burials that the bodies received, as well as warfare, she says.
 +"In the end, there was not enough water to support any political system, hence the reason for abandoning centers,"​ she says by e-mail.
 +
 +==Mayan timeline==
 +
 +Around 300 B.C., the Maya adopted a hierarchical system of government with rule by nobles and kings. This civilization developed into highly structured kingdoms during the Classic period, A.D. 200-900. Their society consisted of many independent states, each with a rural farming community and large urban sites built around ceremonial centres. It started to decline around A.D. 900 when - for reasons which are still largely a mystery - the southern Maya abandoned their cities. When the northern Maya were integrated into the Toltec society by A.D. 1200, the Maya dynasty finally came to a close, although some peripheral centres continued to thrive until the Spanish Conquest in the early sixteenth century. 
 +
 +Maya history can be characterized as cycles of rise and fall: city-states rose in prominence and fell into decline, only to be replaced by others. It could also be described as one of continuity and change, guided by a religion that remains the foundation of their culture. For those who follow the ancient Maya traditions, the belief in the influence of the cosmos on human lives and the necessity of paying homage to the gods through rituals continues to find expression in a modern hybrid Christian-Maya faith. 
 +Timeline
 +B.C.
 +
 +11,000
 +The first hunter-gatherers settle in the Maya highlands and lowlands.
 +
 +3113
 +The creation of the world takes place, according to the Maya Long Count calendar.
 +
 +2600
 +Maya civilization begins.
 +
 +2000
 +The rise of the Olmec civilization,​ from which many aspects of Maya culture are derived. Village farming becomes established throughout Maya regions.
 +
 +700
 +Writing is developed in Mesoamerica.
 +
 +400
 +The earliest known solar calendars carved in stone are in use among the Maya, although the solar calendar may have been known and used by the Maya before this date.
 +
 +300
 +The Maya adopt the idea of a hierarchical society ruled by nobles and kings.
 +
 +100
 +The city of Teotihuacan is founded and for centuries is the cultural, religious and trading centre of Mesoamerica.
 +
 +50
 +The Maya city of Cerros is built, with a complex of temples and ball courts. It is abandoned (for reasons unknown) a hundred years later and its people return to fishing and farming.
 +
 +A.D.
 +
 +100
 +The decline of the Olmecs.
 +
 +400
 +The Maya highlands fall under the domination of Teotihuacan,​ and the disintegration of Maya culture and language begins in some parts of the highlands.
 +
 +500
 +The Maya city of Tikal becomes the first great Maya city, as citizens from Teotihuacan make their way to Tikal, introducing new ideas involving weaponry, captives, ritual practices and human sacrifice.
 +
 +600
 +An unknown event destroys the civilization at Teotihuacan,​ along with the empire it supported. Tikal becomes the largest city-state in Mesoamerica , with as many as 500,000 inhabitants within the city and its hinterland.
 +
 +683
 +The Emperor Pacal dies at the age of 80 and is buried in the Temple of the Inscriptions at Palenque.
 +
 +751
 +Long-standing Maya alliances begin to break down. Trade between Maya city-states declines, and inter-state conflict increases.
 +
 +869
 +Construction ceases in Tikal, marking the beginning of the city's decline.
 +
 +899
 +Tikal is abandoned.
 +
 +900
 +The Classic Period of Maya history ends, with the collapse of the southern lowland cities. Maya cities in the northern Yucatán continue to thrive.
  

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