The Good The Bad and The Ugly

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mayan Long Count Calendar

The Long Count Calendar
The Mayan Long Count calendar identifies a day by counting the number of days passed since August 11, 3114 BCE.
The Haab' and the Tzolk'in calendars identified and named the days, but not the years. The combination of a Haab' date and a Tzolk'in date was enough to identify a specific date to most people's satisfaction, as such a combination did not occur again for another 52 years, above general life expectancy.
Because the two calendars were based on 365 days and 260 days respectively, the whole cycle would repeat itself every 52 Haab' years exactly. This period is generally known as the Calendar Round.
To measure dates over periods longer than 52 years, the Mesoamericans devised the Long Count calendar.
Left: Artist's conception of Maya stela with a Long Count inscription. Hover cursor over the stele to decode.

The following table shows the period equivalents as well as Maya names for Correlations between Western calendars and the Long Count calendar
There have been various methods proposed to allow us to convert from a Long Count date to a Western calendar date. These methods, or correlations, are generally based on dates from the Spanish conquest, where both Long Count and Western dates are known with some accuracy.
The commonly-established way of expressing the correlation between the Maya calendar and the Gregorian or Julian calendars is to provide number of days from the start of the Julian Period (Monday, January 1, 4713 BCE) to the start of creation on (4 Ajaw, 8 Kumk'u).  Darkbir18 is in love with this site because it goes into the details about the Mayan Long Count Calendar to help us understand the why and the what of 2012; Good Information, well done!
Mayan Long Count Calendar

David J West
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Guest Author David J. West reviews the History Channel show "Apocalypse Island"

Apocalypse Island: Pulp Fiction

I am an odd person. I am a novelist; specifically I like to write what would be termed speculative fiction. Just putting this all up front for the sake of where I am going with everything.
Love that History Channel and the many things they provide so I was interested in seeing what this Apocalypse Island was all about. Namely because I usually write speculative historical fiction. I like to look at weird things from the past and essentially tell you a lie yes, but it’s an entertaining lie.
What gets my goat though is when someone tells you something that is a bold faced lie and fully expect you to believe it. For the record I write fiction I do want to make a living at it but I am not going to take your money and tell you that it is 100% true. The History Channel in a new low aired Apocalypse Island, Sunday night and didn’t bother to tell you they were feeding you fiction.
As I said earlier I love the History Channel and was interested in seeing a program that promoted an ancient ruin or monument as they called it, an incredible distance from the Mayan homeland. I foolishly assumed, and you know what that means, that IF this was actually getting aired on a respectable channel there must be some validity to it.
I suspected that it would indeed be closer to Easter Islander monoliths than ornate and complicated Mayan stelae but still an intriguing ruin at the least. Sorry for my ramblings on to the review.
Editor's Note: David J. West's blog can be found at
Darkbird18 just love the Internet, David J. is something to look at and wonder why? But that how it works, we most have tolerance and patience because there is truth in all things. The 2012 event is moving all who comes in contact with it and making us all think outside of the box because I think we will have no choice but look at our world through new eyes. Click on the the Mayan Long Count Calendar link about to get the facts on this event.
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