Monday, April 22, 2013

The Maya Sense of Time

by: Zach Zorich
date: 12/28/12

      The November/December 2012 issue of Archeology magazine features an article about the Maya's sense of time. The Maya's related based essentially every aspect of their lives on observations of astronomical cycles. They created two separate calendars based on these astronomical cycles. The first, the 260 day calendar, was their primary calendar and it is speculated that it was based of the approximate number of days during human pregnancy. The second calendar, the Long Count calendar, was used to show the number of days since the mythological date of their creation. This calendar was the one that ended abruptly on December 21st, 2012. Venus, the sun, and the moon were the primary celestial beings that the observed. Venus has an eight day absence period between the “evening” and “morning” star phases that the Maya's believed to be the death and resurrection period of Quetzacoatl. Codices that the Maya's created were used to set dates for rituals; these dates were linked to astronomical events. Modern day Maya communities still follow the 260 day calendar.

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