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Maya Calendar Needs Shifting, Says Author

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« on: March 10, 2013, 04:49:31 am »

Maya Calendar Needs Shifting, Says Author

Sat, Mar 09, 2013

The much-publicized Maya calendar end-date and its mythic associations need to be re-calibrated by eight years, according to researcher.
Maya Calendar Needs Shifting, Says Author

According to many Maya scholars, December 21, 2012 corresponded to the end of a Great Cycle in the Maya calendar. Prophets of doom, who predicted the "end of the world" as we know it, and their opposing naysayers, focused on the date with much anticipation. That day came and went as any other day. It appeared that the naysayers were correct.

But not so fast, says at least one author.

In a paper recently published in the online open-access collegiate journal, AnthroJournal, author Dale King suggests that the Great Cycle of the Maya calendar so often referred to by scholars, journalists, and others as having ended on December 21, 2012, should not have actually ended on that date after all. In fact, maintains King, the date was off by eight years.

Writes King: "The Maya correlated the beginning date of their calendar to the birth of their deities. Yet, according to Maya researcher John Major Jenkins, the GMT correlation—the correlation of the Maya calendar with the Gregorian calendar—was based on a text found in Palenque, a text interpreted as stating that the current Great Cycle began when the deity known as “First Father” was eight years old and came to Palenque."

"If what Jenkins says is true", adds King, "then the calendar should begin when the deity was born, not eight years later. By pushing the ‘beginning of time’ back eight years to coincide with the birth of the deity, we arrive at 3122 BC, with a corresponding Maya Calendar end-date in 2004.  In the words of famed fictional archaeologist Indiana Jones, they’re looking in the wrong place. In this case, not the wrong place, but the wrong time."

The change in the timing, according to King, also has implications for the occurrence of real world events as they are related to the Maya-Aztec myths about catastrophic events at the "end of days". According to these myths, King writes, at the end of the cycle there "will be a blast of energy from out of the sky. There will be earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Ollin, the ‘movement’ glyph, tells how earthquakes will shake the whole world. The seas will rise; there will be a change in the wobble of the Earth".

We know, of course, that on December 21, 2012, none of these events happened. But, says King, on December 26, 2004, the date that corresponds to the 8-year correction, very similar events actually did occur. She sites the occurrence of astronomical alignments "with a strong correlation to the ancient Maya calculations". Moreover, she points out that on that day, the earth was affected by a powerful blast of gamma rays that, according to NASA, wiped out sensors on their gamma ray tracking satellite, Swift, and was detected by other satellites, adversely effecting communication across the Pacific for hours. Also on that same day, a major Indian Ocean earthquake resulted in the massive tsunami that killed more than 350,000 people from Indonesia to the coast of Africa and inundating coastal communities with waves up to 30 meters (98 ft) high. According to scientific reports, the energy released was the equivalent to twenty thousand nuclear bombs, a force so great that it affected the rotation of the Earth. 

"Since that fateful day", she writes, "there have been noticeable changes in weather patterns—hurricanes, earthquakes, and increased volcanic activity".

So what is one to think? Whether one agrees or not with King's analysis, it goes without saying that there will always be room in scholarship for challenge, discussion, and more research related to the complex Maya calendar system. Future excavations and research will hopefully shed additional light in understanding a construct that was clearly a central element in the ancient Mesoamerican world.

For a detailed reading of the research paper, see Maya-Aztec Calendar Myths Ring True in the online Collegiate Journal of Anthropology.


*King, Dale G., Maya-Aztec Calendar Myths Ring True, Collegiate Journal of Anthropology, March 8, 2013.

Cover Photo, Top Left: View of Palenque, by Tato Grasso, Wikimedia Commons

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