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How the Mayan Calendar Works"

How the Mayan Calendar Works"
Most people around the globe look at some form of a calendar every single day. Business executives check to see when their meetings are scheduled. The busy mom confirms soccer practices and piano lessons. College students ensure that their papers are turned in on time and they have plenty of time to study for exams. For the people of ancient Maya, calendars were just as important to daily life as they are to people today. The Mayans originated in a region called Mesoamerica, or Middle America. Mayan history ­is broken into three periods: Formative or Pre-classic - 2000 B.C. until A.D. 300Classic - 300 until 900Post-classic - 900 until the Spanish Inquisition in the 1400s ­Mesoamericans began writing during the mid-Pre-classic period. The Mayans placed great value in recording their people's history. But in order to decipher these different calendars, you'll first need a brief lesson in Mayan math.

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Mayan Numbers" Along with their calendars -- the Tzolk'in, the Haab and the Long Count -- the Mayans also created their own math system. They used a series of dots and bars to signify numbers. One dot equaled one unit, while one bar equaled five units. Greatest Aztec Image above by Guido Galvani and María Sánchez Vega, courtesy Templo Mayor project, National Institute of Anthropology and History, MexicoPhotographs by Kenneth Garrett and Jesús López On the edge of Mexico City's famed Zócalo plaza, next to the ruins of the Aztec sacred pyramid known as the Templo Mayor, the remains of an animal—perhaps a dog or a wolf—were discovered. It had been dead for 500 years and lay in a stone-lined shaft eight feet deep.

Mayan Civilization City of Copan, Honduras Copán, called Xukpi by its residents, rises out of the mist of western Honduras, in a pocket of alluvial soil amid rugged topography. It is arguably one of the most important royal sites of the Maya civilization. Occupied between AD 400 and 800, Copán covers over 50 acres of temples, altars, stelae, ball courts, several plazas and the magnificent Hieroglyphic Stairway. The culture of Copán was rich in written documentation, today including detailed sculptural inscriptions, which is very rare in precolumbian sites. Sadly, many of the books--and there were books written by the Maya, called codices--were destroyed by the priests of the Spanish invasion.

Aztecs (Mexica) During the twelfth century AD the Mexica were a small and obscure tribe searching for a new homeland. Eventually they settled in the Valley of Mexico and founded their capital, Tenochtitlan, in 1345. At the beginning of the sixteenth century it was one of the largest cities in the world. Warfare was extremely important for the Mexica people and led them to conquer most of modern-day central and southern Mexico. They controlled their huge empire through military strength, a long-distance trading network and the tribute which conquered peoples had to pay. Stone sculpture in the British Museum collection reflects the Mexica's complex religious beliefs and the large pantheon of gods they worshipped.

Mayan mathematics Version for printing Hernán Cortés, excited by stories of the lands which Columbus had recently discovered, sailed from Spain in 1505 landing in Hispaniola which is now Santo Domingo. After farming there for some years he sailed with Velázquez to conquer Cuba in 1511. He was twice elected major of Santiago then, on 18 February 1519, he sailed for the coast of Yucatán with a force of 11 ships, 508 soldiers, 100 sailors, and 16 horses. Aztec Calendar : Mexico Culture & Arts Dale Hoyt Palfrey Mexica/Aztec Calendar Systems The Civil Calendar The solar year was the basis for the civil calendar by which the Mexicas (Aztecs) determined the myriad ceremonies and rituals linked to agricultural cycles. The calendar was made up of 18 months, each lasting 20 days. The months were divided into four five-day weeks.

Climate Change Killed off Maya Civilization, Study Says The drought theory is still controversial among some archeologists who believe a combination of overpopulation, an internecine struggle for control among the nobles, a weak economic base, and a political system that didn't foster power-sharing led to the Maya's collapse. One hypothesis suggests the Maya people themselves were responsible for their downfall as a result of environmental degradation, including deforestation. Defenders of the climate change theory, however, say the droughts sparked a chain of events that led to the demise of the Maya.

Aztec Math Decoded, Reveals Woes of Ancient Tax Time April 3, 2008 Today's tax codes are complicated, but the ancient Aztecs likely shared your pain. To measure tracts of taxable land, Aztec mathematicians had to develop their own specialized arithmetic, which has only now been decoded. Mayan Family The five subfamilies of Mayan languages are: There are numerous ruins of the ancient Mayan civilization in the states of Chiapas and Yucatan, as well as in Guatemala. These archeological sites and the artifacts discovered in them display a highly developed aesthetic sense—in stone sculpture, ceramic work, the casting of precious metals, mosaics, and the carving of crystal and jade—all of these produced without metal tools. The Mayas had invented the abstract symbol of zero to simplify mathematics long before it was in use in Europe, and the Mayan calendar was older and more efficient than the Julian calendar that was in use by the Spaniards who conquered Mexico. In the 1950s one could distinguish what area people came from by the distinctive clothing of both men and women. Now many are buying clothing in stores, especially the men.

P B S : C o n q u i s t a d o r s - C o r t é s In the decade before the Spanish arrived in Mexico, Aztec Emperor Montezuma II and his people were filled with a sense of foreboding. A series of evil omens had foretold of calamities to come. A fiery comet crossed the sky. Intense droughts blamed for Mayan collapse - 13 March 2003 The Mayan civilisation of Central America collapsed following a series of intense droughts, suggests the most detailed climatic study to date. The sophisticated society of the Maya centred on large cities on the Yucatán peninsula, now part of Mexico. Their population peaked at 15 million in the 8th century, but the civilisation largely collapsed during the 9th century for reasons that have remained unclear to this day. Now, researchers studying sediment cores drilled from the Cariaco Basin, off northern Venezuela, have identified three periods of intense drought that occurred at 810, 860 and 910AD. These dates correspond to the three phases of Mayan collapse, the scientists say. Furthermore, the entire 9th century suffered below average rainfall, "so it was a dry period with three intense droughts", says Gerald Haug, from ETH in Zurich, Switzerland, who led the research.

Aztecs The first European to visit Mexican territory was Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba, who arrived in Yucatan from Cuba with three ships and about 100 men in early 1517. Cordobars reports on his return to Cuba prompted the Spanish governor there, Diego Velasquez, to send a larger force back to Mexico under the command of Hernan Cortes. In March 1519, Cortes landed at the town of Tabasco, where he learned from the natives of the great Aztec civilization, then ruled by Moctezuma (or Montezuma) II. Defying the authority of Velasquez, Cortes founded the city of Veracruz on the southeastern Mexican coast, where he trained his army into a disciplined fighting force. Cortes and some 400 soldiers then marched into Mexico, aided by a native woman known as Malinche, who served as a translator. Thanks to instability within the Aztec empire, Cortes was able to form alliances with other native peoples, notably the Tlascalans, who were then at war with Montezuma.

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