The Long Count Calendar ends on the 21st December 2012, end of the world. We are left to wonder why the Mayans chose this particular date. 2,300 years ago the Mayans time system was put in place, and Scholars have known for decades that this calendar was set to end in the winter of 2o12.
It is amazing that by just looking at the stars the Mayans had worked out their calendar, and set this date so many years into the future. The Mayans were avid star watchers, they watched the stars for one particular period from 200 A.D to 900 A.D. Recent archaeologists have found new evidence that suggests the Mayans lived along time before we thought. Ruin sites show high cultures, with Mayans remains being found in the jungles of Guatemala, dating right back before their suggested era.
Mayans from the earlier times had two calendars, ‘Short Count’ and ‘Long Count’ calendar. They developed the ‘Short Count’ from combining the tzolkin cycle with the solar year and the Venus cycle of 584 days. The ‘Short Count’ calendar no longer exists, but has also been related to astronomical cycles.
‘Short Count’ calendar was based upon days multiplied by the key Mayan number, twenty;
Number of days / term
1 / Kin (day)
20 / Uinal
360 / Tun
7200 / Katun
144000 / Baktun
Notice the only exception to multiplying by twenty is at the Tun level, where as the Uinal period is instead multiplied by 18 to make the 360 day tun. Mayans did this so there was an unbroken cycle of time. It is believed that the calendar was put in place in 355 B.C. However there has been proof of the calendar dating back to 32 B.C.
We still find it hard to exactly work out what and how the calendars work. Once the original date of when the Mayans calendar is found they will be able to be more precise. The relationship between both calendars were tracked alongside each other in an unbroken sequence.
The point of interest has been when the calendar will end not when it began. The beginning of the calendar has mythological significance, Mayans say its the birth of their deities. Question still remains of to why they chose the date of 2o12, how were they able to pin point that particular day. Will we be left with devastation or positive change, either way we know that something will occur. We just have to await the dreaded day of 2o12.