The Mayan Calender System Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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as, for example: 10 Chuen 4 Kumku, which translates as 9 baktuns (1,296,000 days), 10 katuns (72,000 days), 19 tuns (6,840 days), 5 uinals (100 days), 11 kins (11 days). This gives us a total of 1,374,951 days (approximately 3,767 solar years) since the beginning of the last Creation, at the Maya calendar round position of 10 Chuen, 4 Kumku. This would be equivalent to a date sometime in our year A.D. 654 or 655. One of the most important roles of the calendar was not to fix dates accurately in time, however, but to correlate the actions of Maya rulers to historic and mythological events. The acts of gods performed in the days of myth were reenacted by Maya rulers, often on the anniversary of the original event – a date which was carefully calculated by Maya

priests. The calendar was also used to mark the time of past and future happenings. Some Maya monuments, for example, record the dates of events 90 million years ago, while others predict events that will take place 3,000 years into the future. The calendar also predicted the future, as our astrological zodiac does. For example, the Maya believed that a person’s birthday or day-sign determined their fate through life. The newborn child was thus connected with a particular god, and remained under that god’s influence. Some gods were more auspicious than others, and a child born under a well-wishing god was considered lucky. A child born under a less kind deity had to ensure throughout his or her life that the god was propitiated – especially during vulnerable periods like

the unlucky uayeb of the solar year. Many scholars have wondered why the Maya calendar was so complex. In part, it was because Maya priests made all decisions about dates for sacred events and the agricultural cycle. There was thus no need for the average person to understand the calendar, and it could be as elaborate as the priests wanted. The ancient Maya cycle still survives in southern Mexico and the Maya highlands, under the care of calendar priests who still keep the 260-day count for divination and other shamanistic activities. These priests juggled cycles of time and calculated when several of these cycles would coincide.