Mayan calendar , dating system of the ancient Mayan civilization and the basis for all other calendars used by Mesoamerican civilizations. The calendar was based on a ritual cycle of 260 named days and a year of 365 days.
In the Maya Long Count, the previous world ended after 13 bʼakʼtuns, or roughly 5,125 years. The Long Count’s “zero date” was set at a point in the past marking the end of the third world and the beginning of the current one, which corresponds to 11 August 3114 BC in the proleptic Gregorian calendar.
To specify dates over periods longer than 52 years, Mesoamericans used the Long Count calendar . The Maya name for a day was kʼin.
Do The Maya Still Exist ? Descendants of the Maya still live in Central America in modern-day Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and parts of Mexico. The majority of them live in Guatemala, which is home to Tikal National Park, the site of the ruins of the ancient city of Tikal.
The 260-day calendar was used to determine important activities related to the gods and humans. It was used to name individuals, predict the future, decide on auspicious dates for battles, marriages, and so on.
Scholars have suggested a number of potential reasons for the downfall of Maya civilization in the southern lowlands, including overpopulation, environmental degradation, warfare, shifting trade routes and extended drought. It’s likely that a complex combination of factors was behind the collapse.
The Maya used the vigesimal system for their calculations – a system based on 20 rather than 10. This means that instead of the 1, 10, 100, 1,000 and 10,000 of our mathematical system, the Maya used 1, 20 , 400, 8,000 and 160,000 .
The Maya recorded time in a series of cycles, including 400-year chunks called baktuns. It’s these baktuns that have led to rumors of an end-of-the-world catastrophe on Dec . 21 , 2012 — on that date, a cycle of 13 baktuns will be complete.
Allen Christenson, professor of comparative arts and letters and an expert on Mayan society, explained that although the Maya couldn’t predict the exact day of an eclipse , they could predict eclipse seasons by noting when Venus rose above the horizon just before sunrise.
The Mayan calendar is an ancient system of three interlacing calendars : the Long Count, the Tzolkin and the Haab. The Long Count is an astronomical calendar . Each cycle is 2,880,000 days long. The Tzolkin is a 260-day calendar used for religious events, and the Haab is a 365-day solar calendar .