The Maya calendar consists of several cycles or counts of different lengths. The 260-day count is known to scholars as the Tzolkin, or Tzolkʼin. The Tzolkin was combined with a 365-day vague solar year known as the Haabʼ to form a synchronized cycle lasting for 52 Haabʼ, called the Calendar Round.
The Maya Calendar contains two separately working calendars which function simultaneously: the Haab, or civil calendar of 365 days in an 18 month period of 20 days each, and the Tzolkin, or sacred calendar , of 260 days divided into three groups of months of 20 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.
Aztec calendar , dating system based on the Mayan calendar and used in the Valley of Mexico before the destruction of the Aztec empire. Like the Mayan calendar , the Aztec calendar consisted of a ritual cycle of 260 days and a 365-day civil cycle.
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.
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.
It is extremely accurate, and the calculations of Maya priests were so precise that their calendar correction is 10,000th of a day more exact than the standard calendar the world uses today .
The Long Count is an astronomical calendar, with each universal cycle lasting 2,880,000 days. The beginning date of the Long Count calendar has been determined to be August 11, 3114 B.C. in the Gregorian calendar, or September 6 in the Julian calendar. The date marks the creation of human beings, according to the Maya.
Mysterious Decline of the Maya From the late eighth through the end of the ninth century, something unknown happened to shake the Maya civilization to its foundations. One by one, the Classic cities in the southern lowlands were abandoned, and by A.D. 900, Maya civilization in that region had collapsed.
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.