When did the Mayan start
The smallest unit in Maya timekeeping is the day (k’in – sun, day). Hence, all the 2012 related claims on how accurate the Maya calendar(s) were seem to skip that very important notion. The reason why the Maya appears to have had accurate calendars is that they counted celestial cycles, such as in the Venus table in the Dresden Codex, for a long time. The Maya only used integers, never fractals. The fractals that appear in Mayanist literature are simply the result of a division of long periods divided by the known number of cycles. The likelihood that they were able to pinpoint the exact hour or minute when the winter solstice occur in 2012 is nonexistent (even if we believe the 13 Baktun date falls on that date). The winter solstice in 2012 occurs on December 21, at 11:12 AM GMT, which equals 5:12 AM in the Maya area. This is about one hour before sunrise so it is of some importance to understand when that smallest temporal unit began.
There appears to have been various ways to calculate when the day began. Did it last from sunset to sunset, sunrise to sunrise, noon to noon or midnight to midnight, or something else? It depends on what calendar you talk about. Peter Mathews has argued that several Late Classic inscriptions, such as Stela 18 at Yaxchilan and Stela 8 at Dos Pilas, indicate that the tzolkin began before midnight and was followed by the haab day at sunrise. David Stuart reports that on a door lintel, now at Hecelchakan in Campeche, the new tzolkin day enters a preceding haab day. Hence, in an inscription where we have a Calendar Round date (tzolkin and haab), the days in the various cycles did not begin at the same time.
THE YUCATAN-FROM PREHISTORIC TIMES TO THE GREAT MAYA REVOLT:A NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE ORIGIN OF MAYA CIVILIZATION AND THE EPIC ENCOUNTER WITH SPANISH CONQUEST
MSD Natural Rubber Large Table IMAGE ID: 13491003 Mayan symbol on texture background
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