Friday, February 27, 2009

"The End of Time", a Mayan Calendar

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End of Mayan Calendar

Threat Level: Low

December 21, 2012: Some predict the end of the world, some predict the beginning of a new era. The basis for these claims is based on the Ancient Mayan calendar. It may seem silly to base a prediction off an ancient civilization's calendar but the Mayans were a highly mathematically advanced civilization. Their calendar is not only mathematically complex, it is also highly accurate (in fact, more accurate than the Gregorian calendar we use nowadays). The page that follows explains the Mayan calendar in more detail.


The last day of the Mayan calendar corresponds to December 21, 2012 (some experts believe it is actually December 23, 2012). On this date, the Mayans are predicting the end of an era. The Mayans believe they were living in the 3rd era and on this date, the 4th era will begin. What does this mean to us? The beginning of a new golden age? Or does it mean the end of the world and life starts all over.


Nobody can really know what will happen. Some predictions indicate that on this date, the world will end and a new world will begin. Others interpret the 'end of an era' as the coming of a new golden age, world peace, end of world hunger, elimination of poverty or a cure for a common illness. 

John Titor, the well-known "time traveller" mentioned that 2012 is the year time travel was invented. Could that be possibly what the Mayans referred to? At the end of our era, time is no longer relevant as it changes from an unchangable concept to merely another direction in which one can go.


It is impossible to prepare for something we do not know. I would suggest being with a group of friends or loved one, counting down to this fateful day, and hoping for the best. Chances are, nothing will happen, but if it IS the coming of a new golden age, I would suggest everyone to savour and take in every second of this momentus event. If it is the end of the world, well, what can you do, at least you're with the ones you love.

Mayan Calendar

Their number system was in base 20 (as opposed to our base 10) and they used 3 calendars in conjunction with one another. These 3 calendars were known as Haab, Tzolkin and Long Count. 

Haab is very similar to our calendar as it is a measure of months in a year. 
A year consisted of 18 months with 20 days each, and an extra 5 days following the last day of the last month, giving a total of 365 days. 

Tzolkin is a measure of weeks in a year. There are 20 weeks with each week having either 13 or 20 days adding up again to a total of 365 days. 

Long count is a measure of days since the beginning of the Mayan era. 

As the mayan number system was in base 20, the long count is based off that (with the exception of one count which is base 18)." 
A long count date is represented as such: baktun.katun.tun.uinal.kin 
uinal = 20 kin = 20 days 
tun = 18 uinal = 360 days = approx. 1 year 
katun = 20 tun = 7,200 days = approx. 20 years 
baktun = 20 katun = 144,000 days = approx. 394 years 

baktun's are numbered from 1 to 13, uinals from 0 to 17 and the other units from 0 to 19. 

The beginning of the era in the Mayan calendar is which corresponds to August 11, 3114 BC. 
The last day of the era in the Mayan Calendar is which corresponds to December 20, 2012 AD. 

So therefore, the following day is when the calendar goes back to, marking the end of an era.


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