Unveiling the Mysteries of Ancient Calendars: Sumerian Zodiac and Mayan Tun-Years

Feb 27


Clark Nelson

Clark Nelson

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Discover the intricate connections between the Sumerian six-sign zodiac and the Mayan 360-day Tun-year calendar. These ancient timekeeping systems reveal a fascinating blend of astrology and astronomy, reflecting the wisdom and beliefs of early civilizations. From the Antediluvian Calendar in Genesis to the shared 364-day year cycles across cultures, delve into the celestial patterns that have shaped human understanding of time and divinity.


The Genesis of Time: Tracing the Roots of Ancient Calendars

The Antediluvian Calendar,Unveiling the Mysteries of Ancient Calendars: Sumerian Zodiac and Mayan Tun-Years Articles as described in Genesis 5, provides a glimpse into the early Sumerian zodiac, which featured six astrological signs. This zodiac, along with the Babylonian animal zodiacs, recognized the vernal equinox as the commencement of the New Year. The Mayan Calendar, with its 260-day Tzolken sacred years and 360-day Tun years, reflects the influence of Decan stars and ancient numbering systems. Cultures across the globe, including Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Chinese, Hindu, and African societies, shared a 12-month zodiac. The numerical alignment of 364-day Ethiopic years with 364-year Ethiopic cycles underscores the role of astrology in ancient religious practices.

The Sumerian Zodiac: A Six-Sign System

The Sumerian zodiac, known for its six astrological signs, was an early form of celestial interpretation. Unlike the later 12-sign zodiacs, the Sumerian system divided the sky into larger, 60-degree segments, each associated with different times of the year. This system laid the groundwork for the more complex astrological beliefs that followed.

The Mayan Calendar: Tun-Years and Tzolken Cycles

The Mayan Calendar is renowned for its precision and complexity. The 360-day Tun-year is divided into 18 Uinal periods, each lasting 20 days. These periods are named after an original group of 18 affiliated Mesoamerican tribes. The Mayan Calendar also features a 260-day Tzolken sacred year, which is divided into 13 periods associated with different animal deities.

The Influence of Decan Stars

Decan stars played a crucial role in the development of ancient calendars. Both the Egyptian and Babylonian zodiacs included 36 Decans, or star groups, which were observed throughout the year. These stars were divided into three bands in the sky, each associated with different deities and spiritual meanings.

The Ethiopic Calendar: A 364-Day Year

The Ethiopic calendar, still in use today in Ethiopia and the Eritrean Orthodox Churches, features a 364-day year. This calendar system aligns numerically with the 364-year Ethiopic cycles, suggesting a deep-rooted connection between timekeeping and religious practices in ancient cultures.

Astrology and Astronomy: An Ancient Union

In ancient times, astrology and astronomy were closely linked. The movements of the sun, moon, planets, and stars were interpreted through a spiritual lens, with celestial events believed to influence earthly affairs. This union of celestial observation and mystical interpretation is evident in the calendars and zodiacs of early civilizations.

The Legacy of Ancient Calendars

The study of ancient calendars offers valuable insights into the beliefs and practices of early societies. By examining the Sumerian zodiac and the Mayan Tun-year, we gain a deeper understanding of how our ancestors perceived time and its relation to the divine. These ancient systems continue to influence modern astrology and timekeeping practices.

The Celestial Tapestry: Astrology in Ancient Religion

Astrology has long been intertwined with religious practices, serving as a bridge between the heavens and human affairs. The Sumerian and Babylonian zodiacs, along with the Mayan Calendar, reflect a world where celestial bodies were revered as divine messengers. The inclusion of astrology in religious texts, such as the Book of Enoch, highlights the significance of stars and constellations in ancient belief systems.

The Role of the Vernal Equinox

The vernal equinox, marking the beginning of spring, has been a pivotal event in many ancient calendars. It symbolizes rebirth and renewal, with many cultures timing their New Year celebrations to coincide with this celestial occurrence. The equinox's position as a time marker underscores its importance in the synchronization of celestial and terrestrial cycles.

The Archangel Stars

Four stars, known as the archangel stars—Regulus, Aldebaran, Antares, and Fomalhaut—once represented the cardinal points of the ancient year. These stars were not included in the regular computation of the year but were instead added to the 360-day count to arrive at the 364-day Ethiopic year. Their significance in ancient astronomy and astrology is a testament to the rich celestial lore of early civilizations.

The Mayan Tzolken and Tun Calendars

The Mayan Tzolken calendar, with its 260-day cycle, is divided into 13 periods associated with different animal deities. The Tun calendar, on the other hand, consists of 360 days divided into 18 Uinal periods of 20 days each. These calendars, when combined, create the 52-year Calendar Round, a cycle that was central to Mayan timekeeping and religious observance.

The Mesoamerican Zodiac

The Mesoamerican zodiac includes constellations such as Ophiuchus, the Serpent Holder, which is often omitted from traditional 12-sign zodiacs. This constellation, situated between Scorpio and Sagittarius, has been linked to various creation myths and deities from Sumerian, Babylonian, and Greek cultures.

The Influence of Lunar Months

Lunar months have played a crucial role in the development of calendars, particularly in Jewish and Sumerian-Babylonian systems. The observation of new moon crescents was essential for determining the start of each month, influencing the structure of these ancient calendars.

Sumerian Cosmology and the Holy Bible

Sumerian cosmology has had a profound impact on the religious beliefs outlined in the Holy Bible. The Sumerians, as one of the earliest civilizations in the Fertile Crescent, developed a sophisticated understanding of the heavens, which later influenced Babylonian and Egyptian zodiacs. The legacy of Sumerian astronomy and astrology is evident in the biblical references to timekeeping and celestial events.

The Evolution of Astrological Houses

The Sumerian zodiac's six houses evolved into the 12 houses of modern astrology. This development reflects the increasing complexity of astrological systems and the growing understanding of celestial patterns. The division of the sky into houses is a cornerstone of astrological practice, influencing how we interpret the influence of stars and planets on human life.

Bridging Ancient Calendars: From Babylon to Mesoamerica

The study of 360-day Tun-years provides a link between Mayan and Jewish calendars, revealing shared patterns and influences. The Babylonian tradition of dividing the sky into constellations and Decans has had a lasting impact on the structure of ancient calendars, influencing the way we measure and understand time.

The Enduring Influence of Decan Stars

Decan stars continue to captivate scholars and enthusiasts alike. These celestial bodies, once associated with gods and spirits, played a crucial role in ancient timekeeping and religious practices. The study of Decan stars offers a window into the spiritual life of early civilizations and their quest to understand the cosmos.

The Mesoamerican Zodiac and Its Astrological Significance

The Mesoamerican zodiac, with its unique division of the sky, provides a distinct perspective on astrological signs. The incorporation of a 260-day Tzolken sacred year and a 360-day Tun year into the Mayan Calendar demonstrates the adaptability and innovation of Mesoamerican timekeeping practices.

Calculating Time: Equations of Ancient Calendars

The mathematical precision of ancient calendars is evident in the equations that define their structure. The Semitic 360-day calendar year, the Mayan 260-day Tzolken sacred year, and the Mayan 360-day Tun year are all based on specific combinations of Decan stars and periods, reflecting the sophisticated understanding of celestial cycles in ancient times.

The Intersection of Religion and Celestial Observation

The study of ancient calendars reveals the deep connection between religious beliefs and celestial observation. From the reverence for the moon goddess in Mesoamerican cultures to the astral worship along the ecliptic in Greco-Roman societies, the stars have always been a source of inspiration and guidance for humanity.

Exploring the Ages of Adam

For those interested in the biblical and historical aspects of ancient calendars, the Ages of Adam ministry offers a wealth of information. By examining the lunar/solar calendars of the Holy Bible, scholars and enthusiasts can gain a deeper appreciation for the ways in which early societies understood and measured time.


The exploration of ancient calendars, such as the Sumerian zodiac and the Mayan Tun-year, provides a fascinating look at the intersection of astronomy, astrology, and religion. These timekeeping systems, with their celestial intricacies and spiritual significance, continue to inform our understanding of history and the cosmos. As we delve into the mysteries of the past, we uncover the timeless human desire to connect with the divine through the movements of the stars and planets.

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