Mesoamerican Calendars

Jun 30 09:16 2011 Clark Nelson Print This Article

Mesoamerican Calendars describes the Aztec, Incan and Mayan Calendars of Central and South America.  The 5200-year Great Cycle and 800-year Generation Cycle are parts of the Genesis Bible calendar -- the Antediluvian Patriarchs.

Mesoamerican Calendars

Aztec,Guest Posting Incan and Mayan calendars were lunar/solar calendars with religious foundations.  The mechanical counting for days and years remained consistent across Central andSouth America for some 3,000-years.  Religion of the Yucatan Peninsula establishes spiritual deities attached to the calendar.  Names for gods varied with precise meanings.  Aztec, Inca and Maya civilizations all shared the same basic calendar construction.  Early Mesoamerican sub-cultures such as the Mixtec, Izappan and Toltec cultures likewise used the intricate calendar system to measure time.  Sister calendars branched with little variation.  Sun Kingdoms' calendars assigned roles to religious deities using names and picture signs in the spiritual hierarchy.  Specific time periods were allotted to god(s).

The ancient Sun Kingdoms used a 20-year calendar base.  Bonds are evident by correlating Mesopotamian 19-year lunar/solar cycles with 20-year lunar/solar cycles of the Mesoamerican Calendars.  The Jewish Calendar intercalates an additional 7-Adar-months that usually alternates 29-day and 30-day months.  Central and South American people commonly approximated the same 209-days of lunar/solar separation time to be 210-days or seven even months of 30-days each.  An approximate 210-day separation found with 20-year-l/s-cycles divides in half for 105-days.  Closer examination reveals 105-days in a dominant theme are the solar-side of l/s separation time.  The next solar-side time split 105-days accentuate the twentieth 365-day-solar-year.  Each year and every twentieth year, the remaining 105-days are distinctly isolated in the Sun Kingdoms' calendars.  At the end of multiple 19-year-l/s-cycles, the total number of intercalary l/s separation days divides in half for the same multiple of 20-year-l/s-cycles in the Sun Kingdoms' calendars. 

Archeology substantiates the most commonly accepted mathematics of the Mayan calendar.  Several time periods have been identified and used for numerous correlations.  A correlation specifies a certain day in our modern Gregorian calendar with a respective day in the Mayan Calendar.  The sum of the number of days specified by this count yields the number of days passed since the beginning of the last 5200-year Great Cycle.  One 5200-year Great Cycle has a length of 13 consecutive 400-year-Baktun-cycles.  Many scholars believe (Thompson correlation) that the last Great Cycle began on 13 August 3114 B.C. (Gregorian calendar).

A 365-day-solar-year in the Sun Kingdoms' calendars contained a 260-day portion and a 105-day portion (Eqn. 1).  The agricultural 260-day period is the Tzolken divinatory sacred year.  Some authors spell Tzolkin for the same 260-day-sacred-year.  A 260-day-Tzolken-sacred-year was complete within itself.  The 260-day-Tzolken-sacred-year year began and ended on the same days within a 365-day-solar-year.  Tzolken-sacred years of 260-days were counted independently.  The remaining 105-day part accumulated during successive years.  The ancients treated days and years with a parallel viewpoint.

The standard year of 360-days was a civil year and called the Tun (pronounced toon) in the Sun Kingdoms' Calendars.  The 360-day-Tun-years existed simultaneously with the 260-day-Tzolken-sacred-year.  The dual calendar years served to project the greater time calculations.  The Mayan Calendar multiplies 18 Uinal periods of 20-days each to get the 360-day-Tun-year (Eqn. 2).  Five days more called the Wayeb then complete one 365-day-solar-year.  Chiefly using picture glyphs, archaeologists have been able to trace calendar records.  Picture glyphs were the media of written information for the Sun Kingdoms.  Deities representing every 20-day period are associated with carved glyphs.  The day-number of the period appeared to the left of the glyph.  A name was associated with the figure.

Beyond 360-days, 5-Wayeb-days are special and attach to the end of the civil 360-day-Tun-year (Eqn. 3).  The first day following the 5-day Wayeb span marked the beginning of the next Tun civil year.  Religion maintained the five-special-holidays as adverse and unlucky for any attempted work.  Five individual gods ruled the Wayeb, one for each day.  Sister calendars treated the 360-day-Tun-year and 5-day Wayeb similarly.  The 365-day-solar-year commonly refers to the Haab-year.  The transition 5-day Wayeb (or Vayeb) accrues over four years, which add the equivalent 20-day-Uinal.  Apprehension of avoiding ordinary work on specific holidays originates from Mesopotamia theology in the Fertile Crescent.

A Mayan system that derives from Mesopotamian sources manifests the Mayan 5-day Wayeb in high esteem.  Sacred practices involving a 364-day-calendar-year support the belief structure.  Mayans named them the five Year Bearers, which advance a 360-day-Tun-year by 5-day-names every year.  Given there are four separate year bearers in a 20-year l/s-cycle, mythology corresponds these last 4-days with four directions and four sacred mountains.  They are the windows to the New Year.  Mayan 20-year-l/s-cycles encompass five different 4-year-cycles similar to our leap day pattern.  The prefix “Ka” is accepted vocabulary for the Katun, which means 20-Tun-years or one Mayan 20-year-l/s-cycle.  The 4-year cycle of 5-Wayeb-days, consecutively place the next year bearer on New Year’s Day. 

The 260-day-Tzolken-sacred-year segments into 20-days of 13-names each.  Multiplying 20-days by 13-named periods produces the 260-day-Tzolken-sacred-year (Eqn. 4).  Names for spiritual entities representing 13-names associate with days numbered from 1 to 13 within the 260-day-Tzolken-sacred-year.  Each named deity carried the 20-day load for even distribution to everyone.  Aztecs called the 260-day ritual cycle Tonalpohualli.  The 360-day-Tun-year, the five-day Wayeb adjustment and 260-day-Tzolken-sacred-years all were all expressed with glyphs.  Picture glyphs carved into stone on the facades of buildings, temple entrances and on stelae code the calendar history.  Numbered days are the dots or ellipses and straight bars represents five.  Bars can be horizontal with the deity glyph above or vertical with the glyph usually placed on the right side.

1.                  260 day-Tzolken-sacred-year

+ 105 days solar-side time split

= 365 day-solar-year

2.                  18 Uinal periods

x 20 days

= 360 day-Tun-year

3.                  360 day-Tun-year

+  5 Wayeb-days

= 365 day-Haab-solar-year

4.                  20 periods

x 13 day-names

= 260 day-Tzolken-sacred-year

Stelae were vertical stone historical markers inscribed with important social events and often times, the calendar date.  Glyphs found on the stelae usually held a picture of the god with the date written to the left.  A single picture glyph for the 13-day period in the sacred-year includes the numbered day to pinpoint the date in the 260-day-Tzolken-sacred-year.  Both 260-day-Tzolken-sacred-years and 360-day-Tun-years work like meshed gears to resolve exact dates.  Traces of stelae worship are evident in early Biblical verses.  The Mayans carved historical summaries of the last 20-year-Katun-cycle and the 400-year-Baktun-cycle onto the sacred stelae pillars.  The God of the Bible admonishes against false idols and graven images.

Leviticus 26:1

"Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the Lord your God." (all RKJV)

The Bible advises against worship of other gods.  We should overthrow other gods and smash their sacred pillars into pieces.  Furthermore, God reinforces discontent towards the gods of others.

Exodus 23:24

"Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images."

Exodus 34:14

"For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:"

Mayan astronomer-priests were very good at calculating multiples of days and years.  Mayans purposely addressed a 360-day-Tun-civil-year with prefixes in order to lengthen the calendar.  Prefixes are the “Katun” that describes 20-Tun-years and the “Baktun”, meaning 400-Tun-years.  They multiplied the 20-year lunar/solar cycle by 20-years again, thus squaring time.  Multiples of lunar/solar 20-year cycles occur in the form of 20-year-Katun-cycles and 400-year-Baktun-cycles.  Mesoamerican chronologists accept the 400-year-Baktun-cycle was an integral part of the Mayan calendar system.

The next logical step to recording time was to double the 400-year-Baktun-cycle.  The next age bracket advances the l/s calendar to the 800-year era.  Twice the 400-year-Baktun-cycle measures the 800-year Generation Cycle (Eqn. 5).  An important step to building the Mayan Calendar system, equation 6 adds two 400-year-Baktun-cycles for the 800-year Generation cycle result.  Calendar references for the "begat" genealogy following Adam in Genesis affix 800-year Generation Cycles to each named character’s secondary age category.  Actions of doubling and halving time interval tools discovered from associated calendars yield a repeating order.  The procedure of God coming between and dividing time continues further lunar/solar separations.

5.                  800-Year Generation Cycle = 2 x 400-year-Baktun-cycles of 360-days each

6.                  800-Year Generation Cycle = 400-year-Baktun-cycle + 400-year-Baktun-cycles

Mayan Calendar System

1 Kin = 1-day

1 Uinal = 20-Kins = 20-days

1 Tun = 18-Uinals = 360-days

1 Katun = 20-Tuns = 7,200-days= 20-Tun-Years

1 Baktun = 20-Katuns = 144,000 days = 400-Tun-years of 360-days each

400-year-Baktun-cycle = 400-Tun-years

800-Year Generation Cycle = 2 x 400-year-Baktun-cycles = 288,000-days

5200-year Great Cycle = 13 x 400-year-Baktun-cycle =1,872,000-days

5200-Tun-year Great Cycle does not include 5-day Wayeb every year

5200-solar-year Great Cycle includes 5-day Wayeb every year

The begat genealogy following Adam in Genesis lists a secondary age from the time of fathering the son, until the character’s death.  Adam lives for 800-years following the birth of Seth.  The secondary age category is total lunar/solar time, denoted here “l/s”, and includes all Patriarchs in successive order.  The original 19-year-l/s-cycle of the Jewish Calendar modifies to become a 20-year-l/s-cycle regarding the Mesoamerican Calendars.  Multiples of 20-year-l/s-cycles form the secondary age category.  Each year in the 20-year-l/s-cycle was a 360-day-Tun-year.  Mayan terminology employs the prefx “Ka” in the word Katun that describes one 20-year-Katun-cycle.  Twenty multiples of the 20-year-Katun-cycle permits the Mayan prefix “Bak” to describe a 400-year-Baktun-cycle.  Increments of 400-year-Baktun-cycles counted the secondary ages for all characters in the Antediluvian Calendar.

Genesis 5:4

"And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years:

and he begat sons and daughters:"

The Antediluvian Calendar in Genesis refers to a Mayan 5200-year Great Cycle.  The Mayan Calendar further develops the 5200-year Great Cycle.  A Great Cycle consists of 13 different 400-year-Baktun-cycles (Eqn. 7).  The Great Cycle has 13 different 400-year-Baktun-cycles or 5200-Tun-years that equal 1,872,000-days (Eqn. 8).  The additional 5-Wayeb-days are designated solar-side in a 365-day-solar-year and count separately in a complete 5200-solar-year Great Cycle.  The work at extends the 400-year-Baktun-cycle to even greater times.  The 800-Year Generation Cycle comes from chapter 5 of Genesis.  Two 400-year-Baktun-cycles multiply to produce one 800-year Generation Cycle.  The 400-year-Baktun-cycle was widely used in Mesoamerica.

Great Cycle

7.                  13 Baktun-cycles

x 400-year-Baktun-cycles

= 5200-year Great Cycle

8.                  13 Baktun-cycles

x 144,000 days per 400-year-Baktun-cycle

= 1,872,000-days

= 5200-Tun-years

Stelae, sacred pillars and standing stones are all Biblical terms for the main religious artifact of both Sun Kingdoms and early Middle Eastern cultures.  Sacred vertical stone pillars had two fundamental purposes.  The ancient stone markers symbolized men.  God in heaven was between night and day and between lunar and solar times.  Shadow motion cast by the sun evidences God's image.  Man in the generic literal Hebrew sense, was as the day and woman was the eve, or the night.  Sighting to the horizon using the standing stone measured daytime according to motion of the shadow.  The shadow lengthened and shortened during the day and solar positions in heaven determined direction cast.  Like a sundial, the standing stone gnomon marks years.  Obelisk shadows corresponding to rising and setting positions on the horizon were the significant gates of heaven, equinoxes and solstices.  Agriculture of the Fertile Crescent was dependent on the seasons.  Planting and harvest times were captured by annual procession of daytime shadow.  El, El-Shaddai, Elohim, Ba-El, Ba-Al and Baal were all principle names connecting the sacred stones.

Stelae, language and architectural features support a connection between new and old worlds long ago.  Pronunciation is difficult to trace precisely, yet the Chilan Baalm is a literary work produced by a Spaniard about the Mesoamerican Indians shortly after the Spanish conquest.  Literally, the book is "the speech, or mouthpiece, of the gods."  In Babylon, we note the masculine god Baal.  Baal is called Bel in the Apocryphal work: The History of the Destruction of Bel and The Dragon.  When Daniel defeats idolatry, he vanquishes false gods.  King Manasseh did heathen evil during his fifty-five year reign in Jerusalem (II Chronicles 33:1-3).  King Manasseh II, son of Hezekiah erected "altars for Baalim."

The Code of Hammurabi was carved onto an eight-foot-tall block of stone (Circa 1,792 B.C.E. + or - 70 years).  On this stele, 282 laws set forth rules for the people to live by, many of which reflected Mosaic Law.  In Mesoamerica, a carved stele after every 20-year-Katun-cycle and 400-year-Baktun-cycle recorded important events, such as battles and changes of leadership.  Stelae were great blocks of stone, found near the step pyramid temples throughout Central and South America.  Known as "sacred pillars" in Deuteronomy 12:3, II Samuel 18:18, II Kings 3:2 and other places in the Bible, the graven male image Baal symbolized the pagan male.  The female counterpart to Baal was Astrate or Asherah and a pregnant woman figurine often symbolized her.  The single omnipotent God of Israel differed from nearby inhabitants' worship of Baal and Astaroth as named god and goddess pair (Judges 2:12-13).  The immortal pagan couple was dedicated to the surrounding villages.  Baal was a material, non-portable god fixed by a stone column at some site.  Astaroth, or sometimes Asteroth, was the fertility consort goddess of neighboring fields and groves (Judges 10:6, I Kings 14:23, and I Kings 15:13).  High places and groves (II Kings 21:7) invited idolatry whenever erecting images.  Standing Stones were present along with step pyramids in both Egypt and the Yucatan Peninsula.

The 360-day-Tun-year and 260-day Tzolken-sacred-year combine to form the Sun Kingdoms' calendar 52-year Calendar Round.  The 52-year chronological summit was the cornerstone of the dual calendar system.  A complete 52-year Calendar Round repeated itself after 18,980-days.  The Calendar Round 52-years multiply by a 360-day-Tun-year to produce 18,720-days (Eqn. 9).  Working like meshed gears, 72-Tzolken-sacred-years of 260-days each multiply to equal the same 18,720-days (Eqn. 10).  Five special solar-side Wayeb holidays accumulate every year to add the final 260-day-Tzolken-sacred-year in the 52-year Calendar Round (Eqn. 11).  One extra 260-day-Tzolken-sacred-year adds to 72-Tzolken-sacred-years for 73-Tzolken-sacred-years (Eqn. 12).  Multiplying 73-Tzolken-sacred-years by 260-days gives the equivalent 18,980-days for a Calendar Round (Eqn. 13).  In parallel order, 52-Haab-solar-years equal exactly the same 18,980 days per Calendar Round (Eqn. 14).  The 52-year Calendar Round equals 73-Tzolken-sacred-years and both equal 18,980-days.  The final 260-day-Tzolken-sacred-year comes from accumulating Wayeb holidays.  The total 52-year Calendar Round is 18,980-days.  By this calendar system, only once in 52-years would any day of the 260-day-Tzolken-sacred-year coincide with any day of the civil 360-day-Tun-year.  A complete Calendar Round would restart again the next dual sequence.


9.                  52-year Calendar Round

x 360-day-Tun-Year

= 18,720-days

10.              72-Tzolken-sacred-years

x 260-day-Tzolken-sacred-year

= 18,720-days

11.              52-year Calendar Round

x 5-Wayeb-days

= 260-day-Tzolken-sacred-year

=    1-Tzolken-sacred-year

12.              72-Tzolken-sacred-years

+ 1-Tzolken-sacred-year

= 73-Tzolken-sacred-years per Calendar Round

13.              73-Tzolken-sacred-years

x 260-day-Tzolken-sacred-year

= 18,980-days per Calendar Round

14.              52-Haab-solar-years

x 365-day-Haab-solar-year

= 18,980-days per Calendar Round

The Mayan 52-year Calendar Round forms the base that increases 100 times greater to get the 5200-year Great Cycle.  Anchors tying the Aztec, Inca and Mayan calendars together are certain styles of counting according to lunar/solar operations.  Stemming from early Jewish Calendar conceptions and Old Testament era practices, Mesopotamian culture transfers to the Americas long ago.  Stelae worship and especially writing the calendar history upon them served to preserve important dates in the holy lands and Mesoamerica.  Using 20-year-Katun-l/s cycles, 400-year-Baktun-year-cycles and 800-year Generation Cycles that build to the final 5200-year Great Cycle, we are able to discern meanings concerning the Antediluvian Calendar in Genesis

Are you a pastor, educator or a student of the Holy Bible? seeks anointed people to review and contribute to the Ages of Adam ministry.  Ancient lunar/solar calendars like the Jewish and Mayan calendars provide the background to understanding early time.  Ancient calendars of the Holy Bible use differences between the moon and sun, numerical matching and a 364-day calendar year to describe X-number of days that match with X-number of years.  Ages of Adam is a free read at timeemits.

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Clark Nelson
Clark Nelson

Clark Nelson is webmaster for, author of Ages of Adam and sequel, Holy of Holies.  Copyright 2006  Clark Nelson and  All Rights Reserved. URL


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