Doomsday fails because of Mayan PicassoBased on world-wide panic and all the Mayan doomsday predictions of late, nobody should be alive to read today’s Jamestown Sun. But here we are. We are alive and kicking and now must find an answer to the age-old predicament of where did we go wrong interpreting someone else’s intentions?
By: Sharon Cox, The Jamestown Sun
Based on world-wide panic and all the Mayan doomsday predictions of late, nobody should be alive to read today’s Jamestown Sun.
But here we are. We are alive and kicking and now must find an answer to the age-old predicament of where did we go wrong interpreting someone else’s intentions?
That’s tough when trying to read an artist’s work. The Maya calendar was just that: a work of art, allegedly carved by a human, and assigned all kinds of meanings after the fact. That’s pretty interesting stuff.
Trying to understand why all the so-called experts failed in their interpretations of that disk is simple: A Mayan Picasso carved the calendar that year, and experts took his wild animal interpretations as gospel.
People have been misinterpreting art for eons. Sometimes even the artist has no clue what’s going on. But experts say they do and what they were reading is a calendar: a 5,125-year calendar.
The Mayan baktun was the equivalent to our division of millennia. It was roughly a 5,000 year cycle, or the long count calendar. It was represented by strange-looking creatures interpreters say describe segments of time.
From what I’ve read on how it was used, it was like a multi-thousand-year calendar, complete with special dates to celebrate certain events. When it runs out of its 5,125 years, it rolls into the next 5,000-plus years. According to authorities, the 12-foot sculpted wheel-like disk predicted the 13th baktun to end Friday, Dec. 21, and now is in the fifth day of the 14th baktun, or the Mayan year 5,126.
The baktun concept of marking years makes me truly appreciate the simplicity of the Gregorian system. How different we might feel about our lives were we attached to a baktun in time.
Those carvings count time and start over, similar to our calendars starting with January and ending with December. And just as our Dec. 31 does not mean the world ends, theirs didn’t mean the end either.
Evidently, the Mayan calendar long count cycle started on Aug. 10, 3113 B.C. and ended Dec. 21, 2012 A.D. No, it’s not 365 days, but a wheel of time that parallels our flip of the Gregorian calendar and our millennial counting method.
It is confusing in some ways, except that it’s like our calendar, just depicted differently. In some ways that’s typical of isolated cultures.
For example, the Chinese moon calendar is different from the Western calendar in that it has been measured in dynasties, according to who was the emperor at the time. And making that even more complex, that calendar is divided into 60-year cycles of 12 animals and five elements. All of those, like the Mayan calendar, are images of animals with attitude.
The Mayan calendar started over Friday, but the Chinese stem calendar will be flipped Feb. 10. The year of the water dragon ends Feb. 9 and the year of the water snake begins Feb. 10. The year 2013 on the Gregorian calendar will be the Chinese year 4,711. And we think Leap Year is a bugaboo.
If anyone has an item for this column, please send to Sharon Cox, PO Box 1559, Jamestown, ND 58402-1559.