Tag Archives | mayan calendar
The ancient Maya have recently been the subject of much media attention due to the impending completion of the current 5,125-year cycle of their infamous Long Count Calendar on December 21, 2012.
One of the reasons for the fascination surrounding the supposed future predictions of the Maya was that their civilization, once incredibly sophisticated, rapidly descended into bloody wars between neighboring city-states, depleted resources and eventually complete collapse. Anyone who has visited Mayan sites in Mexico and Central America knows that most of the cities are still engulfed in a fast-growing jungle; scientists are now speculating that the primary reason for the collapse of Mayan civilization may be climate change. Sindya N. Banoo reports for New York Times:
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The ancient Maya civilization may have risen — and then fallen — in response to climate change, scientists report after creating precise climate records going back 2,000 years.
The researchers, whose findings appear in the current issue of the journal Science, reconstructed rainfall patterns using cross-sections of stalagmites from a cave near the ancient city of Uxbenka, in what is now southern Belize.
Apparently the “expelling of Coca-Cola” from Bolivia will be metaphorical rather than literal. Still, I feel as if we finally have a definitive answer as to what the end of the Mayan calendar means. Via Forbes:
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David Choquehuanca, the minister in question, explained that Coca-Cola will be expelled from Bolivia on the same day that the Mayan calendar enters a new cycle–December 21. According to Choquehuanca, the date marks the end of capitalism and the start of a culture of life in community-based societies.
Although it may make sense for them to ban Coca-Cola–which screams America and, therefore, capitalism–it’s not the first time that a US company had trouble to find ground in Bolivia. After trying for years to conquer Bolivians, McDonald’s withdrew from the country in the early 2000s for not being able to turn a profit there.
The decision of Coca-Cola’s ban in Bolivia came in a time when the country is pledging to legalize the consumption of coca leaves, which are notoriously processed clandestinely into cocaine, and were declared an illegal narcotic by the UN in 1961, along with cocaine, opium and morphine, in spite of its consumption being a centuries-old tradition there, strongly rooted in the beliefs of various indigenous groups.
Recently the Mayan calendar system was found to extend far beyond 2012, perhaps giving some respite to those who feared that the world would end by next Christmas. Now a new discovery once again highlights December 21, 2012, but as the end of a political cycle, rather than doomsday. I say bring it on. Phys.Org reports:
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Archaeologists working at the site of La Corona in Guatemala have discovered a 1,300 year-old year-old Maya text that provides only the second known reference to the so-called “end date” for the Maya calendar on December 21, 2012. The discovery, one of the most significant hieroglyphic find in decades, was announced today at the National Palace in Guatemala.
“This text talks about ancient political history rather than prophecy,” says Marcello A. Canuto, Director of Tulane’s Middle American Research Institute and co-director of the excavations at the Maya ruins of La Corona. “This new evidence suggests that the 13 Bak’tun date was an important calendrical event that would have been celebrated by the ancient Maya.”
The hieroglyphs commemorated a royal visit to La Corona in AD 696 by the most powerful Maya ruler of that time, Yuknoom Yich’aak K’ahk’ of Calakmul.