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The Maya. Pre columbian people.

During my stayng in Central America for work, i visiteded, for tourism, many sites of the Maya and Aztec populations, like Palenque, Monte Alban, Tula, Chichen Itza, and Tikal. I think that I am obliged to speak about one of this people. The Maya.

The Maya People
The Maya people are an ethnolinguistic group of indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica. The ancient Maya civilization was formed by members of this group, and today's Maya are generally descended from people who lived within that historical civilization. Today they inhabit southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and Honduras. "Maya" is a modern collective term for the people of the region, however, the term was not historically used by the indigenous populations themselves. There was no common sense of identity or political unity among the distinct populations, societies and ethnic groups because they each had their own particular traditions, cultures and historical identity.

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It is estimated that six million Maya were living in this area at the start of the 21st century. Guatemala, southern Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula, Belize, El Salvador and western Honduras have managed to maintain numerous remnants of their ancient cultural heritage. Some are quite integrated into the majority hispanicized mestizo cultures of the nations in which they reside, while others continue a more traditional, culturally distinct life, often speaking one of the Mayan languages as a primary language. The largest populations of contemporary Maya inhabit Guatemala, Belize, and the western portions of Honduras and El Salvador, as well as large segments of population within the Mexican states of Yucatán, Campeche, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Chiapas.
One of the largest groups of modern Maya can be found in Mexico's Yucatán State and the neighboring states of Campeche, Quintana Roo and in Belize. These peoples commonly identify themselves simply as "Maya" with no further ethnic subdivision (unlike in the Highlands of Western Guatemala). They speak the language which anthropologists term "Yucatec Maya", but is identified by speakers and Yucatecos simply as "Maya". Among Maya speakers, Spanish is commonly spoken as a second or first language. There is a significant amount of confusion as to the correct terminology to use — Maya or Mayan — and the meaning of these words with reference to contemporary or pre-Columbian peoples, to Maya peoples in different parts of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and to languages or peoples. Linguists refer to the Maya language as Yucatec or Yucatec Maya to distinguish it from other Mayan languages. This norm has often been misinterpreted to mean that the people are also called Yucatec Maya; that term refers only to the language, and the correct name for the people is simply Maya (not Mayans). Maya is one language in the Mayan language family.
The Yucatán's indigenous population was first exposed to Europeans after a party of Spanish shipwreck survivors came ashore in 1511. One of the sailors, Gonzalo Guerrero, is reported to have taken up with a local woman and started a family; he became a counselor among a local polity near present-day Chetumal. Later Spanish expeditions to the region were led by Córdoba in 1517, Grijalva in 1518, and Cortés in 1519. From 1528 to 1540, several attempts by Francisco Montejo to conquer the Yucatán failed. His son, Francisco de Montejo the Younger, fared almost as badly when he first took over: while desperately holding out at Chichen Itza, he lost 150 men in a single day. European diseases, massive recruitment of native warriors from Campeche and Champoton, and internal hatred between the Xiu Maya and the lords of Cocom eventually turned the tide for Montejo the Younger. Chichen Itza was conquered by 1570. In 1542, the western Yucatán Peninsula also surrendered to him.
Historically, the population in the eastern half of the peninsula was less affected by and less integrated with hispanic culture than the western half. In the 21st century in the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexican states of Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo), between 750,000 and 1,200,000 people speak Mayan. However, three times more than that are of Maya origins, hold ancient Maya surnames, and do not speak Mayan languages as their first language. Matthew Restall, in his book The Maya Conquistador, mentions a series of letters sent to the King of Spain in the 16th and 17th centuries. The noble Maya families at that time signed documents to the Spanish Royal Family; surnames mentioned in those letters are Pech, Camal, Xiu, Ucan, Canul, Cocom, and Tun, among others.
A large 19th-century revolt by the native Maya people of Yucatán (Mexico), known as the Caste War of Yucatán, was one of the most successful modern native american revolts. For a period the Maya state of Chan Santa Cruz was recognized as an independent nation by the British Empire, particularly in terms of trading with British Honduras.
Francisco Luna-Kan was elected governor of the state of Yucatán from 1976 to 1982. Luna-Kan was born in Mérida, Yucatán, and he was a doctor of medicine, then a professor of medicine before his political offices. He was first appointed as overseer of the state's rural medical system. He was the first governor of the modern Yucatán Peninsula to be of full Maya ancestry. In the early 21st century, dozens of politicians, including deputies, mayors and senators, are of full or mixed Maya heritage from the Yucatán Peninsula. According to the National Institute of Geography and Informatics (Mexico's INEGI), in Yucatán State there were 1.2 million Mayan speakers in 2009, representing 59.5% of the inhabitants. Due to this, the cultural section of the government of Yucatán began on-line classes for grammar and proper pronunciation of Maya. Maya people from Yucatán Peninsula living in the United States of America have been organizing Maya language lessons and Maya cooking classes since 2003 in California and other states: clubs of Yucatec Maya are registered in Dallas and Irving, Texas; Salt Lake City in Utah; Las Vegas, Nevada; and California, with groups in San Francisco, San Rafael, Chino, Pasadena, Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Inglewood, Los Angeles, Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, San Fernando Valley and Whittier.
Maya populations in Chiapas. The area officially assigned to the Lacandon Community is the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve, which partly overlaps with the Tzeltal, Tojolabal and Ch'ol areas Chiapas was for many years one of the regions of Mexico that was least touched by the reforms of the Mexican Revolution. The Zapatista Army of National Liberation, launched a rebellion against the Mexican state, Chiapas in January 1994, declared itself to be an indigenous movement and drew its strongest and earliest support from Chiapan Maya. Today its number of supporters is relevant. Maya groups in Chiapas include the Tzotzil and Tzeltal, in the highlands of the state, the Tojolabalis concentrated in the lowlands around Las Margaritas, and the Ch'ol in the jungle.
The most traditional of Maya groups are the Lacandon, a small population avoiding contact with outsiders until the late 20th century by living in small groups in the Lacandon Jungle. These Lacandon Maya came from the Campeche/Petén area (north-east of Chiapas) and moved into the Lacandon rain-forest at the end of the 18th century. In the course of the 20th century, and increasingly in the 1950s and 1960s, other people (mainly the Maya and subsistence peasants from the highlands), also entered into the Lacandon region; initially encouraged by the government. This immigration led to land-related conflicts and an increasing pressure on the rainforest. To halt the migration, the government decided in 1971 to declare a large part of the forest (614,000 hectares, or 6140 km2) a protected area: the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve. They appointed only one small population group (the 66 Lacandon families) as tenants (thus creating the Lacandon Community), thereby displacing 2000 Tzeltal and Ch'ol families from 26 communities, and leaving non-Lacandon communities dependent on the government for granting their rights to land. In the decades that followed the government carried out numerous programs to keep the problems in the region under control, using land distribution as a political tool; as a way of ensuring loyalty from different campesino groups. This strategy of divide and rule led to great disaffection and tensions among population groups in the region.
The Maya population in Belize is concentrated in the Corozal, Cayo, Toledo and Orange Walk districts, but they are scattered throughout the country. The Maya are thought to have been in Belize and the Yucatán region since the second millennium BC. Much of Belize's original Maya population died as a result of new infectious diseases and conflicts between tribes and with Europeans. They are divided into the Yucatec, Kekchi, and Mopan. These three Maya groups now inhabit the country. The Yucatec Maya (many of whom came from Yucatán, Mexico to escape the Caste War of the 1840s) there have been evidence of several Yucatec Maya groups living by the Yalbac area of Belize and in the Orange Walk district near the present day Lamanai at the time the British reach. The Mopan (indigenous to Belize but were forced out by the British; they returned from Guatemala to evade slavery in the 19th century), and Kekchi (also fled from slavery in Guatemala in the 19th century). The later groups are chiefly found in the Toledo District.
The Mexican state of Tabasco is home to the Chontal Maya. Tabasco is a Mexican state with a northern coastline fringing the Gulf of Mexico. In its capital, Villahermosa, Parque Museo la Venta is known for its zoo and colossal stone sculptures dating to the Olmec civilization. The grand Museo de Historia de Tabasco chronicles the area from prehistoric times, while the Museo Regional de Antropología has exhibits on native Mayan and Olmec civilizations.
In Guatemala, indigenous people of Maya descent comprise around 42% of the population. The largest and most traditional Maya populations are in the western highlands in the departments of Baja Verapaz, Quiché, Totonicapán, Huehuetenango, Quetzaltenango, and San Marcos; their inhabitants are mostly Maya. The Maya people of the Guatemala highlands include the Achi, Akatek, Chuj, Ixil, Jakaltek, Kaqchikel, K'iche', Mam, Poqomam, Poqomchi', Q'anjob'al, Q'eqchi', Tz'utujil and Uspantek. The Q'eqchi' live in lowland areas of Alta Vera Paz, Peten, and Western Belize. Over the course of the succeeding centuries a series of land displacements, re-settlements, persecutions and migrations resulted in a wider dispersal of Q'eqchi' communities, into other regions of Guatemala (Izabal, Petén, El Quiché). They are the 2nd largest ethnic Maya group in Guatemala (after the K'iche') and one of the largest and most widespread throughout Central America. In Guatemala, the Spanish colonial pattern of keeping the native population legally separate and subservient continued well into the 20th century. This resulted in many traditional customs being retained, as the only other option than traditional Maya life open to most Maya was entering the Hispanic culture at the very bottom rung. Because of this many Guatemalan Maya, especially women, continue to wear traditional clothing, that varies according to their specific local identity. The southeastern region of Guatemala (bordering with Honduras) includes groups such as the Ch'orti'. The northern lowland Petén region includes the Itza, whose language is near extinction but whose agroforestry practices, including use of dietary and medicinal plants may still tell us much about pre-colonial management of the Maya lowlands.
Genocide in Guatemala
The genocide against Mayan people took place throughout the whole civil war because indigenous people were seen as supporting the leftist guerillas, but most acts against humanity occurred during Efraín Ríos Montt's presidency (1982–1983). Ríos Montt instituted a campaign of state terror intended to destroy the Mayas in the name of countering "communist subversion" and ridding the country of its indigenous culture. This was also known as Operation Sofia. Within Operation Sofia, the military followed through with "scorched earth policies" which allowed them to destroy whole villages, including killing livestock, destroying cultural symbols, destroying crops, and murdering civilians. In some areas, government forces killed about 40% of the total population; the campaign destroyed at least 626 Mayan villages. On January 26, 2012, former president Ríos Montt was formally indicted in Guatemala for overseeing the massacre of 1,771 civilians of the Ixil Maya group and appeared in court for genocide and crimes against humanity for which he was then sentenced to 80 years in prison on May 10, 2013. This ruling was overturned by the constitutional court on May 20, 2013, over alleged irregularities in the handling of the case. The ex-president appeared in court again on January 5, 2015, amongst protest from his lawyers regarding his health conditions and on August 25, 2015, it was deliberated that a re-trial of the 2013 proceedings could find Ríos Montt guilty or not, but that the sentence would be suspended. Ríos Montt died on April 1, 2018, of a heart attack.
Maya heritage
The Maya people are known for their brightly colored, yarn-based, textiles that are woven into capes, shirts, blouses, huipiles and dresses. Each village has its own distinctive pattern, making it possible to distinguish a person's home town. Women's clothing consists of a shirt and a long skirt. The Maya religion is Roman Catholicism combined with the indigenous Maya religion to form the unique syncretic religion which prevailed throughout the country and still does in the rural regions prior to 2010s of "orthodoxing" the western rural areas by Christian Orthodox missionaries. Beginning from negligible roots prior to 1960s, however, Protestant Pentecostalism has grown to become the predominant religion of Guatemala City and other urban centers, later to 2010s that almost of all Maya of several rural areas of West Guatemala, living rural areas were mostly mass converted from Catholicism or possibly Maya religion due of various reasons to either Eastern or Oriental Orthodoxy by late Fr. Andres Giron and some other Orthodox missionaries, and also smaller to mid-sized towns also slowly converted as well since 2013. The unique religion is reflected in the local saint, Maximón, who is associated with the subterranean force of masculine fertility and prostitution. Always depicted in black, he wears a black hat and sits on a chair, often with a cigar placed in his mouth and a gun in his hand, with offerings of tobacco, alcohol, and Coca-Cola at his feet. The locals know him as San Simon of Guatemala.
The Popol Vuh is the most significant work of Guatemalan literature in the K'iche' language, and one of the most important works of Pre-Columbian American literature. It is a compendium of Maya stories and legends, aimed to preserve Maya traditions. The first known version of this text dates from the 16th century and is written in Quiché transcribed in Latin characters. It was translated into Spanish by the Dominican priest Francisco Ximénez in the beginning of the 18th century. Due to its combination of historical, mythical, and religious elements, it has been called the Maya Bible. It is a vital document for understanding the culture of Pre-Columbian America. The Rabinal Achí is a dramatic work consisting of dance and text that is preserved as it was originally represented. It is thought to date from the 15th century and narrates the mythical and dynastic origins of the Toj K'iche' rulers of Rabinal, and their relationships with neighboring K'iche' of Q'umarkaj. The Rabinal Achí is performed during the Rabinal festival of January 25, the day of Saint Paul. It was declared a masterpiece of oral tradition of humanity by UNESCO in 2005. The 16th century saw the first native-born Guatemalan writers that wrote in Spanish.
Due to the war in Guatemala, many Maya people were killed. The two parties in the war were both hurting the basic living circumstances of Maya people by destroying infrastructure, such as railroads, farmlands, factories, they also burned most of the Mayan books. The destruction of these basic tools created a very difficult environment for Maya people to make a living. Without a way to sustain themselves, many Maya people decided to move somewhere that they were able to live. Many people moved to Mexico and some moved to the United States, which was also their first encounter with the US. Many Mayans who moved to the US mainly moved to areas like Florida, Houston, and Los Angeles.
After the peace agreement among both parties in Guatemala after a 36-year war, the two parties built a new government. But the new government is also not protecting the benefit of people, especially the native people like Maya people. The new government was trying to unite all the culture together which in another word, is trying to assimilate all the culture within Maya people. In addition, the new government was not only trying to eliminate the culture but also was keeping the lands to itself rather than gave them back to the Maya people. Without a way to grow crops and food, Maya people were in extreme poverty. They have to find a way to make a living which they started the second migration movement to the United States.
There is an undeniable symbiotic relationship between cultural heritage, tourism, and a national identity. In the case of the Maya, the many national identities have been constructed because of the growing demands placed on them by cultural tourism. By focusing on lifeways through costumes, rituals, diet, handicrafts, language, housing, or other features, the identity of the economy shifts from the sale of labor to that of the sale of culture. Global tourism is now considered one of the largest scale movement of goods, services, and people in history and a significant catalyst for economic development and sociopolitical change. Estimated that between 35 and 40 percent of tourism today is represented by cultural tourism or heritage tourism, this alternative to mass tourism offers opportunities for place-based engagement that frames context for interaction by the lived space and everyday life of other peoples, as well as sites and objects of global historical significance. In this production of tourism the use of historic symbols, signs, and topics form a new side that characterizes a nation and can play an active role in nation building. With this type of tourism, people argue that ethno-commerce may open unprecedented opportunities for creating value of various kinds. Tourists travel with cultural expectations, which has created a touristic experience sometimes faced with the need to invent traditions of artificial and contrived attractions, often developed at the expense of local tradition and meanings. An example of this can be seen in "Mayanizing Tourism on Roatan Island, Honduras: Archaeological Perspectives on Heritage, Development, and Indignity." Alejandro j. Figueroa et al., combine archaeological data and ethnographic insights to explore a highly contested tourism economy in their discussion of how places on Roatan Island, Honduras, have become increasingly "Mayanized" over the past decade. As tour operators and developers continue to invent an idealized Maya past for the island, non-Maya archaeological remains and cultural patrimony are constantly being threatened and destroyed. While heritage tourism provides economic opportunities for some, it can devalue contributions made by less familiar groups. Language is a significant factor in the development of tourism. The Mayan people left a huge linguistic legacy to the world. Scientists of our day enthusiastically studied the language of the Mayan people, making amazing discoveries.

Chichen Itza was the most important city in the northern maya region

The Maya civilization. The Archaic period, prior to 2000 BC, saw the first developments in agriculture and the earliest villages. The Preclassic period (c. 2000 BC to 250 AD) saw the establishment of the first complex societies in the Maya region, and the cultivation of the staple crops of the Maya diet, including maize, beans, squashes, and chili peppers. The first Maya cities developed around 750 BC, and by 500 BC these cities possessed monumental architecture, including large temples with elaborate stucco façades. Hieroglyphic writing was being used in the Maya region by the 3rd century BC. In the Late Preclassic a number of large cities developed in the Petén Basin, and the city of Kaminaljuyu rose to prominence in the Guatemalan Highlands. Beginning around 250 AD, the Classic period is largely defined as when the Maya were raising sculpted monuments with Long Count dates. This period saw the Maya civilization develop many city-states linked by a complex trade network. In the Maya Lowlands two great rivals, the cities of Tikal and Calakmul, became powerful. The Classic period also saw the intrusive intervention of the central Mexican city of Teotihuacan in Maya dynastic politics. In the 9th century, there was a widespread political collapse in the central Maya region, resulting in internecine warfare, the abandonment of cities, and a northward shift of population. The Postclassic period saw the rise of Chichen Itza in the north, and the expansion of the aggressive K'iche' kingdom in the Guatemalan Highlands. In the 16th century, the Spanish Empire colonised the Mesoamerican region, and a lengthy series of campaigns saw the fall of Nojpetén, the last Maya city, in 1697.

TIKAL - Funerary temple of a king

Classic period rule was centred on the concept of the "divine king", who acted as a mediator between mortals and the supernatural realm. Kingship was patrilineal, and power would normally pass to the eldest son. A prospective king was also expected to be a successful war leader. Maya politics was dominated by a closed system of patronage, although the exact political make-up of a kingdom varied from city-state to city-state. By the Late Classic, the aristocracy had greatly increased, resulting in the corresponding reduction in the exclusive power of the divine king. The Maya civilization developed highly sophisticated artforms, and the Maya created art using both perishable and non-perishable materials, including wood, jade, obsidian, ceramics, sculpted stone monuments, stucco, and finely painted murals.
Maya cities tended to expand haphazardly, and the city centre would be occupied by ceremonial and administrative complexes, surrounded by an irregular sprawl of residential districts. Different parts of a city would often be linked by causeways. The principal architecture of the city consisted of palaces, pyramid-temples, ceremonial ballcourts, and structures aligned for astronomical observation. The Maya elite were literate, and developed a complex system of hieroglyphic writing that was the most advanced in the pre-Columbian Americas. The Maya recorded their history and ritual knowledge in screenfold books, of which only three uncontested examples remain, the rest having been destroyed by the Spanish. There are also a great many examples of Maya text found on stelae and ceramics. The Maya developed a highly complex series of interlocking ritual calendars, and employed mathematics that included one of the earliest instances of the explicit zero in the world. As a part of their religion, the Maya practised human sacrifice.
The Maya civilization developed within the Mesoamerican cultural area, which covers a region that spreads from northern Mexico southwards into Central America. Mesoamerica was one of six cradles of civilization worldwide. The Mesoamerican area gave rise to a series of cultural developments that included complex societies, agriculture, cities, monumental architecture, writing, and calendrical systems. The set of traits shared by Mesoamerican cultures also included astronomical knowledge, blood and human sacrifice, and a cosmovision that viewed the world as divided into four divisions aligned with the cardinal directions, each with different attributes, and a three-way division of the world into the celestial realm, the earth, and the underworld. The Maya civilization developed within the Mesoamerican cultural area, which covers a region that spreads from northern Mexico southwards into Central America. Mesoamerica was one of six cradles of civilization worldwide. The Mesoamerican area gave rise to a series of cultural developments that included complex societies, agriculture, cities, monumental architecture, writing, and calendrical systems. The set of traits shared by Mesoamerican cultures also included astronomical knowledge, blood and human sacrifice, and a cosmovision that viewed the world as divided into four divisions aligned with the cardinal directions, each with different attributes, and a three-way division of the world into the celestial realm, the earth, and the underworld.
By 6000 BC, the early inhabitants of Mesoamerica were experimenting with the domestication of plants, a process that eventually led to the establishment of sedentary agricultural societies. The diverse climate allowed for wide variation in available crops, but all regions of Mesoamerica cultivated the base crops of maize, beans, and squashes. All Mesoamerican cultures used Stone Age technology; after c. 1000 AD copper, silver and gold were worked. Mesoamerica lacked draft animals, did not use the wheel, and possessed few domesticated animals; the principal means of transport was on foot or by canoe. Mesoamericans viewed the world as hostile and governed by unpredictable deities. The ritual Mesoamerican ballgame was widely played.


The territory of the Maya covered a third of Mesoamerica, and the Maya were engaged in a dynamic relationship with neighbouring cultures that included the Olmecs, Mixtecs, Teotihuacan, the Aztecs, and others. During the Early Classic period, the Maya cities of Tikal and Kaminaljuyu were key Maya foci in a network that extended beyond the Maya area into the highlands of central Mexico. At around the same time, there was a strong Maya presence at the Tetitla compound of Teotihuacan. Centuries later, during the 9th century AD, murals at Cacaxtla, another site in the central Mexican highlands, were painted in a Maya style. This may have been either an effort to align itself with the still-powerful Maya area after the collapse of Teotihuacan and ensuing political fragmentation in the Mexican Highlands, or an attempt to express a distant Maya origin of the inhabitants. The Maya city of Chichen Itza and the distant Toltec capital of Tula had an especially close relationship.
Maya numeration. The Mayan and other Mesoamerican cultures used a vigesimal number system based on base 20, (and, to some extent, base 5), probably originally developed from counting on fingers and toes. The numerals consisted of only three symbols: zero, represented as a shell shape; one, a dot; and five, a bar. Thus, addition and subtraction was a relatively simple matter of adding up dots and bars. After the number 19, larger numbers were written in a kind of vertical place value format using powers of 20: 1, 20, 400, 8000, 160000, etc, although in their calendar calculations they gave the third position a value of 360 instead of 400 (higher positions revert to multiples of 20). The pre-classic Maya and their neighbours had independently developed the concept of zero (Mayan zero) by at least as early as 36 BC, and we have evidence of their working with sums up to the hundreds of millions, and with dates so large it took several lines just to represent them. Despite not possessing the concept of a fraction, they produced extremely accurate astronomical observations using no instruments other than sticks and were able to measure the length of the solar year to a far higher degree of accuracy than that used in Europe (their calculations produced 365.242 days, compared to the modern value of 365.242198), as well as the length of the lunar month (their estimate was 29.5308 days, compared to the modern value of 29.53059). However, due to the geographical disconnect, Mayan and Mesoamerican mathematics had absolutely no influence on Old World (European and Asian) numbering systems and mathematics. Il sistema numerico dei maya era di gran lunga migliore di quello usato dagli antichi romani.
Maya calendar. The Maya calendar consists of several cycles or counts of different lengths. The 260-day cycle is known as the Tzolkin, or Tzolk'in. The Tzolkin was combined with a 365-day vague solar year known as the Haab' to form a synchronized cycle lasting for 52 Haab', called the Calendar Round. The Calendar Round is still in use by many groups in the Guatemalan highlands. A different calendar was used to track longer periods of time and for the inscription of calendar dates (i.e., identifying when one event occurred in relation to others). This is the Long Count. It is a count of days since a mythological starting-point. According to the correlation between the Long Count and Western calendars accepted by the great majority of Maya researchers (known as the Goodman-Martinez-Thompson, or GMT, correlation), this starting-point is equivalent to August 11, 3114 BC in the proleptic Gregorian calendar or September 6, in the Julian calendar. The GMT correlation was chosen by John Eric Sydney Thompson in 1935 on the basis of earlier correlations by Joseph Goodman in 1905 (August 11), Juan Martínez Hernández in 1926 (August 12) and Thompson himself in 1927 (August 13). By its linear nature, the Long Count was capable of being extended to refer to any date far into the past or future. This calendar involved the use of a positional notation system, in which each position signified an increasing multiple of the number of days. The Maya numeral system was vigesimal (i.e., base-20) and each unit of a given position represented 20 times the unit of the position which preceded it. An important exception was made for the second-order place value, which instead represented 18 × 20, or 360 days, more closely approximating the solar year than would 20 × 20 = 400 days. The cycles of the Long Count are independent of the solar year. Many Maya Long Count inscriptions contain a supplementary series, which provides information on the lunar phase, number of the current lunation in a series of six and which of the nine Lords of the Night rules. Less-prevalent or poorly understood cycles, combinations and calendar progressions were also tracked. An 819-day Count is attested in a few inscriptions. Repeating sets of 9 days (see below "Nine lords of the night") associated with different groups of deities, animals and other significant concepts are also known. The Maya were aware of the solstices and equinoxes. This is demonstrated in building alignments. More important to them were zenithal passage days. In the Tropics the Sun passes directly overhead twice each year. Many known structures in Mayan temples were built to observe this. Munro S. Edmonson studied 60 mesoamerican calendars and found remarkable consistency in the calendars, except for a number of different year bearer systems. He thought that these different year bearers were based on the solar years in which they were initiated. The Maya were aware of the fact that the 365-day Haab' differs from the Tropical year by about .25 days per year. A number of different intervals are given on Maya monuments that can be used to approximate the tropical year. The most accurate of these is that the tropical year exceeds the length of the 365 day Haab' by one day every 1,508 days. The occurrence of a particular solstice on a given date in the Haab' will repeat after the passage of 1,508 365-day Haab' years. The Haab' will lose one day every 1,508 days and it will take 1,508 Haab' years to lose one Haab' year. So 365 x 1,508 = 365.2422 x 1,507 or 1,508 Haab' years = 1,507 Tropical years of 365.2422 days.

Eugenio Caruso - 22-12-2020

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