Re: I missed my self-imposed deadline for the Mayan numeral proposal

From: Philippe Verdy <>
Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2012 01:48:08 +0100

If the name of this ending baktun really means "rebirth" or "renaissance",
then the real catastrophe occured 394 years ago, in 1618, just because of
the conquest of America by Spanish troops : which meant a massive death of
lots of Amerindians (most of them due to imported infections, to which
Amerindians were not protected, but also due to the end of development of
the Mayan civilization caused by their internal wars, their concentration
in giant cities which lacked the resources to survive in a more
concentrated territory).
So since 1618, the Mayans have changed completely of civilization, and
became a minority. They are now being recognized with more respect
(including for their native languages that was largely ignored when Spanish
became official). The "rebirth" or "renaissance" just started with the
European Renaissance (ending Middle-Age), and this is a strange coincidence.

Well, not everybody thinks that this ending baktun was really the last one
in the cycle (are there 12 or 13 baktuns in the longest cycle ? Mayans may
have just stopped counting after that, certainly because their past
civilization was already ending at that time, or because nobody knows how
they were counting these long cycles of more than 12 or 13 baktun, or if
they counted them starting by zero or one and even Mayans can't tell when
the historic first cycle really occured in the past, just like we don't
know really where to start the proleptic Julian calendar (in 4714 BC,
really ?), in a time where history of dates was not written.

(Even the Julian dates up to J.C. birth in the Christian are a
reconstruction imagined during the 6th Century, several centuries after the
Julian calendar was normalized : years werre still counted after a Roman
Emperor or other political rulers in separate eras, even if the length of a
year was formalized in 325 in the Concile of Nicea for unifying the various
"Julian" calendars used in Europe, so even today, we still don't know the
exact date Jesus Christ was really born, or when exactly the Julian
calendar started under Julius Caesar : various options are still possible
for matching Roman eras with the modern Julian calendar still used today,
notably for some question : was 4 AD a leap year or not and when Augustus
really suspended the triennial leap years, for correctly determining when
the Julius Caesar calendar really started ; the most recent proposal for
matching dates in the Julius Caesar era was created in 2003 after the
discovery of an old Egyptian papyrus, matching Julius Caesar's era years
with Egyptian dates).

If we don't know when the Julian calendar started, then we also don't know
really how to match the Gregorian calendar with it. We also don't know
exactly when the Mayan calendar started, or if this was also just a
reconstruction (with more or less historic approximations). Let's just
learn something : the human history is not written since very long. And
most of it as been reconstructed with lots of errors (notably of
interpretation of old texts or because we can't figure out the validity of
these old texts to know if they were accurate too in the time where they
were written).
Received on Fri Dec 21 2012 - 18:51:56 CST

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