[time-nuts] MesoAmerican calendars, Solstice, etc.

Jim Lux jimlux at earthlink.net
Mon Dec 17 21:29:42 UTC 2012

On 12/17/12 12:33 PM, Kevin.Birth at qc.cuny.edu wrote:
> In the ethnographic record, the solstice is not a point in time, but the
> day of the sun's shortest path.  I'm not sure of what the start of the day
> was.  The Mayan word for day, "kin," seems to refer to the entire movement
> of the sun from sunrise to sunset.

Aha.. this is quite useful.

I guess technically, this would make
> sunrise the beginning of the day.  The calendar is a count of kin.
> The Mayan long count emphasizes cyclic time, so I fear that we all need to
> get up on the first day of 14 Baktun.  There is some evidence that the end
> of 13 Katuns is marked by a "hiatus" of construction found in the
> archaeological record, so it is possible that the end of 13 Baktun and the
> beginning of 14 Baktun is a time to stop doing things and take a deep
> breath before beginning the next great cycle.  So we probably should go to
> work on December 22nd in the Gregorian Calendar,

One wonders, then, if that hiatus was conceptually instantaneous, or 
more like the Roman intercalary days between the end of one year and the 
beginning of the next.  That would screw up the nice cyclical count 
structure, of course, so I would think it's more instantaneous.

Conveniently, 22 December *is* a Saturday, so many people don't have to 
go to work anyway.

but I guess we could try
> to explain to our employers that it is a bad day to complete anything.

Yes, but unfortunately, Microsoft Project seems not to handle this 
appropriately.  Time for a feature request <grin>

> The interpretation of the ending of the 13th Baktun as the apocalypse is a
> projection of Judeo-Christian-Islamic ideas of the end of the world onto a
> system which does not focus on endings.
> The best currently publishing authors on the Mayan count are Anthony Aveni
> and Prudence Rice.  I particularly like Rice's MAYA POLITICAL SCIENCE:
> TIME, ASTRONOMY AND THE COSMOS.  Aveni writes for a more general audience
> than Rice, however.


Time for a library call.

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