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Has the Mayan 819-Day Calendar Finally Revealed by Science?

An illustration of the Maya Calendar

The Mayan civilization is famous for its аdvаnced understаnding of astronomy аnd timekeeping. Оne of their most enigmatic cаlendаrs is the 819-day cаlendаr, which has puzzlеd scholаrs for centuries. Вut rеcеnt scientific breakthroughs have lеd to the decoding of this anсient cаlendаr, reveаling its timeless secrets.

Unraveling the enigmatic Mayan calendar’s 819-day cycle has long puzzled scholars. However, new research has finally shed light on how this cycle aligns with planetary cycles spanning 45 years, offering the most comprehensive understanding of the complex calendar system to date.

Deciphering the Elusive 819-Day Count

For decades, researchers have struggled to associate the 819-day cycle, simply known as the 819-day count, with any known events or phenomena. Tulane University anthropologists John Linden and Victoria Bricker now believe they have cracked the code by examining the calendar over a 45-year period and relating it to the time it takes for celestial objects to return to approximately the same point in the sky, known as the synodic period.

A New Pattern Emerges

While previous research attempted to establish planetary connections for the 819-day count, its four-part directional color scheme was too short to fit well with the synodic periods of visible planets. By extending the calendar to 20 819-day periods, a pattern emerges in which the synodic periods of all visible planets correspond to seasonal points on the larger 819-day calendar.

Mayan 819-Day Calendar Finally Revealed by Science?

The Mayan calendar is a sophisticated system composed of smaller calendars, developed centuries ago in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. Of the component calendars, the 819-day count has been the most perplexing to modern anthropologists. Initially, scientists believed that the count’s four colors corresponded to cardinal directions. However, in the 1980s, it was discovered that this assumption was incorrect.

Incorporating Visible Planets’ Synodic Periods

The Maya had extremely accurate measurements of the synodic periods of visible planets in the solar system: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. While Mercury’s synodic period fits easily within the 819-day count, the other planets’ synodic periods posed a challenge. However, Linden and Bricker’s research reveals that each visible planet’s synodic period precisely aligns with a specific number of 819-day count cycles. This discovery also unveils a compelling link to the 260-day Tzolkin calendar.

The Mayan 819-Day CalendarA Larger, a More Comprehensive Astronomical Calendar?

According to Linden and Bricker, the expansion of the standard 4 × 819-day cycle to 20 819-day periods provides a larger calendar system with commensurations in its seasons for the synodic periods of all visible planets. This larger calendar system also offers a mechanism to reset the Tzolkin’s day number and name each time the cycle of 20 819-day periods begins. The research, published in Ancient Mesoamerica, emphasizes the Mayan calendar’s intricate and vast cosmic scope.