“To boldly go where no man has gone before.” — Captain James T. Kirk
Dedicated to Jenny Vidgen July 4th 1939 – November 27th 2019 mum, artist, pal.
CONQUISTORS & IGNORANCE OF A “SUPERIOR” “CIVILISATION”.
Diego de Landa. joined the Franciscan Order in 1541 when around 17 years old he went to the New World as a missionary. Landa is recognised as tyring to do his best to protect the natives from their Spanish conquistors who came in search of gold. He visited the ruins of the great Mayan civilisation and learnt from the locals their customs and history.
Landa however abhorred the Mayan religion. He ordered all Mayan idols be destroyed and all Mayan books (the Mayan had mastered printing long ago) be burned. Landa was said to have being surprised at the distress this caused the Mayans. Landa however took care to write a book Relación de las cosas de Yucatán Ⓣ (1566) which describes the hieroglyphics, customs, temples, religious practices and history of the Mayans which his own actions had done so much to eradicate. The book was lost for centuries but rediscovered in 1869.
Further a small number of other Mayan documents survived destruction by the Conquistor. The most important is the Dresden Codex now kept in the Sächsische Landesbibliothek Dresden with the Madrid Codex kept in the American Museum in Madrid; and finally the Paris Codex now in the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris. Resolution radar images, aerial photography and satellite images have also changed conceptions of the Mayan civilisation.
The more we learn of the Mayans the more we begin to fully appreciate how advanced their civialistion was.
DR WHO’s TIME MACHINE.
The Mayan calendar is a system of three interlacing calendars and almanacs (if not more) which was also used by several cultures in Central America but most famously by the Mayan civilization who seemed to have used its knowledge for far greater and constructive purposes than the bloody thirsty Aztec. The Aztecs transformed the Meso American sun cult into a death cult as the Calendar’s full purposes and funtion appeared to devolved and dilute over time and distance as the Mayan civilisation began to crumble even before the arrival of the european invaders with the guns and bibles.
The Mayans adoption of it dates back to the 5th century but it is in fact pre Mayan.
Historians and mathmaticians seem to make three continous error in their writing when they describe the ‘Mayan’ invention of maths and how the Mayans used it.
Firstly they keep over looking the obvious that if the calendar is not Mayan to start with then neither is the math. Secondly while the Mayans may have borrowed this knowledge from earlier civilisations how they used it knowledgewise later on (at the time of the european arrvial) may not have being the same as how it was applied or used by those who came first. Thirdly our knowledge base does come from mere fragments of their culture which was largely gutted by conquest. In regards to what does remain much of that comes from the work of missionaries whose work had its own bias and bigotry as result of their own rigid dogmas. We need to be careful when stating how the calendar operated as their is still a lot we dont know.
The Mayan calendar is nothing short of being the earliest computer known to man.
A device that used not just the numbers one to ten but also included the vital digit zero.
Its a truly staggering and underestimated archelogical find whose secrets were only just starting to peel back layer by layer – as we learn its symbols and their links to both the Mayan’s sophisticated understanding of math and form the courage to address our own past ignorance and arrogance. As today varying academic departments begin to learn from each other and get a better understanding of what their collegues have discovered in their own specialist fields, in their own seperate disciplines. A portal has opened up in regards to understanding the Mayan’s vast knowledge on the subjects of time, space and quantum physics itself.
The Mayan Calendar is in fact three separate corresponding calendars: the Long Count, the Tzolkin (divine calendar), and the Haab (civil calendar). Each of them is cyclical, a certain number of days must occur before a new cycle begin. The three calendars work together simultaneously not unlike like the hands on a clock. Its literally a time machine.
The Tzolkin and the Haab mark days, but not the years. The Long Count date comes first, then the Tzolkin date, and last the Haab date.
The Haab is a 365-day solar calendar with 18 months of 20 days each and one month which is only 5 days long. The calendar has an outer ring of glyphs (pictures) which represent the 19 months. Each day is represented by a number in the month followed by the name of the month. Each glyph represents a personality associated with the month.
The Tzolkin is the Divine Calendar. 260-day calendar with 20 periods of 13 days, used to determine the time of religious and ceremonial events. The days are numbered from one to 13. Each day also had a given name (glyph) from a sequence of 20 day names one for each relgious peroid.
For example the Wayeb peroid was considered an unlucky period and Landa wrote the Mayans did not wash, comb their hair, or do any hard work during these five days. Anyone born during these days would have bad luck and remain poor and unhappy all their lives. Bummer to be a Wayeb ha? I imagine that was shit astrological sign to confess to anyone at a party line when your trying to score.
The Long Count is an astronomical calendar used to track longer periods of time. The “universal cycle”, calculated to be 2,880,000 days long (about 7885 solar years). The Mayans believed the universe is destroyed and then recreated at the start of each universal cycle. This is know as the Eternal return (also known as eternal recurrence)theory that. The theory is alos found in ancient Indian spirtualism as well as Judaic wisdom literature (Ecclesiastes) Viking myth of Ragnarok celtic mytholgy and alchemy were the symbol of orborous the dragons that eats its own tail is the base of Psychologust Karl Jung theory the universe is fell of archtype symbols that a product of our subconsious and at much in the same way as cheats in a video game. Eternal theory was subsequently taken up by the Pythagoreans and Stoics.
It emerges in the movie where the chief character KPAX (wo the viewers must work out if he an aliens or just deluded human suffering from trauma says “I wanna tell you something Mark, something you do not yet know, that we K-PAXians have been around long enough to have discovered. The universe will expand, then it will collapse back on itself, then will expand again. It will repeat this process forever I wanna tell you something Mark, something you do not yet know, that we K-PAXians have been around long enough to have discovered. The universe will expand, then it will collapse back on itself, then will expand again. It will repeat this process forever”.
This belief caused the 2012 pop cult phenomenon revolving around a prophecy about the end of the world (when in fact the Mayan simply talked not of an end by renewal of cycles) .Though as the Maya Calendar is in fact about .24 short of an actual solar rotation the actual date in question would have being around 2050 if you also add the calibration of the Gregorian calendar and add +4. Oh and dont forget were not 100% certain whose recipe they were following and if they got ‘grandma’ short hand with absolute precision.
With a network of city-states from southern Mexico to Honduras, ancient Mayan civilization were sophisticated with their highest achievement being their mathematics.
From Zero to Hero.
The Maya used a base 20 (vigesimal) numerical system, that unlike the modern base of 10 So instead of counting in multiples of 1, 10, 100, and so on the Maya counted in 1s, 20s, 400s, and so on. The Mayan system used only three symbols to form all their numbers a dot representing one, a bar representing five, and a shell representing 20 or zero, depending on its placement. Once you realise this you realise the Maya Calendar was also in fact an abacus. better than abacus as the abacus works on 1-10 using two axis allowing maximum calculation at one time of 10 x10 (or divide etc) the Maya calendar has at least three axis (possiably more) so its use for high math is expotentially superior to the common abbacus.
Zero days and zero years exist in Mayan calendars, unlike the standard Gregorian calendars. Again that indicates not just a highly advance knowledge of math but of physics.
For as mathmatician Robert Kaplan states “in the darkest emptiness, there’s always something’ . Kaplan also points out “Zero is in the mind, but not in the sensory world.” Yet here we have a civilisation knowing this while in Europe the dark ages is just getting under way. Who hoo barbarians for every one. It would take europe another seven hunded years and a few plagues and famine to catch up and get all Fibonacci.
Meanwhile the Mayan were using a whole lot of nothing to accomplish a lot.
The Mayan literally understood that nothing mattered that zero was a hero.
Their sophisticated math enabled them to develop super accurate time measurements (still among the most accurate ever developed), erect huge pyramids (such Xunantunich pictured above and below) perectly and mathmatically alinged with the moon and sun outstanding acts of engineering and architecture, and they managed a vast economic and accounting system for trading with neighboring civilizations across a vast stretch of geography. All based on a calendar from a pre Mayan civilisastion whose precise origins remain a mystery.
Withstanding the mystery of the fact their calendar came long before they did, their year calendar allegedly had a glitch. This seems at odd with their recognised precision else where and that they never invented drag racing having not bothered to invent the wheel.
The Mayans also understood ‘sacred geometery’ the world view of pattern recognition, a complex system of math that measures space, time and form. In future work will take a closer look at that aspect, as we go nice and slow and try and discern what can be documented for certain and what we can learn about this ancient culture and its amazing mathmatic and spirtual knowedge.
The sun calendar with its Long time is nothing sort of being an ancient version of CERN the Hydron Collider in terms of ambition. For like CERN it was set up for the lofty goal of studying life the universe and well everything. It was act of exploration and curousity in which man set out “to boldly go where no man had gone before”.