Why did the Maya Calender starts in Aug 11, 3114 B.C or some say in Aug 13, 3113 B.C. There is something very strange to be noticed that if they wanted to have calender for purposes like we do, then they should have chosen the date after that realization of need of a calender. Mysteriously, they chose a date approximately 1500 years before even from their existence. Maya people were very intelligent and they can't just choose a random date for the start of something of so much importance. As we know they were of par excellence in astronomy, mathematics, calender making, writing, etc. So, we can't just theorize it without having a sound proof of why they chose that specific date.

We know that they initially established somewhere around 2000 - 1800 B.C., so, why did they choose a date far back. There isn't any clear explanations given by any one until now for the reason behind choosing Aug 11, 3114 B.C.

The Long Count, for which we do not know the Maya name, is commonly considered the Maya's linear count of days. In truth, it is yet another cycle, but its great length of at least 5126 years makes it essentially a linear count through all of Maya history. The earliest known Long Count date, carved in 31 BC, was found at the Olmec site of Tres Zapotes. The earliest known Maya long count was recorded in year 32 AD at the site of Chiapa de Corzo in the Highlands of Chiapas, Mexico. Like the Christian calendar, the long count has a start date: ours is January 1 of 0 AD. But unlike ours, theirs also has an apparent end date, December 21 of 2012 AD.

The long count is represented as a five place notation system of ascending cycles - Kins (days), Uinals (20-day months), Tuns (360 days), K'atuns (20 Tuns), and Bak'tuns (20 K'atuns). It is important to note that the long count's version of a year, the tun, is only 360 days, not the solar count of 365. This means that the long count diverges from the Haab (The Haab (AB’ in K’iche’) is the Mayas’ solar and secular calendar. It consists of a 365-day cycle divided in 18 “months” of 20 days each (18 x 20 = 360)  and of a final period of 5 days) by five days every year, making it a completely unique and separate cycle.


The largest of the long count's five cycles, the Bak'tun, is a period equaling 400 Tuns. Many people believe that the full cycle of the Long Count is complete when 13 Bak'tuns have passed since the beginning of the creation of this current universe, identified as the 4th creation in the Maya "story of creation", the Popol Vuh.

To further illustrate how the Long Count moves forward through time, look at the day sequencing around the beginning and end of the cycle: 3 Kawak 7 Kumku August 10, 3114 BC 4 Ahau 8 Kumku August 11, 3114 BC 5 Imix 9 Kumku August 12, 3114 BC 3 Kawak 2 Kankin December 20, 2012 AD 4 Ahau 3 Kankin December 21, 2012 AD 5 Imix 4 Kankin

December 22, 2012 AD

It's important to point out that this is just one possible scenario for how the Long Count functions and flows. There are other scholars who believe that the count would not reset to, but rather continue with 13 as the Bak'tuns, being, and then, and so on up until the 14th Bak'tuns, being represented as Lloyd Anderson has presented this scenario on his website at www.traditionalhighcultures.com/MayaMath&WorldAges.html. Since we have no texts presenting dates within the first Bak'tun's range of 400 tuns, this particular question remains an academic debate.

However, the end date i.e. Dec 21, 2012, was first found on Monument 6 in Tortuguero, an archeological site in in southernmost Tabasco, Mexico, which supported a Maya city during the Classic Period. The inscription on Monument 6 concerns the God Bolon Yokte’ K’uh - specifically "A calendrical event in the early 21st century AD, at which time, apparently, the god may 'descend'.” A more complete translation says “"The Thirteenth Bak'tun" will be finished (on) Four Ahaw, the Third of K'ank'in. ? will occur. (It will be) the descent(?) of the Nine Support (?) God(s) to the ?. Now, what they here say is a clear reference of the descent of 9 ancient Mayan Gods back to earth. Most recently, Gronemeyer and McLeod offered a new interpretation of the passages on Monument 6, according to which, the inscription announces the witnessing of the deity Bolon Yokte' K'uh who will be publicly displayed by the occasion of his investiture. By applying several linguistic and ethnographic parallels, this may happen by the en-robing and/or parading of an effigy of the said deity.


What happened on Aug 11, 3114 B.C. that Mayans chose that particular date that predates about 1500 years of their existence? Is there any sound significance of this date? What was the purpose of making all those calenders and tracking the cycles? What was the purpose of tracking this long count cycle specifically? 

So many questions but the answers are very few. There are theories but they are made by manipulating facts instead of which a theory should be such that it should suit facts.

Lets see what our minds can think of the mysterious workings of a great, advanced and powerful civilization, The Maya.

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Replies to This Discussion

After performing my own analysis of various sacred texts from across the ages and the globe, I suspect that it has to do with Pacal's (is it Botan or Votan, incidentally?) inaugural vision answering that question. It was of a tower at which the human languages were confused - sounds like Babyl, doesn't it? It's a thought.

Two of the books which I've read have to do specifically with the Maya - Jose Arguelles' The Mayan Factor and Carlos Barrios' The Mayan Book of Destiny. Senor Arguelles doesn't seem to have been thinking entirely straight when he wrote it, as he didn't catch an inconsistency or two when he made his charts. He placed the date at Aug. 6, 3113 BCE - but the Mayan Council of Elders seems to have a problem with some of his ideas, to give fair warning. I wonder how many other dates therre are at which others have arrived...

        To cite my suspicion, or theory, at which I've arrived, the Mayan calendar was instituted to include a much-more-accurate calendar than anything produced by "Western" civilizations, most especially including the Roman calendars, which were changed several times during the past 2,000 years. Also, 2,000 years ago, the Julian calendar had a 360-day per year calendar, which had a periodically-inserted thirteenth month named "Mercedinus" (from which the name "March" derives). This was done "to keep the calendar in line with the seasons". Obviously, they were aware that it wasn't entirely accurate. If you accept that "All mortal theories are partly true", then we get to sort through for ourselves how they all fit, and which pieces to keep and which to discard - although one would hope that all will apply the "scientific" method of observation and theoretical derivation. That's my take on it, anyway. Shalom


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