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Comment Preferences

  •  thank you for this (5+ / 0-)

    Being on  the buckle of the Bible Belt there are many here who really believe this "Mayan" stuff coincides with Revelations and are actually anticipating incipient Armageddon.

    However when I ask them for the title to their cars and deeds to their homes (hey date it for after Armageddon 'cause if you really believe, you won't need titles and deeds after The End of Days (TM) so hand them over as an article of faith) so far, no takers............

  •  It was knowledge of the modern Maya languages (6+ / 0-)

    that helped linguists decipher the ancient Maya script.

  •  The Mayans live but their civilization ended (5+ / 0-)

    This is the Mayan calendar;


    How the Mayan calendar actually works

    If their civilization had not collapsed 600 years before Columbus arrived they may still be around.

    Our civilization may collapse soon given that it is now unsustainable.  The Mayan calendar apocalypse may be off by a few years but not by much as a percentage.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:42:52 PM PST

    •  By collapse you mean? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      No, they were no longer in charge. But anyone with eyes can recognize the strong Mayan influence in the haplotypes and the culture of the Americas. That would be like talking about the collapse of the Cherokees or the Apaches.

      I really wish that we'd get a diary praising the Mayans and pointing out all we have gained from them this week. One little bit I know is the terraforming of raised agricultural beds that produced amazing crops. There was also quite a bit of "genetic engineering." There's lots to know and lots to learn. But btw, do appreciate the calendar image!

    •  collapsed, yes, in a narrow sense (0+ / 0-)

      The Classic Maya stopped having divine kings and went to a council-based form of government in the tenth century. The monumental architecture became much rarer, somewhat less grand, and moved north into Yucatan. They stopped using the Long Count calendar. There was indeed a demographic collapse.

      But the civilization that Montejo conquered in Yucatan in the 1540s was also very much the descendent of the Classic Maya, as was what Martín de Urzúa y Arizmendi conquered in 1697, the Itza capital of Tayasal. They would have been instantly recognizable to the kings of Tikal in the 800s - or those of Mirador in the 400s BC.

  •  Um... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    michaelmhughes, Shockwave

    ...your poster misspelled "uneducated."

    Preparing for the Mayan doomsday prophecy by hastily trying to get in the good graces of snake-bird god Q’uq’umatz

    by dov12348 on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:57:24 PM PST

  •  But take a good look at it and sure enough . . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, michaelmhughes

    Christmas really does fall on December 25th!

    •  What? Has the pope seen this? (0+ / 0-)

      He's pretty confident that the original Christmas wasn't  even while he's preparing to say Christmas mass on the 25th.

      But then again, he's propounding the heresy that there were no barnyard animals in the stable, which we ALL know were there.

      © grover

      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 09:21:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If I had a nickel... (6+ / 0-)

    ... for every news article I've seen about the Mayan calendar accompanied by an image of the Aztec calendar, I'd have my very own two-car elevator and a stable full of dancing horses.

  •  I long ago gave up explaining to people (4+ / 0-)

    That I have met plenty of Maya in my tavels. They spoke little Spanish; we smiled and gestured a lot.  We communicate the way most humans do: non-verbally, with our eyes, our hands, bodies and ultimately, with our hearts.

    The Maya are alive indeed.

    © grover

    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 09:17:52 PM PST

    •  I've met many as well (5+ / 0-)

      A highlight of a visit to Mexico in the late 80s was a brief trip to San Juan Chamula, a small Mayan Village outside of San Cristobal de las Casas. Our guide, a woman named Mercedes, only took us to the village after giving us proper scrutiny. She'd been burned by culturally intolerant and stereotypically crass US tourists, and since she had grown up in the village, she only took people who she was sure wouldn't do or say anything to offend the villagers—who were, after all, her friends.

      It was eye opening in many ways, and I'll never forget watching quietly from the shadows as a Mayan shaman conducted a healing ceremony for a sick woman and her child in an old church. The pews had been removed and the floor of the church was strewn with pine needles. Thick copal incense smoke wafted through the air as the shaman sat with a chicken and  took ceremonial drinks from two bottles—one filled with posh (a sugar cane liquor) and the other Coca-Cola. The Maya are syncretists, having incorporated Christianity into their pre-Columbian spiritual beliefs, so the addition of Coca-Cola in to their rituals didn't seem jarring at all.

      Mercedes then told us about how a US couple had stormed out of the church, interrupting a similar healing ceremony and loudly complaining about how it wasn't "Christian." That was when she started being very particular about who she took on her tours.

      But what still sticks out most in my mind is when Mercedes took us to visit two elderly sisters. They lived in a home made of mud brick, and we had to duck to enter. Their home was about as large as an average US bathroom. Inside they had some kitchen implements, a small table the size of a stool, and a rug or two. With Mercedes translating, we talked to them about their lives, and they offered us food and were extremely warm and welcoming.

      It was humbling beyond anything I had ever experienced—meeting these kind Mayan women living a life so spartan and so alien to our lives of luxury, and having them offer us food and a space to sit in their tiny home. After a while, we said our goodbyes, and went back to our spacious gringo hotel.

      But I was never the same after that visit. I try to remember those Mayan women whenever I find myself feeling like I don't have enough money or gadgets or my house isn't big enough or my car is too old and junky.

      I wish everyone could visit those women, and I wish I could thank Mercedes for that life-changing visit.

  •  While the Mayans invented the zero... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, Sharon Wraight

    ...they did not invent the Friday, ergo, 12/21 will happen just fine. :)

    •  Mythbusting (0+ / 0-)

      No the Maya did not "invent" zero

      they had the concept of zero

      the same concept common to the Indus Valley cultures, the Chinese etc etc etc.

      Having the number zero is sort of a development that comes with developing advanced mathematics, no matter what civilisation it is.

      And while our Maya chums may have been smart in some fields, they were too thick to work out wheels, pulleys, metallurgy, etc. All the stuff the other "zero" cultures had worked out.....

      •  Saying "developing the concept of zero"... (0+ / 0-)

        would have made for a clumsy joke.

        Re: developing the concept of zero

        I can't find reference to a concept of zero as a number in the old world prior to India's development of it in the 9th century. AD - nine centuries after its development in Mesoamerica (perhaps, my bad, by the Olmecs not the Mayans).

        Now, use of zero as a placeholder  (to let scribes know it was a 100 not a 10 not a 1) goes back much further, of course, to Babylon not the Indus civilization.

        The Indus Valley city states in what is now Pakistan were renowned for applied mathematics and standardized measurements. Concept of zero wasn't in their toolkit.

        But perhaps you have superior sources, and I an inferior amount of coffee...

      •  Uh, the Maya did have the wheel. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tom Lum Forest

        Archaeologists have uncovered plenty of Maya toys with wheels. What they lacked were draft animals.

        Given the despicable racism to which most of the modern Maya are exposed, I think we'd be better off without adjectives like "thick".

        "I had seen the universe as it begins for all things. It was, in reality, a child's universe, a tiny and laughing universe." Loren Eiseley

        by cadejo4 on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:33:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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