The Mayan and Aztec Calendars Essay

The Mayan and Aztec Calendars Essay

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This book focuses on different types of calendars from a number of different places all around the world. This specific chapter, even more specifically this section, focuses on the Mayan calendar. These calendars were written by honored members of their aristocracy and were held to be of great value. The Spanish invaders believed them to be instruments of the devil and burnt great quantities of them. E. G. Richards explains that only four Mayan books are survive in the libraries of Europe, and one of those—The Dresden codex—suffered severe damage in another fire, one which was inflicted on that city in the Second World War. Richards says that the earliest record of a calendar survives from about 500 BC in Monte Alban near Oaxaca. This calendar employs a 260-day cycle, which was commonly used by several societies and is still in use among the present-day inhabitants of the region. The Maya used the calendar partly to anticipate propitious days to embark on wars and other activities. It was also used to record on stone pillars, or stelae, important events in the lives of their kings and to relate these to more mythical events of the past. The Mayan calendar system involved two major methods of specifying a specific date—the calendar round and the long count. The calendar round was used to specify a date within a period of about 52 years, while the long count served to relate such dates within a longer period named a great cycle. The calendar round involved three interlocking cycles of 13, 20, and 365 days respectively. The 365-day cycle was called a haab and was similar to the Egyptian wandering year. Each haab was divided into 18 periods called uinals; each uinal had 20 days and a name. The 18 uinal were followed by five epagomen...


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...ticle, I decided to choose a topic that many people were concerned about approximately one year ago. As it says in the article, the world was never going to come to an end, and people had nothing to worry about. Despite evidence being presented from some very credible sources people will worry no matter what experts say, it’s just human nature. This source was a good source to use to sum everything up that I had learned from my previous sources. The information in the article was peer reviewed, therefore I believe that the article was a credible source of information. The information was presented in a clear and direct manner and in no way confusing. The information provided in this source fits fairly well with my topic. Overall it was a worthwhile source for my subject and I would definitely use articles and sources published by Sarah McCarry again in the future.

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