Finding the Oldest Mayan Calendar? Thoughts by Carl Johan Calleman
by Carl Johan Calleman, IMU Professor
So many persons have sent me questions about the latest news that the “oldest Mayan Calendar has been found” that that I feel a comment is in its place:
Has the world’s oldest Mayan calendar been found?
In my view this report is typical of how the media today are working. First, for several years the big media like Hollywood and History Channel are generating the idea that so called end of the Mayan calendar means the end of the world. This is what has shaped the ideas among people in general and a stupid discussion on this topic has been brought to the Internet. After having successfully accomplished this disinformation the media instead take the opposite role and pretend to be the rational and wise debunkers of this idea, while it was the same “media world” that had generated the idea in the first place. In this way they are able to keep the discussion centered on the question whether the world is coming to an end when the calendar does.
Serious students of the Mayan calendar of course know that it has nothing to do with the end of the world. This is just an idea that the big media have created to prevent people from learning about the calendar’s true meaning and social and political implications. It seems that in the mind of those having written this press release the Mayan calendar means nothing if it does not mean the end of the world:
Is this then such a dramatic finding as the release seems to indicate? Is this the oldest Mayan calendar in the world? Judging from the article’s abstract it is an interesting finding of a wall with astronomical tables from around AD 800 and it can with some truth be called the oldest Mayan astronomical table. Then the emphasis should be very strongly on the word table. Because everyone, the authors of this article included, knows that the calendar is much older than this and it is simply misleading sensationalism to make it sound that it is an old calendrical inscription. Most likely it was the people writing the press release that thought they should twist the news to make it sound juicy, since in terms of the Classical Mayan culture it is not an old inscription at all, but very late.
To give some perspective on this the oldest tzolkin inscription is from 550 BC and the oldest Long Count date is from 36 BC, or in other words about a thousand years earlier than this wall painting. In fact AD 800 is when the collapse of the Classical Mayan culture began and their calendar system from a metaphysical perspective started to deteriorate. So what is the big fuzz? Well, it seems to be a nice archeological finding, but from the perspective of those that look upon the Mayan calendar as a description of the evolution of consciousness it is of no consequence.
Carl Johan Calleman