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Maya Cycles of Time: Further Explorations

Sandra Monteferrante (Dowling College)


All of these calculations can be confirmed using online Maya calendar converters that translate Classical Maya Long Counts into Western Gregorian calendar dates and vice versa. Want to explore further? Try these exercises:

  1. Create a glyph Long Count of your birthday or other significant date(s).
  2. Determine which days in the Tzolkin calendar could begin any Haab new year.
  3. How did the Maya arrive at 1,101,600 days in the computation of the true length of the solar year?
  4. If the Short Count date 13 Ahau is not, are there other possible katun-ending Long Counts in the same baktun? What would be the corresponding Gregorian date(s)?
  5. Explain why period-ending dates have a cycle of 18,980 Haab years, more than triple a Great Cycle of 13 baktuns.

Other Convergence articles about Maya numbers, Maya geometry, and Maya calendars:


Sandra Monteferrante (Dowling College), "Maya Cycles of Time: Further Explorations," Convergence (July 2012), DOI:10.4169/loci003886