The Calendar Round
 

No class on Thursday!
Fire God, Teotihuacán, Classic.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Classic Period in Mexico

 

2500 BC
2000 BC
1500 BC
1000 BC
500 BC
BC
AD
500
1000
1550
PRECLASSIC OR FORMATIVE
CLASSIC
POSTCLASSIC
Early
E1500 BC - 900 BCE
Middle
900 BCE - 250 BCE
Late
250 BCE -
AD 250
Early
250 - 600
Late
600 - 900
Early
900 - 1200
Late
1200 - 1521
West Mexican Cultures 1500 BC - AD 1530
Olmec 1200 BCE - 600 BCE
Tres Zapotes 900 BCE - 600 BCE
 
San Lorenzo 900 BCE - 600 BCE
 
La Venta 900 BCE - 600 BCE
 
Teotihuacan 150 BCE - AD 750
 
Zapotec 400 - 800
Monte Alban 400 - 800
Totonac 500 - 1521
   
Toltec 900 - 1200
   
Mixtec 1200 - 1525
   
Aztec 1350 - 1521
Tenochtitlan 1350 - 1521
 
Texcoco 1350 - 1521
 
Maya 250 BC - AD 1000
   
Cerros 250 BC - AD 200
   
Tikal 200 BC - AD 800
   
Piedras Negras 300 - 800
   
Uxmal 700 - 1000
 
Copan 600 - 800
   
Toltec - Maya 1000 - 1200
   
Chichen Itza 1000 - 1200
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historical Context
5000 BCE
 
First complex writing system, cuneiform, developed in Babylonia
 
Maize first cultivated in the Americas
3000 BCE
 
First pyramids built in Egypt
2000 BCE
 
First dynasties of ancient China are founded
1200 - 400 BCE
 
Olmec Culture
950 BCE
 
First textbook created in China
600 BCE
 
Olmecs develop writing
753 BCE
 
Ancient Rome established
580 - 480 BCE
 
The Golden Age of Greece
503 BCE
 
Buddha is born in India
0
 
Date assigned to birth of Jesus
CE 44
 
Julius Cesar assasinated, Roman Empire established
CE 159
 
Important event at Copan, possibly the establishment of the kingdom
CE 250 - 900
 
Maya culture flourishes
CE 400
 
Teotihuacan is the second largest city in the world

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calendric System

 

Wheel A = winal (months)
Wheel B = k'in (days)
Wheel C = haab (vague year)
winal + k'in = tzolk'in
 
Long Count - tallies the number of days elapsed since creation date
 
Mesoamericans measured time with three interlocking calendars:
Tzolk'in - 260 day divinatory calendar
Haab - 365 solar year
Long Count - absolute dating system

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elements of the Mesoamerican Calendar System
Tzolk 'in - 260 Day 'Almanac'
 
  • Comprised of 20 months made up of 13 days
  • Each day identified by one of 20 day names and one of 13 day numbers
 
  • Children were often known by the day name of their birth
  • Today's tzolk'in date = 6 Manik'
The Haab - 365 day "vague year" rather than 365.25 day "solar year"
  • Comprised of 18 months made up of 20 days + period of five unlucky days (Wayeb)
  • Today's haab date = 5 K'ayab
 
Imagine both calendars are interlocking wheels. Every 52 years, they complete a full cycle.
 
When the Tzolk'in and haab are placed together, they create 18,980 unique days known as a "calendar round."
 
Each cycle is is repeated in sets of named days without reference to a uniquely numbered year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long Count - an absolute dating system
  • Measures time elapsed since mythical beginning of Mayan culture:
 
    • August 13, 3114 BC
 
    • Ahau 8 Cumku
  • A complete Maya Long Count cycle is 5,125 years long
 
  • 52 years will pass before the days line up in the same way again
Written in 5 periods:
  • baktun (millennia) = 144,000 days (394 years)
  • katun (century) = 7,200 days (20 years)
  • tun (year) = 360 days
  • winal (month) = 20 day month
  • k'in (day) = day
Today's date in long count = 13 . 0 . 5 . 4 . 7
 
Imagine the Long Count as a continuous line that does not repeat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stela C at Tres Zapotes, Epi-Olmec

 

Maya Calendar Converter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stela C at Tres Zapotes, Epi-Olmec

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stela C from Chiapa de Corzo