An old but interesting read on the age of the ancient Maya ruins:
ON THE AGE OF MAYA RUINS
BY CHARLES P. BOWDITCH
(From the American Anthropologist (N. S.), Vol. 3, October-December, 1901)
G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS
ON THE AGE OF MAYA RUINS
By CHARLES P. BOWDITCH
The inscription lately discovered in Chichen Itza by Edward H. Thompson, United States Consul at Merida, is of more than passing interest. It contains an Initial Series of glyphs, which, so far as I know, gives the only initial date that has been found in the northern part of Yucatan. (more…)
Just like the ancient Egyptians, the ancient Mayans were a race of people that has contributed largely to what the world is right now. They have greatly contributed a lot of things and a lot of ideas especially about agriculture, astronomy, engineering, science and a lot of other things. They have built great stone structures that we call as pyramids just like their counterpart in ancient Egypt and if you have seen that documentary video, “The Great Secrets of the Pyramid”, you could almost swear that all of these pyramids are in perfect alignment with each other despite the fact that they are thousands of miles away from each other.
Now, what has this got to do with the Mayans and the most celebrated “controversy” of all which is the Mayan Calendar? It is now 2014 and two years ago, almost the whole world were blanketed with fear and awe because of that Mayan prediction that the world will end on December 21, 2012 or for today, rather, that world would have ended on that date. But, it didn’t and that was a relief.
This raises the question to some of the most far-out minds: “Were the ancient Egyptians including the ancient Mayans came from another world?
I have read this book written by David Wilcock which is entitled “The Synchronicity Key”. In his book, Wilcock embarks on a journey that will really astonish everyone. He had made a lot of investigative reports that have touched topics beyond those prophecies and found proof that everything in our lives is not only connected but it all influences everything else.
I have also heard from other people and I can’t remember when and where and who that it seems that these ancient races have all the access to something beyond our knowledge today. How could somebody or a group of people build huge structures using nothing but stones and their bare hands and anything that can be practically found all over the place? How did the ancient Egyptians did that? How did the Mayans built those huge cities? Some of these people believed that these ancient races were actually aliens from another planet or galaxy and aside from these structures that they have built, they might also have the key to the things to come our way, but, they were just greatly misinterpreted and modern man miscalculated.
This November, just before Thanksgiving, I myself and my wife are planning to take the kids to a unique vacation, one that we haven’t experienced yet. We have considered a lot of things. We could go on a cruise ship vacation in the Bahamas or we can go to the Philippines either in Cebu or Boracay Island and a lot more. But, we already have that done-that-been-there attitude. So, something new would be nice. I am a runner and so are my wife and two kids, aged 15 and 18.
So, we scanned for running events from other places during that month and we hit a jackpot- a Mayan Maraton which will be held in Guatemala especially in Amatitlan. One thing’s for sure. This vacation of ours is going to be one-of-a-kind! So, what do we expect on this Mayan Maraton? I’ve heard that Mayan places like Guatemala has a lot of things to offer to tourists like us. We assume that the Roman Catholics are the only ones who has elaborate celebrations of anything especially holy celebrations. But, we are wrong.
The Mayans have a lot of things to celebrate all year round. That means to say that if we can’t go to the Mayan Maraton and participate and enjoy our vacation, we can enjoy the place, the scenery, the wonderful people, the exotic foods and, for sure, a lot of ancient Mayan artifacts any time of the year when we want to.
I have been trying to find a list of Mayan holidays and, fortunately, I have found one. Actually, the one that I’ve found is a list of Mayan celebrations in the highlands of Chiapas in Mexico. So, if ever we change our minds and go to Mexico instead of Guatemala, we already have the list of their holidays. Anyway, Chiapas and Guatemala are just neighbors, so to speak.
They are also celebrating New Year’s Day on January 1st Sebastian and Dia de San Ildefonso on the same month. February holds the biggest celebration which is “Carnaval”. Actually, it will take place in various like in Tenejapa, San Juan Chamula, San Pedro Chenalhó and San Andrés Larráinzar. The spectacular festivities take place over a week-long period.
Almost all months of the year, they have celebrations like Festival de San Pedro and other celebrations. But the biggest ones are held in the month of December. They have Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe, Dia de Santa Lucia, Fiesta de Santo Tomas and, of course, New Year’s Eve.
It seems like most of their celebrations are akin to what Roman Catholics are celebrating. However, if you are looking for some ancient Mayan artifacts and other items and/or you just want to be fascinated with their people and places, you can actually find what you want in any area where Mayans exist.
Going back to our marathon dream at Guatemala, well, if we can’t join, we can always to go Chiapas and other Mayan areas and enjoy our vacation and we will be enjoying it every minute since we will be together as one family.
If we need to be on the progressive side of the fence, we need to look at the past. We could learn
a lot of things from the past. But, the best teacher of all that comes from the past is the demise of a once-great civilization and the Mayan civilization is one of them.
The Mayans were once a great race and we owe a lot of things from them from agriculture to
astronomy, from architecture and even to communications and engineering. We have learned
so much from them. But, the one that we should be attentive to is how they have “killed” themselves?
The Mayans flourished in the past and you can even say that a Mayan city was teeming with people numbering between 2,000 to 3,000 people per square mile. Even in the Mayan rural areas, there could be 200 to 300 people per square mile. Think Los Angeles or even New York. That was how a Mayan city or town would look like. But, all of a sudden, as if a swift wind blew them away, everything became silent. The Mayans were gone. What happened?
Just like us, the Mayans were also growing in number and they needed much space to occupy everyone. Yes, they did live harmoniously with the environment. They always pray to their “gods” for bountiful harvests and they respect all kinds of life here on Earth. But, when the call for progress was unavoidable, they resorted to things like deforestation. Not only they needed more space for their ever-growing population but they also needed progress. They were building temples as fast as anyone can imagine back in those days. To build a temple, they needed lime plaster from limestone that must be burned. To burn limestone, they needed wood. So, off to the forests they went and cut as many trees as they can. They need to cut down like 20 trees just to make 1 square meter of lime plaster. They have a lot of “gods”. So, they needed a lot of temples.
More temples mean more lime plaster which means more limestone to burn which means more trees to cut down. Before they know it, drought came upon them and a lot of them died of starvation. Since they don’t have a lot of vegetation and animals that they hunt also ran away to look for “greener pastures”, they also left their settlement.
That is how the Mayans “killed” themselves. We owe a lot from them and we can learn from their mistakes. If we don’t do anything to correct ourselves, 200,00 years from now, a new race will be digging up a place that was once called New York and find some artifacts like an iPad or a vehicle and would be studying a lot of things about “New Yorkers”, that is, if there is anything left including subway train fossils.
When the year 2012 reared its head almost two years ago, everybody was in awed anticipation. Is the end of the world really at hand? Blame it on the so-called “Doomsday Mayan Prediction”. For sure, everybody still remembers that, right? According to a Mayan calendar, the end of the world will be on December 21, 2012. Now, I won’t have to go into details about how that calendar was discovered, who discovered it, etcetera, etcetera, blah blah blah. No, I won’t do that here. But, there is just one question that lingers on my head and I’m sure it is also lingering on a few individuals here on Earth:
“Was the Mayan prediction a hoax or did someone misinterpreted it?” And this question leads to another one almost relative to the first: “Were the Mayans incorrect with their prediction?”
First of all, since it is already the year 2014, we all already heaved a sigh of relief and safely say that that prediction of the Mayans was entirely a hoax. Many people were duped into it. Some even went too far or overboard by constructing their own bunker and stuffed it with provisions that can last decades for their respective family’s consumption. There were even a lot of different websites all over the internet that are telling a lot about “2012” like the history of that Mayan prediction to different tips on what to do before, during and after the whatever is coming, that is, if they have survived and even went money-crazy by selling survival kits, water tanks, books on how to survive the Armageddon and a lot more.
Millions of dollars were wasted on these things alone. Now, since we have all “survived” the “Armageddon”, what will they do with all of those provisions? Now, ask yourself once again: “Was it a hoax or did somebody just misinterpreted the Mayan doomsday prediction?”
So, if somebody miscalculated or misinterpreted the calendar, then, that means to say that the calendar was actually right to some few points. According to Ann Martin, a doctoral candidate in Cornell University’s department of astronomy, the Mayan calendar was or is cyclical. The long count of that calendar was really meant to end on December 2012 and that means that it is the end of great calendar cycle in Mayan society. If you try to look at it, it’s much like our modern society celebrated the new Millennium, the new beginning for everyone.
So, that explains it, basically. But, don’t think that there will be no end of the world. There will be and it depends on how one will look at it, right? As for the Mayan prediction, let us just say that “it is doing away with the old” and it’s the same as New Year’s Resolution.
Long even before all people of the world knows about the Mayan calendar of doomsday, which everybody already know was not true, a lot of people are already fascinated very much by the cultures and tradition of the Mayans. Well, that is not surprising because, the fact of the matter is, the Mayans is one group of a race that has been considered as the cradle of civilization and it can be evidently seen on everything that the Mayans have like their arts and crafts.
Even today, people from many different places are searching for hard-to-find Mayan arts and crafts. Whey, there are even other people who will pay a lot of money just to get their hands on these artifacts. But, frankly speaking, these hard-to-find items are really, well, hard to find.
One of these unique and rare items is a Mayan sacrificial knife. The ceremonial knife, with a jade handle and obsidian blade, was used by Mayans, especially their religious leaders for sacrifices. Sacrifice was a part of Mayan religious practice and most of those that they offered to their gods are their enemies and slaves.
If anybody have seen the movie by Mel Gibson, “Apocalypto”, that is how these Mayans have carried out their sacrifices. The worse thing is, when they are in the middle of a famine, they will be sacrificing more human lives which usually went on throughout the day because they believe that if doing so, the Mayan gods will spare them from the famine and will bring about rain to make their harvest bountiful. But, of course, this kind of tradition was cut off when Spaniards came.
The real sacrificial knives that were used by Mayans are made out of stones. The knives that were found by archaeologists during their diggings have traces of muscle, tendons, skin and even hair on these sharp obsidian knives which were dated back at around 2,000 years ago. These knives found proved that, indeed, sacrifices really took place when the Mayans were still at the top of the civilization.
The findings were authenticated through forensic samples and sacrifices were believed to be carried out 1000 years before the Aztecs. For many years, it was debated whether this kind of act is just an urban legend. Researchers in Mexico have proven that this urban legend is no legend at all. Another evidence which is considered indirect types of evidences were the human skeletons found in the areas where Mayans used to lived have cuts marks on their bones.
Because these artifacts or ancient Mayan items were considered as an important part in knowing the cultures and traditions of ancient Mayans, both local and foreign tourists are looking far and wide for the authentic obsidian knives. Most of them have found on areas where these sacrifices took place or at nearby cities where they are being sold. But, there are others who are satisfied with replicas of ancient Mayan sacrificial obsidian knives.
The Maya were a civilization with some of the most eccentric types of customs ever known to man. Actually, not all of its Mayan customs were that eccentric. The fact of the matter is, a few of their customs are akin to other different customs from different countries around the world. However, a few of them were really considered by most people as eccentric. Well, after all, these customs of the Maya were thriving before the Spaniards came and took over their lands hundreds of years ago and most of their customs were existing thousands of years before that. (more…)
Egypt and Rome were among the earliest human civilizations and so were the Maya. The Mayans can be considered as one of the earliest developed human civilization because they were noted for the fully developed written language of the pre-Columbian Americas, meaning, before Columbus even discovered America. It is a Mesoamerican civilization and it was discovered that the Mayans were well-known for their art, architecture, mathematical and astronomical systems. So that one can fully imagine what a Mayan civilization looks like, think of it as today’s New York City or London, England.
There are many things that people find fascinating about Maya and the Mayans. Among them is Mayan sculpture. Most of the sculptures that were found are made of stone. One can see the main sculptural style of the Mayans in Izapa, a large settlement on the Pacific coast where one can find a lot of stelas and frog-shaped altars. (more…)
They Mayan culture is undeniably known for their love of art. It can be seen through their sculptures especially on their altars and one can even see the Mayan culture in each of the bodies of the Mayan themselves through tattoos. The fact of the matter is Mayan-inspired tattoos are now very popular in the modern world.
Little was known about the Mayan culture and the whole Mayan civilization in general since they have seemingly disappeared without a trace and only the remains of their civilization can be seen by tourists from all over the world. In general, the Mayan civilization and culture were among the originals of the New World and has spanned for more than 3,000 years. Their original home turf was the Yucatan Peninsula on the eastern part of the Mesoamerica. Based on the findings of archaeologists and anthropologists, the Mayan civilization was densely populated and one can even compare the Mayan civilization to that of New York City or London today in terms of population. (more…)
The Mayan artwork is very distinctive when it comes to style and the medium they were using during the time their civilization were in power. It was during the later Pre-classic period, which is 500 B.C. to 200 A.D., that these art works of the Mayas have started to take shape as it evolve. However, Mayan art work later bloomed into something that can be considered as epic during the seven centuries of the Classic period which was from 200 to 900 A.D. Unfortunately, with the discovery of this ancient New World, most of the art work of the Mayans such as their paintings, sculpture and wood carvings were destroyed by the Spaniards because they were considered as items of idolatry. However, a few Mayan art works have survived the “art work holocaust” and even survived the test of time paving the way for the interest of our modern civilization for the ancient Mayan artworks. (more…)