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The world's foremost expert on Maya culture looks at hysteria and explains the truth about what the Maya meant and what we want to believe Apocalypse An Investigation into Civilizations End The World Cataclysm inThe return of uetzalcoatl According to many of these alarmingly titled books the ancient Maya not only had a keen insight into the mystical workings of our planet and the cosmos but they were also able to predict that the world will end in the year David Stuart the foremost scholar of the The Order Kindle Maya and recipient of numerous awards for his work takes a hard look at the frenzy over and offer. Remember what life was like in 1999 Millennium fever was sweeping the world and scientists regular folk and the new age erati were focused on January 1 2000 Y2K was coming and it was bringing with it a digital Armageddon And when it finally arrived we celebrated and ducked and nothing happenedexcept January 2 2000Something very similar is happening again with the approach of the much anticipated date of December 21 2012 otherwise known as 130000 on the Maya calendar Will it bring mass destruction through floods fire and asteroids as Hollywood might have us believe Or will it be the dawning of a new religious age that's something spiritual peaceful and fulfilling than the multitude of religions that already exist around the worldDavid Stuart is one of the world’s preeminent Maya epigraphers and historians In his recently released “The Order of Days” Stuart expresses his frustration with the pop culture hullaballoo over the Maya’s supposedly prophetic importance of December 21 2012 The date is very real and very important to the Maya but Stuart emphatically points out that no Maya text ancient colonial or modern ever predicted the end of time or the end of the worldWith an eye on 122112 Stuart takes an anthropological archaeological and historical look into the far and near past of Mesoamerican cultures and as Stuart himself writes examines history ancient texts modern Maya religion and the early development of research to show how the Maya conceived of a remarkable structure to time and space that's significant on its own as a compelling human achievementDecember 21 2012 was extremely important to the Maya Just like January 1 2000 was important to the modern world Those 3 zeros that follow the 2 make it an inherently key though arbitrary calendar based milestone Key milestones in the never ceasing revolutions of time were much important to the Mayas than they are to modern Americans We use those cycles of time to celebrate For the Maya time and dates and their passages were THE driving force in the day to day practical and spiritual lives of the MayaThe sole reference to the infamous 122112 date comes from a small ruin at Tortuguero not far from the better known site of Palenue in Mexico Stuart writes On a large slabit reads in glyphs that thirteen bak'tuns will end on a date that corresponds to 122112” This is the only reference to that specific date and from that alone has come a multitude of speculation over what this actually meansTime was so importantcontrolling it or at least the perception of controlling it became a key role within the ancient Maya communities Shaman priests who oversaw religious ceremonies were probably well versed in the messages and meanings of time as it was anciently structured what Mesoamerican cultures called the Order of Days using it as a framework to divine the reasons why the gods and what they represented rain for example did what they didStuart writes Time was not just a means of measuring the course of history but was also ashaping force in human experiencetime was an actor invested with personality and character who shaped the very nature of history itselfThe author compares the Aztecs and Mayas who had similar roots in their cultures and comparably deep devotion to calendrical cycles One Spanish Friar who spent nearly his entire life living near Mexico City in the decades following the Conuest wrote The characters glyphs representing the days also taught the Indian nations the days on which they were to sow reap till the land cultivate corn weed harvest store shell the ears of corn sow beans and flasxseedReligion was also deeply connected to the calendar and times of year The complex calendrical interpretations became a merger of almanac and bible In the minds of Maya kings time's character evidently held power and influence than they themselves did The role of the ruler was to harness and manage time” wrote StuartStuart analyzes many of the glyphs the Maya used in tracking time while diving deeply into the mechanics of Maya time keeping The book includes detailed images and drawings many of which are Stuart's own work The transcription of their designs is eual parts art and science as Stuart often views the glyphs through the eyes of an art historian in determining their root meanings and genesis For example the glyph that represents the idea of 'year' or ha'b is supposed to be in the shape of a certain type of drum Stuart theorizes that the symbol ties in with the use of drums during seasonal festivals and celebrations and so became a metaphor for the marking of timeIn order to understand the Maya basis for having inscribed dates throughout Mesoamerica Stuart builds a foundation for understanding their calendar Or rathercalendars The Maya loved their day keeping so much that they had different calendars for different thingsThe 260 day divinatory tzolk'in “was the calendar most important in prognostication and divination acts that themselves give a sense of order and meaning” One possible reason for the 260 day focus is that it corresponds with the span of human gestation the life and physical cycle of the world in which we liveA 365 day calendar called ha'b provided a framework for communal agricultural festivals and ceremonies and complemented the esoteric nature of the 260 day tzolk'
David Stuart ´ 2 Review
The Order of DaysS a fascination and accurate trip through Mayan culture and belief Stuart shows how the idea that the end of the Mayan calendar which supposedly heralds the end of our own existence says far about our culture than about the ancient Maya The Order of Days explores how the real intellectual achievement of ancient Maya timekeeping and worldview is far impressive and remarkable than any of the popular and often outrageous claims about this advanced civilizationAs someone who has studied the Maya for nearly all of his life and who specializes in reading their ancient texts Stuart sees the hubbub as the most recent in. David Stuart has claims to being one of the greatest Mayanists in history being one of the instrumental figures in the decipherment of the Mayan writing system This book however only deals peripherally on that subject Here Stuart gives a detailed study of the Mayan calender system and it's concept of time In the process he touches on Mayan culture mythology history and mathematics The Mayan calender was made up of many different interlocking cycles; there were 360 day years and 200 day years and 50 year cycles and 20 day months and on and on These cycles intersected with each other in complicated ways forming the pattern of ritual that determined the pulse of Mayan life