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The Great Ancient Mayans

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The Mayan calendar ended on December 21st, 2012. Did the Mayans accurately predict the exact date of the shift in consciousness on Earth? Did this date usher in a new era of human enlightenment?

About the Mayas

Located in Southern Mexico, in the Tumbala mountains lie the ruins of the Ancient Mayan City of Palenque established around 1800 B.C. This ancient area was populated for about 2000 years and abandoned by the 9th century and the Mayan people vanished. Only 10% of Palenque has been excavated to date. With limited resources, the Maya built cities like Palenque across the region with incredible architectural precision for ancient times.

They built a functioning civilization in the jungle, able to support a huge population, 20–30 times what the population is today. Scholars regard them as one of the most sophisticated and complex civilizations in the ancient world. The Mayans were advanced in astronomy, architecture, agriculture, engineering, mythology, religion, and language. There are four cities associated with the four cardinal directions: (West) Palenque: The Western Capital, (South) Copan, (East) Tikal, and (North) Calakmul

The City of Palenque

The Palace of Palenque was discovered in the late 18th century by Spanish explorers. This Royal compound is the largest and most complex found in the Mayan world. Researchers believe a four-story tower structure in the middle of the palace was built as an observatory tower for the kings and priests to observe celestial sky events of the sun and stars. Also, throughout the palace are T-shaped windows pointing to the sky that have baffled archaeologists for centuries. The tower at The Palace of Palenque is just one of many celestial observatories built throughout the Maya territories. 

The Mayans’ practical system of adding astronomy to their monuments was an observational one. The design of buildings was intended to create sightlines and vantages to see and mark important astronomical events. Temples were designed to align to specific important moments in time such as the equinox and solstices.

The City of Chichen Itza

In the Mexican state of Yucatan lie the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza. In the 10th century, the Maya built the El Caracol Observatory. It has four doors on the bottom that can be used as observation points. Additionally, it has a number of windows on top with 2 ½ windows remaining directed at the sun and moon and used for stars and planets. The ancients were tracking Venus, the phases of the moon, and eclipses. They understood Venus morning star and Venus evening star as the same star which was rarely done in the history of humankind. The star was oftentimes seen as two different entities. The Maya invented a mathematical system we still use today called Place value of Zero. Using Place value of Zero allows you to make enormous calculations, numbers that are very very large.

The most intriguing astronomical accomplishment of the Maya is their understanding of the slow change in the Earth’s rotational axis in space called Precession. It is a process taking more than 26,000 years to complete. The Maya developed these timekeeping skills by monitoring movements and predicting the movements of the sun, moon, Venus, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, and some of the constellations. Ten times more pyramids were constructed in ancient Mesoamerica than in ancient Egypt.



Sarcophagus of The Mayan Lord Pakal

Lord Pakal the Mayan King

The Mayans believed their Ancient rulers were of otherworldly origins. During his nearly 70-year reign, Lord Kʼinich Janaab Pakal transformed Palenque from a destroyed city into one of the most important. He created the most significant inscriptions and monuments. The Temple of the Inscriptions is the most famous pyramid in all of the Mayan World. The stone sarcophagus lid of Lord Pakal has produced much controversy as to what is depicted on it. Mainstream Scholars believe the depiction is of Lord Pakal on a journey into the Underworld. However, Ancient Astronaut Theorists believe the King is depicted seated at the controls of a spacecraft at an angle upon liftoff. He is manipulating some controls, has a breathing apparatus or telescope in front of his face, and his feet are on some type of pedal and the bottom looks like an exhaust with flames. He has been dubbed, “The Palenque Astronaut.”

God Kukulkan, or the Great Feathered Serpent

God Kukulkan or the Great Feathered Serpent, is one of the major deities of the Mayans. He brought great knowledge in math, astronomy, and many forms of science. His image is across the Mayan world, on carved images on stone. God Kukulkan is depicted as a plumed serpent, some would say a dragon or a snake with wings. God Kukulkan disappeared with the promise to return one day. Even today in some Mayan cultures, he is revered as their great God who brought teachings and civilization to them.


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The Hieroglyphic Stairway

In Central America and Western Honduras, are the impressive ruins of the Ancient Maya city of Copan. Researchers have been drawn to a 72-step structure called The Hieroglyphic Stairway. The Hieroglyphic Stairway at Copan was constructed in the early 700s A.D. with the intent of writing out their history. The hieroglyphs are also attached to the origins, lineage, and genealogies of the Kings. The Mayan Kings went to great lengths to demonstrate how they were connected to their ancestors and to establish their right to rule. Designed as a public monument to glorify the success of all Kings from Kʼinich Yax Kʼukʼ Moʼ to the 13th ruler, Uaxaclajuun Ub’aah K’awiil — — who commissioned The Hieroglyphic Stairway to be built. 

Carved into 1200 stones, the ancient Maya symbols known as glyphs are one of the oldest most sophisticated systems of writing. For centuries, the glyphs could not be deciphered, until 1880 when German librarian and Anthropologist Ernst Forstemann cracked the code. Ernst Forstemann kept one of four Maya books, The Dresden Codex. He was able to figure out the Mayan calligraphy. The Maya hieroglyphic writing has two components. There are Lographs which are pictures that represent entire words. The second is called phonetic complements, which are images representing sounds. 



The Maya Creation Story

In Chicago, Illinois, in the Newberry Library, is the Mayan manuscript known as The Popol Vuh meaning The Book of The People. Written in the 16th century, The Popol Vuh talks about the creation of the Universe, and in the beginning, all was darkness and there was a primordial sea. The Creators were Male and Female, spoke the word, and with the word, the Earth and animals were created. The Popol Vuh is a combination of The Book of Chronicles and The Book of Genesis. It tells the story of battles between the gods and connects the creation of the world to the present day through the Kings of the K’iche’

The Popol Vuh is the only complete Maya creation myth we have. Certain Deities manifested themselves physically in certain periods of time to decide what decisions would be made for Humanity. 

The Mayan Calendar

There are legends in the Mayan world telling the end day of the Mayan calendar which ended on December 12, 2012, as an apocalypse day. The Tortuguero Monument, a site near Palenque, is the only inscription in stone mentioning the 2012 end date of the calendar. It speaks of nine gods descending to Earth, but no one knows exactly what it means. Some suggest it could mean a dawn of a new age in which we move into a more conscious way of life. Did the Mayans accurately predict the exact date of the shift in consciousness on Earth or some Earth-changing event? Did this date usher in a new era of human enlightenment?


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