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Interactive courtesy of Alicia Ramirez http://www.aliciaramirez.com

True or False?:
The Mayan Calendar is more precise than the Gregorian Calendar we use today True: Amazingly the Mayan estimate of the year of 365.242036 days was more precise than our Gregorian calendar year of 365.2425 days by 40.0896 seconds.  

The Vague Year or haab is 365 days like our calendar.  It had 18 months of 20 days each, with an ominous five-day period at the end in which all sorts of bad luck and death may occur.  It was based on agriculture, the seasons and solar cycles.  The 18 Maya months are: Pop, Uo, Zip, Zotz, Tzec, Xuc, Yaxkin, Mol, Chen, Yax, Zac, Ceh, Mac, Kankin, Maun, Pax, Kayab and Cumku.

Museo de America

Mathematicians and Astrologers

Madrid for kids

The Ancient Mayans were definitely ahead of their time as far as Nothing is concerned.  That's right, they came up with nothing 800 years before anyone in Europe.  OK, not nothing but the concept of Zero.  They constructed numbers from a shell symbol, dot and dash.  Because the base of the number system was 20, larger numbers were written down in powers of 20.  We do that in our decimal system but to the power of 10.  For us 32 is 3x10+2.  In the Maya system, this would be 1x20+12, because they used 20 as base.  Mayan numbers were written vertically from bottom to top, ours are horizontal from right to left..  

Another good calculator is located here

2012 The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar completes a 'great cycle' of thirteen b'ak'tuns (periods of 144,000 days each)

official countdown to December 21, 2012 11:11 am

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