Seattle, WA (PRWEB) June 11, 2012
After decades of intensive study of Mayan stone carvings researchers have deciphered many Mayan glyphs and learned how these for long time mysterious texts translate into spoken language. From completely unknown writing system we can now read entire texts commemorating life of kings and queens, describing historical events, religious believes and even revealing works of Mayan literature. Apart from their writing system Maya civilization had also developed skills in mathematics and astronomy which led to creation of Mayan calendar. Unlocking secret to this calendar was a question of understanding the Mayan number system, identifying symbols representing names of the days, glyphs and numbers identifying time periods, collecting drawings and photographs of stone carvings, and examining different calendar dates. Knowledge of Mayan base-20 mathematics and symbols for periods of time provide clue not only to the Mayan method of counting days, but along with astronomical observations gives us reference between Gregorian calendar and Mayan calendar. Mayan calendar starts with so called Long Count of 0.0.0.0.0 on the day of 4 Ahau 8 Kumk'u, known as Mayan Date of Creation, which corresponds to August 11, 3114 BC. This information and ability to read mayan texts provided building blocks for creation of a new smart device app, which speaks date in Mayan language. Maya Stone Calendar comes to life on iPhone and iPad. Thanks to archeologists, linguists, historians, and other researchers, Mayan calendar, this beautiful ancient work of art and science, is now preserved hopefully forever.
Mayan writing seems to be very complex at first. Their glyphs representing syllables and words are combined together to create new words. Two glyphs can be laid down side by side, or one on top of another, small representation of one glyph can be inserted inside another glyph, glyphs can change their shape, size and orientation. How can anyone learn such a complex writing system? It is not as difficult as it may seem. Evolution of graphical user interface in computer technology allowed programmers and graphic designers to create new way of representing objects, actions and ideas in form of computer icons. Paper calendar icon, for example, represents calendar app or scheduling software, postage stamp may represent email client, small red badge with number "2" on top of this postage stamp tells us "you have 2 new email messages". Every user of a desktop computer, smart phone, or tablet device, works daily with icons and can understand meaning of tens, or even hundreds of icons and their combination. So after centuries of evolution of our society we have rediscovered the world of hieroglyphs, similar to the one used by ancient Maya civilization. Now we can see that writing system of the Maya is not as strange as we have originally thought.
One does not necessarily have to be a Mayan linguist to discover how Mayan calendar works, when playing with it's electronic version. Maya Stone Calendar app provides calendar in form of Sun Stone and Stela with it's End of The World Countdown. Sun stone is made of stone rings with Mayan symbols. Stone rings rotate in order to set particular date of the Mayan calendar. The inner two rotating rings represent "Tzolk'in date" which is defined by combination of a Tzolk'in day name and a number. The outer two rotating rings represent Haab' date defined by combination of Haab month and a number for each day of the month. The official Mayan date as shown on Stela is composed of combination of Tzolk'in date, Haab' date, and another measure of time called Long Count, which has 5 periods of B'ak'tun, K'atun, Tun, Winal and K'in. Just as mayan writing, mayan calendar seems to be very complex at first, but closer examination shows that it is no more difficult than Gregorian calendar and would pose no problem using it today. If today's mayan date is 6 Manik' 10 Sotz' and Apple is going to make a big announcement in 4 days, it is clear that the announcement will happen on the date of 10 Chuwen 14 Sotz'. Let's hope that Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, which is going to take place on these days, will introduce new devices where Maya Stone Calendar could find new home.
Mayan date 12 B'ak'tun, 19, K'atun, 19 Tun, 16 Winal, 2 Kin - 5 Ik' 5 Keh sounds very long and complicated, but Tuesday, November 13, 2 Thousand, 0 Hundred, 12 Years is just as mouthful, but both represent the day of Solar eclipse as predicted by Maya Stone Calendar app.
Let's play a game: Become famous archeologist, who is trying to decipher Mayan Calendar.
1. Start the app and write down combination of Mayan glyphs representing today's date.
2. Rotate the rings to select next day and write down combination of glyphs.
3. Continue until you discover a pattern of repeating cycles (years). You will find out that the three Mayan date systems mentioned earlier have different number of days of these repeating cycles. How many days does Tzolk'in year have? How long Haab' year is? How many days Long Count have in the full cycle of Winal and Kin?
4. Find out why is December 21, 2012 so significant, that it draws attention of enthusiasts from all over the world. Does Mayan calendar predict The End of The World? Are we heading for 2012 Apocalypse?
The author will leave the answers to the reader.
The app allows to set any date in history and speaks the date in Mayan language. It was very interesting to hear my birth date in Maya. What about yours? What it sounds like to hear in Mayan language the date, when Christopher Columbus arrived in America? Maya Stone Calendar for iPhone/iPad can whisper it to those who are curious.
iTunes App Store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/maya-stone-calendar/id483942457