For the rest of you people out there, those without a PhD in physical biology, the above quote may be groundbreaking news. This quote and other similar words of wisdom can be found at Haniel.se, a blog/website written by a former colleague of Calleman. He has been in the New Age business of Mayanism for almost 15 years as far as I can tell. It is fantastic that one can be an “expert” on the Maya for a decade and a half and still know so little about them. In short, he worked with Calleman for several years but has now come to the insight that the Maya Elders do not approve of the various “end dates” and therefore not only Calleman but also all others are wrong. I will give you the most revealing parts of his transcript of one of his talks.
As usual the New Agers get the archaeological data wrong and understands the calendar in their own distorted way. His attitude is that nothing has happened in Maya studies since Eric Thompson’s death in the mid-1970s! I am sure that is true in his world since he refers to the hieroglyphs as symbols (as esoteric symbols that is). Most glyphs are primarily phonetic in nature.
He sets the Postclassic to 843-1220 AD and after that the Maya left their “blue cities”. That is incorrect. I suggest Haniel check out Mayapan, Tulum, and why not Tayasal. Most monumental architecture was dominated by red colors. Haniel also claims that the Aztecs received the tzolkin from the Maya, and that is also incorrect. I am sure that he believes the Aztec calendar stone also represent the Long Count (a common misunderstanding among 2012ers). This is probably why Haniel refers to the Fifth cycle of the Sun. This is an idea that existed among the Aztecs and the Postclassic Maya also had an idea of several creations. However, it is an unknown concept in Classic and Preclassic Maya inscriptions and art.
It is always annoying when Calleman, and in his former colleague in this case, argues that the Long Count has nothing to do with astronomy. It actually does from one perspective, from the most basic perspective. The smallest temporal unit is the day/sun and if the sun is not considered to be an astronomical object I do not know what is. He also states with confidence that the Maya did not have a lunar calendar. This is wrong, lunar data is found on monuments with a Long Count date.
I suggest Haniel read something written by professional Mayanists. David Stuart’s book “The Order of Days” should be a good introduction. Here he will find the ancient Maya conceptualization of the Long Count calendar. After that maybe he will not write obvious mistakes and state that “the Maya say that the Tun-Count, the foundation to the December 21:st, 2012 date; was lost in the 800′s AD, when the Mayans abandoned the lowlands. This is when they lost the their count. Since the 1600s, we also can find variations in the Haab calendar dates.” Apparently Haniel is unaware of the Short Count, the 13 Katun cycle that was used until the late 1600s (at Tayasal). A katun is 20 tuns.
As I have mentioned before, most Maya Elders have little to no knowledge about the Long Count and the ancient Maya. What they now know is primarily the result of research by non-Maya. They are of course entitled to their view but the argument that they know better because they are Maya is just political correctness of the worst kind. I am from Sweden, the “land of the Vikings”. I do not know much about them and I am sure there are Mexicans or Guatemalans that know more about Vikings than me. I do not have problem with that. The Maya Elders are not carriers of ancient pure knowledge, they are carriers of contemporary agenda(s).
The correlation issue is complex and it is clear that Haniel knows nothing about the black-boxed arguments hidden in this debate. I am not in favor of the 21 December, 2012 date but it is at least partly supported by some available data. The fact is that the GMT -correlation depends on continuity of the tzolkin in the highlands of Guatemala, the same calendar that the Maya Elders use so one cannot claim that the ancient Maya 4 Ajaw date can be replaced by 13 Ajaw. The whole 13 Baktun nonsense has been infiltrating the Maya Elders for some time now. The Elders emphasize the 13 Ajaw date, but the ancient Maya monuments emphasize 4 Ajaw. To state that the “end” of 13 Baktun should fall on a 13 Ajaw date instead of 4 Ajaw simply shows that one has not understood how the calendars work. Hence, we can at least rule out Calleman’s date since it is mathematically impossible.
In one way Haniel is correct, but from a completely different reason. He says that the proposed “end dates” have no support from the Maya (I assume he means the Maya Elders). Indeed, there is no end date or a countdown at all. If we follow David Stuart’s conclusion, the Long Count is just a short-hand version of the true Long Count (as seen at Coba). The whole length of this Long Count is 71,8 Octillion years (27 zeros). We are a little more than halfway through that Looooong Count. From that perspective the whole 13 Baktun circus is completely pointless.