With Aldana’s thorough discussion on the correlation issue in mind I thought that I should briefly mention another ”correlation” between the Long Count (LC) and the Christian calendar that is launched as the “true” one. This is Carl Johan Calleman’s claim that the LC ends on Friday the 28th of October 2011, more than a year before other people claim it “ends.” As should be clear to readers of this blog I am not of the opinion that the calendar was designed to end on a particular date (13 Baktun/Pik), but among the “2012ers” (and here I also include Calleman) this end date is believed to be a fact beyond doubt.
I have now read Calleman’s book “The Purposeful Universe: How Quantum Theory and Mayan Cosmology Explain the Origin and Evolution of Life”, published in 2009. I intend to cover parts of it on this blog later on since I have promised that I will deal with Monument 6 at Tortuguero and Aveni’s 2012 book first. This post is an exception since it deals with an alternative “correlation.” Calleman’s book is an attempt to merge science and religion (something quite common in the 2012 circus). His book ranges from the creation of the universe and galaxies down to the cellular and atomic levels in order to show that the universe was designed to create consciousness. Given the range of his holistic enterprise the coverage on several of the levels is quite sketchy apart from his old expertise in research on the cellular level. More on that later on but I can just say that I have quite a lot to say about his treatment of the fossil record. I agree with him that neodarwinism has several problems but our solutions are worlds apart.
Central to Calleman’s idea is the LC but not the ordinary LC in five levels but rather a longer one in nine levels that is unknown in the hieroglyphic record (there are longer recorded LCs but Calleman apparently ignores them). For him these nine levels represent “Underworlds”, each 20 times longer than the lower level. These are divided into thirteen sublevels or “Heavens”. These terms are his own although they are inspired by the old Thompsonian idea that the Underworld consisted of nine levels and the Heavens consisted of thirteen levels. In my view, Nielsen and Reunert have proven beyond doubt that this multilayered universe reflects Christian ideas rather than ancient Mesoamerican ideas. The ancient Maya probably referred to various regions rather than hierarchical layers. In any case, for Calleman all these levels are quantized and represent quantum leaps in time and evolution of consciousness. I will discuss this in another post.
The supposed end of the LC is 13 Baktun or 220.127.116.11.0 as is the common convention of recording this in modern literature. This means 13 baktuns, 0 katuns, 0 tuns, 0 winals, and 0 k’ins since the creation date. Along with this LC date are tzolkin and haab dates. These are 4 Ajaw 3 K’ank’in for the “end” date. Now, Calleman, for reasons discussed below, believes this was wrong. He is convinced that the end date should all record 13 in all levels and even the tzolkin date should be 13 (but as I will show, not the haab date). According to Calleman the calendar ends on 18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.13 13 Ajaw (Ahau), not 126.96.36.199.0 4 Ajaw 3 K’ank’in. As far as I know there is only one recorded date where the LC ends on 13 in the k’in position. On page 52 of the Dresden codex we find the era date 188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.13 (13 x 13) but there is no 13 Ajaw date associated with this date. This is not the one Calleman seems to refer to.
There are several major distortions of the Maya calendar going on in Calleman’s world. Calleman criticizes Jenkins for distorting the Maya calendar but Jenkins is actually far more accurate. In Calleman’s book (p 44) he places his nine period/rhythms within a pyramidal shape with the largest period/rhythm at the bottom of the pyramid. Not only does this reverse the order of LC positions on monuments where the highest period is placed at the top, it also gives a single column of dates rather than the double column in which the calendar inscriptions originally were recorded.
Calleman even invents his own period! Winals are no longer existent in Calleman’s calendar although they are quite common on Classic period Maya monuments. A winal is a period of 20 days (k’ins) and 18 winals equals one tun (360 days). The tun is for Calleman the crucial unit/constant in his home made system. Twenty tuns equal a katun and twenty katuns equals a baktun, etc. In Calleman’s system the tun must therefore be divided by twenty rather than by eighteen. Hence, the winal is replaced by the oxlahunkin, a period of 18 days. I just wonder what two days he has erased…
Further, even if the calendar would “end” on the k’in position 13, the tzolkin can never be Ajaw (Ahau), but rather B’en. Ajaw is always associated with 0 or period endings in the LC. Hence, Calleman must therefore argue that there is a completely different correlation between the tzolkin and the LC than is known from the epigraphic record (and remember that he has erased two days from a system that is dependent on there being 20 days). I also must emphasize that this 13 Ajaw that Calleman proposes also coincides with 8 Sak in the haab and G3 in the Lord of the Night cycle. Now should not Calleman set his “end” date to something like 13 Ajaw 13 Pop G9 if he wanted it to be accurate?
How does Calleman solve the problem that arises from the fact that Ajaw cannot end on 13 in the k’in position of the LC? It is easy, he just erases the final position of the real LC as well. The k’in/day position is gone! What does this actually mean (apart from the fact that the day is the actual unit/constant in the LC, not the tun)? It means that in order for Calleman to equate his 9 “Underworlds” with his estimate of the age of the universe he needs to erase one position of the LC! In fact, in order to reach 13 hablatuns (16.4 billion years BC) in the real LC (the one actually recorded on ancient monuments not fabricated by a contemporary Swedish pseudoscientist) you’ll need ten (10) levels. Nine levels only get you back to 820 million years BC. Since this does not fit his preconceived schema of nine Underworlds he sees no problem in manipulating the calendar.
If one uses the GMT correlation constant and enters 28th of October 2011 in a Maya calendar converter one ends up at 13 Ajaw. Apparently Calleman uses the GMT correlation like most other people. So how did Calleman come up with the 13 Ajaw end date? According to this web page the end date set at December 21, 2012 is the consequence of Formative period Izapans setting the beginning day at August 12, during a solar zenith. The logical “end” date from this perspective is in 2012 according to Calleman. However, he argues that this is not what the Maya initially had targeted. Calleman says that “the creation cycles described by the Maya, including the tzolkin, are fundamentally of a spiritual, non-astronomical, nature. Thus, any theory that implies that the Mayan Long Count would have been designed to reflect astronomical phenomena, be it the precession of the earth or a solar zenith, is a warning signal that its originator is off the mark. It should be obvious that if the Mayan calendar is a prophetic calendar describing cosmic energy cycles of a universal nature then the particular date at which the sun was in zenith in the particular location of Izapa is totally irrelevant for us who live today and must be considered as nothing but a result of a tradition too strong to be changed.”
Apparently Calleman is completely unaware of the astronomical data used to correlate the LC with the Christian calendar. His usage of GMT depends on astronomical correlations that he at the same time criticizes… He also relies on the skeptical notion that the LC was invented at Izapa and that it relates to a solar zenith. That is only an idea developed by archaeoastronomers relying on the GMT correlation which Aldana has shown to be highly problematic.
On this web page Calleman continues and says that “since the Long Count consists of exactly 7200 tzolkin rounds then the true end of creation must fall on a day that is 13 Ahau in the tzolkin count so that the tzolkin rounds even out. If we want to find out what is the real date of ending of the creation cycles we must therefore look for a day around the year 2012, which is 13 Ahau in the tzolkin count. The inscriptions in Palenque, written about a thousand years after the Long Count was devised in Izapa, seem to indicate that the date of relevance is October 28, 2011, which in fact is 13 Ahau in the tzolkin count.”
I do not know what Palenque data he is referring to but the tzolkin does not have a beginning or end. The “end date” of the twenty tzolkin days is only zero in the k’in position of the LC but it does not necessarily mean that the tzolkin itself had an end date. Calleman’s idea that the tzolkin rounds should even out at 13 Baktun is completely inconsistent with his own invented calendar. 13 Baktun equals 1,872,000 days. Divide this with 260 and you’ll get 7,200 tzolkin rounds. However, Calleman claims that 13 Baktun is wrong, the four lowest coefficients in his calendar (remember, no k’in and winal positions) are 13 (x 144,000), 13 (x 7,200), 13 (x 360), and 13 (x18). This equals 1,970,514 days. Divide this with 260 and you’ll get 7578.9 tzolkin rounds. Hence, in Calleman’s own system the tzolkin rounds do not even out which he suggests it should… But the tzolkin rounds do even out in the real system and that is why we have 4 Ajaw at both known 13 Baktun dates.
In the third video of his interview with Mark van Stone he has included this information: “A prophecy related by Don Alejandro Oxlaj, spokesman of the contemporary Mayan Council of Elders in Guatemala, says that ‘The time of the 13 Baktun and 13 Ahau is the time of the Return of our Ancestors and the Return of the Men of Wisdom.’”
This is to Calleman evidence that the ancient LC, as inscribed on lowland monuments, was wrong and that contemporary highland Maya, who did not use the LC until recently (it has become part of the Maya revitalization process), knows better than the ancients. Hence, Calleman believes there is some sort of hidden continuity between his own calendar and Oxlaj’s. No such continuity exists for reasons mentioned in Aldana’s essay.
Calleman’s calendar is complete bogus and I will let you know what I think about his research that depends on his so called “periodic system of evolution” in the future.