Revista Digital Universitaria
Revista Digital Universitaria ISSN: 1607 - 6079 | Publicación mensual | 1 de mayo de 2013 vol.14, No.5


Long Count in function of the haab’ and its Venus-Moon relation: application in Chichén Itzá

Geraldine Ann Patrick Encina

If the 365 k’in of a haab’ are considered equivalent to a tropical year, thirteen Bak’tun amount to 5128 years plus 280 days, a lapse of time where there fit 3208 synodic cycles of Venus (plus 26 days) and 63434 synodic cycles of the Moon. Having this hypothesis as a starting point, I proceeded to look for a Venus-Moon event that may have inspired creators of the Long Count to establish the starting point (zero point date) and the closing of such long cycle, so relevant to the culture that inherited this calendrical system, the Maya culture. The prime role of Venus on the Creation day was identified in two hieroglyphic texts, while the Moon age is told in a third text. I was able to interpret that Venus was eight days from emerging as an evening star, on which moment it appeared accompanied by the Moon on its first visibility, also in the west sky. Knowing the position of both celestial bodies on the zero date, I looked for an event of the same characteristics around December 2012 –the date most preferred by Mayanists for–, finding it until May 3, 2013, a date thus equal to 4 Ajaw 3 K’ank’in. The zero point date is 5128 years plus 280 days behind, i.e., on July 27, 3117 BC. A series of dates tied to LC are correlated –including Dresden eclipse base dates and a date with lunar series found in Chichén Itzá–, as well as some colonial dates (all of which have been discussed in the specialized literature), showing excellent results. Since the haab’ is a tropical-year calendar, 3 K’ank’in is always May 3, and therefore 0 Pop is always August 13. Dates of the beginning and end of the winal (twenty-day cycles) are compared with dates of hierophanic events in the Temple of the Jaguars and El Castillo, Chichén Itzá, finding that they occur exactly on the starting dates. The conclusion is that determined alignments are sustained in the tropical year cycle haab’ which was part of the imbricate system of calendars being used in the Classic and Postclassic periods by the Maya culture, and which survived in Yucatan well into the Colonial period, up to 1618 and beyond.

Keywords: Tropical year; haab’; 13 Bak’tun; Chichén Itzá; August 13; Venus-Moon.