Ages and Ages

The Book of Chilam Balam talks about the changing of the eras from katun to katun, the character of each defining each period much like the signs of the zodiac do in astrology. This is fine as an exercise but is it really intended to map out history?

In the book The Mayan Calendar and the Transformation of Consciousness by Carl Johan Calleman, he tries to do just that. His breaking down the historical periods by the characteristics outlined by the katuns sounds good but such an exercise is always highly subjective. (Just check out the lists on listverse to see what I mean.)

Sure, you can pick out an era of war, political overthrow, drought or famine. Practically every year in history has something like that somewhere on the planet.

But before I even got to that part of his very detailed and scholarly book, I was put off by the argument he was building. Perhaps I misunderstood what he was saying, or perhaps there was a typo, but there was a statement on page 85 that said some scientists theorized there was a crystalline structure at the core of the Earth. Then, one page later, he says since “the only thing we know for certain” is the crystalline structure at the core…

Since his theory was based on this bit of information, it sort of fell apart for me.

Still, the historical breakdown was interesting, even if it told me more about the author than about the Maya. I don’t think a person can create such a list without having to first decide what is important in history and what one might decide is important, others might find of minimal importance.

I am not certain what the Mayan Calendar and their End-Date has to do with the content of the Books of Chilam Balam, but it is a very interesting study.

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