By Keith Hunter
The Long Count Mayan Calendar – A 13 Baktun Countdown
"Quite a number of well respected researchers in the field of Maya Studies have attested to the fact that in all likelihood, the Maya of Central America were well aware of the astronomical phenomenon that is precession . And indeed, knowledge of this celestial motion is critical, were one to attempt to forecast a future alignment of the earth at winter solstice, the sun, and the galactic equator of the Milky Way.
Now, as already stated elsewhere, it is the general consensus that the Maya established the Long Count Calendar system sometime in the mid first millennium BC. And also, as per the work of certain theorists not entirely a part of the mainstream, that their express intention in doing so was to synchronise the completion of 13 Baktun periods with the noted future alignment involving the galactic equator. (NB: 1 Baktun = 144000 days. See the Long Count for a complete breakdown of the time cycles as compose the calendar). This theory thus clearly posits a singular purpose for the Long Count Mayan Calendar.
In the work of John M. Jenkins, whom one may regard as perhaps the most prominent individual in support of the ‘galactic alignment theory’, it is often stated that the Maya targeted an era - specifically the present era - when the purported galactic alignment would occur. This would appear to be a subtle way of saying that, whilst of course they strove for accuracy, extreme accuracy would not appear to have been essential to the venture which was their calendar. And thus essentially, sometime circa 500 BC, after conducting numerous observations that may well have stretched back in time many hundreds of years, the Maya fixed the Long Count to deliberately target what they had determined to be the closest earth winter solstice, as would coincide with a future sun-galactic equator crossover."
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Experts: Plenty of Mayan prophecies, but none of 2012 apocalypse
Experts stressed that the ancient Mayas, whose 'classic' culture of writing, astronomy and temple complexes flourished from A.D. 300 to 900, were extremely interested in future events, far beyond Dec. 21.
The Christian Science Monitor