Mysteries of the Mayan Calendar

Overview

December 21, 2012, marks the final date on the last known Mayan calendar. Did the Maya, who lived more than a thousand years ago, believe the world would end on this date? Revisit this extraordinary culture and the theories surrounding their mysterious calendar.

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Overview

December 21, 2012, marks the final date on the last known Mayan calendar. Did the Maya, who lived more than a thousand years ago, believe the world would end on this date? Revisit this extraordinary culture and the theories surrounding their mysterious calendar.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Responding to publicity about the imminent end of a Mayan calendar, the "Crabtree Chrome" series adds a title about the mysterious Mayan culture to its list of disasters, battles, and heroes. Intrigued by claims the world would end December 21, 2012, some people prophesied the worst, while others journeyed to Central America to visit and celebrate at Mayan sites. Readers will learn that over a thousand years ago, Mayans built great stone cities in present-day Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. They pacified fierce gods (personified by jaguars, eagles, rain, rainbows, and the Sun) with blood from human hearts, and even sacrificed losing players at sacred ball games. Besides being skilled stoneworkers, the Mayas excelled at astronomy and mathematics, producing complex picture writing and calendars, some recording 260 days and some 365 days. The calendar in question is called the "Long Count," though the Mayas believed in cycles of time—when one ended, another began. They celebrated a safe ending and the opportunity of a fresh start for the world. Young historians may be surprised to discover there are Mayas today, who follow a calendar of 260 days and have stated that the world would not end in December of 2012. Author Pipe includes information about Mayan picture writing, codices, and intricate stelae carved with strange Mayan gods and rulers. He stresses that there have always been doomsday tales, from a wandering planet threatening Earth to exploding stars and alien invasions. Illustrations are color photos of stone buildings, carved calendars, codex pages (especially beautiful is one from the Dresden Codex, depicting a dragon and a flood), and some Maya festivals of today. Though we don't know what happened to the ancient Mayan civilization, books and websites listed will help with research. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780778779230
  • Publisher: Crabtree Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 12/28/2012
  • Series: Crabtree Chrome Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 11 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Table of Contents

An Ancient Riddle 4

The Mysterious Maya 8

Clues to the End 20

Written in Stone 30

Tall Tales 40

Learning More 46

Glossary 47

Index 48

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