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THE UNIVERSITY 

OF ILLINOIS 

LIBRARY 



FA 
vl"? 



A#V 



**#■ 



THE LIBRARY OF THE 

SEP 2 7 1937 

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS 



Field Museum of Natural History 

Publication 241 

Anthropological Series Vol. XVII, No. 1 



A CORRELATION OF THE MAYAN 
AND EUROPEAN CALENDARS 



BY 

J. Eric Thompson 

Assistant Curator of Mexican and South American Archaeology 



Berthold Laufer 
Curator of Anthropology 

EDITOR 




Chicago, U. S. A. 

January, 1927 



PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 
BY FIELD MUSEUM PRESS 



v '/7 



INTRODUCTORY NOTE 

The correlation suggested in this publication was first proposed as 
long ago as 1905 by J. T. Goodman ("Maya Dates," American Anthropo- 
logist, New Series, Volume VII). At that time Goodman's correlation 
was unanimously rejected by his fellow students of Mayology. The 
chronicle of Oxkutzcab was then unknown, and the astronomical infor- 
mation contained both in the Dresden Codex and the monuments had 
not been worked out. The present contribution is offered, not in the 
sure conviction that the correlation is correct, but in the sincere belief 
that it bears more evidence of being the true correlation than others yet 
published. There is always the possibility that the Maya time machine 
had broken down before the arrival of the Spaniards, in which case a 
day for day correlation based entirely on astronomical evidence may 
eventually be accepted. 

I should like to express my gratitude to Mr. T. A. Joyce of the 
British Museum, and Dr. S. G. Morley of the Carnegie Institution, 
through whose writings I first became acquainted with this fascinating 
subject. 



A CORRELATION OF THE MAYAN AND 
EUROPEAN CALENDARS 

BY J. ERIC THOMPSON 



THE GENERAL PROBLEM 

A day for day correlation of the Maya and European chronologies, 
providing the Maya day count continued to function unimpaired up to 
the time of the arrival of the Spaniards, must be based on two distinct 
and unrelated sets of evidence. 

(i) The historical data supplied in the books of Chilan Balaam and 
the writings of the Spanish priests and conquistadores. 

(2) The astronomical evidence contained in the monuments and the 
Dresden Codex. 

Unfortunately the historical evidence is to a large extent contradic- 
tory, and the astronomical data have been translated in two different 
ways. 

Correlations such as those of Bowditch and Morley have been based 
entirely on the historical data, and do not fit in with the astronomical 
evidence, whereas the correlations of Willson and Teeple based on 
astronomical evidence alone are utterly at variance with the historical 
evidence. 

Spinden's correlation was based on historical evidence, but subse- 
quently astronomical evidence has been interpreted to fit in with the 
historical correlation in a manner which the writer believes is not 
correct. 

The present correlation is an attempt to reconcile the historical and 
astronomical data. 

THE HISTORICAL EVIDENCE 

The historical evidence is very fully dealt with by Morley in "The 
Inscriptions at Copan," and therefore it is not presented here again in 
full. The evidence although in places very conflicting indicates that a 
Katun 13 Ahau ended between 1536 and 1541. The amount of evidence 
actually favors 1536 as the date of the close of the katun, but the most 
reliable information indicates the year 1539. This reliable document is 
a page of the Chronicle of Oxkutzcab, a collection of titles, family papers, 
births, etc., of the Xiu family, who prior to the Spanish conquest were 
one of the ruling families of Yucatan, and in all probability the most 



6 Correlation of Mayan and European Calendars 

important family in the land. Along with these family papers is a page 
of historical information of the time of the conquest signed below by 
Don Jhoan Xiu, and the statement that the signer had copied it from 
"an ancient book, namely in characters as they are called, Anares." 
Morley has pointed out that Anares is probably the same as "Analtehes," 
a word used to describe hieroglyphic manuscripts. 

The following is Gates' translation of this document. Dots represent 
places where the text is illegible. 

Page 66 of the Chronicle of Oxkutzcab 

153 . . The tun on 18 Yaxkin. The town was desolated because of the 
Maya dead in the year .... 

.... 5 Kan being the year-bearer on Pop 1 . . . . ahau the tun on 
7 Yaxkin. 

1535 6 Muluc the year-bearer on Pop 1 the tun on 11 Ceh. 

x 536 7 Ix the year-bearer on Pop 1, 3 ahau on 7 Yaxkin. 

x 537 8 Cauac on 1 Pop, when there died the rainbringers at Otzmal, 
namely Ahtz'un Tutul Xiu and Ahziyah Napuc Chi, and 
Namay Che and Namay Tun, and the priest Evan, .... men 
at Mani they were, rainbringers at Chichen Itza then, and 
there escaped Nahau Veeh, Napot Covoh. On 10 Zip it took 
place, in 12 Ahau it was, the tun on 2 Yaxkin, that it may be 
remembered. 

1538 9 Kan the year-bearer on Pop 1 , when there happened a hurricane 
causing death. 8 Ahau the tun on 16 Xul. 

*539 IO Muluc on Pop 1. 4 Ahau the tun on 11 Xul. 

1540 11 Ix on Pop 1. 13 Ahau the tun on 7 Xul. 

1 54 1 12 Cauac on Pop 1. 9 Ahau the tun on 2 Xul. 

1542 13 Kan on Pop 1 when the Spaniards founded the city Ti-Hoo 

[Merida] when they settled, and the tributes first began through 
those of Mani, and the province was established 5 Ahau on 
16 Tzec. 

1543 1 Muluc on Pop 1 when there died those of Tz'itz'omtun at the 

hands of the Spaniards in a battle, their captain being Alonso 
Lopez. 1 Ahau it happened on 1 1 Tzec. 

1544 2 Ix on Pop 1. 10 ahau on 6 Tzec. 

J 545 J 3 Cauac on Pop 1, when began Christianity through the friars 
here in the town. These were the names of the fathers, fray 
Luis Villapando, fray Diego de Vehar, fray Juan de la Puerta, 
fray Mechor de Benabente, fray Julio de Herrera, fray Angel 
.... they founded at the city Ti-Hoo 6 Ahau the tun on 1 Tzec. 



The Venus Calendar 



1532 


4 Cauac 


1533 


5 Kan 


1534 


6 Muluc 


1535 


7 Ix 


1536 


8 Cauac 


1537 


9 Kan 


1538 


10 Muluc 


1539 


11 Ix 


1540 


12 Cauac 


1541 


13 Kan 


1542 


1 Muluc 


1543 


2lx 


1544 


3 Cauac 



Now on the 29th of May in the year 1685 I have copied this from an 
ancient book, namely in characters as they are called Anares. 

I, Don Jhoan Xiu. 

Now changing the Christian years to correspond to the beginnings 
instead of the endings of the Mayan years, and correcting the month 
co-efficients and transferring them into the Old Empire style (i.e. 3, 8, 
13, and 18 instead of 2, 7, 12, and 17) and making the correction of 13 
Cauac to 3 Cauac, the following result is obtained : — 

4 Cauac was the year bearer. In this year ended the Tun 2 Ahau 3 Mol 

11 Ahau 18 Yaxkin 

7 Ahau 13 Yaxkin 

3 Ahau 8 Yaxkin 

12 Ahau 3 Yaxkin 

8 Ahau 18 Xul 

4 Ahau 13 Xul 

13 Ahau 8 Xul 

9 Ahau 3 Xul 

5 Ahau 18 Tzec 
1 Ahau 13 Tzec 

10 Ahau 8 Tzec 

6 Ahau 3 Tzec 

We then find that our Katun 13 Ahau which ends some time between 
1536 and 1542 is the Katun 13 Ahau 8 Xul which corresponds to 
1 1 -1 6-0-0-0 in the long count, and this will be taken as the basis of the 
correlation. If the Katun 13 Ahau did not end in 1539 then its positions 
in the long count would be either 12-9-0-0-0 13 Ahau 8 Kankin or 
13-2-0-0-0 13 Ahau 3 Zotz. With these three possibilities and taking 
into account that 1 Pop fell on July 16th [O.S.] in Landa's typical year 
x 553> l et us ta ke up the astronomical evidence in the codices and on the 
monuments. 1 

- THE VENUS CALENDAR 

The fact that the Mayas reckoned the Venus years in groups of five, 
making 2920 days equal to 8 years of 365 days, and that these five-year 

!The one-day shift. Some time in the course of the New Empire the month 
coefficient corresponding to any day sign dropped one place. That is, instead of a 
round number being, for example, 10 Akbal 1 Pop it became 10 Akbal o Pop. This 
change may have taken place in one of two ways either 
(0 or (2) 

9 Ik o Pop 9 Ik o Pop 

10 Akbal o Pop 1 1 Kan 1 Pop 

11 Kan 1 Pop 

That is, either a day of the month could have been repeated twice, or a day sign 
may have been dropped. The writer is inclined to favor the second method, as thereby 
the long count is less seriously affected. Acceptance of the second alternative means 
that Landa's typical year that commenced on 12 Kan 1 Pop would by old style have 
been 11 Akbal 1 Pop, and therefore o Pop fell on July 15th and not July 14th, as 
would happen if the first method was followed. 



8 Correlation of Mayan and European Calendars 

groups were further reckoned in groups of 65 Venus years equal to 104 
years of 365 days, that is 5-5-8-0, exactly two calendar rounds, is too 
generally accepted to need discussion. The question that has to be 
solved is as to whether or not the Maya realizing that five Venus years 
equaled 2919.6 days and not 2920, took steps to correct this error, 
which at the end of a hundred Venus years would amount to eight 
days. 

To Dr. John E. Teeple Mayologists owe a great debt of gratitude, 
for to him is due not only the discovery of the meanings of glyphs C, 
D, and E of the supplementary count, but also the method used by the 
Mayas to correct the Venus calendar. He has shown how the Mayas 
at the end of 61 years deducted four days, thus correcting the error, 
and that once in three hundred years an eight-day correction was made . 
The dates thus obtained by Dr. Teeple for the commencement of the 
Venus periods are as follows: — 

9-4-17-8-0 1 Ahau 13 Kankin 

9-9-16-7-0 1 Ahau 3 Yaxkin 

9-14-15-6-0 1 Ahau 18 Kayab 

Probably omitted 1 Ahau 8 Yax, to make an eight-day correction. 

9-19-7-14-0 1 Ahau 18 Uo 

10-4-6-13-0 1 Ahau 13 Mac 

1 0-9-5- 1 2-0 I Ahau 3 Xul 

Dr. Teeple then backs up his argument with two inscriptions from 
the monuments. 

Altar K at Copan has a Venus tun sign instead of an introducing 
glyph and probably another Venus sign immediately after the date in 
Glyph 7. The date of this monument is 9-12-16-7-8 3 Lamat 16 Yax. 
Now this date is the end of the 37th Venus year after 9-9-16-7-0. 



9- 9-16-7-0 1 Ahau 3 Yaxkin 

3- 0-0-8 37 Venus years 
9-12-16-7-8 3 Lamat 16 Yax 



Again the wooden lintel in Temple C at Tikal gives the calendar 
round date 11 Ik 15 Chen, which it is generally agreed occupies the 
position 9-15-12-2-2 in the long count, and to quote Dr. Teeple, "In 
the immediately following glyphs is a statement that the Venus year 
ended in Kayab 24 days from a new moon day. Now the 10th year of 
our 1 Ahau 18 Kayab Venus calendar would have ended on 9-15-1 1-10-0 
4 Ahau 18 Kayab, and the actual appearance of Venus might have been 
a day or two before at 16 or 17 Kayab. There was a new moon about 



The Venus Calendar 9 

9-15-11-11-3, just twenty-four days after 17 Kayab, all of which at 
least is in agreement with our long count dates." 

The writer now intends to bring forward further evidence which he 
believes will further confirm Dr. Teeple's interpretation of the Venus 
Calendar, and at the same time demonstrate that the Mayas subdivided 
the Venus year into eight periods of 73 days each. Again 73 is the only 
common factor of 365 and 584. 

(1) Stela P at Copan opens with an Initial series date 9-9-10-0-0. 
In glyph B8 there is an Imix- Venus sign associated with a head and a 
hand, which probably represents Glyph C of the Supplementary series. 
The combined glyph seems to mean a Venus year began on the new moon 
day. Now the new moon before 9-9-10-0-0 fell on 9-9-9-16-1 1. Accord- 
ing to the tables, a new Venus year should have begun on 9-9-9-16-8; 
that is, three days later. However, according to the correlation fol- 
lowed here 9-9-9-1 6-1 1 plus the equations 584285 equals the Julian date 
1948656, which was actually four days after an inferior conjunction of 
Venus, the day when Venus first appeared to view. 

(2) Altar R at Copan opens with the date 9-16-12-5-17 6 Caban 
10 Mol, in glyph 16 is a Venus sign and following it in glyphs 20 and 21 
is the date 7 Ahau 3 Zip which Morley places in the long count at 
9-1 5-9-13-0. Now 6 Caban 10 Mol occurs on many monuments, but is 
nowhere else associated with the Venus sign, we can therefore presume 
that the Venus sign refers to 7 Ahau 3 Zip. 

9- 1 5-9- 1 3-0 7 Ahau 3 Zip occurs three days before 8J4 Venus 
years from 9-14-15-6-0. 

(3) In the Dresden Codex the last picture of the lunar count repre- 
sents Venus, and is associated with the date 9-1 7-1 7- 14-6. This date is 
one day after 182/8 Venus years from 9- 14- 15-6-0. 

(4) Stela J at Quirigua opens with the date 9-16-5-0-0 8 ahau 8 
Zotz. In glyph C 1 8 ahau is repeated, and in glyph C3 occurs the Venus 
glyph and in glyph C 4 there is a secondary series of one uinal and 1 Kin 
subtracting this date 9- 16-4- 16- 19 is reached. This is one day after 
18 2/8 Venus years from 9- 14- 15-6-0. 

(5) Stela K at Quirigua has a Venus sign in the introducing glyph. 
The initial series reads 9- 18- 15-0-0 followed by a secondary series 10 
uinalsand 10 Kins, and the date 10 c 18 Kayab that is 9-18-14-7-10 
followed by a 5 spot glyph which it has been suggested is associated 
with Venus. This date is 48 6/8 Venus years from 9-14-15-6-0. 

(6) Lintel 29 at Yaxchilan has a Venus introducing glyph followed 
by the Initial Series date 9-13-17-12-10, which is 3 days before 50^ 
Venus years after 9-9-16-7-0. 



io Correlation of Mayan and European Calendars 

(7) Stela 24 at Naranjo has Venus glyph in introducing glyph. 
The closing date of the inscription is 9-13-10-0-0. This is one day more 
than 45^ Venus years from 9-9-16-7-0. 

Finally two doubtful dates might be added to this list. 

(A) Altar S at Copan opens with the date 9-15-0-0-0, followed by the 
statement 5 Katuns end of cycle 10, then in glyph 9 is a Venus sign. 
If this refers to 9-15-0-0-0 and not 1 0-0-0-0-0, it is one day after 2% Venus 
years from 9- 14- 15-6-0. 

(B) Temple 1 at Tikal has a Venus glyph associated with a day 6 
Caban, which is usually considered to be 9- 15- 12-14- 17 i n the long 
count. Possibly 6 Caban is a mistake for 12 Caban occurring one uinal 
earlier. In that case the date would be one day before 10 6/8 Venus 
years from 9-14-15-6-0. 

As the Venus year does not constantly run to 584 days, an error of 
three or four days either before or after the fixed date can probably be 
shown to be due to the vagaries of the year. 

These dates combined with those already brought forward by Dr. 
Teeple seem to establish definitely that the Mayas did correct the 
calendar, that 9- 14- 15-6-0 was the end of a Venus year and that on that 
date Venus was either at inferior conjunction or on the point of emerging 
from the Sun's rays four days later. 

THE LUNAR CALENDAR 

The Dresden Codex seems to indicate that a lunar count began on 
the day 9- 16-4- 10-8 or a day earlier or later. Presumably the date of 
either a new moon or less likely a full moon and possibly an eclipse date. 
Dr. Teeple's elucidation of glyphs C, D, and E of the lunar series has 
established the fact that this date was actually the basis from which 
the lunar count was reckoned. Again there is the possibility that no 
intercalation took place and that the recorded new moons did not coin- 
cide with the actual appearances of the moon, but the evidence of the 
lunar count in the Dresden Codex and the Supplementary Series on the 
monuments definitely point to an adjustment of the calendar to fit the 
actual duration of the lunar period. 

APPLICATION OF EVIDENCE TO THE DIFFERENT 
CORRELATIONS 

We have thus four checks to apply to any correlation based on the as- 
sumption that the Maya calendar continued to function uninterruptedly 
from its inception till its extinction on the arrival of the Spaniards: — 

(1) That a Katun 13 Ahau came to an end between 1536 and 1542. 



The Inauguration of the Calendar ii 

(2) That the Mayan year in 1553 began on July 16th (Julian 
Calendar). 

(3) That the date 9-9-9-16-8 was within two or three days of either 
an inferior conjunction or a heliacal rising of Venus four days later. 

(4) That 9- 1 6-4- 1 0-8 or a day before or after was the date of a new 
moon, or a full moon, and possibly too the date of an eclipse. 

Applying these tests if 13-2-0-0-0 equals the 13 Ahau of the conquest, 
then Landa's typical year would commence on the date 13-3-1-2-4, and 
the 13 Ahau Katun would end in 1532. The Mayan date 9-9-9-16-8 with 
the required Ahau equation of 394485 is some forty days short of a 
heliacal rising of Venus and 9- 16-4- 10-8 six days off a new moon date. 
Thus this correlation conflicts with the second, third, and fourth of our 
postulates. 

If 12-9-0-0-0 equals the 13 Ahau of the conquest, then Landa's 
typical year would commence on the date 12-9- 17-9-4, an( i the 13 Ahau 
Katun would end in 1536. The Mayan date 9-9-9-16-8 with the re- 
quired Ahau equation of 489385 would fall some three hundred and 
fifty days after a helical rising of Venus, and eleven days after a new 
moon date. This correlation therefore, while in agreement with the 
second, conflicts with the third and fourth postulate. 

If 1 1 -16-0-0-0 equals the 13 Ahau of the conquest, then Landa's 
typical year would commence on the date 11-16-13-16-4, and the Katun 
of the conquest would end in 1539. The Mayan date 9-9-9-16-8 with 
the ahau equation 584285 falls one day after an inferior conjunction of 
Venus (Julian day 1948652) and three days before the heliacal rising of 
Venus. The Mayan date 9-16-4-10-8 with the ahau equation becomes 
the Julian date 1997 133, a new moon date falling on November 8, 
a.d 755 (Julian). 

Therefore this correlation and this alone fulfills the four conditions 
laid down, and is therefore the basis of this present correlation. 

THE INAUGURATION OF THE CALENDAR 

We have seen then that the date 9-9-9-16-8 9 Lamat 6 Cumhu was 
the date of either an inferior conjunction of Venus or a heliacal rising 
of that planet. 

If the Venus calendar is now run back four hundred and fifty Venus 
years, and a correction of 4 days for every 61 Venus years, and four more 
days for the Complete 300 Venus years as indicated in the Dresden 
Codex is made, the date 7-13-0-0-0 10 Ahau 13 Pop will be obtained. 
This I believe was the date of the inauguration of the Venus calendar 
just two years after the inauguration of the solar calendar, which I 



12 Correlation of Mayan and European Calendars 

believe took place on the date 7- 12-17- 16-0 4 Ahau 8 Cumhu. Now 
this date is removed exactly 3016 years of 365 days from the mythical 
beginning of the world, and within less than a day of 3014 tropical years. 
In other words, the Mayas recovered both the actual calendar round 
date, and the same position in the tropical year by the following 
equation : — 

7-12-17-16-0 4 Ahau 8 Cumhu Aug. 13th, 99 b.c. 
-58 Calendar Rounds 

13- 0- o- 0-0 4 Ahau 8 Cumhu Aug. 13th, 31 13 b.c. 

Surely this is the only reasonable explanation that has yet been 
offered for the choice of a day three thousand years before the inaugura- 
tion of the calendar as the starting-point of Maya chronology. 

Now the date 7-13-0-0-0, which we have seen there is reason to 
believe was the date of the formal inauguration of the Maya calendar, 
fell on 10 Ahau 13 Pop. The actual beginning of the year was therefore 
7-12-19-17-7 10 Manik o Pop. In passing it might be noted that here is 
a possible explanation of the sign Manik. Manik is represented by a 
hand, which usually has the meaning of zero or completion. A zero 
sign would be very appropriate for the zero day of the Maya calendar. 
7-12-19-17-7 10 Manik o Pop falls, according to the suggested correla- 
tions, on the Gregorian date Aug. 29th, 97 b.c. Now the Carnegie 
Expedition to Copan this year showed that the famous line of sight at 
Copan marks either the days April 12th or August 30th in the tropical 
year. Here possibly is an explanation: the line of sight was erected to 
indicate the day of the year that was the anniversary of the inaugura- 
tion of the Mayan calendar. There is a reasonable possibility that the 
Mayas considered 1 Pop the New Year day. This certainly was the 
custom in Yucatan at the time of the Spanish Conquest. But a more 
probable explanation is that the interval from about 9-15-0-0-0 back to 
7-13-0-0-0 is slightly over 800 years, and if the Mayas reckoned the 
year as 365.24 days, they would in reckoning back from the beginning 
of cycle nine consider August 30th as the o Pop of the year in which 
7-13-0-0-0 10 Ahau 13 Pop fell, whereas by the Gregorian calendar, which 
reckons every 400th year a leap year, the date of this first o Pop had 
fallen to August 29th. A total eclipse of the sun visible all over Central 
America occurred on Julian day 1685880; that is, on 5 Men 8 Pop, 
five days before the official inauguration of the count, and within a day 
of the inferior conjunction of Venus with the sun, or the disappearance 
of Venus into, the sun's rays. One can well imagine what an eclat such 
an event must have given the inauguration of the calendar, based as it 
was to such a large degree on the planet Venus. 



Arguments Against the Correlation 13 

The Maya year therefore at the inauguration of the calendar had as 
its equivalent in Christian dates the following points of the year: — 



Pop 


Aug. 


29th 


0M0I 


Jan. 


16th 


Muan June 5 th 


0U0 


Sept. 


1 8th 


Chen 


Feb. 


5th 


Pax June 25th 


Zip 


Oct. 


8th 


Yax 


Feb. 


25th 


Kayab July 15th 


Zotz 


Oct. 


28th 


Zac 


Mar. 


17th 


Cumhu Aug. 4th 


Tzec 


Nov. 


17th 


oCeh 


Apr. 


6th 


Uayeb Aug. 24th 


oXul 


Dec. 


7th 


Mac 


Apr. 


26th 




Yaxkin Dec. 


27th 


Kankin 


May 


1 6th 





Now the meanings of the Maya months are for the most part obscure. 
Three only have straightforward translatable names that show any 
connection with the calendar. These are the months Xul, Yaxkin, 
and Kankin. Xul means "end," and Yaxkin means "new, strong or 
green sun." Now Xul, according to the proposed correlations, ran from 
December 7th to December 26th, and Yaxkin from December 27th to 
January 15th. In other words Xul marked the end of the seasonal year 
when the sun finished its journey southward, and Yaxkin marks the 
birth of a new year when the sun had turned on its course and was 
travelling northward once again. The word Kankin signifies yellow 
sun. Now this month fell in May and early June at the time of inaugu- 
ration of the calendar. The sun at this time of the year is strong, and 
cloudy weather is uncommon, whereas in the following month Muan 
the rains occur, and the sun is often obscured for long intervals. Accord- 
ing to the Pio Perez dictionary, the following month was known as 
Moan instead of Muan, and Moankin means a "showery or clouded 
day." Now Kin means "day" or "sun," therefore Moan means 
"clouded." The month Muan runs from June 6th to June 25th, and, 
as has been pointed out above, is a period of rainy weather, and is 
therefore very aptly named. 

ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE CORRELATION 

Dr. Morley, in his book "The Inscriptions at Copan," produces a 
number of arguments against the suggested correlation after admitting, 
to quote his own words, "No matter how seriously the archaeological 
and historical (U Kahlay Katunob) evidence contradicts the correlation 
of the Long Count and Christian chronology indicated on page 66 of the 
Chronicle of Oxkutzcab, the fact remains that such a correlation was 
actually in use at the time of the conquest." 

Dr. Morley 's arguments against the correlation are as follows : — 
"(1) If 11-16-0-0-0 13 Ahau 8 Xul be substituted for the Katun 13 
Ahau of Napot Xiu's death, i.e. 13 Ahau 8 Kankin, it will be found that 



14 Correlation of Mayan and European Calendars 

the katun of the Chichen Itza lintel, namely 10-3-0-0-0 1 Ahau 3 Yaxkin, 
will fall some two centuries after Chichen Itza is said to have been 
abandoned, and after the Itza had moved to Chakanputun, and a 
century before Chakanputun is stated to have been abandoned, and the 
Itza had moved to Chichen Itza and established themselves there a 
second time. In short this correlation would make the Chichen Itza 
lintel date from a Katun 1 Ahau, in which the city is definitely stated to 
have been unoccupied. 

"(2) If 11-16-0-0-0 13 Ahau 8 Xul be substituted for the Katun 13 
Ahau of Napot Xiu's death, then Chichen Itza was discovered in 
9-1-0-0-0- 6 Ahau 13 Kayab, a date actually prior to the earliest date at 
Copan, and earlier than all the Old Empire dates, save only the very 
earliest at Uaxactun and Tikal, clearly an impossible situation from the 
historic point of view, since it makes Chichen Itza the contemporary of 
Tikal, Copan, and the other Old Empire cities, instead of subsequent to 
them as was actually the case. 

"(3) If 1 1-1 6-0-0-0 13 Ahau 8 Xul be substituted for the Katun 13 
Ahau of Napot Xiu's death, then the opening entry of the U Kahlay 
Katunob . . . occurred in 8-7-0-0-0, at which time it may well be 
doubted whether the Maya had yet reached their historic habitat during 
the Old Empire, since the earliest date in that region, 8-14-10-13-15 on 
Stela 9 at Uaxactun, is a century and a half later. 

"(4) The Central capstone of the outer chamber of the east range 
of the Monjas Quadrangle at Uxmal presents the following date: 
5 Imix 19 Kankin falling in a tun 18 of a Katun 13 ... . The only 
place where this date could occur within a range of several hundred 
thousand years was at 11-12-17-11-1. 5 Imix 19 Kankin or 3-2-6-19 
earlier than 11-16-0-0-0 13 Ahau 8 Xul, or, according to the Oxkutzcab 
correlations of the two chronologies, in 1478. But by this latter date 
Uxmal had already been abandoned for more than 30 years; hence 
this correlation flatly contradicts the evidence furnished by this lintel. 

"(5) The ring on the east wall of the Ball court at Uxmal presents 
the following date: 10 Ix 17 Pop in Tun 17 ending on the day 12 Ahau. 
The initial series corresponding to this date is 11-15-16-12-14. 10 Ix 
17 Pop, or only 3-5-6 earlier than 11-1 6-0-0-0 13 Ahau 8 Xul, that is 
1536 in the Oxkutzcab correlation. But by this latter date Uxmal had 
already been abandoned nearly a century, and the Spaniards had 
already made their first unsuccessful attempt to subjugate the country; 
hence this correlation flatly contradicts the evidence furnished by the 
inscription on this ring. 

"(6) Finally, the South Column in front of the Sanctuary of the 
high priest's grave at Chichen Itza presents the following period ending 



Arguments Against the Correlation 



15 



date 2 Ahau 18 Xul end of Tun 11. The only Tun 11 in a period of 
18,707.70 years which ended on this date was 1 1-19-1 1-0-0 2 Ahau 3 Xul, 
or 3-1 1 -0-0 later than 11-1 6-0-0-0 13 Ahau 8 Xul; that is, in 1609. But 
by this latter date Chichen Itza had already been abandoned for more 
than a century and a half, and in fact the whole country had been 
under the Spanish rule for 67 years. This is reductio ad absurdum, and 
compels the rejection of the Oxkutzcab correlation as the proper aline- 
ment of the long count with Christian chronology." 

I am inclined to follow the opinion of Dr. Solis Alcala that two dif- 
ferent tribal histories are interwoven in the Books of Chilam Balaam 
of Mani and Tizimin, the histories of the Xiu and the Itza, whereas the 
Chilan Balaam of Chumayel outlines only the history of the Itza. 
I further believe that a 13 Katun series has been interpolated, and that 
fighting around Mayapan only occurred once. It seems too much to 
believe that in a katun 8 Ahau Mayapan was invaded and fighting took 
place, that in the following Katun 1 1 Ahau Mayapan was again invaded 
and depopulated, and that a king Ulmil should again figure in the fight- 
ing, and that lastly on the following 8 Ahau Katun Mayapan should 
again be depopulated (Chilam Balaam of Mani). Furthermore the 
Chilan Balaam of Tizimin and Chumayel allege that the fighting at 
Mayapan just prior to the arrival of the Spaniards was due to the joint 
government. Now the joint government came to an end two hundred 
and sixty years previously if no Katun was interpolated, whereas if an 
interpolation is allowed, the fighting on the question took place at the 
end of the joint government. Therefore discounting for the interpola- 
tion and assigning the different movements of the Itza and Xiu to their 
proper order as indicated in the Chilan Balaam, the following tables 
are obtained: — 



HISTORY OF THE 
ITZA 

1 1- 16-0-0-0 13 Ahau 

II-15-O-O-O 2 ■ 
1 1- 14-O-O-O 4 ' 
1 1- 13-0-0-0 6 " 
1 1- 1 2-0-0-0 8 ■ Itza abandon 
Chichen 

ii-ii-o-o-o 10 " 

II-IO-O-O-O 12 " 

1 1-9 -0-0-0 I ■ 

1 1-8 -0-0-0 3 ■ 

1 1-7 -0-0-0 5 ■ 

1 1-6 -0-0-0 7 " 



GENERAL 
HISTORY 

1539 

Smallpox 
Pestilence 
End of the war 
Mayapan invaded 
by the Itza under 
King Ulmil. 



HISTORY OF THE 
XIU 



i6 



Correlation of Mayan and European Calendars 



i 1-5 -o-o-o 9 
1 1-4 -0-0-0 11 
1 1-3 -0-0-0 13 



1 1-2-0-0-0 2 

ii-i-o-o-o 4 

1 1 -0-0-0-0 6 

1 0-19-0-0-0 8 

10-18-0-0-0 10 

10- 1 7-0-0-0 12 

1 0-16-0-0-0 1 

10-15-0-0-0 3 

10- 14-0-0-0 5 

10- 13-0-0-0 7 

10-12-0-0-0 9 

10- 1 1 -0-0-0 11 

10-10-0-0-0 13 

10-9-0-0-0 2 

10-8-0-0-0 4 

10-7-0-0-0 6 

10-6-0-0-0 8 

10 



10-5-0-0-0 

10-4-0-0-0 

10-3-0-0-0 

10-2-0-0-0 

10- 1 -0-0-0 

1 0-0-0-0-0 
9-19-0-0-0 
9-18-0-0-0 11 
9-17-0-0-0 13 
9-16-0-0-0 2 
9-15-0-0-0 4 
9-14-0-0-0 6 
9-13-0-0-0 8 
9-12-0-0-0 10 



HISTORY OF THE 
ITZA 



Ah Mex Cue King, 
landmarks taken from 
water (?) 

Itza returns to their homes 
(i.e. Chichen Itza). 

Itza houseless. 

Itza leave Champutun. 



HISTORY OF THE 
XIU 



Xiu found Uxmal (?) 



Xiu found Uxmal (?) 
Xiu settle at Cham- 
putun Chichen Itza de- 
stroyed Xiu leave. 



Mayapan 
founded (?) 



Itza seize Champutun. 



Itza abandon Chichen Itza. 



Xiu settle at Chichen 
Itza. 

Xiu discover Bakhalal. 

Xiu set out from 
Nonoual. 



Pop put in order. 



Itza settle Chichen Itza. 



On the acceptance of this chronology the first three arguments of 
Morley's against the proposed correlation fall to the ground, and a 
large number, though by no means all, of the contradictory statements 
of the various Chilan Balaam are removed. 

Turning now to the two dates which Morley states fall after the 
abandonment of Uxmal, I feel that the second date, as explained else- 



Arguments Against the Correlation 17 

where, is highly doubtful. Morley's interpretation requires that a 

missing day coefficient be supplied, that the broken sign following the 
, tun sign be restored as an ahau sign, and finally that the coefficient of 

this sign be read as twelve, when it might be 12, 13, or 14. 

Furthermore I am convinced that Uxmal was occupied, although no 
, longer the Tutul Xiu capital, up to the time of the Spanish Conquest. 

Chichen Itza was certainly occupied after its abandonment by the Itza 
! right up into Spanish times, as shown by various extracts k from the 

Chilan Balaam of Chumayel. 

Finally the last date, the date on the temple of the high priest's 

grave at Chichen Itza, I believe, has been wrongly^translated for the 

following reasons : — 

(1) There is no statement that a tun n ends on 2 Ahau 18 Xul; 
the statement reads, "Tun 11 ends on 2 Ahau." 

(2) The fifth glyph appears to resemble the winged cauac sign with 
the coefficient 8 which would mean that 2 Ahau 18 Xul fell in a 
tun eight. 

(3) If Morley's reading is correct, the old style month coefficient 
was still in vogue at Chichen Itza one hundred and thirty-four 
years after the new style had been introduced at Uxmal. Now 
Chichen Itza, as the religious and therefore astronomical and 
calendrical capital of the Mayas, was surely more likely to have 
been the first to introduce the change, and not have lagged 
behind. Furthermore, if the view that the change was due to 
Nahua influence be correct, — a view that Morley accepts, — 
surely the change would have occurred first at Chichen Itza, 
far and away the greatest centre of Nahua influence in Yucatan. 

1 suggest therefore as the reading of this text: — 

2 Ahau 18 Xul occurring in a tun 8. Tun 11 ends also on 2 Ahau. 
(2 Ahau 18 Xul 11-13-7-7-0, 2 Ahau 3 Kayab 11-13-11-0-0.) 

Since the publication of "The Inscriptions at Copan" Morley has 
translated dates at Yula and the temple of the four lintels as 1 1-8- 19-5-8 
and 1 1 -9- 1 3-0-0. This date is on stylistic grounds alone surely too late. 
The glyphs appear to date from the period of the Initial series lintel at 
Chichen Itza. I suggest the following dates in the long count in place 
of Morley's readings: 10-2-12-1-8 9Lamat 11 Yax followed by 10-3-13-0-0 
1 Ahau end of Tun 13. 

This date is an instance of the first date not falling in the tun that 
closes the reading, — a condition which Morley requires for his interpre- 
tation of the date of the High Priest's grave. 



1 8 Correlation of Mayan and European Calendars 

Thus we see that all the historical arguments against the correlation 
can be met. There remains the question whether at the time of the con- 
quest a second or third calendar was in use. There is, as has been 
pointed out, considerable evidence indicating 1536 as the year in which 
the Katun 13 Ahau ended, and lesser evidence pointing to 154 1 as the 
year in which this same Katun ended; but, as no correlation can be 
found which will bring them into line with the astronomical evidence 
while maintaining July 16th as the beginning of the Mayan year in 
1553, we can safely reject them as being correct. There is always the 
possibility, however, that more than one calendar was functioning at 
the time of the Spanish Conquest, and that whereas the 13 Ahau 8 Xul 
correlation was the unbroken count maintained from cycle seven times, 
other counts had sprung up more recently, probably in the sixty odd 
years of disorder and anarchy following the fall of Mayapan. 



THE CAAN-KIN-CABAN GLYPH 

It has been suggested by J. H. Spinden 1 that this glyph has the mean- 
ing of an observation of the sun at the horizon. The bottom element is 
the Caban sign, which is generally accepted to signify the earth; the 
Kin element stands for the sun; and the third element, Spinden sug- 
gests, may be the glyph for the sky. 

This glyph is found on a number of different monuments at Copan 
associated with the following dates. The equivalent positions in the 
Gregorian year, according to the suggested correlation, are given in 
parenthesis. 



Stela 8 
Altar R 
Reviewing 

Stand 
Stela N 
Altar L 
Altar Q 
Stela 11 

8 Altar 2 

9 Altar Di 
10 Altar U 



Copan 
Copan 



9-17-12-6-2 
9-i5-9-i3-o 



9 Ik 
7 Ahau 



15 Zip 
3 Zip 



[March 24th] 
[March 21st] 



Copan 9-17-0-3-0 8 Ahau 13 Zip [March 26th] 

Copan 9-16-10-0-0 1 Ahau 3 Zip [March 17th] 

Copan 9- 16- 1 1-0-5 2 Chicchan 3 Zip [March 17th] 

Copan 9-17-5-0-0 6 Ahau 13 Kayab [Dec. 29th] 

Copan 9-17-5-0-0 6 Ahau 13 Kayab [Dec. 29th] 

Copan 9-16-18-9-19 12 Cauac 2 Zac [Sept. 22nd] 

Copan 9-16-13-9-0 13 Ahau 8 Zac [Aug. 30th] 

Copan 9-16-12-5-17 6 Caban 10 Mol [July 1st] 



It will be noted at once that the first five dates cluster around the 
spring equinox. Whereas the first and second are probably within a 
day, the other three dates are four or five days off, but it will be noted 
that the fourth 9-1 6-1 0-0-0 was a lahuntun ending and therefore a very 

deduction of Maya Dates. Papers of the Peabody Museum of American 
Archaeology and Ethnology, Vol. VI, No. 4, 1926. 



Table of Katuns 



19 



important approximation. The date 9-1 6-1 1-0-5 is three days short of 
the calendrical 22nd Venus year after 9- 14- 15-6-0, and is probably 
intended to mark both the spring equinox and the Venus year. Nos. 6 
and 7 mark the hotun ending 9-17-5-0-0, a hotun approximation to the 
winter equinox. No. 8 marks the autumn equinox. No. 9 commemo- 
rates the introduction of the calendar. No. 10 is associated with the 
date 6 Caban 10 Mol falling on July 1st, and the connection is not at 
present apparent. 

On Stela B at Copan following the initial series 9-15-0-0-0 4 Ahau 13 
Yax in A 10, 1 1 and 12 are three glyphs which appear to be an expanded 
form of the Caan-Kin-Caban glyph. The second glyph bears a strong 
resemblance to the Kin variant. 1 

The third glyph is a sure Caban sign, and the first is in all probability 
the Caan glyph. The date in the tropical year of this initial series is 
August 2 1st. This may be an approximation to the O Pop August 29th 
of the inauguration of the calendar falling on the important % cycle 
date. 

The same date occurs on altar S at Copan, and in glyph 6 we find 
this same variation of the Caan-Kin-Caban glyph, this time occurring 
as two glyphs, the Kin to the left with the Caan and Caban to the right. 

This, I believe, exhausts the Caan-Kin-Caban glyphs associated 
with decipherable dates at Copan. 

TABLE OF ENDINGS WITH THE GREGORIAN EQUIVALENTS 
ACCORDING TO THE PROPOSED CORRELATION 













B.C. 


13-0-0-0-0 


4 Ahau 


8 Cumhu 


Aug. 


13th 


3"3 


7-0-0-0-0 


10 Ahau 


i8Zac 


June 


5th 


353 


7-12-17-16-0 


4 Ahau 


8 Cumhu 


Aug. 


13th 


99 


7-13-0-0-0 


10 Ahau 


13 Pop 


Sept. 


nth 


97 

A.D. 


8-0-0-0-0 


9 Ahau 


3 Zip 


Sept. 


6th 


41 


9-0-0-0-0 


8 Ahau 


13 Ceh 


Dec. 


10th 


435 


9-1-0-0-0 


6 Ahau 


13 Yaxkin 


Aug. 


28th 


455 


9-2-0-0-0 


4 Ahau 


13 Uo 


May 


1 6th 


475 


9-3-0-0-0 


2 Ahau 


18 Muan 


Jan. 


30th 


495 


9-4-0-0-0 


13 Ahau 


18 Yax 


Oct. 


17th 


514 


9-5-0-0-0 


11 Ahau 


18 Tzec » 


July 


5th 


534 


9-6-0-0-0 


9 Ahau 


3 Uayeb 


March 


22nd 


554 



^ee S. G. Morley, An Introduction to Maya Hieroglyphs, Fig. 34, c and d. 



20 



Correlation of Mayan and European Calendars 



9-7-0-0-0 
9-8-0-0-0 
9-9-0-0-0 
9-10-0-0-0 
9-1 1 -0-0-0 
9-1 2-0-0-0 
9-13-0-0-0 
9-14-0-0-0 
9-15-0-0-0 
9-16-0-0-0 
9-17-0-0-0 
9-18-0-0-0 
9-19-0-0-0 
1 0-0-0-0-0 
10- 1 -0-0-0 
10-2-0-0-0 
10-3-0-0-0 
10-4-0-0-0 
10-5-0-0-0 
10-6-0-0-0 
10-7-0-0-0 
10-8-0-0-0 
10-9-0-0-0 
10- 1 0-0-0-0 
10- 1 1 -0-0-0 
1 0-12 -0-0-0 
10-13-0-0-0 
1 0-14-0-0-0 
1 0-15 -0-0-0 
1 0-16-0-0-0 
1 0-17-0-0-0 
1 0-18-0-0-0 
1 0-19-0-0-0 
1 1 -0-0-0-0 
1 1 -1 -0-0-0 
1 1-2-0-0-0 
1 1-3-0-0-0 
1 1-4-0-0-0 
1 1-5-0-0-0 
1 1-6-0-0-0 
1 1-7-0-0-0 



7 Ahau 

5 Ahau 

3 Ahau 

1 Ahau 

12 Ahau 

10 Ahau 

8 Ahau 

6 Ahau 

4 Ahau 

2 Ahau 

13 Ahau 

11 Ahau 

9 Ahau 

7 Ahau 

5 Ahau 

3 Ahau 
1 Ahau 

12 Ahau 

10 Ahau 

8 Ahau 

6 Ahau 

4 Ahau 
. 2 Ahau 

13 Ahau 

11 Ahau 

9 Ahau 

7 Ahau 

5 Ahau 

3 Ahau 

1 Ahau 

12 Ahau 

10 Ahau 

8 Ahau 

6 Ahau 

4 Ahau 

2 Ahau 

13 Ahau 

11 Ahau 

9 Ahau 

7 Ahau 

5 Ahau 



3 Kankin 

3 Chen 

3 Zotz 

8 Kayab 

8 Ceh 

8 Yaxkin 

8U0 
13 Muan 
13 Yax 
13 Tzec 
18 Cumhu 
18 Mac 
18 Mol 
18 Zip 

3 Kayab 

3 Ceh 

3 Yaxkin 

3U0 

8 Muan 

8 Yax 

8 Tzec 
13 Cumhu 
13 Mac 
13 Mol 
13 Zip 
18 Pax 
18 Zac 
i8Xul 
18 Pop 

3 Muan 

3 Yax 

3 Tzec 

8 Cumhu 

8 Mac 

8 Mol 

8 Zip 
13 Pax 
13 Zac 
13XUI 
13 Pop 
18 Kankin 



Dec. 


8th 


573 


Aug. 


25th 


593 


May 


1 2th 


613 


Jan. 


27th 


633 


Oct. 


14th 


652 


July 


I St 


672 


Marcr. 


1 1 8th 


692 


Dec. 


3rd 


711 


Aug. 


22nd 


73i 


May 


8th 


75i 


Jan. 


24th 


771 


Oct. 


nth 


790 


June 


28th 


810 


March 


l 1 6th 


830 


Nov. 


30th 


849 


Aug. 


1 8th 


869 


May 


5th 


889 


Jan. 


20th 


909 


Oct. 


7th 


928 


June 


24th 


948 


March 


1 2th 


968 


Nov. 


27th 


987 


Aug. 


15th 


1007 


May 


2nd 


1027 


Jan. 


17th 


1047 


Oct. 


4th 


1066 


June 


2ISt 


1086 


March 


8th 


1 106 


Nov. 


23rd 


1125 


Aug. 


10th 


"45 


April 


28th 


1 165 


Jan. 


13th 


1 185 


Sept. 


30th 


1204 


June 


17th 


1224 


March 


4th 


1244 


Nov. 


2ISt 


1263 


Aug. 


8th 


1283 


April 


25th 


1303 


Jan. 


10th 


1323 


Sept. 


27th 


1342 


June 


15th 


1362 



Correlation to Planetary Dates 



21 



n-8-o-o-o 
1 1-9-0-0-0 

II-IO-O-O-O 
II-II-O-O-O 

11-12-0-0-0 

n-13-0-0-0 

11-14-0-0-0 

11-15-0-0-0 

11-16-0-0-0 

11-17-0-0-0 

11-18-0-0-0 

u-19-0-0-0 

12-0-0-0-0 

12-16-0-0-0- 



3 Ahau 

1 Ahau 

12 Ahau 

10 Ahau 

8 Ahau 

6 Ahau 

4 Ahau 

2 Ahau 

13 Ahau 

11 Ahau 

9 Ahau 

7 Ahau 

5 Ahau 

12 Ahau 



18 Chen 
18 Zotz 

3 Cumhu 

3 Mac 

3 Mol 

3 Zip 

8 Pax 

8Zac 

8Xul 

8 Pop 
13 Kankin 
13 Chen 
13 Zotz 
18 Muan 



March 

Nov. 

Aug. 

April 

Jan. 

Sept. 

June 

Feb. 

Nov. 

July 

April 

Jan. 

Sept. 

Feb. 



2nd 

17th 

4th 

2ISt 

6th 
23rd 
10th 
25th 
13th 
31st 
17th 
2nd 
20th 
15th 



1382 
1 401 
1421 
1441 
1461 
1480 
1500 
1520 
1539 
1559 
1579 
1599 
1618 

1934 



APPLICATION OF THE CORRELATION TO PLANETARY 

DATES 

Six dates from the Dresden Codex were converted into their Julian 
equivalents by the addition of the Ahau equation 584285 and submitted 
to the U. S. Naval Observatory. 

The dates were: 

Julian Equivalent Supposed Planet 

2019952 Mars 

2010134 Mars 

1856750 Jupiter 

1856708 Jupiter 

1977799 Saturn 

2019659 Saturn 

The following information was received from Captain W. S. Eichel- 
berger, U. S. Navy, Director of the Nautical Almanac: — 

"Calculations have been made in this office with the data provided 
by you, using the tables of Dr. Paul V. Neugebauer, with the following 
results: — 

Planet 

Mars 

Mars 

Jupiter 

Saturn 

Saturn 



Long Count 

9- 1 9-7- 1 7-7 
9-18-0-12-9 
8-16-14-11-5 
8- 1 6- 1 4-9-3 
9-13-10-15-14 
9- 1 9-7-2- 1 4 



Julian Day 


Sun's Long. 


2019952 


43-2° 


2010134 


84.8 


1856729.7 


82.1 


1977799 


253 -8 


2019659 


112. 2 



Hel. Long. 


Hel. Lat 


240. i° 


-0.6 


143.0 


+ 1.8 


262. 1 


0.0 


14.7 


-2.5 


335-2 


— 2.0 



22 Correlation of Mayan and European Calendars 



Julian Day 


Geoc. Long. 


Geoc. Lat. 


Right Asc. 


Decl. 


2019952 


270. 3 


-1.6 


270. 3 


-25.2 


2010134 


121. 5 


+ i-3 


124. 1 


+21 .2 


1856729.7 


262. 1 


0.0 


261 .4 


-23-3 


1977799 


9-i 


-2.7 


9-4 


4- 1.1 


2019659 


339-7 


— 2.2 


342.1 


— 10.0 



"For the two dates given for Jupiter in your letter has been substi- 
tuted a single date mid-way between the two; and this proves to have 
been a date of opposition; which occurred on Julian Day, 1856729.7." 



FEB 



0/ itfj 
WKASTO OF Uik