So the Maya calendar had a 5100 ish year cycle. There’s a long grand cycle that’s the precessional cycle of 26,868 years, that gets subdivided into 5100 ish year groups.
The wiki has more on the Maya calendar than anyone could want, and in a particularly useless format:
Hardly any evidence for a reason to panic in the whole thing. Heck, down at the bottom it even has a list of cycles including some that are 3,154,071 years and even 63,081,429 years. What good is a 3 Million or 63 Million year cycle for a modern Doomsayer?
Though it does have one ‘useful’ date:
A different calendar was used to track longer periods of time, and for the inscription of calendar dates (i.e., identifying when one event occurred in relation to others). This is the Long Count. It is a count of days since a mythological starting-point. According to the correlation between the Long Count and Western calendars accepted by the great majority of Maya researchers (known as the Goodman-Martinez-Thompson, or GMT, correlation), this starting-point is equivalent to August 11, 3114 BCE in the proleptic Gregorian calendar or 6 September in the Julian calendar (−3113 astronomical). The GMT correlation was chosen by John Eric Sydney Thompson in 1935 on the basis of earlier correlations by Joseph Goodman in 1905 (August 11), Juan Martínez Hernández in 1926 (August 12), and Thompson himself in 1927 (August 13). By its linear nature, the Long Count was capable of being extended to refer to any date far into the past or future. This calendar involved the use of a positional notation system, in which each position signified an increasing multiple of the number of days. The Maya numeral system was essentially vigesimal (i.e., base-20), and each unit of a given position represented 20 times the unit of the position which preceded it. An important exception was made for the second-order place value, which instead represented 18 × 20, or 360 days, more closely approximating the solar year than would 20 × 20= 400 days. It should be noted however that the cycles of the Long Count are independent of the solar year.
Though I note in passing that we’re mired in the whole Gregorian vs Julian vs “whatever” calendar alignment “issues” all over again… But in any case, it’s about 3114 BC. So what was going on in 3100 BC? Might we catch a bit of clue from that?
Oh, and I note in passing that the Maya had a base 20 number system too…. Just like the Celts. Hmmmmm…..
So this site has much more dramatic material, more suited to appropriate excess of imagination:
The ancient Maya were very good astronomers. They knew about the precession of the equinoxes and divided the full 26,868-year cycle into fifths. They had calculated well ahead of time that the winter solstice point would shift to the center of the Milky Way, a point very close to the Galactic Center, around 2012 A.D. In recent years we have heard much about the Mayan Calendar and its “end date” of 12/21/2012. In truth, that date is not really an ending, but it does mark the completion of a 5,125-year cycle, 1/5 of the precession cycle (the so-called Long Count) that began on August 12, 3114 B.C.
Another calendar, probably also based on precession, comes out of ancient India. In this calendar each half of the precessional cycle was divided into four parts called Yugas, or ages. The first age, called the Kali Yuga, is said to have begun on February 18, 3,102 B.C., only eleven years after the start of the Mayan Long Count. While many writers disagree on the exact length of a Yuga, the starting point is generally agreed upon. It is a strange coincidence, indeed, that two ancient civilizations on opposite sides of the earth would both locate the beginnings of an age at nearly the same point in time.
Now that’s more like it! Mystical connections between cultures on oppose sides of the world, with no POSSIBLE way to communicate (ignore those stellar and celestial coordinating events!).
OK, so we’ve got a 3100 BC date for “interesting things”… So what’s that look like?
Well, looks like just after that hot spike, things plunge into Horrible Cold!! (Ignore that nothing so interesting happens at 10,200 BP as happen at 5100 BP, we were just coming out of a glacial then, so clearly it was just too old to matter ;-)
No, what matters to us is that there was a relative hot spike, then a cold plunge. So the only acceptable interpretation of things is that 21 December 2012 marks the end of the current Hot Cycle and the start of the plunge into cold. AGW is going to be whacked then, and Skeptics will be the New Priesthood of Truth! Yea! Then we all freeze to death. (Bummer… Hey, don’t blame me, I’m just reading the entrails, not contributing them! )
So any other tenuous parallels we can make between 3100 BC / 5100 BP and now?
Of the few periods that stand out against the backdrop of human history, 3100 B.C. (+/- 100 years) is the most enigmatic. Few records survive to give us details about specific events that occurred at this time, but we do know that whatever happened then was of major consequence. It’s possible that this period marks most important and decisive time in the entire history of civilization.
Oh Dear! “Enigmatic” is not a word you want to hear in terms of historical cycles. It usually means some really ‘bad shit’ happened and folks were too busy learning how to cook “Long Pig” to write a lot of history books…
We are told by most textbooks that history began around 3000 B.C. in Mesopotamia. This is a generally accepted approximate date for the Early Dynasty period of the Sumerians, the first of several civilizations in Mesopotamia. All the traits of high civilization appeared there almost simultaneously; the wheel, metallurgy, astrology, astronomy, calendars, taxation, bookkeeping, and an organized priesthood. One very important Sumerian development, that archaeologists and historians date to the late fourth mil-lennium (close to 3100 B.C.), was the writing of texts. The Sumerians of Mesopotamia had perfected a means of recording numbers and ideaographs on clay (cuneiform tablets) about this time. Apparently, the transition from pictographs to far more abstract ideaographs did not occur slowly, it occurred quite suddenly.
After thousands of years of gradual development, Ancient Egypt as we know it came into being with the union of Upper and Lower Egypt and the start of the First Dynasty under Menes, king of Upper Egypt. This event is said to have occurred somewhere around 3100 B.C. Although some scholars believe that the unification of Egypt actually took place during the course of several generations, ancient writers point to one man, Menes, who pulled it together all at once. According to most Egyptologists, the Great Pyramid was constructed a few hundred years later, around 2500 B.C. during the Fourth Dynasty. Some writers, however, believe that the Great Pyramid was begun much earlier, closer to 3,000 B.C. When it was built, this greatest of ancient monuments was carefully aligned to certain stars, and some of these alignments suggest this earlier date. Dating by star alignments is possible because of a slow shift of the stars against the Cardinal directions (true east, west, north, and south) called the precession of the equinoxes.(1) We will hear more about precession later.
Stonehenge in England has long fascinated researchers. The earliest structures of this remarkable stone circle, the bank and ditch, the Heel Stone, and the Aubrey Stones, have been dated to around 3000 B.C. It was about a thousand years later that the familiar bluestones were added. It was also around 3100 B.C. (+/-100 years) that stone circle building and other types of megalithic structures were being built throughout Britain, Scotland, and Ireland. New Grange, the large passage-grave in Ireland, is generally dated to about 3200 B.C.
So we had a whole lot of “New Empires” rising. But from what? Classical history says “from primitive wild man”. Yet we know that 12,000 BP there were folks making monumental architecture in Turkey. Hmmmm…. So on no more evidence than that, we can presume “The END of Empires of Today!” Global collapse. To be followed by the creation of clay tablet writing (as all our electronic and paper records rot away…) and someone will start making beer and found civilization (again!)…
But at least there will be a henge…
Anyone have a few acres, a budget for about 1000 tons of reinforced concrete, and a sense of humor? Ive got a Henge to build and time is running out!
If it is true that 3100 B.C. or thereabouts was a time of pro-found change and development in many parts of the world, then one would logically suspect some sort of global cause. Major alterations in climate may have been a factor. The geologic record shows that the later part of the fourth millennium (about 3500 to 3000 B.C.) was a time of active volcanism. Frequent volcanic eruptions during that time produced dust that settled in the atmosphere, cooling down temperatures worldwide. Volcanic dust affects climate unevenly. It tends to lower the temperatures at the high latitudes more than those at the tropics. Cooler temperatures to the north may have started migrations, which in turn disturbed established settlements located at lower latitudes. There were two other major waves of volcanic activity in historical times: 500 to 200 B.C. and 1500 to 1900 A.D., and both were periods of tremendous activity and change in cultures and civilizations all over the world.
Another possibility is that some 5,000 years ago the earth passed through the core of a swarm of meteors created by a collapsing comet. In this kind of scenario, showers of meteors, visible even in daylight, would strike the Earth at a specific time each year for many years in a row.(3) Such a phenomena would certainly be disturbing, especially psychologically, for humans everywhere. This alone could have stimulated unprecedented changes in consciousness and awareness. Who knows what the shamans and priests had to say about this fire in the sky. Were their explanations and solutions behind the great architectural projects, migrations, or conquests?
Oh Boy! Volcanoes and Meteors!
OK, I’m ready. I can take it. What’s a little volcano or meteor swarm or two! It’s got to be less a bother than Obamacare and certainly better than Socialism Lite!
So I’m ready for my consciousness raising awareness enhancing volcanic meteoric plunge into a cold epiphany. At least, as long as they take plastic and have dental coverage…
But at least they don’t have any Space Aliens…
During the 1970s Erich Von Dankien’s “Chariots of the Gods” stirred up all sorts of questions about alien visits during ancient times. The public reaction to his ideas was very strong and astronomers responded by publishing books that showed how sloppy his reasoning was. More recently, Zecharia Sitchin has written and published a series of books postulating recurring visits of aliens from a 12th planet. According to Sitchin, these distant visitors enslaved humanity, but in the process they also accelerated our evolution.
These ideas, which often mesmerize the uncritical and incur the wrath of skeptics, are really not so far-out as they seem. As all three authors point out, the Old Testament of the Bible is full of very strange stuff indeed. For example, what did Ezekiel really see and who are the angels? Aside from the Bible there are other ancient writings that suggest our interpretations of ancient history may need to be more complex than we suspect. One of the most intriguing references comes from the Egyptian historian Manetho who says “the Watchers who had descended to earth in the general cosmic year 1000, held converse with men, and taught them that the orbits of the two luminaries, being marked by the 12 signs of the Zodiac, are composed of 360 parts.” The idea here is that astrology was brought to earth by intelligent beings from somewhere else.
“Enslaved hunanity”? Oh DAMN it! That’s just not what I had in mind… Can I have the “Watchers” descending to earth instead? Folks who ‘held converse with men”? Maybe we can trade them some beer for heaters to hold off the plunge into cold…