The Mayan Long Count Calendar, which did not predict a doomsday, included dates written out as five hieroglyphs separated by four periods.
The second calendar was the Haab', or secular calendar, which lasted 365 days but did not account for the extra quarter-day it takes the Earth to revolve around the sun.
The final calendar was the Long Count Calendar — the recording method that has caused all of the doomsday brouhaha of 2012. The Maya shared our culture's fascination with calendar mile-markers and would have likely considered the date important, Witschey told LiveScience. The Long Count Calendar may not predict doomsday, but it is good at covering long periods of time.
This silkscreen shows dates in the Maya Long Count Calendar and a sacred calendar called the Tzolk'in. Get a free welcome cocktail of the day on your next stay by mentioning us on facebook or twitter!


The ancient Maya kept time in a very different way than we do today, and their hieroglyph-heavy calendar can seem daunting at first glance.
The first was the sacred calendar, or Tzolk'in, which lasted 260 days and then started over again, just as our 365-day calendar refreshes once it hits Dec. The k'in counts up to 19 and then flips back to zero, with counting picked back up by the next position, the uinal. The k'in position then picks back up, counting up to that 20, which then gets added to the uinal. While the Maya generally use a base-20 counting system, Witschey said, they modify this slightly for the uinal, which only counts up to 17 before rolling over to the third position, the tun.
As 20 blocks of 360 days, each k'atun translates into 7,200 days, or just less than 20 years. She covers the world of human and animal behavior, as well as paleontology and other science topics.


21 (approximately), the calendar completes a major cycle, which has triggered doomsday fears and mystical rumors about the end of an age. The only two carvings ever found referring to the date depict contemporary kings and their predicted long-lasting legacies, Witschey said.
Each tun is thus 18 blocks of 20 days, or 360 days — approximately a year by the solar calendar. Stephanie has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.



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