Posts to Normark’s Archaeo Haecc. Blog, responding to comments and questions directed to me from Stan Guenter, David Stuart, and Jim Smith. Comments on the Xultun Discovery.
John Major Jenkins. June 17, 2012
Johan [Normark], your comments about Tortuguero are not informed by the statements in Gronemeyer and MacLeod’s Wayeb no. 34. piece (2010). And, as I stated above, Gronemeyer’s statement that 188.8.131.52.0 in 2012 AD is a “transition to a new era” came NOT from the Wayeb piece (August 2010) but from the Palenque Round Table conference in November 2011). The point you are evading is that Maya scholars have lately come to echo my own many-years repeated interpretation that the ancient Maya thought of 2012 as a renewal, a “cosmogenesis” — that is, World Age transition that requires deity sacrifice for its fulfillment.
Regarding “Mayanism” and Hoopes, his definition of that term is of his own construct, is self-referentially defined only on Wikipedia, and it contradicts previous usages of the term by scholars like Dr. Victor Montejo and others. Also, Hoopes’s essentially negative use of “Mayanism” is contrary to similar terms such as “Hinduism” or “Jainism” which are used to define — proactively — the underlying universal core of a tradition. In my 2009 book The 2012 Story, I critiqued and exposed Hoopes’s strategy of creating a conceptual “concentration camp” for ideas that he finds distasteful — even when those ideas are congruent with Maya belief!!! In the clip, I did not see Hoopes address the huge conceptual problems that exist in his idiosyncratic “Mayanism” category. His abuse of Wikipedia is not unlike Jim Smith’s abuse of Wikipedia, which resulted in the Wiki moderators deleting them because they violated Wikipedia standards of use.
It’s understood that you don’t believe a new event is stated “to happen” after the 2012 date is stated on the right flange of Tortuguero Monument 6. But you didn’t respond to MacLeod and Gronemeyer’s pointing out of the epigraphic argument, in which because a new verb is stated, there’s no slinging back to the 669 AD building dedication date. A DN to 2012, a new verb, and thus a new “action” or “event” occurs at the end-point of that DN. It thus seems that resistance to the evidence that the ancient Maya did see “something happening” in 2012 (even if it were merely a ceremony) is part of a general and ongoing resistance to allowing 2012 to have had any importance to the Maya. You’ve stated this rather bluntly in recent media interviews. It’s a position that is not believable given the evidence, and we might try to entertain that Lord Jaguar at Tortuguero was intentional referencing 2012 for a number of reasons, including astronomy. (see my SAA presentation posted on http://thecenterfor2012studies.com).
Jim Smith, see my reply to Stan [below]. Speaking of evasion, you seem to have not chosen to respond to my question to you on the other thread. I’d like to discuss with you why you approached me in early 2010 under the alias “Tom Brown.” At that time, I responded at length to your critiques and questions. You did not like my responses, nor did you even directly engage a dialogue about them as you because increasingly hostile and abusive. Then, “Tom Brown” (pdecordoba) disappeared and Jim Smith appeared and began posting slanderous videos on Youtube about my work, and also attacked and corrupted my biographical name entry on Wikipedia. That issue got eventually resolved when the Wiki moderators determined that you had violated the basic standards of Wiki, and they banned you. Since the time you were masquerading as “Tom Brown” you have never contacted me or approached me directly, as your true self, with your questions/concerns, all of which I already responded to. So, attention to Johan Normark: You are aiding and abetting a person whose honesty and values of ethical decency are sub-standard. Jim Smith is an intellectually dishonest person whose pathological behavior — basically that of a saboteur and a stalker — is well documented. He is an ideological terrorist.
No, actually I am preparing for the First Izapa Round Table conference in Tapachula, Mexico. Izapa Archaeologist Garth Norman will be there also, Vincent Stanzione, Mark Van Stone, and others. It will be a chance to understand more deeply how Izapa was involved in the formulation of the Long Count / 2012 calendar, as believed by Coe, Malmstrom, Guernsey, Rice, etc etc etc. I’m leaving tomorrow morning, so all you sadistic attack artists can abuse me in absentia after that time. - end
A brief post I made during the Xultun discussion:
On May 12, I independently noted this unreported 819-day interval at Xultun, and I have suggested a possible almanac associated with a 65-year eclipse-position interval I identified at Palenque, also closely divisible by 819: http://www.thecenterfor2012studies.com/18Rabbit-BolonYokte-Astronomy.pdf
Note: My observation involves the report in Science
about the new Xultun discovery. In my examination of the inscriptions and
dates, I noted an 819-day interval that was not reported in the Science
article. See Appendix 1 for the discussion on
Aztlan that began on May 15, 2012, with Barb MacLeod’s discovery of the same interval.
As a result of my note regarding my independent discovery of the 819-day interval in the Xultun inscription, Stan Guenter pounces:
Am I the only one who actually looked at John’s link? It never mentions Xultun and was supposedly written between April 2nd and 5th, 2012, although according to John’s homepage it apparently wasn’t uploaded until May 30, 2012. In any event, there is no reference at all to Xultun so there is no confirmation of John’s claim to have independently noted this. I’m not saying John didn’t, but it has to be said his claim is unverified, but certainly self-promoted.
That doesn’t trouble me. His attempt to piggyback this article of his onto the Xultun bandwagon does. John claims that in this article he proposed a “possible almanac associated with a 65-year eclipse position interval” at Palenque, that John claims is “also closely divisible by 819″. However, there is no reference at all to “almanac” in the entire article, nor does the number 819 appear even once in the text, or footnotes, or bibliography. Rather, the article is about supposed eclipses that were associated with certain dates at Tortuguero (surprise, surprise) and Palenque. Except that there are no references to these supposed eclipses at either site. John has simply noted that there were lunar eclipses that fell NEAR the dates of two inscriptions, one at Tortuguero and one at Palenque. I emphasize the word “near” because the first lunar eclipse fell 3 days before the date 184.108.40.206.6, 13 Cimi 14 Tzec (May 30, 644 in the 585283 correlation that Jenkins prefers).
So there was an eclipse 3 days before a date on Tortuguero Mt. 6. Hardly impressive when there is no reference to an eclipse in the inscription. The second lunar eclipse that John emphasizes occurred on May 27/28, 709, which he links to the date 220.127.116.11.0, 3 Ahau 3 Yaxkin (June 12, 709 in the 585283 correlation) found on the stucco panel of Palenque Temple XIX. This is 15 days off, which is absolutely absurd to see as reflecting the same event, especially when the text makes no reference to any eclipse. And that’s it for data points from John. Despite such horrible data, John goes ahead to create a table in his Appendix 1 of lunar eclipses at the Dark Rift/Crossroads. These dates are:
1. May 24, 514 (18.104.22.168.17)
2. May 26, 579 (22.214.171.124.0)
3. May 27, 644 (126.96.36.199.6 – 3 days)
4. May 28, 709 (188.8.131.52.0 – 15 days)
5. May 29, 774 (184.108.40.206.7)
Now, note that John only has dates 3 and 4 attested, even by his own admission, and these are 3 and 15 days off respectively. Dates 1, 2, and 5 are simply when those lunar eclipses at the Dark Rift should fall. So, 60% of the dates in this sequence are not referenced in any texts, and the only two that supposedly are have 5 and 15 day errors. This is ridiculous. There are actually NO lunar eclipses at the Dark Rift that are referenced in Classic Maya inscriptions, despite John’s wish that there were.
But it gets worse. John above claims that this is an “almanac” but it is no such thing. He has two dates, horribly in error even if he is correct, but they aren’t even from the same site, let alone inscription. John is making a mockery of the word “almanac”, and it seems pretty clear to me that he is simply trying to cash in on the attention to Xultun, where a real almanac is in evidence, with lots of dates that are connected in a meaningful manner, in the exact same text, in the same mural, at the same site.
Let me finish by addressing his claim that his “almanac” of lunar eclipses is also tracking the 819 day calendar. Let’s first acknowledge that the Xultun table in question has a period that is perfectly divisible by 819 and is associated with a tzolkin date that has a 1 coefficient, as all 819 day counts do. If you look at the amount of time between each of Jenkins’ lunar eclipse dates you find the following intervals:
Dates 1 & 2: 23,743 days, or 28×819 with a remainder of 811 (error of 8)
Dates 2 & 3: 23,743, or 28×819 with a remainder of 811 (error of 8)
Dates 3 & 4: 23.742, or 28×819 with a remainder of 810 (error of 9)
Dates 4 & 5: 23,742, or 28×819 with a remainder of 810 (error of 9)
Dates 1 & 5: 94,970, or 115×819 with a remainder of 785 (error of 34)
Clearly, Jenkins’ “almanac” is miserable at following 819, which shouldn’t be surprising. Furthermore, of the 5 dates in his table only one has a tzolkin coefficient of 1 and none come anywhere near to falling on an 819 day station.
I apologize for the length of this reply. Criticizing John Major Jenkins’ work is like shooting dead seahorses in a barrel. (A combination of shooting fish in a barrel and beating a dead horse, given that it is common knowledge how shoddy his “scholarship” is.) However, this post of his came across as a pathetic cry for attention, and I don’t suffer that kind of behavior lightly. It must be quite frustrating to have devoted one’s career to a topic where every new development is by someone else, and one’s own contributions regularly turn out to be contradicted by the facts and are at best ignored, and at worst held up to ridicule, by the rest of the field. On the one hand I feel badly for John, given how merciless and savage most of us are with his ideas. But then he produces nonsense like this, and tries to pass it off as scholarship of the same level and insight as that by real scientific scholars, and wants us to give him equal credit for their discoveries, when he presents no proof and only provides us with yet more pseudoscientific bunkum. At least we only have to endure his nonsense for 6 more months before even the non-academics will ignore him. 2013 can’t come soon enough.
Note: the utter contempt and oozing arrogance of Stan Guenter is disgustingly displayed in his summary comments above, referring me and my work as a “dead horse” that must be “beaten”. This is what I had to deal with, increasingly through 2012. The Normark blog was populated by other JMJ bashers, like Jim Smith, and at this time (June 17), David Stuart also commented on the errors in his book that I had (alone among all his reviewers) had pointed out. It’s curious that Stuart must have been, at this time, completing his announcement and decipherment of the new “2012” inscription from La Corona. Within eleven days --- precisely the time of the first Izapa Roundtable Conference in Tapachula, Mexico --- the new discovery was announced on Aztlan, June 28: http://www.famsi.org/pipermail/aztlan/2012-June/012269.html, and Stuart posted his piece on his blog at that time.
Stan, Thanks for looking at the error ranges in the various eclipse dates of the 65-year cycle I identified. Notice that almost all of those “error ranges” are less than 14 days. Because this is a possible eclipse prediction almanac, we must allow for the number of days around a lunar node position at which eclipses may actually occur. This is a well known fact that we acknowledge. As I previously mentioned, the actual eclipse dates do not provide an interval that is exactly divisible by 819 days, but if 819 was somehow being used in an almanac designed to predict the sidereal position of future lunar eclipses, then most of the actual eclipse dates are within the acceptable range. Likewise, the known eclipse tables and Venus almanacs rarely pinpoint an exact eclipse or Venus rising. That’s a fundamental tent that I’m surprised you were not aware of. Or, perhaps, you merely chose not to acknowledge it for the purpose of your unwarranted denunciation of my proposal. Nice try.
You have made a basic, though probably intentional, error in understanding my very brief note above. The first part alludes to my independent discovery (in May) of the 819-day interval in the Xultun DN. The second part links to an essay I wrote (in March) which identified a 65-year eclipse interval, based on inscriptions of Palenque. When I stated that this eclipse interval is closely divisible by 819, I was sharing the connection that I had just made, and intended to flesh out further, not the explicit content of that essay of March. I’m sure you can read English, so re-read the brief note above. I did not state that the 819-day interval was identified or discussed in the March essay. I was stating that, upon discovering the 819-day Xultun interval, and then having read the Maya Decipherment Blog note regarding its possible relation to sidereal eclipse positions, I thought back to my earlier essay of March, checked it, and discovered the close connection between my 65-year eclipse cycle and the 819-day cycle. Further investigation thus seems warranted. This was actually an attempt to share the unfolding research as it unfolds, perhaps even engage collaborative investigation. And what did you do, Stan? You looked for the one, slight, marginal, gray area of possible misreading that you could inject into my brief, one sentence post. And then, as Coe said of Thompson’s treatment of Whorf’s phonetic hypothesis, you “worried it to death.” Worse, you gleefully trampled it to death. Try to behave like a responsible scholar.
Jim Smith, [June 17]
Why are you not replying directly to me? I asked you a direct question. This entire recent exchange was initiated by you accusing me, once again, of not responding to your questions. I replied that I responded to your critique & questions when you contacted me 2 years ago under the alias of "Tom Brown", and then you went forward with a slander campaign on Youtube, Wikipedia, and 2012Hoax.org, using the same inaccurate critiques that I had responded to.
Regarding your odd obsession with my friendship and collaboration with Deborah Skye King, I think you have some issues. My response is that "I don't know" if her claims are true. I am endlessly surprised by the capacities of human beings, I know her sincerity, there are mysteries in the universe I don't fully understand, and my mind is open. That's all. Our tour is a good complementary offering of experiential encounter with Maya temple sites, to bridge distances between people. Get over it.
I predict you will just keep throwing up road-blocks and digressive accusations. What needs to happen is a full disclosure of your unethical tactics and exploitation of online websites. And, it should be remembered, that your secretive attacks occurred after I patiently replied to your critiques over a six-week period of email exchanges (when you were masquerading as Tom Brown).
Consequently, considering that I'm leaving for the first annual Izapa round Table conference in Mexico tomorrow and am now going offline for several days, I will provide the link to the fact-based dossier on Jim Smith. I wanted to resolve this directly via dialogue with you, but you are unwilling to even address me directly. So, this link will now go out to William Hudson, to Johan Normak, and several other places of relevance. We will all now know about your devious and unethical behavior, shameful really. It's too bad you just couldn't engage an open-minded dialogue when I answered your questions and explained to you what my work was about two years ago. Here it is:
http://www.update2012.com/Jim-Smith-Tom-Brown.pdf [Normark deleted this link after threats and pressure from Smith]
To David Stuart:
One final thing, David. it's great you'd like to update your drawing. The one currently used in Gronemeyer & MacLeod's Wayeb no. 34 piece is slightly inaccurate. I visited the monument in March 2011, took photos and also analyzed that eroded DN that generates Lord Jaguar's birthday. The resulting essay, posted a year ago on The Center for 2012 Studies website, contains close-up photos of the P4 area, and you can see that the fragmented glyph contains curved elements. Not that this makes a huge difference regarding decipherment, but in the interest of precision here are the best photos available:
By the way, my reconstruction of the DN at E4 argues for a birthday for Lord Jaguar of November 28, 612. At any rate, it is within a five-day range, November 28 -December 2. His birthday places the sun right at the Milky Way / ecliptic Crossroads, the same sidereal position of the sun on 220.127.116.11.0 in 2012. This was noted by Grofe and is the fulcrum of my SAA paper of April 2010:
It provides a rationale for understanding Lord Jaguar's motivation in using the 2012 date in his rhetoric of power, via the underlying astronomy in the 13 dates on Tortuguero Monument 6. This proposal was hotly debated in the discussion sponsored by scholars at The Maya Exploration Center in late 2010, transcribed in full here:
Since astronomy was so important to the ancient Maya, it would be great if astronomy could factor into our understanding of the ancient Maya.
Finally, of some interest to you, and perhaps a catalyst for further dialogue, is my identification of a lunar sidereal cycle on those three dates from the stucco pier of Palenque Temple XIX that you briliiantly reconstructed in your 2005 book:
and also see the following-up piece:
I am off to Izapa! (June 17, 2012)
Barb MacLeod’ comments about Xultun on Aztlan (May 15, 2012), and related posts
Barb MacLeod bmacleod at austin.rr.com
Tue May 15 20:17:58 CDT 2012
Xultun Number A and the 819-Day Count
J. Eric S. Thompson (1950:214) wrote: “as only once in every 63 times will a day with a coefficient of 1 also mark the start of the 819-day cycle, the fact that this first day before (18.104.22.168) 4 Ajaw 8 Cumku is a base in the 819-day cycle argues strongly for that count’s being primarily ritualistic”.
The day 1 Kaban before the Era Base 4 Ajaw 8 Kumk’u, per a discussion Carl Callaway and I had several years ago, is an 819-DC station in the east quadrant—the quadrant in which, for several reasons, we concluded that the count should begin. From this datum, counts both forward and back might reach other stations in the cycle; thus the pre-era date 22.214.171.124.17 1 Kaban 5 Kumk’u need not be the earliest documented station. The earliest station known—126.96.36.199.5 1 Chikchan 18 Ch’en, recorded on the Palenque TXIX bench, is therefore not the base date but rather a distant-past station reached from it. For listeros not familiar with this cycle, 819 is the product of 7, 13, and 9. Thompson and colleagues (p. 214 above) have offered suggestions about its purpose; a few days ago Michael Grofe said that he suspects it to be an “idealized system for tracking the sidereal position of eclipses”.
Within a few hours of the publication of the table for numbers A-D in the recent Science article by Saturno, Stuart, Aveni and Rossi on the astronomical tables of Xultun, Hutch Kinsman wrote to several of us who regularly correspond by email, pointing out that Number A—1,195,740—is evenly divisible by 819. This property of the interval is not mentioned in the article. Upon closer examination and further discussion with Hutch, I have concluded that this property is the unique rationale for Xultun Number A. It is 63 x 18,980 and 4 x 819 x 365. It is also 9 x 365 x 364, which brings to mind a well-known formula: 4 x 819 = 9 x 364. The unit of 364 days is the “computing year” discussed by Thompson (1950:256). The number [63 x 18,980] is also the smallest unit which commensurates the 819-Day Count with the Calendar Round.
At the 1974 Segunda Mesa Redonda de Palenque, Floyd Lounsbury presented a careful analysis of the pre-era initial date of the Tablet of the Cross at Palenque; this paper is well worth reading and is available on Mesoweb:
Per Lounsbury’s work, the Palenque interval is 1,359,540 days, or 4 x 819 x 415. While it is not an even multiple of the 18,980-day Calendar Round, it is 5229 x 260 and 1734 x 780 and 3735 x 364. It demonstrates the application to dynastic mythological narrative of large multiples of [4 x 819] by Maya scribes in deep-time calculations.
The authors of the Science article note that the tzolk’in day at the top of Column A is either 1 Kawak or 1 Kaban. I suggest that it is 1 Kaban—the tzolk’in position of the base date of the 819-Day Count. If this is correct, it sheds light on the purpose of the other three tzolk’in dates. Might the 9 K’an be that of the Dresden Codex Serpent Base 9 K’an 12 K’ayab?
Followed by Ivan Van Laningham (May 16):
The 1,195,740 figure is one that both Robert Hall and I arrived at
independently after examining the mathematical ramifications of the 819-day
count. He was still working on a paper dealing with that number the last
time I corresponded with him, a couple of years before his recent death.
My paper on the topic, "Somewhere in Time: New Mathematical Methods for the
819-Day Count," which had been scheduled for the (now defunct) *U Mut Maya
VII* several years ago, was posted on the web in 2008. The URL is
Note: It was sad to hear of Robert Hall’s recent passing.
Followed by Carlos:
A. carlos at dresdencodex.com
Wed May 16 14:31:00 CDT 2012
Un buen día para todos,
El intervalo de 1195740 días fue descubierto por Floyd Glenn Lounsbury en
1976, como se menciona en la Tabla 2 y páginas siguientes de la tesis
escrita por Christopher Powell en 1997 como requisito parcial para su
Maestría en Artes de la Universidad de Texas, bajo la supervisión de Linda
Al adicionar a dicho intervalo, [equivalente a 3276 x 365 días], la
distancia comprendida entre la estación de 819 días de 188.8.131.52.2, 1 Ik’ 10
Sek y la fecha de los ritos de Kan Bahlam de 184.108.40.206.16, 2 Kib 14 Mol,
[i.e. 794 días], se obtienen 3276 años-trópico.
Por lo tanto, 3276 años-trópico separan la estación de Lounsbury de
220.127.116.11.2, 1 Ik’ 10 Sek, de los ritos de dedicación de 18.104.22.168.16, 2 Kib
14 Mol, como se menciona en una publicación de 2008 [página 126 del pdf]:
Carlos Barrera Atuesta
Later, in June, Barb MacLeod:
Barb MacLeod bmacleod at austin.rr.com
Sat Jun 9 19:31:11 CDT 2012
I appreciate this interesting and detailed post regarding the relationships of these intervals to the Era Day. That the Maya may have counted forward from 4 Ajaw 8 Kumk'u to the next 1 Kaban or 9 K'an or 13 Chikchan and added the resulting interval to these Long Rounds is something I did consider in passing. But I am not yet motivated to work with such additional intervals in part because I think that the base date of Column A is likely to be the 1 Kaban prior to 4 Ajaw 8 Kumk'u, and also because my views are founded on (1) the inviolability of these clean multiples of 18,980 and (2) the results of my work on Columns B and C, which have been quite productive without the addition of other intervals. However, Number C requires a forty-day "footstep" correction. As was mentioned, I have previously posted the explorations of Number A by Hutch Kinsman and myself:
In recent correspondence with Anthony Aveni, I have shared my thinking on Numbers B and C.
Number B is 341,640 =11569.021 x 29.530587, or 11569 x 29.530642, which I think is its purpose in relation to 18 CRs. The error in relation to the modern LSM (29.530587) is .000055, which seems to me a very tiny tradeoff for the benefit of commensuration with the Calendar Round and incidentally, as the authors determined, the Mars synodic interval (780) and the canonical Venus round (584).
In Number C (2,448,420) I also found a multiple of the Tropical Year, but I suggest the TY to first have been commensurated with the LSM: 365.2422 x 29.530587 =10785.816. 227 is the suggested multiplier or companion number. Comparing [10786 x 227], which is 2448422, to [10785.816 x 227]: the latter is 2448380.2, with a difference of 41.8 days. In relation to the actual Xultun number it is an error of 39.8 days, or evenly, 40. The correct TY and lunar positions could have been determined by subtracting 40 days (the "Maya footstep" formula) from the Xultun number.
This seems to me the simplest explanation. Tony Aveni has said he is "completely on board" with Number A, and that he "considers my lunar association with Number B acceptable due to the very small error" involved. Regarding Number C, he's said that "it makes some sense in relation to TY calculations and that it is worth retaining until something better comes along". I am satisfied with this level of confidence for now.
Several days ago I explored Number D in relation to the mean synodic period of Venus, 583.92 and reached results very similar to those of Anna Vanichkin, but without the addition of a count forward from Era Day to a suggested base date. Number D is 1765140. When divided by 583.92, the result is 3022.914. Dividing 1765140 by 3023, the result is a mean Venus cycle value of 583.9034, whereas Anna's result was better: 583.92557. The product of 583.92 and 3023 is 1765190.16, requiring a correction of 50 days. I haven't yet sent this to Tony.
A question I posed in our correspondence: "when the task was to commensurate one or (especially) more planetary cycles with the Calendar Round, what sort of error would have been acceptable to the Maya in a system that didn't employ fractions? At what point do we stop thinking "close enough to be likely" (as in Number B with the LSM) or "reasonable with correction formula" and just toss the hypothesis?" His reply: "You pinpoint the crucial question about hypothesis acceptance/rejection in para. 2 and I have no solution to it. It is a qualitatively determined matter and some of us are more liberal than others, esp. when it comes to big numbers."
To this I would add: to what lengths should we go in formulating hypotheses? Must we conclude that the primary desideratum is the most precise value possible, or the most sweeping TOE possible? Since we have no Classic-period astronomical tables other than those recopied into Postclassic manuscripts and it's unlikely (sadly) we ever will, a discovery like that at Xultun can open a window, if not a door, onto Classic computational methods. I prefer parsimony and simplicity, and my first thought on seeing this array was "oh, it's didactic; it's like the twelves and thirteens of the multiplication tables! Here they are, those special higher multiples of 3 x 18,980 laid out so that young calendric mathematicians can memorize their properties."
I still see it this way.
On June 30, Stuart’s blog post about the new 2012 text from La Corona was announced by the Aztlan moderator. Incredibly, all through July there were ZERO posts and discussions on Aztlan about it (remember, I had been repeatedly censored and decided to quite Aztlan in January). It must have been a cold slap in the face for the 2012/JMJ debunker squad to be informed there was a second 2012 inscription to contend with. The consensus that 2012 was an invention of the silly New Age marketplace was being challenged. The response? Silence.