Search-icon

The Order of Days

The Maya World and the Truth About 2012

By

Hardcover published by Crown Archetype (Crown Publishing Group)

have you read it? rate it!
Histogram_reset_icon
(1 REVIEW)
ADD TO MY SHELF
About This Book

The world's foremost expert on Maya culture looks at 2012 hysteria and explains the truth about what the Maya meant and what we want to believe.

Apocalypse 2012: An Investigation into Civilizations End. The World Cataclysm in 2012. 2012: The return of Quetzalcoatl. According to many of these alarmingly titled books, the ancient Maya not only had a keen insight into the mystical workings of our planet and the cosmos, but they were also able to predict that the world will end in the year 2012.

David Stuart, the foremost scholar of the Maya and recipient of numerous awards for his work, takes a hard look at the frenzy over 2012 and offers a fascination (and accurate) trip through Mayan culture and belief. Stuart shows how the idea that the "end of the Mayan calendar," which supposedly heralds the end of our own existence, says far more about our culture than about the ancient Maya. The Order of Days explores how the real intellectual achievement of ancient Maya timekeeping and worldview is far more impressive and remarkable than any of the popular, and often outrageous, claims about this advanced civilization.

As someone who has studied the Maya for nearly all of his life and who specializes in reading their ancient texts, Stuart sees the 2012 hubbub as the most recent in a long chain of related ideas about Mesoamericans, the Maya in particular, that depicts them as somehow oddball, not "of this world," or as having some strong mystical link to other realms.

Because the year 2012 has no prominent role in anything the ancient Maya ever actually wrote, Stuart takes a wider look at the Maya concepts of time and their underlying philosophy as we can best understand them. The ancient Maya, Stuart contends, were worthy of study and admiration not because they were strange but because they were altogether human, and they developed a compelling vision of time unlike any other civilization before or since.

Show less

The world's foremost expert on Maya culture looks at 2012 hysteria and explains the truth about what the Maya meant and what we want to believe.

Apocalypse 2012: An Investigation into Civilizations End. The World Cataclysm in 2012. 2012: The return of Quetzalcoatl. According to many of these alarmingly titled books, the ancient Maya not only had a keen insight into the mystical workings of our planet and the cosmos, but they were also able to predict that the world will end in the year 2012.

David Stuart, the foremost scholar of the Maya and recipient of numerous awards for his work, takes a hard look at the frenzy over 2012 and offers a fascination (and accurate) trip through Mayan culture and belief. Stuart shows how the idea that the "end of the Mayan calendar," which supposedly heralds the end of our own existence, says far more about our culture than about the ancient Maya. The Order of Days explores how the real intellectual achievement of ancient Maya timekeeping and worldview is far more impressive and remarkable than any of the popular, and often outrageous, claims about this advanced civilization.

As someone who has studied the Maya for nearly all of his life and who specializes in reading their ancient texts, Stuart sees the 2012 hubbub as the most recent in a long chain of related ideas about Mesoamericans, the Maya in particular, that depicts them as somehow oddball, not "of this world," or as having some strong mystical link to other realms.

Because the year 2012 has no prominent role in anything the ancient Maya ever actually wrote, Stuart takes a wider look at the Maya concepts of time and their underlying philosophy as we can best understand them. The ancient Maya, Stuart contends, were worthy of study and admiration not because they were strange but because they were altogether human, and they developed a compelling vision of time unlike any other civilization before or since.

Product Details
Hardcover (368 pages)
Published: May 17, 2011
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Imprint: Crown Archetype
ISBN: 9780385527262
Other books byDavid Stuart
  • The Life and Rhymes of Ogden Nash

    The Life and Rhymes of Ogden Nash
    A Biography
    Ogden Nash was a rare poet: one who celebrated the ordinary with delight and curiosity. He struggled his whole career with comparisons to “serious” poets, those heroes of the canon who abandoned the rhyme and meter that were the lifeblood to his style of writing. In addition to his writing, Nash pursued publishing, screenwriting, and a rigorous lecture circuit. This book explores Ogden Nash’s life, his career, and the invaluable amount of work he left behind—works we read and cherish today.

    The Memory of Bones

    The Memory of Bones
    Body, Being, and Experience among the Classic Maya
    All of human experience flows from bodies that feel, express emotion, and think about what such experiences mean. But is it possible for us, embodied as we are in a particular time and place, to know how people of long ago thought about the body and its experiences? In this groundbreaking book, three leading experts on the Classic Maya (ca. AD 250 to 850) marshal a vast array of evidence from Maya iconography and hieroglyphic writing, as well as archaeological findings, to argue that the Classic Maya developed a coherent approach to the human body that we can recover and understand today. The authors open with a cartography of the Maya body, its parts and their meanings, as depicted in imagery and texts. They go on to explore such issues as how the body was replicated in portraiture; how it experienced the world through ingestion, the senses, and the emotions; how the body experienced war and sacrifice and the pain and sexuality that were intimately bound up in these domains; how words, often heaven-sent, could be embodied; and how bodies could be blurred through spirit possession. From these investigations, the authors convincingly demonstrate that the Maya conceptualized the body in varying roles, as a metaphor of time, as a gendered, sexualized being, in distinct stages of life, as an instrument of honor and dishonor, as a vehicle for communication and consumption, as an exemplification of beauty and ugliness, and as a dancer and song-maker. Their findings open a new avenue for empathetically understanding the ancient Maya as living human beings who experienced the world as we do, through the body.

    The Decipherment of Ancient Maya Writing

    The Decipherment of Ancient Maya Writing
    A Source Book
    The Decipherment of Ancient Maya Writingis an important story of intellectual discovery and a tale of code breaking comparable to the interpreting of Egyptian hieroglyphs and the decoding of cuneiform. Using classic articles taken from publications unavailable to most readers, accounts by Spaniards who witnessed the writing of the glyphs and research by twentieth-century scholars--from Tatiana Proskouriakoff to Michael Coe--this book provides a history of the interpretation of Maya hieroglyphs. Introductory essays offer the historical context and describe the personalities and theories of the many authors who contributed to the understanding of these ancient glyphs. More than two hundred line drawings illustrate the text and serve as an introduction to decipherment. This landmark work in Maya studies is the first book to examine the centuries of thought behind the decoding of Maya hieroglyphs.

    Palenque

    Palenque
    Eternal City of the Maya
    Sunday, June 15, 1952. Having spent four years clearing a secret passage inside Palenque's Temple of the Inscriptions, Mexican archaeologist Alberto Ruz gazed into a vaulted chamber. There, beneath a gigantic carved stone block, he would make a spectacular discovery: the intact burial of King Pakal, complete with jade jewelry and an exquisite burial mask. Pakal was one of the greatest ancient rulers and the most prominent among a long line of monarchs who held sway at Palenque from AD 300 to 800. This "queen of Maya cities," as Palenque has been called, fell into ruin and was abandoned along with other great urban centers when Maya civilization suffered a mysterious collapse more than 1000 years ago. Through the eyes of David and George Stuart, we travel with pioneer artists and archaeologists from the eighteenth century on as they rediscovered Palenque and attempted, in the oppressive tropical heat, to document the city's graceful and ornate palaces, temples, bas-reliefs, and hieroglyphic inscriptions. These inscriptions lay largely unread until, in the late twentieth century, major breakthroughs in decipherment revealed Palenque's history. David Stuart, one of the leading decipherers, portrays a lost world of palace intrigue, of brilliant architects, of gods and revered ancestors. Today Palenque, proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a place of new reverence and relevance for millions of modern Maya, New Age spiritualists, and all those fascinated by the history of the Maya.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
Quote Cannot be Empty

Submitted quotes are usually posted within 48 hours

ThanksYour Quote Will be posted Shortly
Bookish