Did Extraterrestrials Create the Maya Calendar? (cont.)
By Thomas Razzeto
So let's review everything very quickly. It looks to me like there are three different astronomical problems that each required a fantastic level of precision. The first is the length of the year. The second is the shift due to precession and the third is the position of the other planets as seen from earth. Yes, indeed, the creation of the Long Count calendar is one super-tough homework problem! I've never seen anything like it!
Could Ancient People Have Discovered Precession?
When asked if the shift due to precession could have been discovered by ancient people without high technology, John Major Jenkins pointed out that the Greek astronomer Hipparchus discovered precession just over 2,000 years ago, coincidently right at the same time that the Maya calendar was put into use. Hipparchus did not have any sophisticated instruments or telescopes but he did have some data available to him that had been gathered about 140 years earlier. Using this as a reference, he measured the small shift caused by the wobble of the earth and estimated the total precessional cycle as 36,000 years or less. So we see that his error was about 10,000 years, which is over 35 percent incorrect, but all things considered, this is actually not bad. Yet I certainly have to add that it's a good thing that he wasn't in charge of creating the Maya calendar!
In comparison, the ancient people of Mesoamerica also had plenty of time on their hands. In fact, this is the key that unlocks the puzzle. In chapter 6 of John Major Jenkins's book, The 2012 Story, we learn of the work of archaeologist Marion Hatch. While John's information about Hatch's work is very brief and a bit sketchy, Hatch tells us that about 3,000 years ago, people in La Venta, which is a town just north of Izapa, exhibited knowledge of precession by aligning some of their buildings to certain stars and then realigning them as precession progressed. Given that the awareness of precession goes back that far, it seems quite reasonable that the Long Count calendar was setup with the benefit of roughly 1,000 years of observational data. This is the key point! It is this data provides the knowledge required to create the calendar!