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I The Ritual Practice of Time of the Long Count Calendar of the 
 Classic Maya Civilisation

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Chapter Summary

The constructed denomination "Maya" comprises c. seven or eight million people who speak a Mayan language today. The tradition of observing the Long Count calendar continued probably into the sixteenth century. It is, however, only the classic Maya civilisation that has left a quite comprehensive record of inscriptions containing Long Count dates and the related ritual practice of time. The dates and descriptions indicating the ritual practice of time of the Long Count calendar are only recognisable in the Maya inscriptions. The world was symbolically recreated in rituals of time because the Maya feared that the termination of the major time units of the Long Count calendar might also mean the destruction or annihilation of the world and humanity. The inscriptions on the classic Maya stone monuments attest that the ritual practice of time was in fact "the germination" of the novel time period.

Keywords: Classic Maya civilisation; long count calendar; Maya inscriptions; ritual practice



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