Posted by: Johan Normark | February 16, 2012

2012: Jenkins is being misunderstood – again…

I have not yet read Joseph Gelfer’s edited volume 2012: Decoding the Countercultural Apocalypse (apart from the chapter by John Hoopes, which I have planned to comment on sometime soon). Anyway, one of the contributors is John Major Jenkins and he apparently does not like what most of the other contributors have to say about his work. It is filled with the old “mantra” that he is misunderstood or that others deliberately misrepresent him. Read his comments on the book here. It is quite similar to his aggressive attack on David Stuart’s book. I have read Stuart’s book and I dare say that Jenkins is very good at distorting other people’s work as well. Since I have read Hoopes’s article in the edited volume I am confident that Jenkins is distorting the other texts as well. The true skill of a crank.


  1. Glad to discover you … and thanks for pointing out the Jenkins comments on the book, which I hadn’t been aware of :)

  2. I did not know about them either until John Hoopes posted the document on facebook.

  3. In the end Jenkins will have contributed far more than you could ever to Mesoamerican calendrics and Maya culture. You’re just a poor dry academic with little to say and lots to criticize.
    Though I do agree with you that Calleman is the worst offender, but you clearly do not understand Jenkins.

    • Oh sorry for pointing out one of your idol’s many fallacies. Yes, I am a poor dry academic that do have a lot to criticize but a lot to say in a constructive way. You would know that if you bothered reading more than one or just a few blog post(s). I assume you are not an academic yourself (and that makes you proud, doesn’t it?)? Like many other 2012ers you confuse popularity with credibility. Just because many people believe in JMJ’s ideas does not make them credible. Being published in a peer-reviewed journal should give his ideas some credibility. It is there you’ll find the lasting contributions. JMJ will be forgotten by Mayanists in a few years. His only lasting contribution will be in New Age and pseudoscience.

      So in a way I am also sure JMJ will contribute more to the Mesoamerican calendrics and Maya culture than me, but in a negative way. He has clouded the minds of thousands of people with his outdated pseudoarchaeoastronomical ideas mixed with New Age. Btw, I do not believe in the idea of a “Maya culture” in the first case so how can I contribute to the Maya culture? First and foremost I am an archaeologist and my main contributions is to combine neorealist ideas with archaeological data.

      It is not difficult to understand JMJ. He is a crank and those who believe him clearly have little understanding of science and the Maya.

  4. Here is a perfect example of JMJ:

    Note that he challenges “Shock” to a debate since he can sense that “Shock” most likely knows less than himself on this issue. Then note the lack of response to “Jim Smith’s” comment. Jim Smith apparently knows more about archaeoastronomy than JMJ. Why did JMJ not challenge him to a debate? Because he is a crank with a selected understanding of astronomy and Maya. He has a big mouth though.

  5. Johan Normak,
    “You clearly do not understand Jenkins.” Yes, thank you to “hun lamat.” Johan, despite our seemingly cordial exchange last year, I am baffled why you continue to spew vitriolic disinformation and mean-spirited, under-informed judgments over me (personally) and my work (professionally). In recent years, I have worked hard to educate many about the astronomical content of the Maya inscriptions at Tortuguero that relate to 2012. These include presentations at academic institutions such as the Society for American Archaeology, and subsequent debate sponsored by a consortium of scholars at The Maya Exploration Center. Since then, I personally went to the museum that houses TRT Mon 6 in Mexico, and produced a report with the best-available pictures of the monument, which I made. All of this was made freely available on The Center for 2012 Studies website. The result of my analysis contributed a great deal to the ongoing investigation by clarifying Lord Jaguar’s birthday although, of course, many “professional” scholars do not acknowledge my ongoing work. As I read your misleading and cranky words in your posts, I can’t help wondering if you’ve read anything that I’ve posted at The Center for 2012 Studies in the past year. This is cutting edge research, offered by a self-funded independent investigator committed to pushing back the fringes of how we understand the ancient Maya. Do you have a problem with that? If you have a problem with my actual findings and arguments and the evidence I’ve presented, why don’t you offer a real, unbiased, scientific response to it? I’ve always welcomed that, but I haven’t seen much of it. That which I’ve seen, I’ve responded to in detail, with FACT-based rebuttals, to Stuart, Freidel, Aveni, etc etc, on and in my 2009 book The 2012 Story. In fact, my article in the anthology that this thread is the subject provided a clear venue for my defense to clueless debunkers. WHY DON’T YOU READ IT before you spew more mean-spirited garbage? Your website conveniently ignores all of that, and so your are clearly engaged in a pathetic, typical, and predictable agenda of ad hominem mitigation, allied with Hoopes and others. By the way, my review of Gelfer’s 2012 book, in which I corrected and clarified the inaccurate assessments of Hoopes and Larsen, is here: It’s not aggressive at all, it is a necessary FACT-based defense to clueless debunkers who are, like you, offended that I have contributed so much that is now, unavoidably, seeping into the consensus about 2012.

    • Do you have a secret police of your own or do you have informants telling you where the infidels are?

      If you even bothered reading what I have said about your work I have little problem with the galactic alignment idea as such. It could have been proposed as an explanation of the Long Count in a peer-reviewed journal 15 years ago (now it is too late I guess). However, since you have devoted most of your life to this single idea (and not much else concerning the Maya), mixed it with some New Age ideas and promoted 21 December 2012 as “the most important date in history” you clearly have attracted more interest among non-scholars. What I do care about is the way the whole 2012 circus has been blown out of proportion and you are one of the main contributors to this circus. Hence, I have no interest in debunking your galactic alignment idea itself. I leave that to those interested in archaeoastronomy. I focus on the discourse you are involved in.

      • No, I just happened across this accidentally. My responses had nothing to do with your attitude to my work on Maya astronomy and the 2012 date. My response had to do with your mean-spirited comments. The 2012 topic has many facets. One is the what is referred to as “the 2012 phenomenon.” Myself and a few others were using this term many years ago; we also have referred to it as “carnival 2012.” I have been critiquing the popular marketplace on 2012 and the Maya since the 1980s. It is a major part of my book The 2012 Story. More recently, I have critiqued similarly irrational treatments by professional scholars (this actually seems to be where your issues with me lie). Since you profess an interest in critiquing this area, it is curious that you never acknowledge that early and ongoing work I have offered; instead, at best you and other late-comer critics begin repeating the same critiques of the marketplace and the various pop theories that I originally proposed. As for being an author and writing books, leading tours to archaeological sites and so on, your seeming offense at the multiple aspects of my career as a self-made independent thinker and author tends to highlights maybe some of your own issues and limitations. I’ve been published by a wide variety of publishers; I’ve spoken at both academic and popular conferences; I’ve attempted to communicate with the media (a pretty difficult task, re 2012), I work with a non-profit doing good work with Maya leaders while conserving sites and documenting new discoveries (such as the Birth-Sacrifice Boulder near Izapa); I play guitar and write songs, I write poetry, I do letterpress printing as a hobby, I explore both Maya spiritual teachings and archaeological reconstructions — you seem to be offended that I have such a versatile and wide-ranging interest profile, and seem to pit one area against the other as if they can’t co-exist. I guess that’s a matter of how open minded the consciousness is. If we revisit some mean-spirited and misleading comments you made on your website, I can’t help thinking that you are more interested in debunkery, by any means necessary, rather than engaging in the evidence I’ve assembled and the arguments I’ve made. And if you think I’m rolling in the cash through all of my 25 years of work and efforts, you are sorely mistaken. Tell you what, I’ll send you 100 x the amount I’ve profited on all the tours I’ve been involved in. 100 x, you say? Yes, i can offer that, because 100 x 0 = 0.

      • “you seem to be offended that I have such a versatile and wide-ranging interest profile” lol, should I be impressed by this?

        I have no idea what your interests are but apparently you have a need to let everyone know what they are. At least your interest profile is more limited than mine…

  6. Johan Normak,
    You seem to think that I am repeating a “mantra.” No, I am just continuing to critique under-informed critics with fact-based responses. It’s as if they don’t actually read my work. For example, what follows is an excerpt from my review of Kristine Larsen’s “critique” (from the PDF linked above):

    Furthermore, as proof of the deceptive and inaccurate nature of Larsen’s critique she cites two pages from my book Galactic Alignment as the place from which she derived the above quote, which I’ll provide here in full: “According to Jenkins, the alignment of the solar system with the galactic centre on the Winter Solstice was interpreted by the Maya to be the Great Mother (Milky Way) giving birth through the Great Cygnus Rift, heralding the birth of a new spiritual age (Jenkins 2002: 18, 259)” (Larsen 2011:98). Now, let’s read the two pages that she cited (18 and 259), reproduced for your edification here and here. The reader will find that instead of the vague and inaccurate definition of the galactic alignment that she ascribes to me (involving “the solar system” and the “Great Cygnus Rift”), I in fact provide a detailed and careful definition and discussion of the galactic alignment that is astronomically accurate and highlights the Maya concepts that are relevant to my reconstruction. And instead of claiming that the alignment heralds “a new spiritual age” (as Larsen claims I do) my discussion is much more involved (see page 259) and focuses on Maya concepts of world-renewal.

    See how that works? (see the PDF for the links to the pages that Larsen cited in my book). I’m wondering if you, Johan Normak, can share your own thoughts about this? Would you stand for this if someone distorted your work in this way? Another faux pas of Larsen’s involved her dismissal of my involvement in a Syfy documentary; yet she neglected to point out that my contribution focused on a new archaeological discovery near Izapa, a carved stone boulder that I documented. this is what is referred to, in scientific circles, as a “legitimate archaeological contribution.” It is documented at The Center for 2012 Studies website. And yet it wasn’t characterized in that way. Why do you think my contribution was mis-characterized by Larsen? Any thoughts on that, Johan Normak? Do you think that it is possible, on the remotest fringe of what your brain can conceive, that Larsen and others neglect to engage rational discourse, and do not accurately summarize my work, because they are reflexively, even semi-consciously, needing to mitigate me, because I am perceived as an”outsider” or have discussed (with clear rational acumen, by the way), the spiritual teachings of the Maya as expressions of perennial wisdom? Maybe one day the small paradigm of scientists, which you and others have been cookie-cut into accepting, will one day enlarge to embrace a larger reality — one that the ancient Maya were well aware of. Start by reading Seyyed Hossein Nasr’s “Knowledge and the Sacred.”

    • A sugestion: if you include the phrase “the remotest fringe of what your brain can conceive” in a question do not expect any answer from that person.

      • Johan, shall I make a list of your comments about me, insinuating totally untrue things that amount to slander?

      • I am sure you have nothing else to do so go ahead.

  7. Now, let’s look at Hoopes’s “critique”. Let’s exceprt from my PDF (

    “John Hoopes claims that I stated my work was inspired by Helena Blavatsky’s Theosophy, and cites my comments in my 1992/1994 book Tzolkin. He also states that I avoided such an admission in my later work. Both of his characterizations are wrong. This is yet another example of Hoopsian chicanery in his misleading disinformation campaign. It’s rumor and innuendo, which has effect among undiscerning readers because he doesn’t cite the actual quotes. Let’s take a look. In my book — the book he cited (without a page reference) — Blavatsky does not appear in the index; none of her books were summarized in my Annotated Bibliography section, and a reference to Blavatsky can be found in only one place in the entire book. This is a 1-page section called “New Age Thoughts” in which I critique the unfortunate development of spiritual materialism in the New Age marketplace in the 1980s….

    “The Theosophical Society library IS, indeed, filled with amazing books, including sacred texts of all the world’s major religious traditions. This doesn’t mean that I read them all; it doesn’t even mean that I read the ones by “Alan Watts, Castaneda, Jung, and Blavatsky” that “I found.” It certainly doesn’t mean that Blavatsky inspired me, or informed my later work. In my book I mention a great variety of personalities throughout history, including Jack London, Marilyn Monroe, Dostoevsky, the Buddha, Jesus, Karl Marx, Emily Bronte, Joseph Smith, Walt Whitman, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Gregor Mendel, Charles Meryon, William Blake, Goya, Shelly, Goethe, Sir Richard Burton, Baudelaire, Mirza Ali Muhammed, Florence Nightingale, Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, Gottfried Leibniz, Napolean Bonaparte, Olaf Stapledon, Galileo, Kepler, etc, etc, etc, etc. It’s fascinating that Hoopes chose to zero in on my brief, one-time, one-word, reference to “Blavatsky.””

    What more need be said? You see, Johan Normak, those aren’t actual critiques that Hoopes offers, they’re shamelessly misleading constructs intended to mitigate. It’s some small conform for me to step back and understand that all of this will be clearly understood by future historians, and your position, will be well understood.

    • Thanks for reminding me. I should take a look at his article again and make a blog post about it. We can take the debate then, I am sure sure informants will let you know when it has been posted.

      • If you decide to critique my review of the Gelfer book — think that’s what you meant — please pay attention to my words of support for Joseph Gelfer, in that he has tried to create a place of reconciliation in which the various streams of the 2012 discussion have meaning from different viewpoints. In my own work, this has manifested as holding a middle space between the profound spiritual teachings of the Maya (ancient and modern) and the cutting-edge of reconstructing ancient Maya knowledge including astronomy. These areas are actually integrating in Maya thought because of the non-dual nature of Maya cosmovision. Problem of interpretation that professional scholars fall prey too usually involve inappropriately separating these areas. Also, please attend to (or at least summarize) the factual basis of my responses to Hoopes and Larsen. With Larsen, it is a very old and cliched critique that any rational person cannot maintain, although Krupp and others continue to try to do so. Basically, it’s this: the GA is 1998, but the LC cycle ending is 2012 — a 14-year difference! Ha! The GA has been debunked! This is ridiculous because, according to my work, we are looking at a forward calculation that the ancient Maya made in the very slow precession of the equinoxes, projecting forward some 2000 years. Larsen and others seem to require that the ancient Maya were able to make an absolutely precise forward calculation in precession, a thoroughly absurd assumption. My review addresses this and other conceptual and logical problems, and a I do so in service to clarity.

      • No, I was referring to the article by John Hoopes. It is the only one I have read. I am not sure I am willing to spend that much money on purchasing the book.

  8. If you or your readers are interested in setting aside your vitriolic polemics and engaging with the ongoing research into the Tortuguero inscriptions:

    “A Reassessment of Date Ambiguities on Tortuguero Monument 2.” March 2, 2012. Deciphering dates in Maya inscriptions often requires accepting “scribal errors.” The previously proposed date decipherment for Tortuguero Monument 2 requires one, but additional data in the text suggests that another date is indicated, one that points us to Lord Jaguar’s birthday in 612 AD. Further examination of Monument 2 in the Carlos Pellicer Museum may resolve the issue.”:

    Johan — By the way, please let me know if you plan on deleting my posts, like you did last time. Thanks, John Major Jenkins

    • I have never deleted any of your posts. Why should I? You must be confusing one of your emails with a blog post. Your emails do not show up on the blog. Maybe it was considered to be spam?

    • John,

      we’ve had our run ins before, and it should be no surprise that I find your “scholarship” lacking again. I just looked through your “A Reassessment of Date Ambiguities on Tortuguero Monument 2″. No surprise that you’re trying to pull data out of the Tortuguero monuments. Unfortunately, your article is rather sloppy (you cite my paper with Marc Zender in the text itself as merely Zender 2000, for example) and it is more than apparent that you are no epigrapher. This is not a problem; even non-professionals can do good work. But when your work isn’t good, it merely highlights why you are not a professional. You rely far too heavily on Gronemeyer’s drawing and analysis, in order to come up with your alternative reading. The fact is, the text is far too badly eroded for any date to be clear here. What you (following Gronemeyer) take to be a 5 tun indicator looks nothing like it to me. There are two very distinct glyphs for a 5.0.0 Period Ending (Naah Ho’tuun in Mayan) and a 15.0.0 Period Ending (Wi’ Ho’tuun in Mayan). There is no generic glyph for 5 tuun Period Ending, that could cover either possibility, and the glyph in question on Stela 2 doesn’t look like either one. Simply because it has a bar in front doesn’t make it a Period Ending glyph. In fact, all of the glyphs in the fourth circle on Altar 2 are probably lunar glyphs from the Supplementary Series. The actual haab date probably fell in the extremely eroded fifth circle. I don’t consider this date decipherable, to be honest, and it is rather amusing to see you spend so much energy trying to pull out an alternative date, and demonstrating your lack of epigraphic knowledge so clearly in the process. It is amusing to see you try to pull out of this hideously eroded inscription a reference to your favorite position for the birth date on Tortuguero Monument 6. It is no different than the UFOlogists insisting that a grainy photograph of some lights in the sky support their ravings about Roswell. Sorry, but bad data, in no matter how great a quantity, does not support other bad data. Those don’t form reliable facts. All that you have shown here, John, is that you are without a doubt a pseudoscientist, and not a reliable scholar.

      • Stan, good to hear from you and thank you for reading my reassessment of the ambiguities in the TRT Monument 2 inscription. Actually, your presumption that I was casting about for evidence or support for my 2012 work is incorrect. I have been working through many texts sequentially, and my attention was drawn to certain texts that contain apparent “scribal errors” in order to make proposed date reconstructions work. Using the same criteria of analysis employed in the reconstruction of dates, I wanted to test for other possible date interpretations. The date currently suggested for Monument 2 ( requires a scribal error in the Haab numerical position. I explored other possible interpretations. One of these is based upon what appears to be a bar in the position where the stone-binding occurs. I cited other examples of “5″-tun stone-bindings that relate to both 5-Tun and 15-Tun period endings, one from the west side of the Palenque Temple XIX platform inscription, and one from TRT Mon 6 itself. I was not concerned with the glyph itself, as you seem to believe, but I accepted Gronemeyer’s reading of its general shape as being supportive of a stone-binding event. This and the apparent Ajaw glyph in the Tzolkin position supports a period-ending date. As I explained in my essay, the vertical bar was suggestive of a 5-Tun period ending, and this led to me exploring other period-ending beyond Katun endings. The date I located, also requires a scribal error, but it is at least on par with the interpretive strategy of Gronemeyer. I was then surprised to find that this date falls on 12 Ajaw 8 Kankin, which I had already proposed as the best candidate for Lord Jaguar’s birthday (Nov. 28, 612 J). My findings were based on my direct eyeball-to-glyph scrutiny of the eroded DN at E4 on TRT Mon 6, when I visited the museum in March 2011. Stan, have you studied TRT Mon 6 in person? In regard to TRT Mon 2, I then suggested that if we could revisit the poorly drawn glyphs on the hidden dorsal side, we might find better evidence for one or other of the proposed date reconstructions. I’m well aware of the ambiguous nature of these eroded sources of data, that is why “date ambiguities” is in the title of my essay. I suggested a way that one might secure clearer evidence, if there is a DN on the dorsal side. Not sure why you have a problem with that, Stan, and instead begin mudslinging, invoking UFOs, and inaccurately judging my intentions and efforts.

  9. Btw, JMJ, why did you not challenge Jim Smith? You probably know it is safe to challenge me on the specifics about your own ideas which you have worked on for two decades or so. Maybe I should challenge you on a debate on neorealism and/or speculative realism?

  10. I believe it is worth trying to reconstruct dates based on the available evidence. This often requires a fairly difficult intellectual deduction process using different elements of evidence from different parts of the text. Stan, I know you like “just the explicit facts” handed to you, but we have to work harder than that to reconstruct date sequences and narratives. An example of this is Stuart’s reconstruction of the date sequence on the stucco portion of the inner pier from Temple XIX Palenque. Not much there to go on, but all things considered it was enough.

    • The three dates on the stucco pier of Temple XIX are legible and obvious and the one has a Period Ending reference, making the dates easily decipherable. The carving on Monument 2 of Tortuguero is completely eroded and illegible. That you would compare these two is only yet again a testament to your lack of expertise with Maya inscriptions.

      • Actually, I cited those two inscriptions as examples that a 5-Tun stone-binding could refer to a 5-Tun period ending or a 15-Tun period ending, but my examination of 15-Tun period endings did not result in matches with the possible Tzolkin-Haab positions. And, the Monument 2 glyph at A4ay is NOT totally eroded and unreadable. Gronemeyer sees enough in the shape to suggest a stone-binding statement, AND it occurs directly after the Haab position, where we would expect it to be. Previous investigators (including Gronemeyer) assumed the period-ending would be a Katun ending. I pointed out that the bar form within the A4ay glyph-block MIGHT indicate a “5″ and thus a 5-tun stone-binding marker. Again, you see nothing here, whereas the careful scrutiny of Gronemeyer, previous investigators he cites, and myself see something (a possibility). To me, that possibility then suggested taking a look at 5-tun period-endings that may match the Tzolkin-Haab positions. A scribal error is required in all scenarios, and thus the ambiguities. Thus result the several date alternatives, which may be resolved by a look at the dorsal side.

  11. John,

    your trying to lecture me on working hard to reconstruct date sequences and narratives is both laughable and pathetic. I have been doing so for more than 15 years now. My first independent study of Maya inscriptions was the dates on Coba Stela 1, soon to be published in a revised version in an edited volume on the archaeology of Yucatan. I’ll send you a copy when it is finished. Teasing the maximum information out of eroded inscriptions is my specialty, thanks to excellent training from my professor, Peter Mathews. It is clear you have not had any such intensive training and you are grossly unfamiliar with the intricacies of Maya hieroglyphic writing. And this is why you keep making basic mistakes that completely undermine all the rest of your “scholarship”. (I put that word in quotations because your work appears to consist of little more than misinterpreting the work of real scholars, and then trying to put a New Age spin on it.)

    You admit that “I was not concerned with the glyph itself”, which completely undermines your claim to be doing real scholarship. You attempt to provide an alternative reading for the date on Tortuguero Monument 2 and yet you are so unfamiliar with Maya hieroglyphic writing that you can’t even determine for yourself what the glyphs might be, and have to rely entirely on the opinion of other scholars. Since this is the case, you should not even be attempting to reinterpret this data. You are simply unqualified to do so. The glyph that Gronemeyer saw as a potential 5 tuun Period Ending, and that you insist Gronemeyer must be right on (despite having no ability to properly judge that fact), simply does not have the outer forms to be either of those PE glyphs. As I pointed out yesterday, the glyph in question is far more likely to be one of the Supplementary Series glyphs, referring to a lunation. The actual haab glyph probably fell in the fifth circle on the monument, or perhaps even later in the text if an 819 day count was included. In any event, the haab is entirely missing and there is no 5 tuun PE glyph visible in the inscription. The kins have a coefficient of 1 and that means the tzolkin day name must be Ahau (though there is no evidence for this in the actual surviving carving, despite your claim that it has the “typical oval form of an Ajaw glyph” (all tzolkins have that same “oval form”)).

    John, this date is simply not reconstructable. I wish it was, but anyone who says otherwise, Gronemeyer and yourself included, is simply deluding themselves. We can suggest possibilities but there isn’t enough surviving detail to eliminate other alternatives that would be equally possible. The only reason you have chosen to latch yourself onto this 716 alternative date you propose for Monument 2 is because it allows you to argue for a connection to Monument 6, your true passion. But by your own admission the tzolkin would be written in error, which is extremely rare (and you haven’t the slightest reason to believe there is any error, since we can’t read the date anyways). Your proposal cannot be taken seriously.

    And neither can you. You have the audacity to lecture me on doing epigraphy and proper scholarship, even going to the point of rhetorically asking me if I have ever studied Tortuguero Monument 6 in person. Coming from someone who wasn’t even aware of Monument 6 and its 2012 date until just a few years ago, after writing a number of books on the subject (and while real epigraphers were very aware of the 2012 date on the monument in question – it is published in Linda Schele’s 1982 Maya Verbs book, after all) – this is extremely rich. For your information, John, I first studied Monument 6 with my own eyes in 1997, when I was working on my first archaeological project in the Maya area, in eastern Tabasco. So I had plenty of opportunity to study the inscriptions of the region, and when Marc Zender joined us at the University of Calgary, and got a job as epigrapher at Comalcalco, he and I had numerous, long discussions on these monuments. The only thing about Monument 6 that surprised me when Dave Stuart published his reading was that you 2012ers were so blissfully unaware of it beforehand. If any of you did real scholarship you should have found out about that decades ago. That you didn’t speaks volumes about your quality as “scholars”. Monument 2 doesn’t read the way you wish it did, and neither does Monument 6, and you are not going to be taken seriously, not because of a conspiracy against your work, but simply because your work is of such poor quality and your statements are demonstrably false.

    • Stanley,
      Whoa, take it down a notch, cowboy. I’m just trying to have a rational conversation about the date ambiguities on TRT Mon 2. I have suggested more than one alternative date possibility for Monument 2. You are ascribing a level of certainty to my essay that is simply not there. Of course I rely on the work of other scholars for aiding my interpretations — don’t you? I’m glad you saw TRT Mon 6 in person. You must have missed the relevance of the DN at E4 and other arguments that I applied to reconstructing Lord Jaguar’s possible birthday, presented in my report of June 2011:

      I have made my photographs freely available, some of which also clarify the glyphs around P4. Despite the long awareness that specialists have had of TRT Mon 6, It’s obvious (and somewhat perplexing) that a careful scrutiny of the Monument 6 inscription has happened only recently, with Gronemeyer & MacLeod’s Wayeb no. 34 in 2010. And the astronomical analysis of the dates has likewise only appeared recently, with my 2010 SAA piece. I’m afraid that your wildly reflexive judgments against me, which were clearly revealed in the MEC-FACEBOOK Discussion of 2010 (, are still sadly evident. But let’s not get wrapped up in the angst around that, okay? What I’m suggesting is that a look at the hidden dorsal side of Mon 2, which Blom roughly drew decades ago, MIGHT reveal enough data that the date on the ventral side could be confirmed. That’s all. You don’t have to go into madcap accusatory hand-waving about the large body of writings and pioneering work that I’ve produced over the last 23 years.

      Again, Gronemeyer did not see the glyph at A4ay as a 5-Tun marker, he only saw it as a tun-binding (period-ending) possibility. The vertical bar suggests the “5″. It may be wrong, it may be right; these are possibilities. We can be open or closed to investigating further, and I think that the rough drawings by Blom do not do justice to what might actually survive — there might be clearer data if they were re-examined. If someone has pursued this, and actual data or photos exist, please let me know.

      By the way, the second part of my essay is now posted at The Center for 2012 Studies:

  12. By the way, you have certain perspectives on TRT Mon 2; they do not agree with Gronemeyer’s. Can you direct me to any other analyses of TRT Mon 2, by you or others? I draw from Gronemeyer because there isn’t much else out there that has been published, and he has thoroughly studied the site.

    • No, I am not aware of other studies of this monument.

  13. A Video On The Significant Maya Creation Site Izapa,The Birthplace Of Time.The Site Has Magnetic Sculpture Like Those Los Altos In La Democracia,Guate.

  14. Stan, in your first post of 7:34 a.m. from March 6, you wrote: “In fact, all of the glyphs in the fourth circle on altar 2 are probably lunar glyphs from the Supplementary Series.” Firstly, your terminology does not utilize the accepted terms: altar 2 is Monument 2 (it certainly cannot be categorized as an “altar”); your “fourth circle” refers to cartouche A4. But that’s okay, you may be working from memory and I respect the work you’ve done on the glyphs. However, it is very unlikely that A4 contains lunar Supplementary Series data, as you suggest. It is a short text narrative and therefore would be sparse in its citation of supplementary material, much like TRT Jade 1. Following Gronemeyer, who cites Grube, it is more likely that after the A1 ISIG cartouche, there is a dense 4-block cartouche (A2, similar to an example from TRT Monument 1) that contains the Baktun, Katun, Tun, and Winal place values of the Long Count. Then, in Carouche A3, we see a 2-block construct which clearly contains a Tzolkin notion in the lower place; the upper place would therefore be the remaining Kin level of the Long Count. A4 should thus follow with the Haab position, and it does, but directly before the Haab we instead see another block which Gronemeyer deduces, correctly I believe (because of other similar examples), to be a god from the 9-day night cycle. Then comes the Haab position, as expected after the Tzolkin place value in A3, which sure enough conveys a numerical value (as a Haab should) — an “8” or possibly a “13”). In the lower portion of A4 we find 2 blocks, which Groenmeyer interprets as being a stone-binding marker followed by an eroded glyph that should, in this typical semantic construct, be the identification or “name” of this monument, which is “owned by” the person named in A5, most likely the “Lord of Tortuguero.” All of this makes perfect sense in terms of Gronemeyer’s analysis and logic, which draws from recognized semantic constructions (following Grube and other examples from the Maya corpus), and which I agree with. There is no room or reason for the lunar SS data as you suggest.

    • John, obviously my reference to “Altar” was just a mistake for Monument. I could as easily ask you about “Carouche” in your last post. We’re beyond such juvenile debating tactics, or at least I am. But, when you know next to nothing about the subject matter at hand, I guess you are forced to grub around for any rhetorical cudgel you can find. I do not like to use “cartouche” for these circles because cartouche has a very specific meaning in Maya epigraphy and, as well, numbering these cartouches leads to the nonsense of having 4 different glyphs in two rows in “Cartouche A2″ for example.

      I am glad you respect my work with hieroglyphs. I cannot honestly reciprocate the sentiment. You simply don’t have the expertise to understand the differences between these eroded signs and what they could possibly be. This is why you rely entirely upon the pronouncements of Gronemeyer and Grube and other real epigraphers. I could have a rational discussion with them about these possibilities but with you I can point to the outer forms and you will just rush back to your argument from authority “Grube and Gronemeyer say X!” as if that trumps the actual forms of these signs in question.

      I already pointed out to you that the none of the glyphs in the fourth circle qualify as a 5 tuun period ending marker, neither of the Naah Ho’tuun or Wi’ Ho’tuun variety. Thus there is no reason at all to favor your alternative date. That is the important thing to consider, as it renders your entire post moot, especially since you still have to posit a complete and blatant mistake in the Ahau coefficient of the tzolkin, which would make this the most egregious example of a mistake I am aware of in Maya calendrics. Given the lack of any proof for the haab you need, or the PE marker you thought you saw, your argument fails and fails spectacularly. No epigrapher is going to support you on this.

      • Stan,
        “Carouche” was clearly a typo. Your use of “altar” vs the correct “Monument” term could be misleading to readers following our discussion. My correction was in service to clarity and was not intended to be “juvenile debating tactics” as you asserted. That should have been clear from my conciliatory sentence that immediately followed my correction: “But that’s okay, you may be working from memory and I respect the work you’ve done on the glyphs.” Similarly, you overreacted to my simple question, previously, regarding whether you’d visited TRT Mon 6 in Mexico. It’s kind of hard to have a civil conversation if you’re going to project non-existent nefarious intentions onto me. But let’s try.

        I sketched in my previous post, for you and our readers, the logical process published by Gronemeyer by which he reconstructed the likely text narrative on Monument 2. He, in turn, cited Berlin (on the stone-binding hand-sign he perceives) and Grube (for precedent on the likely semantic structure of the text). These are not simply “pronouncements” as you dismissively claim, but are, rather, arguments and evidence-based logical processing of the data from the text narrative. I’ve been tracking DNs and date sequences, and following the epigraphic arguments and work for many years, and Gronemeyer’s provisional reconstruction of TRT Mon 2 – eroded though it is – is the best interpretation I’ve encountered. It also seems to be the only published interpretation, and you yourself are unaware of other published work on this text. (Thus, of course I give it weight and largely agree with it; but there are other date options). In your reactionary rejection of my words you are in essence largely disagreeing with Gronemeyer. You also disagree with Gronemeyer’s “cartouche” terminology, and that’s your prerogative. But you nevertheless write: “numbering these cartouches leads to the nonsense of having 4 different glyphs in two rows in “Cartouche A2″ for example.” Look at Figure 1 in my first essay ( As I cited Gronemeyer as pointing out, there are similar examples of this type of “four glyph-blocks in one cartouche” from TRT Monument 1. And, in addition, the A2 cartouche clearly contains 4 internal glyph blocks, even though they are eroded. Just take a look. So … you not only disagree with Gronemeyer on this point (despite his secondary supportive citations made to Berlin and Grube and ACTUAL EXAMPLES of such constructs on another TRT monument), but you believe this is “nonsense.” Correct me if I’m wrong, Stan, but you did intend to say that perceiving 4 glyph-blocks within cartouche A2 is “nonsense”? Perhaps we should ask other readers of our exchange to take a look and tell us if they see four glyph-blocks within A2 (just click on the PDF link above to see it).

        Your thumbs-down opinion about my alternative date ( is perfectly fine, and not that surprising. However, your assessment of my rationale in suggesting it (and one other possibility) is skewed toward your denigrating default assumptions. As a viable possible alternative to the proposed by Berlin and Gronemeyer, my date is at least on even ground (because BOTH date proposals require a scribal error). Their date requires a scribal error in the Haab position. Your statement that the scribal error in the Tzolkin position that my alternative date ( requires is “the most egregious example of a mistake I am aware of in Maya calendrics” is an extremely odd and misleading assertion. Many scribal errors have been identified in the Maya texts; there’s actually one in TRT Mon 6. Finally, I need to remind you that the whole point of my essay was to highlight ambiguities in the date ascribed to the TRT Monument 2 text, with possible alternative solutions at least on even ground with the rationale proposed for So — here it is again — I simply suggested that a closer look at the currently hidden dorsal side of Monument 2 might resolve those ambiguities. And several scholars including one epigrapher do support me on this. The results may be inconclusive, but we won’t know unless we move forward in the investigation and give it a try. That’s how science works. Logo

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