The Symbolic-Ritual Language of the Completion and Inauguration of Time

A completion of a time period can, as noted above, be expressed in the inscriptions as tzutz or “it ended”, “it was terminated" or “it was completed” and by tan-lam, it was “half-diminished”. The termination of a time unit, as time embodied stones, could as well (as mentioned) be formulated by the symbolic ritual practices tz’aptun/wa’tun (“erection of the stone“), chumtun (“seating of the stone”) and k’altun (“the stone was bound, tied or wrapped”). Time could not only be ended or half-diminished but probably also be increased or ordered (tz’ak) by deities and by “hombres-dioses” with supernatural powers and ritual esoteric knowledge. The classic Maya inscriptions accordingly attests that the ritual experts terminated a time- period but not ceremonially created or initiated a new time period, since the ritual language of the inscriptions include words for a completion and not a renewal of time. The ritual practices of time intervals within the Long Count calendar function therefore more as a conclusion than as a new beginning of a time unit, yet as noted an inaugurating of the new time interval of the ceremonies was implied.

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