2012 Facts: Who Invented The Word Tzolkin?

The word TZOLK’IN is a transliteration invention created by American anthropologist William Gates (1863-1940) in 1921 to designate our sacred Maya calendar of 260 days, found in Quiche language as Cholq’ij with normal phonetic differences.

The obvious reason was, as he suggested to archaeologist/epigrapher Sylvanus G. Morley, he did not want to use the word Cholq’ij so he combined the Mayan Yucatec words Tzol and Kin and formed a new word in our language with the meaning, ‘to arrange, to order the number of days’. (Ref. Transcription and translation with notes of page 66 of the Cronica de Oxkutzcab in S.G. Morley, Inscriptions at Copan (Carnegie Inst., 1921).

To learn more about this Mesoamerican calendar, click the Wikipedia red link.


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