The Order of Days by David Stuart
The Maya World and the Truth About 2012

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



The world's foremost expert on Maya culture looks at 2012 hysteria and explains the truth about what the Maya meant and what we want to believe.

Apocalypse 2012: An Investigation into Civilizations End. The World Cataclysm in 2012. 2012: The return of Quetzalcoatl. According to many of these alarmingly titled books, the ancient Maya not only had a keen insight into the mystical workings of our planet and the cosmos, but they were also able to predict that the world will end in the year 2012.

David Stuart, the foremost scholar of the Maya and recipient of numerous awards for his work, takes a hard look at the frenzy over 2012 and offers a fascination (and accurate) trip through Mayan culture and belief. Stuart shows how the idea that the "end of the Mayan calendar," which supposedly heralds the end of our own existence, says far more about our culture than about the ancient Maya. The Order of Days explores how the real intellectual achievement of ancient Maya timekeeping and worldview is far more impressive and remarkable than any of the popular, and often outrageous, claims about this advanced civilization.

As someone who has studied the Maya for nearly all of his life and who specializes in reading their ancient texts, Stuart sees the 2012 hubbub as the most recent in a long chain of related ideas about Mesoamericans, the Maya in particular, that depicts them as somehow oddball, not "of this world," or as having some strong mystical link to other realms.

Because the year 2012 has no prominent role in anything the ancient Maya ever actually wrote, Stuart takes a wider look at the Maya concepts of time and their underlying philosophy as we can best understand them. The ancient Maya, Stuart contends, were worthy of study and admiration not because they were strange but because they were altogether human, and they developed a compelling vision of time unlike any other civilization before or since.


About David Stuart

See more books from this Author
David Stuart is a Mayanist scholar and professor of Mesoamerican art and writing at the University of Texas at Austin. He began deciphering Mayan hieroglyphs at the age of eight, under the tutelage of Linda Schele. He has made major contributions in the field of epigraphy, particularly related to the decipherment of the Mayan script used by the pre-Columbian Mayan civilization of Mesoamerica.
Published May 17, 2011 by Crown Archetype. 368 pages
Genres: History, Science & Math, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Order of Days

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Also relevant to the author’s research was how their 260-day calendar was intricately designed and calculated and what the Maya people considered cosmic “deep time.” Stuart adroitly dispels common misconceptions that put the Mayan culture in an “exotic”, “alien” light to outsiders, which, to him,...

May 17 2011 | Read Full Review of The Order of Days: The Maya W...

The Wall Street Journal

See more reviews from this publication

The son of two scholars of Maya civilization, he has traveled on archaeological digs since the age of 3 and has deciphered Maya hieroglyphs since he was 8.

| Read Full Review of The Order of Days: The Maya W...

The Wall Street Journal

See more reviews from this publication

Drawing on their mystical knowledge of the cosmos, the ancient Maya foresaw the end of the world on Dec. 21, 2012, when the sun will align with the center of the Milky Way galaxy and the globe will be rocked by earthquakes and other catastrophes.

May 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Order of Days: The Maya W...

Reader Rating for The Order of Days

An aggregated and normalized score based on 21 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review