Tonina Ruins in Mexico: City of the Sacred Mayan Calendar



Toniná, known in the literature as a pueblo guerrero, a war-like society ,may have served as a major esoteric and spiritual center that rivaled Palenque and Copan. These cities were its arch-rivals for control of the Usamacinta River as well as the ceremonial capital of Mesoamerica.

Towering over the hills of dusty Ocosingo, Mexico, the Toniná Acropolis lies 40 miles south of Palenque. Mexican officials now call it the tallest pyramid in Mexico. And its rich heritage of Maya calendrical and cosmological data is just coming to light.

It is 150 miles north of Izapa, considered by authorities such as Vincent Malström and John Major Jenkins to be the birthplace of the Mayan 260-day Sacred Calendar conventionally called the tzolkin, and perhaps even of the Mayan 365-day solar calendar and the 5,125-year-Long Count calendar.

Numbers of the Sacred Calendar are the Blueprint for the Toniná Acropolis

In February, 2012, I discovered that numerous references to the 260-day Sacred Calendar appear in Toniná’s architectural design and structural detail — more than enough to indicate that Toniná was devoted to studying, teaching and developing the Sacred Calendar. Or that it encodes the mathematics necessary for future generations to reconstruct this calendar. Epigraphal and other evidence supports this proposition.




Archaeologist Juan Yadeun, who excavated the site for Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia in 1981 and continues to do so, has reported that there are 260 steps in the central staircase leading from the base to the twin temples at the top. This matches the number of days in the Sacred Calendar. Other key numbers from of Maya cosmology can be found in the inscriptions at Toniná, as well as mythical lore about the creation mythos of the Maya.

tonins 260 steps

These and other elements of the site’s design support the idea that a connection exists between the architectural design and details of the Toniná Acropolis and the 260-day Maya sacred calendar, and perhaps even the 365-day calendar as well. The following view is based on field work conducted at the site in February, 2012, which was followed up later.

Cornerstone Numbers of the Mayan Sacred Calendar Are in the Tonina Acropolis

A 20 x 13 grid, the calendar board was used to determine the day sign of any date in the calendar and is used in Mayan astrology and to schedule ceremonial and mundane activities.


Its origin can be traced back to the Yucatan peninsula, when it was called Buk-Xoc in the Spanish translation of The Book of Mani, one of the Books of Chilam Balam that contain ancient records and prophecies of Mayan priests in different population center. The calendar board is seen in the illustration on the right. (Click for a larger view.)

The key numbers used to construct this calendar were 20, 13, 7, 9, 1 and 8. It is possible that other arcane numbers, yet undiscovered, exist. These numbers appear throughout the Toniná Acropolis, most starkly in the pattern known as the Grecas when it is superimposed on the calendar board.


Page 1: Toniná. City of the Mayan Sacred Calendar

Page 2: Overview of the Mayan Sacred Calendar

Page 3: The Pattern in the Grecas Revealed

Page 4: Archaeological and Mythological Evidence



Researched and written in Guatemala, The Mayan Calendar User's Guide reveals astrological techniques and secrets never before published in the English language.

Order The Mayan Calendar User's Guide. (Ebook for PC, Mac, Kindle, I-Phone, smart phones)