Everyone reading this would know that it is the year 2012. And everyone would also know that the world did not begin 2012 years ago \u2013 so what does this mean?\nIf you belong to a community that is non-christian you would probably know that this is not the only dating system that is prevalent today.\nI knew about the Hindu calendar and the Islamic calendar.\nAnd now as I travel I have found the Batak tribal calendar.\nThe script is unique and writing skills were restricted to priests\n\nA language that is almost extinct \u2013 with few living people practicing or transmitting the knowledge of this script, it is mostly found in scriptures stored away in museums.\nOn my recent travels I found a fascinating antique calendar inscribed on bone :\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThe concept that different groups of people have intelligently found alternate methods \u2013 all of which predict the same future through different means has captured my imagination.\nCalendars came into being primarily to predict seasons for agricultural purposes based on astronomical data. Some used lunar cycles while others used solar cycles.\nThe language of science converged in Europe and this lead to thinkers building on each other\u2019s work instead reinventing the wheel in their own isolated language cells oblivious of the development of others. And it is to this commonality of language that we owe the great advances in the predictive powers that science possesses today.\nAs Isaac Newton said \u201cIf I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants\u201d\nIt would be erroneous to attribute this success to the professors of the Gregorian calendar \u2013 rather it is the success of the team work of thinkers who used the Gregorian calendar as a base for their calculations.\nHad the thinkers of the Renaissance period used any other calendar as a base for their calculations chances are that they still would have been able to predict the Transit of Venus or eclipses and leap years with equal accuracy.\nBecause while the notation and the Zero starting point differ \u2013 the logic having been derived from astronomical observations would have been the same. And given sufficient time for sufficient observations, the errors arising out of non-inclusion of factors or wrongful assumptions would have ironed out resulting in the same logical models.\nA glance at Wikipedia showed me 2012 in other calendars :\n\n\u00a0\n\n\n\n\n\n\nArmenian calendar\n1461\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\n\n\n\n\u00a0\n\n\n\n\n\n\nAssyrian calendar\n6762\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\n\n\n\n\u00a0\n\n\n\n\n\n\nBuddhist calendar\n2556\n\n\n\n\n\u00a0\n\n\n\n\n\n\nBurmese calendar\n1374\n\n\n\n\n\u00a0\n\n\n\n\n\n\nByzantine calendar\n7520\u20137521\n\n\n\n\n\u00a0\n\n\n\n\n\n\nChinese calendar\n\n 4648/4708-12-8\n\n\u2014 to\u00a0\u20144649/4709-11-19\n\n\n\n\n\n\u00a0\n\n\n\n\n\n\nCoptic calendar\n1728\u20131729\n\n\n\n\n\u00a0\n\n\n\n\n\n\nHebrew calendar\n5772\u20135773\n\n\n\n\n\u00a0\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\u00a0Hindu Vikram Samvat\n2068\u20132069\n\n\n\n\n\u00a0\n\n\n\n\n\n\nIranian calendar\n1390\u20131391\n\n\n\n\n\u00a0\n\n\n\n\n\n\nIslamic calendar\n1433\u20131434\n\n\n\n\n\u00a0\n\n\n\n\n\n\nKorean calendar\n4345\n\n\n\n\n\u00a0\n\n\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\n\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\n\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\n\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\n\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\n\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\n\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\n\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\n\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\n\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\n\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\n\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\n\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\n\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\n\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\n\n\u00a0\n\u00a0\n\n\n\u00a0\n\n\n\nIt would be a fun exercise to work out the paths that each group took to arrive at each of these different systems, and the logic and assumptions on which they based it!\nThe antique Batak Calendar is a part of the WovenSouls Collection linked here \njm\nJune 2012\nADDENDUM\nIn November 2013, I received a note from Derek Scott, Canada. An excerpt is given below:\n\u201cI came across your description of the Batak Calendar inscribed on a bone while doing some searching for a similar one I also own. I purchased several items\u00a0 including a bone calendar inscribed identically to the one you have illustrated on the wovensouls website. Interestingly, however, they also gave to me a photocopy of the meanings of the calendar symbols. Please find attached a copy from the original\u201d\nThe scans are linked below:\nBatak Calendar \u2013 1\nBatak Calendar \u2013 2\nThank you Derek!\njm | December 2013\nThe post The Batak Calendar from Sumatra, Indonesia appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.