Mayans didn’t say the world will end in 2012. It was political ploy.

Maya text cites 2012 as end of calendar cycle, not end of world
Archaeologists say inscription doesn’t refer to doomsday, but to long-term stability

A newly discovered Mayan text reveals the “end date” for the Maya calendar. But unlike some modern people, ancient Maya did not expect the world to end on that date, researchers said.

“This text talks about ancient political history rather than prophecy,” Marcello Canuto, the director of Tulane University Middle America Research Institute, said in a statement. “This new evidence suggests that the 13 bak’tun date was an important calendrical event that would have been celebrated by the ancient Maya; however, they make no apocalyptic prophecies whatsoever regarding the date.”

“What this text shows us is that in times of crisis, the ancient Maya used their calendar to promote continuity and stability rather than predict apocalypse,” Canuto said.

Source: MSNBC

More evidence to show that this date has no meaning to our modern society. It’s end-of-the-world significance is completely fabricated. However, that doesn’t stop the publicity machine. I do wonder if these several news stories that have come out debunking the myth does manage to temper the fear about it. I’m still expecting that people will take the “you never know” stance and prepare a bit for the date anyway. Even if we use it as a transition date. I suppose that would not be too bad. The world could use a transition to a more enlightened state.

UPDATE: Here is Notes on a New Text from La Corona – a translation.

  9 comments for “Mayans didn’t say the world will end in 2012. It was political ploy.

  1. Massachusetts
    June 29, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    It’s been a long time since my mesoamerican archaeology courses at University, but I do distinctly remember my professor saying that at the end of a big calendrical cycle in traditional mayan belief there’s a period of destruction, marked by, among other things, jaguars raining down from the sky and devouring everything in site, followed by a period of creation in which a new world is born. This cycle of destruction and rebirth was supposed to have been going on ad infinitam and our current world is just one such cycle of creation, with a beginning, a middle and an end, before the next cycle starts. Clearly this is folklore, clearly this isn’t supposed to literally happen. But mythologically speaking it is supposed to be a bona fide end of the world. Now, these classes were about 25 years ago so new information may have changed our understanding of mesoamerican mythology.

  2. June 29, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Massachusetts, you’re talking about the “five suns” creation (along with destruction) mythology which is “Aztec”.

    Anyway, nothing will happen at the end of the 13th Baktun except the beginning of the 14th baktun.

  3. snoma
    June 29, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    I’m gonna go out and celebrate and get drunk this Dec. 21st. Which works out rather well, as it is a Friday.

  4. Massachusetts
    June 29, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    Ahhh…I’m very rusty with my mythology it would seem. Thanks!

  5. July 1, 2012 at 1:36 AM

    An update:

    Supposedly they found a stone with the reference, but the stone they reference has the “Mayan” 365 day calendar and no reference to the Long Count Calendar (the calendar system that everyone references the end of 2012 to) on the stone.

    Those who click on the image, it’s image 5.

    Anyone willing to help me on what I’m missing?

  6. spookyparadigm
    July 1, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    The text references 4 Ajaw 3 Kankin, visible at the end of the inscription in that fifth image. That’s a calendar round date that occurs every 52 years, and one of those occurrences will be the 12/1/2012 date. If you go to the seventh image, where the text has been redrawn, you can see that the last glyph is 3 baktun. Not sure what’s up there, why it isn’t 13, possibly due to lack of space/aesthetic reasons? The 13 katun lord is visible above this, so they’re making that connection. While I don’t see a distance number directly tying this date to the rest of the text (there may be one, I just don’t see it), the supposition here appears to be that that the only other significant 13 date with that calendar round (4 Ajaw 3 Kankin) would be this year. I’d be curious to see a full walkthrough of this text.

  7. spookyparadigm
    July 1, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    Ok, here’s Stuart’s full breakdown of the text. The 3 baktuns I was puzzled by is a note of movement forward from the future date of the 10th baktun. So it isn’t a traditional distance number, but it is the same idea.

  8. July 2, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    If it’s 3 Baktun then it’s 1931 BCE?

    If we’re just relying on 13 Katun, then it’s 2858 BCE?

    I’m wondering if anyone will explain it clearly.

    I was personally was disapointed that National Geographic Magazine did a poor explanation on that mural to show dates go beyond 2012 that I decided to make an image with basic explanation:

  9. July 2, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    Wow. It helps a bit. I think the comments on that article helped more.

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