Inscriptions found on two Mayan tablets heralding a cataclysmic event on Dec 21, 2012.

End of the world speculation after new Mayan discovery - Comment on 2011 December 24 (5)

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2011 December 24 (5)
A Mayan god associated with both war and creation, will "descend from the sky" at that time. Read more:

Mexico to cash in on 2012 Mayan end of the world apocalypse prophecy.

Mexico is planning to capitalise on predictions of an apocalypse next year by encouraging a tourism boom in areas occupied by the ancient Mayans.

Inscriptions found on two Mayan tablets have been interpreted by some as heralding a cataclysmic event on Dec 21, 2012.

Experts including archaeologists at Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology say Mayan thinking has been misinterpreted and the world will not end. They say the Maya saw time as a series of cycles and 2012 merely marks the end of one of those cycles.

According to a 1,300-year-old stone tablet Bolon Yokte, a Mayan god associated with both war and creation, will "descend from the sky" at that time.

Archaeologists revealed recently that they had found a second possible reference to the date on a brick fragment.

A year to go until end of the world: Mayan region plans year of celebrations.

Only one year to go before December 21, 2012 - the end of the world according to Mayan predictions - but the Mexican region plans a year of celebrations.

It's selling the date, the Winter Solstice in the coming year, as a time of renewal. Many archeologists argue that the 2012 reference on a 1,300-year-old stone tablet only marks the end of a cycle in the Mayan calendar.

"The world will not end. It is an era," said Yeanet Zaldo, a tourism spokeswoman for the Caribbean state of Quintana Roo, home to Cancun. "For us, it is a message of hope."

The Maya reputation for wisdom has people taking the alleged prediction seriously.

The Mayan civilisation, which reached its height from 300AD to 900AD, had a talent for astronomy

Its Long Count calendar begins in 3,114BC, marking time in roughly 394-year periods known as Baktuns. Thirteen was a significant, sacred number for the Mayas, and they wrote that the 13th Baktun ends on Dec. 21, 2012.

The doomsday theories stem from a stone tablet discovered in the 1960s at the archaeological site of Tortuguero in the Gulf of Mexico state of Tabasco that describes the return of a Mayan god at the end of a 13th period.

The blogosphere exploded with more speculation when Mexico's archaeology institute acknowledged on Nov. 24 a second reference to Dec. 21, 2012, on a brick found at other ruins.

End of the world speculation after new Mayan discovery

Archaeologists in Mexico have confirmed the discovery of a possible second Mayan reference to the date 2012, offering further ammunition for doom-mongers predicting an apocalypse next year.

Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History acknowledged the reference had been found in a 1,300-year-old inscription made on a carved brick fragment at a ruin at Comalcalco in the south of the country.

Most experts have previously cited only one surviving Mayan reference to the date, on a stone tablet from a nearby site at Tortuguero.

A significant time period for the Mayans does end on the date, and enthusiasts have found a series of astronomical alignments they say coincide in 2012, including one that happens roughly only once every 25,800 years.

 

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