Wednesday, December 21, 2011
2012 and the Mayan Calendar
"We have to be clear about this. There is no prophecy for 2012," said Erik Velasquez, an etchings specialist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico UNAM.L. "It's a marketing fallacy."
The National Institute of Anthropological History in Mexico has been trying to quell the barrage of forecasters predicting the apocalypse. "The West's messianic thinking has distorted the world view of ancient civilizations like the Mayans," the institute said in a statement.
In the Mayan calendar, the long calendar count begins in 3,114 BC and is divided into roughly 394-year periods called Baktuns. Mayans held the number 13 sacred and the 13th Baktun ends next year.
Sven Gronemeyer, a researcher of Mayan codes from La Trobe University in Australia, who has been trying to decode the calendar, said the so-called end day reflects a transition from one era to the next in which Bolon Yokte returns.
"Because Bolon Yokte was already present at the day of creation ... it just seemed natural for the Mayan that Bolon Yokte will again be present," he said. Of the approximately 15,000 registered glyphic texts found in different parts of what was then the Mayan empire, only two mention 2012, the Institute said.
"The Maya did not think about humanity, global warming or predict the poles would fuse together," said Alfonso Ladena, a professor from the Complutense University of Madrid. "We project our worries on them."
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