Thursday, December 22, 2011

But the Mayans Didn't Say That At All!

We're not all going to die.  Okay, actually, that's not true.  We are all going to die... eventually. Just probably not on December 21, 2012.  That's the date - a year from now - that some people are claiming that the Mayans predicted the end of the world.  That's what we've all heard, right?

Funny thing is.... the Mayans didn't say that at all.

From AP News:

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.
The Mayan civilization, which reached its height from 300 A.D. to 900 A.D., had a talent for astronomy. 
Its Long Count calendar begins in 3,114 B.C., 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 Maya are viewed by many westerners as exotic folks that were supposed to have had some special, secret knowledge," said Mayan scholar Sven Gronemeyer. "What happens is that our expectations and fears get projected on the Maya calendar." 
Gronemeyer of La Trobe University in Australia compares the supposed Mayan prophecies to the "Y2K" hype, when people feared all computer systems would crash when the new millennium began on Jan. 1, 2000. 
For some reason, Gronemeyer says, people have ignored evidence that dates beyond 2012 were recorded.

2012 will, indeed, be a watershed year - just not for the reasons people are freaking about about at the moment.  But never let the truth get in the way of a good freak out, I suppose...

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