November 25, 2011
Mexico Admits To Second 2012 Mayan Prediction
Mexico's archaeology institute is downplaying theories that the ancient Mayans predicted the world would be ending in 2012, but it did acknowledge that the date exists on a fragment at a southern Mexico ruin site.
Experts had cited only one surviving reference to the date in Mayan glyphs, which is a stone tablet from Tortuguero site in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco.
The inscription is found on the carved or molded face of a brick.
A spokesman for the institute said the fragment inscription had been discovered years ago and has been subject to thorough study.
David Stuart, a specialist in Mayan epigraphy at the University of Texas at Austin, told The Associated Press that the brick "is a Calendar Round', a combination of a day and month position that will repeat every 52 years."
The date coincides with the end of the 13th Baktun. Baktuns are about 394-year periods and 13 was a significant, sacred number for the Mayas. The Mayan Long Count Calendar begins in 3114 B.C. and the 13th Baktun ends around December 21, 2012.
Stuart told AP that the date on the brick could also correspond to similar dates in the past.
Both the Tortuguero tablet and Comalcalco brick were probably carved about 1,300 years ago and both are cryptic in some ways.
The Tortuguero inscription describes something that is supposed to occur in 2012 involving a mysterious Mayan god associated with both war and creation.
However, erosion and a crack in the stone make the end of the passage almost illegible, but some read the last eroded glyphs as saying that "He will descend from the sky."
The Comalcalco brick has molded or inscribed faces of the bricks that were probably laid facing inward or covered with stucco, which suggests they were not meant to be seen.
The Institute of Anthropology and History said rumors of the world-ending or world-changing event in late December 2012 are a Westernized misinterpretation of Mayan calendars.
It said that "western messianic thought has twisted the cosmovision of ancient civilizations like the Maya."
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