The world will not end on Dec. 21, 2012 as some have inferred from clues left by the ancient Mayan civilization, according to Mayan experts.
A 1,300-year-old tablet inscribed with Mayan hieroglyphics was thought to call for the end of the world on Dec. 21, 2012. Scholars, however, claim the tablet calls for the end of a 5,126-year cycle on the date and the return of Bolon Yokte, the Mayan god of creation and war.
“We have to be clear about this. There is no prophecy for 2012,” Erik Velasquez, an etchings specialist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), told Reuters. “It’s a marketing fallacy.”
Conspiracy theories began to take hold about the end of the days after a 1987 book by Jose Arguelles declared an impending apocalypse based on the Mayan calendar.
The National Institute of Anthropological History in Mexico is just one organization out of many that characters the apocalyptic claims as typical of modern society.
“The West’s messianic thinking has distorted the world view of ancient civilizations like the Mayans,” the institute said in a statement.
Out of the 15,000 recognized Mayan texts found amidst the ruins, only two mention 2012 - and one of those mentions was found weeks ago. Indeed, believers of the impending doom see the recent find as yet another warning sign.
At the core of the debate between anthropologists trying to dispel doomsday scenarios and theorists convinced of heretofore unknown annihilation is the interpretation of what happens at the end of a Mayan calendar cycle.
Experts are quick to mention that at the end of a Mayan calendar cycle, the world is not destroyed, but is transformed by the visiting god - in this case Bolon Yokte.
It is worth noting that even the Mayans did not see the changing of a cycle in their existence - scholars place the run of their civilization from 2000 B.C. to 250 A.D. The last cycle change would have occurred in 3114 B.C.
Experts remind theorists that ancient civilizations like the Mayans could not and did not predict modern problems.
“The Mayans did not think about humanity, global warming or predict the poles would fuse together,” Alfonso Ladena, a professor from the Complutense University of Madrid, told Reuters. “We project our worries on them.”