Deep in the Guatemalan rainforest the oldest-known version of the ancient Mayan calendar was found adorning a lavishly painted wall in the ruins of a forgotten city. What researchers found was that this reference chart, created by the astronomers and mathematicians of an older time was not a countdown to a doomsday. As the researcher and archaeologist who worked so closely in deciphering the glyphs, David Stuart of the University of Texas said, “The Mayan calendar is going to keep going for billions, of trillions, octillions of years into the future; these are numbers we can’t even wrap our heads around.” It was a Mayan glyph found in the Mexican state of Tabasco that started the reference to an
apocalypse that would arrive in 2012. It was the finding of other Mayan calenderers that for many solidified the fact that the Mayans believed something would occur at this time. The most common explanation for this end time according to many institutes and archaeologists is a conclusion due to a Westernized misinterpretation of the Mayan Calendar. The Mayan calendar consists of several cycles or counts of different lengths. These cycles do not coincide in any way to the calendar used by the Western civilization.
While the Mayans did not predict the end of the world in 2012, the year is nonetheless momentous to them.
The Maya kept time on a scale only a few cultures have considered. As found by studying the Mayan calendar, the year 2012 is the time of the grand cycle; a cycle that occurred every 1,872,000 days or 5,125.37 years. The year 2012 is the overturn of this cycle, marking a new beginning. It will be during the 2012 winter solstice that the cycle runs out on the Mayan calendar. It was only when the Mayan empire rose to its peak of strength that they created their calendar. They put the last creation period, or cycle turnover, at August 11, 3114 B.C, a date that preceded their civilization by thousands of years. To the Mayans the coming of 2012 signified a renewal of life after a period of stress, much like the modern culture’s idea of New Year’s Eve. While this time was significant it does not mean the end, but a new beginning.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost
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