Were the Mayans Right?

Since we are now approaching the end of 2012, rapidly getting closer to December 21st when, apparently, the world might end according to the famous Mayan calendar it is more and more on people’s minds whether we will in fact celebrate Christmas this year.

Mayan Cartoon from Bizarro Blog

A friend linked me this image and I found the original on Bizarro Blog, and I think it pretty much sums up the entire situation.

The Mayan calendar previously known consists of sections, called ‘baktuns’. Each one of these baktuns is 400 years and if you calculate then the world we live in was created 12 baktuns ago (4800 years), which, if anybody knows their maths, doesn’t make sense because obviously the world is older than that. The necropolis Tumulus of Bougon was built around 4800 BC, which then adds up to it being 6800 years old or so. No matter, the current baktun, which we live in, will end on 21st December 2012. This has been interpreted as the world ending.

Soooo… Will it end?

The short answer is: No.

Here is why:

  1. The idea that a group of people in the ancient past, or current time, would know that the world would end at a certain date is preposterous.
  2. In May this year 2012 William Saturno, assistant professor in Archaeology at Boston University, actually participated in an excavation of Xultun and found a new calendar painted on a wall which contains more days than the previous one. In fact this one contains 17 baktuns.

To me it seems as if the Mayans did not have a linear sense of time which we have here in the West, but rather a circular sense, that is: everything begins and ends over and over. In other words, what the Mayans meant was that we’ll enter some sort of new era.

With this we can draw this conclusion (which I have held on to for years):

The original Mayan calendar with 13 baktuns does not stipulate the end of the world, most probably they just didn’t see a point to continue that calendar right then. They might have had other things to do.

So; if you really want to believe the Mayans and therefore has had an ever growing sense of dread, you can now relax because even if you can’t get rid of the thought that the world will end when the Mayans’ calendar does then we have 1600 more years to live. So yes: don’t forget to do the Christmas shopping.

If you want to read about this further I recommend these links, which are from actual newspapers:

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