Mexico acknowledges 2nd Mayan reference to 2012

Nov 25, 2011 By MARK STEVENSON , Associated Press

Mexico's archaeology institute downplays theories that the ancient Mayas predicted some sort of apocalypse would occur in 2012, but on Thursday it acknowledged that a second reference to the date exists on a carved fragment found at a southern Mexico ruin site.

Most experts had cited only one surviving reference to the date in Mayan glyphs, a stone tablet from the Tortuguero site in the state of Tabasco.

But the National Institute of Anthropology and History said in a statement that there is in fact another apparent reference to the date at the nearby Comalcalco ruin. The inscription is on the carved or molded face of a brick. Comalcalco is unusual among Mayan temples in that it was constructed of bricks.

Arturo Mendez, a spokesman for the institute, said the fragment of inscription had been discovered years ago and has been subject to thorough study. It is not on display and is being kept in storage at the institute.

The "Comalcalco Brick," as the second fragment is known, has been discussed by experts in some online forums. Many still doubt that it is a definite reference to Dec. 21, 2012 or Dec. 23, 2012, the dates cited by proponents of the theory as the possible end of the world.

"Some have proposed it as another reference to 2012, but I remain rather unconvinced," David Stuart, a specialist in Mayan epigraphy at the University of Texas at Austin, said in a message to The Associated Press.

Stuart said the date inscribed on the brick "'is a Calendar Round,' a combination of a day and month position that will repeat every 52 years."

The brick date does coincide with the end of the 13th Baktun; Baktuns were roughly 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 Dec. 21, 2012.

But the date on the brick could also correspond to similar dates in the past, Stuart said.

"There's no reason it couldn't be also a date in ancient times, describing some important historical event in the Classic period. In fact, the third glyph on the brick seems to read as the verb huli, "he/she/it arrives."

"There's no future tense marking (unlike the Tortuguero phrase), which in my mind points more to the Comalcalco date being more historical that prophetic," Stuart wrote.

Both inscriptions - the Tortuguero tablet and the 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 Bolon Yokte, 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, though some read the last eroded glyphs as perhaps saying, "He will descend from the sky."

The Comalcalco brick is also odd in that the molded or inscribed faces of the bricks were probably laid facing inward or covered with stucco, suggesting they were not meant to be seen.

The Institute of Anthropology and History has long said rumors of a world-ending or world-changing event in late December 2012 are a Westernized misinterpretation of Mayan calendars.

The institute repeated Thursday that "western messianic thought has twisted the cosmovision of ancient civilizations like the Maya."

The institute's experts say the Mayas saw time as a series of cycles that began and ended with regularity, but with nothing apocalyptic at the end of a given cycle.

Given the strength of Internet rumors about impending disaster in 2012, the institute is organizing a special round table of 60 Mayan experts next week at the archaeological site of Palenque, in southern , to "dispel some of the doubts about the end of one era and the beginning of another, in the Mayan Long Count calendar."

Explore further: New search planned for grave of Spanish poet Lorca

4.3 /5 (22 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mayan glyphs detail priest's life, blood sacrifices

Dec 29, 2009

Experts are studying the first Mayan hieroglyphic script dealing with the life of a high priest, his blood sacrifices and acts of penance, Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) said.

NASA on crusade to debunk 2012 apocalypse myths

Nov 09, 2009

The world is not coming to an end on December 21, 2012, the US space agency insisted Monday in a rare campaign to dispel widespread rumors fueled by the Internet and a new Hollywood movie.

Rare early Mayan portrait is found

Dec 05, 2005

University of Calgary archaeologist Kathryn Reese-Taylor and an international team of researchers have discovered an early Mayan portrait of a woman.

Mexico: Maya tomb find could help explain collapse

Jan 28, 2010

(AP) -- Mexican archaeologists have found an 1,100-year-old tomb from the twilight of the Maya civilization that they hope may shed light on what happened to the once-glorious culture.

Discovery in Guatemala finds oldest royal Mayan tomb

Apr 06, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- At the recent Society for American Archaeology meeting in Sacramento, California, archaeologist Michael Callaghan from the University of Texas presented his team's findings from the ancient ...

Ancient Texts Present Mayans As Literary Geniuses

Mar 05, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Literary critics, cultural scholars and aficionados of the Mayans, the only fully literate people of the pre-Columbian Americas, have lined up to call the first fully illustrated survey of ...

Recommended for you

New search planned for grave of Spanish poet Lorca

6 hours ago

Archeologists will start inspecting land in southern Spain near where the acclaimed poet Federico Garcia Lorca is believed to have been executed and buried at the start of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, officials said Friday.

Seeing dinosaur feathers in a new light

Oct 30, 2014

Why were dinosaurs covered in a cloak of feathers long before the early bird species Archaeopteryx first attempted flight? Researchers from the University of Bonn and the University of Göttingen attempt ...

Mexico archaeologists explore Teotihuacan tunnel (Update)

Oct 29, 2014

A yearslong exploration of a tunnel sealed almost 2,000 years ago at the ancient city of Teotihuacan yielded thousands of relics and the discovery of three chambers that could hold more important finds, Mexican ...

Peruvian dig reveals sacrificial mystery

Oct 29, 2014

Tulane University physical anthropologist John Verano has spent summers in Peru for the last 30 years, digging for ancient bones and solving their secrets. But his most recent work focuses on a unique archeological ...

User comments : 43

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Hev
2.5 / 5 (8) Nov 25, 2011
so much for the Olympic games then - and all those new road works - expect the stadium at Stratford is intended as the target and all those new roads to be handy for the aliens to get about to turn us all into zombie slaves
or something....
insignificant_fish
3.7 / 5 (12) Nov 25, 2011
if aliens come in 2012 and the world ends jesus is going to be really pissed off, not to mention out of work.
hjbasutu
Nov 25, 2011
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
socean
3.3 / 5 (7) Nov 25, 2011
The world ends in 2012 when an alien comes. Jesus presides over the end of the world. Jesus is an alien. Q.E.D.
CapitalismPrevails
3.4 / 5 (5) Nov 25, 2011
The Ancient Aliens shall return to us.
MentalHealthNut
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 25, 2011
In 2012... All electronics will stop working because their clocks can't go to 12.
dschlink
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 25, 2011
Longer forms of the Mayan dating system span millions of years, so 2012 doesn't mean anything other than the end of the 13th Baktun. Just as 31 Dec. 2012 is both the end of December and the end of 2012, but not the end of the century or the millennium.
Pirouette
1.9 / 5 (11) Nov 25, 2011
I agree. . . .and our Gregorian Calendar did not even exist at the beginning of the current Long Count, so there really is no frame of reference between 21 December in either calendar. It's all guesswork. There are no Annunnaki, but there ARE Elohim, who are the E.T.s who were mistaken for gods.
TS1
5 / 5 (3) Nov 25, 2011
Then there is also the issue that the Mayan Long Count calendar could well have its beginning at some other year than the 3114 B.C. repeated in this article.

Its all just a bunch of assumptions used as a basis for an axiom that then is used to calculate to year 2012.
Skepticus
3.7 / 5 (6) Nov 25, 2011
Nah, It's about the coming of WW3 after bombardment of Iran's nuclear sites in December 2012 :-)
wealthychef
2.2 / 5 (13) Nov 25, 2011
So what if 100 different inscriptions postulated the end of the world on an exact date? Why should we lend credence to ancient superstitions?
Au-Pu
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 25, 2011
It is all academic.
For without a full understanding of how the Maya really thought and how they gained the knowledge that caused them to create these stories and without fully understanding the intent of the story we are only guessing and the more imaginative or the more erratic the reader is the wilder the meanings they create. If we were able to fully understand the Maya we may find that these enigmatic pieces tell part of a mundane story relevant only to the Maya and based upon the concept that they and their society would continue forever.
Let us continue our holiday plans for 2013 and beyond.
Maya no n
1 / 5 (9) Nov 26, 2011
Physorg scientists should apply the same rigor and precision to culture studies as they practice for physical studies. The Maya people are called Maya. The possessive form of Maya is Maya, not Mayan. The plural of Maya is Maya, not Mayan. The only thing Mayan about the Maya people is their Mayan language.
FrankHerbert
1.1 / 5 (53) Nov 26, 2011
http://oxforddict...on/Mayan

Oxford says otherwise.
btb101
5 / 5 (7) Nov 26, 2011
nothing will happen. there will be so many red faces that the baboon will have a run for it's money.
their whole religion was set up for one event. when the earth aligns with galactic central and their souls can go to their version of heaven.
so reminds me of the turn of 2,000. the world didn't end then, and it sure won't end now.
Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (11) Nov 26, 2011
"We don't need to protect the environment. The second coming is at hand." - James Watt - Secretary of the Interior under Ronald Reagan.
hagger
1 / 5 (1) Nov 26, 2011
an inscription on a piece of brick..give me a break..it's like finding one scrabble brick and think you know the sentence...the planet has been here billions of years..it will be here long after we have gone...Carpe Diem....
MorituriMax
4.5 / 5 (8) Nov 26, 2011
Yeah, if the Mayans were so intelligent, why aren't THEY around anymore? Seems to me like if you aren't even AROUND when your supposed Apocalypse is going to arrive, you missed the actual date you SHOULD be worried about.
Skepticus
not rated yet Nov 26, 2011
Yeah, if the Mayans were so intelligent, why aren't THEY around anymore?

What do you think the outcome of a fight between a bunch of nerds and scientists against blood-thirsty barbarians would be? It's hypothetical of course, but you should get the point. As society became civilized to a certain point, the population is ill-equipped mentally to fight a total war to the death.
Ricochet
5 / 5 (1) Nov 26, 2011
Well, whatever happens, us Jews will be left behind to clean up the mess, after all the good little Christians have left the party, if scripture is to be read literally...
Pirouette
3 / 5 (4) Nov 26, 2011
MorituriMax says:
Yeah, if the Mayans were so intelligent, why aren't THEY around anymore? Seems to me like if you aren't even AROUND when your supposed Apocalypse is going to arrive, you missed the actual date you SHOULD be worried about.

They're still around, Max, at least the descendants of those who survived the smallpox, influenza, and other diseases brought to them by the Spaniards. Same with the Aztec descendants. . . .and the Maori of N.Z. and Aborigines of Oz survived the invasions of the British also. Can't keep a good man down, you know, just because they don't have anymore fight left in them. They persevere. . . .waiting for just the right moment.

@Ricochet. . . .your god seems to have abandoned you Jews. . .that's IF he ever existed. Ask almost anyone on Physorg. They will want complete EVIDENCE of your god. And if you can't provide any except a book, then there is no such thing as a "chosen people". Sorry, but your bible is a fantasy.
Isaacsname
not rated yet Nov 27, 2011
If the Mayans were so good at predicting our demise, thousands of years in the future, how did they manage to not prevent their own demise through prediction ?

..eh ?

Skepticus
not rated yet Nov 27, 2011
If the Mayans were so good at predicting our demise, thousands of years in the future, how did they manage to not prevent their own demise through prediction ?

..eh ?


Who knows? Perhaps they knew from their readings of (whatever) that their time is coming to an end, accepted it and let it happen as true adherents of unavoidable workings of the universe? To use a more modern analogy, it is pointless to spit upwind! :-)
ziphead
5 / 5 (3) Nov 27, 2011
Note to the deranged; there seems to be an easy way to mess with the like-minded freaks many years after you are gone:

Step 1: procure a large rock. The bigger, the better.
Step 2: carve some scary, half-coherent pictures and other nonsense in it. Provide suitable future chronological references in it.
Step 3: Commit suicide. The bloodier, the better.

Ok, now heres the one they prepared earlier...
Decimatus
1 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2011
"There's no reason it couldn't be also a date in ancient times, describing some important historical event in the Classic period. In fact, the third glyph on the brick seems to read as the verb huli, "he/she/it arrives."

Whoever or whatever it is, it arrives in 2012. Sounds like fun times.

Sometimes I get the impression that the Mayans were visited by evil aliens who warned of their return in the distant future.
Paljor
not rated yet Nov 28, 2011
I will be laughing on whoever actually believes this on christmas of 2012.

p.s. the maya had already nearly died out by the time the spanish came along. their empire had dissolved into several smaller city-states.
Ricochet
5 / 5 (1) Nov 28, 2011
@Ricochet. . . .your god seems to have abandoned you Jews. . .that's IF he ever existed. Ask almost anyone on Physorg. They will want complete EVIDENCE of your god. And if you can't provide any except a book, then there is no such thing as a "chosen people". Sorry, but your bible is a fantasy.

Not fantasy, but the science fiction of the time... Religions were designed to explain the unexplainable to a group of people who couldn't understand what was going on. Don't think I'm blind to the falacies of religion, but also know that I do believe in a "God" of sorts. But what I believe It is, is my own belief. What's nice about Judaism is the fact that it encourages everyone to define God in whatever way feels right to themselves, and not a pre-cut slice of dogma.
So now, here's my definition of "God", which precludes its existence, and defines how it could never abandone anyone. Tell me if by my definition, that "God" doesn't exist...
Since I'm out of characters, see my next pos
Ricochet
3 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2011
My definition of "God":
First, I see God as a genderless entity. By entity, I don't think of it as a singular being that runs things, but more like an aspect of reality. I find "God" as being a convenient term to define the energy, whatever it may be, that enables us to "be", which is, to be self-aware, live, etc.
I believe that when you stop referring to "God" as a being, but as a thing, then you start to understand what they were trying to say way back then.
Bradley_Robinson
not rated yet Nov 28, 2011
Interesting part for me is the unusual use of bricks both as analogy and physicality. This is a guess coming from experience as a builder having done research in dimensional analysis of bricks of historical and current significance. Is it possible to describe infinitely scaleable modular dimensions of bricks as an algorithm iterated into a durable stable finished form. I'm finding this analogous to modeling thermo- dynamics as a logical extension of the utility of building blocks as a theoretical tool applied to a better understanding of built environments. I hope this makes some sense, it is always interesting as we learn about the world around us and judging by the comments the Maya and many of our ancestors can still capture our imagination.
Callippo
1 / 5 (1) Nov 28, 2011
The true is, the human civilization has so many objective opportunities to destroy or at least seriously harm itself just by now, that the some Mayan apocalypse isn't really necessary. The problem is, the Mayan apocalypse must be connected with some cosmic event, or it couldn't be predicted so exactly. The cold massive object visiting the solar system along strongly eccentric path is the only viable option by now. http://physicswor...ws/47876
Nerdyguy
1 / 5 (7) Nov 28, 2011
"We don't need to protect the environment. The second coming is at hand." - James Watt - Secretary of the Interior under Ronald Reagan.


Your usual nonsense. Of course, you usually throw in a verified fact or two. Not this time. Of course, you're not to blame for making up crapola sandwiches (this time), just passing them around.

There was never any such speech, nor any such reference. Below is a link wherein Bill Moyers, nationally syndicated columnist who mistakenly published the information about Watt, apologizes publicly to Watt for not doing his research.

It seems you owe all of us a similar apology.

http://www.freere...86/posts
Nerdyguy
1.6 / 5 (7) Nov 28, 2011
It would be fun to be around in, say, 2600 or so, to witness archaeologists digging up 5.25 in. disks from the 1980s. Someone will figure out how to decode and read a few no doubt.
Callippo
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 28, 2011
...and the only clue will be the "XXX" on the label..
Ricochet
not rated yet Nov 29, 2011
I shudder to think what they would think of us if our only legacy is some buxom computer sprite dancing on the screen...
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.3 / 5 (11) Nov 29, 2011
"The institute repeated Thursday that "western messianic thought has twisted the cosmovision of ancient civilizations like the Maya.""

-Along with many other things.
I believe that when you stop referring to "God" as a being, but as a thing, then you start to understand what they were trying to say way back then.
A thing, as in a very useful sociopolitical expedient. A manifestation of superstitious Wünschtraume. That sort of thing.
p.s. the maya had already nearly died out by the time the spanish came along. their empire had dissolved into several smaller city-states.
Who said the Priest-Kings who devised the calendar ever died out? Mesoamerican civilizations were tailor-made for efficient conquest by euro invaders. This was done within a generation and involved a third of their estimated GDP. For no apparent reason.

The same Priesthood still constructs our societies for us and Plans when they rise and fall. Perhaps there is a grand Plan which ends next year?
Ricochet
not rated yet Nov 29, 2011
This might help: http://www.ancien...-empire/

If that doesn't work for you, try this: https://www.googl...nspiracy theories
CHollman82
5 / 5 (2) Nov 29, 2011
So what if 100 different inscriptions postulated the end of the world on an exact date? Why should we lend credence to ancient superstitions?


Agreed, what the hell is the deal with the unfounded reverence for ancient cultures? Most people in America at least couldn't tell you a damn thing about modern science but have no problem considering people who lived many thousands of years ago as some kind of geniuses.
Ricochet
5 / 5 (2) Nov 29, 2011
...and the only clue will be the "XXX" on the label..


Then again, the way our culture is going, in 2600, they'll know exactly how to view them, and wonder to themselves, "This is what they call hardcore?! Frak! I'd show that to my kids!"
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.3 / 5 (11) Nov 29, 2011
"Scholars compare the Maya cities to the city-states of ancient Greece: all spoke a common language, religion and group of common assumptions, but all were strongly independent and often at a constant state of war with each other, but no one central state enforced rule over the others."

-We know so little about the culture. As Richard feynman pointed out, out of the 1000s of books originally found, the conquistadors burnt all but 3. Greece did in fact have a 'central state'; the oracle at delphi.

"The ancient people of the Mediterranean had such faith in Pythia's view of the future that no major decision was made without consulting the Oracle of Delphi first. Greek and foreign dignitaries, heads of state, and common folk made the pilgrimage to the Delphi sanctuary, and paid great sums for Pythia's oracles."

-The young oracle would drool and babble and her priests would tell the clientele this meant apollo wanted athens to ally with thebes against sparta etc.
cont==>
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.3 / 5 (11) Nov 29, 2011
In other words this priestly community directed the course of this culture by arranging its wars and predetermining their outcomes. They accepted that conflict was inevitable given the normal growth rate of populations, and decided that it needed to be Managed in order to make it a constructive, and not a destructive, endeavor.

The oracle existed for 1500 years. The pope inherited her soothsaying powers and the power to guide euro dynasties, alliances, and wars. City-states became kingdoms, and these became nation-states.

Was a mayan priesthood similarly centralized?

"The upper echelon of the priesthood was a repository of learning, also in the field of history and genealogical knowledge. Around 1500, the Yucatec priesthood was hierarchically organized, from the high priest living at the court down to the priests in the towns, and the priestly books were distributed along these lines."

-Apparently so.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.3 / 5 (11) Nov 29, 2011
People conspire. It is what they do. It is the basis of the tribal dynamic, of people bonding together for a common defense.

Cooperation in the defeat of mutual enemies occurs at every level of human interaction. We see it on the playground, on the streets, in business, politics, crime, sports. We have learned to expect it at every level in society but we believe that at the highest level of interaction there can be nothing but anarchy. Why?

The oracular priests knew that conflicts would resolve themselves when the people who instigated them were dead. It was not the conflict which was the problem but the growth of populations that caused it.

Priest kings knew also that the people would inevitably blame their hardship on them, no matter how benevolent they tried to be. They realized that this made the people the true enemies of leaders everywhere, and that the most effective way of defeating them was to set them against one another.

This new meme spread among Leaders worldwide.
Miah28
not rated yet Nov 29, 2011
All I have to say about the Mayans is I find it peculiar that they could document all this information about how they were able to use astrology and math to predict the end of the world! but failed miserably or werent smart enough to document what wiped them out? Just saying I find it hard to believe they could do one but not the other.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4.2 / 5 (10) Nov 29, 2011
All I have to say about the Mayans is I find it peculiar that they could document all this information...but failed miserably or werent smart enough to document what wiped them out?
Like I say, what makes you think the Leaders who Managed them died out? The cultures disappeared. The Mayans, aztecs, and incas, including their cities and armies bigger than any in europe, were defeated.

Consider if trade with independent euro and african merchants had given them the use of metallurgy, gunpowder, horses, ocean navigation, etc. Consider what american drugs and precious metals would have done to existing power structures throughout the Old World, if they had arrived without strict control by Those already in Charge.

But they didnt. Through many strange and inexplicable developments and disappearances in the New World, the cultures rapidly collapsed and the threat evaporated. And most of the people DIED.

This is VICTORY. I dont see how it all could have happened without Preparation.
Ricochet
1 / 5 (1) Nov 30, 2011
Right, because you know so much more than anyone else... Were you there? Maybe you're one of those fabled Oracles?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.