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Archaeology & History

What did the ancient Mayas prophecise ?

By T.K. Randall
October 2, 2012 · Comment icon 16 comments

Image Credit: Bruno Girin
Experts believe that while the Mayas did make prophecies, none of them were about the end of days.
Many cite a belief in a global apocalypse on December 21st 2012 as a result of the end of the Mayan calendar, but did the Mayas ever actually make any predictions about the end times ? A group of experts met in southern Mexico on Friday to discuss the implications of the calendar's end date and other aspects of Mayan culture. While some subscribe to the notion that the Mayas were able to predict astronomical disasters far in to their future, others were more skeptical.

"The Mayas did make prophecies, but not in a fatalistic sense, but rather about events that, in their cyclical conception of history, could be repeated in the future," said archaeologist Alfredo Barrera who maintains that the Mayas were more likely to have prophecised about droughts and disease than about anything to do with the end of the world.[!gad]Many cite a belief in a global apocalypse on December 21st 2012 as a result of the end of the Mayan calendar, but did the Mayas ever actually make any predictions about the end times ? A group of experts met in southern Mexico on Friday to discuss the implications of the calendar's end date and other aspects of Mayan culture. While some subscribe to the notion that the Mayas were able to predict astronomical disasters far in to their future, others were more skeptical.

"The Mayas did make prophecies, but not in a fatalistic sense, but rather about events that, in their cyclical conception of history, could be repeated in the future," said archaeologist Alfredo Barrera who maintains that the Mayas were more likely to have prophecised about droughts and disease than about anything to do with the end of the world.
Archaeologists, anthropologists and other experts met Friday in the southern Mexico city of Merida to discuss the implications of the Mayan Long Count calendar, which is made up of 394-year periods called baktuns.


Source: Washington Post | Comments (16)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by harleyblueswoman 12 years ago
Is this not the year they (Myan, Sumerian, Hopi, Chinese etc)and many other cultures say their Star people will return? Nibiru also is projected to make it's orbital return this year!! This article sucked....it didn't even answer it's own question....is there a reason? Perhaps.....
Comment icon #8 Posted by MrSerendipity 12 years ago
Only God knows when the end will be. Certainly not a bunch of pagans that lived a couple of thousand years ago.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Emin 12 years ago
Sounds good, man.
Comment icon #10 Posted by mrknownothing 12 years ago
I love the people building shelters and stocking up on stuff. If it's the end of the world that was pretty much a waste since we'll all be dead. I agree with Modest Mouse on this. As sure as planets come I know that they end and if I'm here when that happens would you promise me this my friend. Please bury me with it, I just don't need none of that Mad Max bull shhhhh
Comment icon #11 Posted by kobolds 12 years ago
90% of human die, 10% continue to live and make a better world. depending which side you're standing . the end of the world or the change of the world.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Hasina 12 years ago
Only God knows when the end will be. Certainly not a bunch of pagans that lived a couple of thousand years ago. 'Their made up gods got nothin' on my made up god'.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Crazydad72 12 years ago
True or not i still got to buy christmas presants.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Idano 12 years ago
True or not i still got to buy christmas presants. Or maybe I won't buy presents and then act all surprised it didn't happen...and save myself few bucks..?
Comment icon #15 Posted by Crazydad72 12 years ago
Or maybe I won't buy presents and then act all surprised it didn't happen...and save myself few bucks..? Now thats an idea!
Comment icon #16 Posted by araxia 11 years ago
The Mayans prophecised that the end of a calender would be the start of a new age. One of their gods, Quetzacoatl was also known as the feathered serpent, and he was said to have promised his return upon the Mayan's entering a new age. 2012 is the Chinese Year of the Dragon in the cyclic animal horoscope, so could the Chinese also know about Quetzacoatl's return this year, as feathered serpent also means dragon (feathers/dragonscales look alike, or feathers represents the capacity of flight, and feathered serpent means flying serpent which is dragon)? Could Mayan prophecy coincidentally coinci... [More]


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