Mayan Apocalypse Nears: Doomsday Prediction An Archaeological Mistranslation?

Mayan Apocalypse Nears: Doomsday Prediction An Archaeological Mistranslation?

As the so-called Mayan apocalypse nears scientists of various stripes have gone on record to denounce any end of the world plans like hiding on a mountain or in Brazil. NASA has released a video showing that they do not expect any world-ending natural disasters any time soon. But what if the failed Doomsday prediction that has Americans panicking was all caused by a mistranslation of the Mayan text?

On December 21, 2012 the ancient Mayan Lond Calendar rolls over to a new 394-year century, baktun. Archaeologists like Lisa Lucero of University of Illinois are probably tired of explaining why the world won’t end. She told the Clarion Ledger that Americans should not take any drastic actions:

“I would suggest to people that they not sell their house, quit their job, leave their spouse, nor say something nasty to someone they think they will never see again.”

According to the Clarion Ledger, the Mayan Apocalypse was “born from a misinterpretation of an inscription found at a now-pulverized Maya site in Mexico’s Tabasco region.” The inscriptions were part of a 7th century AD dedication of a shrine built in now-destroyed Tortuguero. These stone inscriptions are now housed at the Carlos Pellicer Cámara Regional Anthropology Museum in the Mexican city of Villahermosa.

This is what these inscriptions describe according to the Clarion Ledger:

The inscription mentions the appearance of a Maya deity, Bolon Yokte’ K’uh, on the date in the Mayan long count calendar. That corresponds to Dec. 21 (or Dec. 23 in an analysis presented at the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Museum this year), a turning over of the ancient calendar that occurs roughly every 5,125 years.

The Mayans were ruled by supposed god-kings that liked to attach their dynasties to important calendar dates and ancestors. Mayan beliefs centered around the repetition of endless cycles corresponding to trillions of years of time. This means the Mayan inscription intended to convey a new era of constant renewal, not the end of days.

According to DeathAndTaxes this new period also refers to the end of a 13th cycle of 400 years. The number 13 is unlucky in American culture but to the Mayans 13 was actually considered sacred. So if anything the Mayans were likely expecting something good to happen on 12-21-2012.

Another reason we know that the Mayan Apocalypse is not near is the discovery of a Mayan scribe’s hut painted with calendar markings that tracked celestial movements well into the year 3,500 AD. This evidence shows the Mayans expected the world to continue beyond 12-21-12 in further celestial cycles.

The Mayans were not able to predict the end of their own civilization so how would you expect them to correctly predict the Mayan Apocalypse is near?