Aveni coauthors paper detailing new Mayan calendar

Originally posted: May 11, 2012

Portion of lunar table, Structure 10K-2, Xultun.

Portion of a lunar table, Structure 10K-2, from Xultun, Guatemala. (Image by W. Saturno, drawing by D. Stuart)

A paper coauthored by Colgate professor Tony Aveni and published today in Science might put a damper on any plans by  Hollywood to capitalize on theories about the world coming to an end in 2012.

The paper details the discovery and excavation of a home in Xultún, Guatemala, and a “wall painting accompanied by a numerical table and a series of long numbers that appear to have functioned like those found in astronomical tables in the codices discovered the earliest known Mayan calendar.”

Portion of a lunar table, Structure 10K-2, from Xultun, Guatemala. (Image by W. Saturno, drawing by D. Stuart)

In a discussion about the paper, Aveni explained that the new calendar offers no hint that the world’s end is imminent – this is just the beginning of another cycle.

“It’s like the odometer of a car, with the Maya calendar rolling over from the 120,000s to 130,000. The car gets a step closer to the junkyard as the numbers turn over; the Maya just start over,” he said.

Will this widely reported story stop the end-of-the-world conspiracies and any future Hollywood movies like 2012?

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