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Buzz Kill: The World Is Not Gonna End This Year

Newly uncovered hieroglyphs support the idea that the Mayans had a recycling calendar, rather than an apocalyptic one.

The journal Science released an article today that shows, among other more important and interesting things, that the beloved myth of the Mayan 2012 apocalypse is – big surprise – bullshit.

We’re off the hook! (Though I was excited for some crazy cultish demonstrations and debauched last-night-on-earth parties.)

Archaeologist William Saturno and his team recently unearthed a “painted room,” that seemed to be the studio of a Mayan town scribe in Xultun, Guatemala. The paintings are from the early 9th century A.D. There are some pretty amazing findings, including unique images of costumed figures with awesome names like “Brother Obsidian,” and a series of hieroglyphs that, Saturno reports, “are calendrical in nature and relate astronomical computations, including at least two tables concerning the movement of the Moon, and perhaps Mars and Venus.” These calendrical hieroglyphs support the idea that the Mayans had a recycling calendar, rather than an apocalyptic one.

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“The ancient Maya predicted the world would continue, that 7,000 years from now, things would be exactly like this…We keep looking for endings. The Maya were looking for a guarantee that nothing would change,” Saturno said in a statement. So our society is more cynical than one where children’s hearts were occasionally removed during the ascension of a new king.

The end of the world may look like this, but here’s what the not-end-of-the-world looks like:

via Saturno et al (2012)

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