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 Gulf coast 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.
There has long been speculation that on December 21, 2012, the world as we know it will end. Some predict that we'll be wiped out by a natural disaster like a giant tidal wave, an Earth-wide earthquake or a tremendous volcanic eruption. Others believe that on that day in December, the Earth will collide with a mysterious "Planet X," causing magnetic pole shifts, gravitational reversals or a black hole so big that our solar system will simply disappear. What's more, believers say that this news is not really news at all; on the contrary, they argue, we have known about the coming apocalypse since the ancient Maya predicted and recorded it on their Long Count calendar more than 2,200 years ago.
"It's too bad that we're getting e-mails from fourth-graders who are saying that they're too young to die," Martin said. "We had a mother of two young children who was afraid she wouldn't live to see them grow up."
Chile Pixtun, a Guatemalan, says the doomsday theories spring from Western, not Mayan ideas.
A significant time period for the Mayas does end on the date, and enthusiasts have found a series of astronomical alignments they say coincide in 2012, including one that happens roughly only once every 25,800 years.
But most archaeologists, astronomers and Maya say the only thing likely to hit Earth is a meteor shower of New Age philosophy, pop astronomy, Internet doomsday rumors and TV specials such as one on the History Channel which mixes "predictions" from Nostradamus and the Mayas and asks: "Is 2012 the year the cosmic clock finally winds down to zero days, zero hope?"
It may sound all too much like other doomsday scenarios of recent decades – the 1987 Harmonic Convergence, the Jupiter Effect or "Planet X." But this one has some grains of archaeological basis.
Is the world really going to end on December 21 2012? That is perhaps the most frequently asked question I receive from visitors to my website www.December212012.com. The short answer is most likely no. We as human beings have no possible way of knowing when and how our planet will end. However, we are smart enough and intuitive enough to know when sure and imminent danger is near, and we must be willing to recognize and react to signs of coming change. More importantly we must realize that our entire universe along with our very existence runs in cycles, and evidence of these cycles has been scientifically proven and their recurrence is inevitable. Based on my research and studies into the many theories, prophecies, predictions and facts surrounding 2012, I have come to realize that our world is not set to completely end anytime soon. However, we can be certain that some very dramatic and devastating changes are coming, and these changes will most definitely represent the end of the world “AS WE KNOW IT”.
We are currently and unquestionably immersed in the final years of a thirteen-year global tribulation that began on the winter solstice 1999 and will reach its ultimate conclusion on December 21 2012. During this period of unrest and uncertainty we will become witnesses to a gathering storm of events that will slowly and systematically redefine our existence on this planet. These events will come in the form of both natural and manmade disasters as well as social, economic and religious upheavals, and will most definitely effect every living being on the planet. When featured on the local, network and cable news outlets, these events will be described in terms such as “never before seen”, “worst on record”, “apocalyptic” and yes, “the end of the world”.