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why does mayan calendar end in 2012

Time to retrieve that resignation letter from the boss's desk, return the life savings to your bank account and attempt to return to normal life в
has announced that the world will not end on 21 December. In a video published on YouTube, the space agency sought to calm fears в triggered by the supposed end of the Mayan calendar в that Christmas was about to be spoiled by the disintegration of Earth and the extinction of its 7 billion population. The film was scheduled to be published on 22 December 2012, explaining why the world didn't end the previous day. "If you're watching this video it means one thing в the world didn't end yesterday," runs the commentary. But Nasa is so confident in its prediction that it has released it now. The prediction that the world would end four days before Christmas 2012 в potentially wreaking havoc with gift buying and travel plans в is a long-standing misconception, Nasa explains. An accompanying post on the agency's website, titled Beyond 2012: Why the World Won't End, says that 21 December this year has been labelled as the end of all things because the Mayan calendar ends on this date.

But "just as the calendar you have on your kitchen wall does not cease to exist after December 31, the Mayan calendar does not cease to exist on December 21, 2012," Nasa says. Instead, it just starts over again. Another factor in the end of the world prophecy comes from claims that a "supposed planet" called Nibiru is heading for Earth, hellbent on destruction. "This catastrophe was initially predicted for May 2003, but when nothing happened the doomsday date was moved forward to December 2012," and linked to the end of the Mayan calendar, Nasa said. As astrobiologist David Morrison puts it in the Nasa video: "If there were anything out there like a planet headed for earth it would already be one of the brightest objects in the sky. Everybody on earth could see it. You don't need to ask the government. Just go out and look. It's not there. " A newly discovered Mayan text reveals the end date for the Mayan calendar, becoming only the second known document to do so.

But unlike some modern people, ancient Maya did not expect the world to end on that date, researchers said. This text talks about ancient political history rather than prophecy, Marcello Canuto, the director of Tulane University Middle America Research Institute, said in a statement. This new evidence suggests that the 13 bak tun date was an that would have been celebrated by the ancient Maya; however, they make no apocalyptic prophecies whatsoever regarding the date. The is divided into bak tuns, or 144,000-day cycles that begin at the Maya creation date. The winter solstice of 2012 (Dec. 21) is the last day of the 13th bak tun, marking what the Maya people would have seen as a full cycle of creation. New Age believers and doomsday types have attributed great meaning to the Dec. 21, 2012 date, with and others some sort of profound global spiritual event. But only one archaeological reference to the 2012 date had ever been found, as an inscription on a monument dating back to around A. D. 669 in Tortuguero, Mexico. [ Now, researchers exploring the Mayan ruins of La Corona in Guatemala have unearthed a second reference.

On a stairway block carved with hieroglyphs, archaeologists found a commemoration of a visit by Yuknoom Yich aak K ahk of Calakmul, the most powerful Mayan ruler in his day. The king, also known as Jaguar Paw, suffered a terrible defeat in battle by the Kingdom of Tikal in 695. Historians have long assumed that Jaguar Paw died or was captured in this battle. But the carvings proved them wrong. In fact, the king visited La Corona in A. D. 696, probably trying to shore up loyalty among his subjects in the wake of his defeat four years earlier. [ As part of this publicity tour, the king was calling himself the 13 k atun lord, the carvings reveal. K atuns are another unit of the Maya calendar, corresponding to 7,200 days or nearly 20 years. Jaguar Paw had presided over the ending of the 13th of these k atuns in A. D. 692. That s where the 2012 calendar end date comes in. In an effort to tie himself and his reign to the future, the king linked his reign with another 13th cycle the 13th bak tun of Dec. 21, 2012.

What this text shows us is that in times of crisis, the ancient Maya used their calendar to promote continuity and stability rather than, Canuto said. La Corona was the site of much looting and has only been explored by modern archaeologists for about 15 years. Canuto and his dig co-director Tomas Barrientos Q. of the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala announced the discovery of the new calendar text Thursday (June 28) at the National Palace in Guatemala. The researchers first uncovered the carved stone steps in 2010 near a building heavily damaged by looters. The robbers had missed this set of 12 steps, however, providing a rare example of stones still in their original places. The researchers found another 10 stones from the staircase that had been moved but then discarded by looters. In total, these 22 stones boast 264 hieroglyphs tracing the political history of La Corona, making them the longest known ancient Maya text in Guatemala. Follow Stephanie Pappas on Twitter or LiveScience @livescience. We re also on Google+.

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