“New” Mayan art contradicts 2012 deadline

Good news for those who might have been worried: archeologists in Guatemala have announced the discovery of a mural there that suggests the earth’s inhabitants still have another 7000 years to prosper.

Working with epigrapher David Stuart and archaeologist and artist Heather Hurst, the researchers noticed several barely visible hieroglyphic texts, painted and etched along the east and north walls of the room.

One is a lunar table, and the other is a “ring number”—something previously known only from much later Maya books, where it was used as part of a backward calculation in establishing a base date for planetary cycles. Nearby is a sequence of numbered intervals corresponding to key calendrical and planetary cycles.

The calculations include dates some 7,000 years in the future, adding to evidence against the idea that the Maya thought the world would end in 2012—a modern myth inspired by an ancient calendar that depicts time starting over this year.

“We keep looking for endings,” expedition leader Saturno said in a statement. “The Maya were looking for a guarantee that nothing would change. It’s an entirely different mindset.”

Bad news for “the usually picturesque and tranquil Pyrenean village of Bugarach.” Their village had been picked as the potential Noah’s Ark for scared hippies the world over. Back in March, the Independent reported that

Upwards of 100,000 people are thought to be planning a trip to the mountain, 30 miles west of Perpignan, in time for 21 December, and opportunistic entrepreneurs are shamelessly cashing in on the phenomenon. While American travel agents have been offering special, one-way deals to witness the end of the world, a neighbouring village, Saint-Paul de Fenouillet, has produced a wine to celebrate the occasion.

Jean-Pierre Delord, the perplexed mayor of Bugarach, has flagged up the situation to the French authorities, requesting they scramble the army to the tiny village for fear of a mass suicide. It has also caught the attention of France’s sect watchdog, Miviludes.

It’s believed by these people that aliens have a spacecraft inside Pic de Bugarach and that they have the capability to “beam away” anyone in the vicinity on that day. No wonder there’s some worry. Nobody wants to see another Heaven’s Gate happen. (Their website is still up and running, by the way.)

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