The Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History have admitted that they have a second reference to the date 2012 as "end of the world" on a carved fragment found at an archaeological site in southern Mexico.
Salt Lake Tribune reports that archaeologists have long acknowledged that reference to date 2012 as "end of the world" is found on a stone tablet from the Tortuguero site in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco. But on Thursday, the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History announced that there is what appears another reference to the same date in an inscription on a brick found at the Camalcalco ruin. According to a spokesman for the institute Arturo Mendez, the inscription had been known for years and has been carefully studied by experts. Some experts, however, dispute that the "Comalcalco Brick" inscription really makes reference to dates (December 21, 2012 or December 23, 2012) that some have said is the end of the world.
The "Comalcalco Brick" inscription, like the previous Tortuguero inscription, is difficult to interpret because it is cryptic. The Tortuguero inscription, for instance, makes prophetic reference to uncertain but possibly cataclysmic events to occur in 2012, in connection with the Mayan god of war and creation. The mystery of the message in the Tortuguero inscription is complicated by an illegible ending, though some have claimed the eroded text reads "He will descend from the sky."
Salt Lake Tribune reports that the face of the "Comalcalco Brick" which carries the "prophetic message" appears to have been covered with stucco and laid facing inward. This is taken to imply the message on the brick is a sacred message not meant for profane eyes. However, a specialist in Mayan inscriptions at the University of Texas, Austin, David Stuart, said, "[though] some have proposed it as another reference to 2012...I remain rather unconvinced."
Stuart explains that what the brick contains is a "Calender Round," that is, day and month combination that will recur every 52 years.
According to David Stuart, the date on the brick coincides with end of the 13th Baktun, a 394-year period. With the Mayan Long Count calender starting in 3114 B.C., the 13th Baktun will end around December 21, 2012. But according to Stuart,
"There’s no reason it couldn’t be also a date in ancient times, describing some important historical event in the Classic period. In fact, the third glyph on the brick seems to read as the verb huli, 'he/she/it arrives.' There’s no future tense marking [unlike the Tortuguero phrase], which in my mind points more to the Comalcalco date being more historical than prophetic."
Detail showing three columns of glyphs from 2nd century CE La Mojarra Stela 1. The left column gives a Long Count date of 18.104.22.168.7, or 156 CE. The two right columns are glyphs from the Epi-Olmec script.
Boston Herald reports that the Institute of Anthropology and History says belief that the Mayans prophesied the world will end in December 2012 is misinterpretation of Mayan calender and thought. Newser reports that the Institute of Anthropology and History, in a statement on Thursday, said,
"Western messianic thought has twisted the cosmo-vision of ancient civilizations like the Maya."
The experts, according to Newser, say rather than speak of the end of the world, the Mayans had a cyclical notion of historical time. Cyclical renewal of historical time, the experts say, was not associated with or essentially linked to apocalyptic events.
The announcement of what appears a second reference, in Mayan archaeological relics, to late December 2012 as "end of the world," has, predictably, fueled speculations on Internet.
The Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History is organizing a forum for 60 Mayan experts at the archaeological site of Palenque to address the rumors that the Mayan Long Count calender predicts the world to end in December, 2012.