Maya 2012

Maya 2012 Calendar

The Maya Calendar and the Maya 2012 Apocalypse is being heavily promoted by tourism boards in Central America including the Belize Tourism Board.

Maya 2012 marks the end of the 13th B’ak’tun, or cycle of the Maya Calendar. The end of this cycle means the start of the 14th B’ak’tun and not the end of the world or anything explosive notwithstanding the attempts by Belize Tourism Board public relations hacks trying to pump up this yet another apocalypse in the good interests of gaining tourist dollars and taxes. So what is this Maya 2012 thing all about? On this pages we pull together curated resources on this phenomenon. First up is Dr. Jaime Awe a Belize born archaeologist who has been studying the Maya civilization for more than 30 years. This is as close as you will get to an authority on the Maya, a scholar who actually lives here and has been directing field excavations and running the Belize Department of Archaeology for a long time. From his more recent television interview in Belize:

Dr. Jaime Awe Belize Archaeology

Dr. Jaime Awe Belize archaeologist at a Belize Maya field excavation. Image Credit John Mink

“There’s been a lot of hoopla about 2012. In fact, for many people, they see 2012 as the end of this eventful occasion in the Maya calendar, when the calendar ends; so ends the world. But in fact – and there is a lot of publications that are going around, in fact I brought one with me, that’s being done by the Institute of American Archaeology.

“As you can see, there’s the hoopla that also looks at it as a myth, some event that we really can’t explain the year in the Ancient Maya calendar because it marks the completion of this great cycle of time called The 13th B’ak’tun”, but what happens is that a lot of folks are saying, ‘We like things very apocalyptic, and we like these kinds of events that makes the headlines’. But what indeed was December 21, 2012 to the Maya? Well, it doesn’t seem to have been as negative a deal as we modern western philosophers believe.

“In fact, what we know is that there is actually only one reference in Ancient Maya records that make reference to 2012. Only on one monument that’s found in at a site in Mexico called Tortuguero is the date 2012 mentioned. And what do they mention about it? Well, they say that on that date, this deity, who’s not even a very well-known, important god, that he comes down to Earth.

“What does that mean? Nobody really knows, but does it mean that it’s going to be apocalyptic, that the world will come to an end? We don’t believe so. Why? Well because there are also at least one, if not more, monument that talk about dates even beyond 2012. There’s an inscription on a monument at Palenque that says that something is also going to happen at the end of the 20th B’ak’tun, in about something like 5072 A.D. So obviously, to the Maya, they knew that the world wasn’t going to come to an end.”

The Maya 2012 Resources List

With such intense interest on Maya 2012 events, we thought a roster of writers, public relations specialists, pundits, bloggers, scholars and others would be useful to Maya 2012 researchers and travelers. This list is by no means exhaustive and will be updated as often as possible. To submit suggestions for inclusions in the Maya 2012 Resources List, please use the contact form at the end of this page.

1. Where Will Your Be When The World Does Not End In 2012 – by our sister publication The Belizean News

2. Belize Tourist Board Maya 2012 Website – a special website put up by the Belize Tourist Board – warning – High Hype Level. “2012 will be a momentous occasion, not only for Belize’s large Maya population, but for all Belizeans. Given the amount of interest we’re seeing from around the world, it’s generating global excitement as well,” said Yanick Dalhouse, BTB’s Director of Marketing. “People are also discovering they can be married at ancient archaeological ceremonial centers, have truly exotic honeymoons, or create their own unique experiences while exploring the fascinating Maya culture,” added Dalhouse. She also indicated that the Maya Passport is just one of many initiatives the Belize Tourism Board, NICH and other tourism industry partners will be rolling out. – Dalhouse is an imported U.S. public relations expert embedded with the Belize Tourist Board in Belize City.

3. American Archaeology Magazine – Apocalypse Soon? Many of the predictions begin in outer space. It’s known that there is a black hole at the center of the Milky Way, and that in 2012 the sun will align with the plane of the Galaxy for the first time in 26,000 years. Then, according to the doomsayers, the black hole will throw our solar system out of kilter. Lawrence E. Joseph, author of a book called Apocalypse 2012, says that supergiant flares will erupt on the sun’s surface, propelling an extraordinary plume of solar particles earthward at the next peak of solar activity. Earth’s magnetic field will reverse, producing dire consequences such as violent hurricanes and the loss of all electronic communication systems. And recent natural disasters, from Hurricane Katrina to the Indian Ocean tsunami? They are all related to this alignment, and the ancient Maya knew all about it. That’s the bad news.

4. Joshua Berman is a former U.S. Peace Corps volunteer who has parlayed his old teaching job into a lucrative career as a the latest Central America expert and tour guide. The gentleman writes for a U.S. travel book publisher Moon Publications. Mr. Berman has been flogging his Guide to 2012 in the Huffington Post in an article tagged with a tabloid style headline shouting “The Maya World Braces For 2012 Boom”. We do not know if the book is any good as we are awaiting our review copy. But his blog is chatty and developing nicely as a tourist resource. Mr. Berman recently wrote about the Huffo Post article: “Despite the title and the hundreds of comments debating the end of the world, my article has absolutely NOTHING to do with an apocalypse. It is about tourism to Mexico and Central America, which has been quite depressed for some years now. Hopefully, foreigners’ genuine curiosity and interest in the Maya people, culture, and history will result in a boost in these regions next year and hopefully the Maya themselves will benefit.”