Earliest Mayan Calendar Found

It looks like the world won’t be ending in 2012 after all. Another Mayan calender has been found deep in the rain forests of Guatemala. The ancient calender adorns the walls of city ruins and researchers say it was used as a handy reference chart for scribes back in A.D. 800. Contrary to popular myth, this calender is not a countdown to the apocalypse, which many believe will occur in December of this year. The calender goes on for trillions of years and is very complex, featuring stacked bars and dots that represent numbers. “The Mayan calendar is going to keep going for billions, trillions, octillions of years into the future,” said archaeologist David Stuart of the University of Texas, who worked to decipher the glyphs. “Numbers we can’t even wrap our heads around.” At first, researchers thought their latest discovery was anything to write home about and didn’t believe the murals would yield very much information but were pleasantly surprised when they stumbled upon the calendar. Researchers found that the Maya recorded time in a series of cycles, including 400-year chunks called baktuns. It was these baktuns that sparked doomsday theories about a world ending catastrophe on December 21, 2012 because on that date, these cycles will be complete. Despite popular belief, Maya scientists have known for a long time that the calender does not end after the 13th baktun and simply begins a new cycle but that has not stopped Hollywood from putting out a ton of doomsday films over the past few years. The movie that most blatantly bought into the conspiracy theories was director Roland Emmerich’s apocalyptic action film “2012,” which stars John Cusack and Thandie Newton. Other recent doomsday films include “Melancholia,” “The Day After Tomorrow,” and “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” starring Steve Carrell and Keira Knightley hits theatres this summer.