Feeds

Better pay your taxes: The world's NOT going to end this year

Mayan prophecy is for drought or disease, not apocalypse, say bone boffins

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Those folks counting down to the end of the world, currently scheduled for 21 December according to the Mayan calendar, are going to be disappointed, a gaggle of experts have said.

Archaeologists, anthropologists and other experts in old things meeting over the weekend in Mexico have suggested that the Mayas may indeed have made various prophecies about that fateful date, just not a doomsday one, AP reported.

The boffins convened to discuss the Mayan Long Count calendar, which is made up of 394-year periods called baktuns. Since Mayas started their calendar at 3114 BC, the 13th baktun will begin on 21 December, 2012. The number 13 was a significant number for the Mayas.

However, that significance does not point to the scream-filled end of days for mankind, possibly as a Sun flare ravages our planet or the Earth's magnetic field reverses or (insert favourite apocalyptic scenario here).

Instead, the end of the cycle could be a milestone, a prophecy of something a bit less final, like droughts or disease outbreaks. “The Mayas did make prophecies, but not in a fatalistic sense, but rather about events that, in their cyclical conception of history, could be repeated in the future,” said Alfredo Barrera, of the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History.

There's also the fact that the prophecies don't stop at 21 December. Instead, Maya monuments refer to events even further into the future, thousands of years from now. "The king of Palenque, K'inich Hanaab Pakal, believed he would return to the Earth a couple of thousand years from now in the future," Braswell wrote in an email to The Associated Press.

“This thing about looking for end-times is not something that comes from Maya culture,” said Alexander Voss, an anthropologist at the University Of Quintana Roo, in Mexico. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.