Countdown begins for Mayan prophesy
source: The Australian
IN the southern Mexican town of Tapachula, a clock counts the minutes until the last day of the Mayan calendar. Falling on December 21 this year, it is a date with which viewers of the apocalypse film 2012 will be familiar- bringing the destruction of the world as we know it – and hysteria from some who believe it to herald the end of time. In Tulum, on the Mayan Riviera, a secretive group of Italians has been constructing an underground bunker, which they claim is capable of withstanding a tsunami or atomic bomb.
To quell the doomsday forecasts, fuelled by disaster films and online postings, the National Institute of Anthropological History in Mexico (Inah) has launched an awareness campaign and is holding a conference at the Mayan site of Palenque in the southern state of Chiapas this month. Palenque in the southern state of Chiapas this month. Chiapas this month.
The apocalypse theories stem from a stone tablet which describes the end of a 5,126-year cycle, bringing the return of Bolon Yokte, a god associated with war and creation Carved 1,300 years ago, the stone is now cracked, rendering the end of the passage illegible. the passage illegible But in his 1987 book The Mayan Factor: Path Beyond Technology, the American author Jose Arguelles called the date “the ending of time as we know it”, and spawned an army of end-of-time theorists.
Doomsday predictions have bred online, fed by a receptive audience: the film 2012 grossed pounds $A696 million to become one of the top 40 box-office hits of all time. Speculation has also increased after the recent discovery of a second reference to the date, on a brick at the archaeological site of Comalcalco However, Inah says that out of 15,000 registered glyphic Mayan texts discovered, these are the only two that mention 2012 – scant references for an event of such supposed magnitude.
Sven Gronemeyer, a researcher of Mayan codes at La Trobe University in Australia, who has been decoding the calendar, said the ancient civilisation simply viewed the god as overseeing the transition from one era to the next.”Because Bolon Yokte was present at the day of creation … it just seemed natural for the Mayan that Bolon Yokte will again be present,” he said In Tapachula, officials overseeing the countdown said they did not believe the world would end on the winter solstice but thought it signified a new beginning – at least for the town’s financial prospects.
Manolo Alfonso Pinot, the regional director of tourism in Chiapas, said he hoped it would attract visitors. “If people are interested, we have to take advantage of this,” he said. people are interested, we have to take advantage of this,” he said of impending doom has not damaged tourism.”I’m unconcerned,” said Andrea Marcos, a 22-year-old student from Mexico City.”A lot of earthquakes and natural disasters have happened [recently] and in 2012 I wouldn’t be surprised if something else happens, but I think it’s going to be for the good.”