Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Is tomorrow the end?

Date:
December 20, 2012
Source:
Indiana University
Summary:
End-of-the-world predictions are common in human history, but believers in the Mayan Doomsday claim don’t understand the Mayan calendar system, an anthropologist says.

Is the world coming to an end Dec. 21, 2012? According to some, the Mayan calendar predicts such will be the case.

Related Articles


Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis anthropologist Larry Zimmerman, Ph.D., discusses end-of-the-world theories in a class at IUPUI titled "Lost Tribes, Sunken Continents, and Ancient Astronauts: Pseudoscience, Fractured Science, and the Past."

"We cover end-of-the-world predictions, because they are so common in human history," Zimmerman said.

Believers in the Mayan Doomsday claim really don't understand the Mayan calendar system, the professor said.

"The Mayan calendar was based on 394-year cycles called baktuns. The 13th baktun since the date of the Mayan creation story 5,126 years ago ends Friday. Then we just start the 14th baktun. A friend, colleague, and Mayan expert, Rosemary Joyce, likens it to a car odometer rolling over, which is a terrific analogy . . . The Mayan Doomsday got picked up by New Agers, who were very active in predicting the end in the 60s-70s. The tourism industry in Mexico liked it, and the internet helped spread it quickly to almost everywhere. Even a few Maya liked the attention it brought, but the vast majority of the 6 million Maya (yes, they have not disappeared!) have just ignored it."

End-of-the-world misinformation includes the use of the Aztec calendar stone as the Mayan calendar, Zimmerman said.

The Aztec and Maya are separated by both geography and time. The Maya live in Yucatan, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and the more southern Central American countries. The Aztecs were in central Mexico and flourished from roughly 1400 to 1600 AD.

"Yes the Aztecs had a calendar, and it was similar to the much more sophisticated Mayan calendar. But what we know of the Mayan calendar doesn't come from a calendar stone," the professor said.

Larry Zimmerman, Ph.D., is professor of anthropology and museum studies and the Public Scholar of Native American Representation (a shared position with the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art) in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. His research interests include North American archaeology, indigenous and community archaeology, Native American issues, cultural and intellectual property, and archaeology of the contemporary world. Zimmerman teaches museum ethics, Indigenous People and museums, issues in cultural heritage and fantastic archaeology at IUPUI.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Indiana University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Indiana University. "Is tomorrow the end?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121220153501.htm>.
Indiana University. (2012, December 20). Is tomorrow the end?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121220153501.htm
Indiana University. "Is tomorrow the end?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121220153501.htm (accessed March 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Indiana Permits Needle Exchange as HIV Cases Skyrocket

Indiana Permits Needle Exchange as HIV Cases Skyrocket

Reuters - US Online Video (Mar. 26, 2015) Governor Mike Pence declares the recent HIV outbreak in rural Indiana a "public health emergency" and authorizes a short-term needle-exchange program. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Affordable Care Act 'saving Lives'

Obama: Affordable Care Act 'saving Lives'

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) Speaking at a White House event marking the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama says the law is "saving lives that touch all of us." (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazon Complains U.S. Is Too Slow To Regulate Drones

Amazon Complains U.S. Is Too Slow To Regulate Drones

Newsy (Mar. 25, 2015) Days after getting approval to test certain commercial drones, Amazon says the Federal Aviation Administration is dragging its feet on the matter. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins