Mayan dates beyond 2012
Further demostrating Maya belief in the continuation of this creation is that Mayan artifacts mark future commemorations, and some of these occur beyond the thirteenth b'ak'tun in 2012.In fact, there is evidence that the Maya expected to add another numeral to its calendar when the b'ak'tun count is complete. The unit
is said to be the next value, although scholars disagreeon whether a piktun should be considered to be 13 or 20
, and there are Mayan datesscheduled beyond a completed piktun. (Most Mayanists generally go by the convention that allfive-numeral dates roll over at 13 b'ak'tun, while larger dates count 20 b'ak'tun.) If there are 20 b'ak'tun in a piktun, he first piktun would appear on the Mayan long-count calendar on October 13, 4772 CE, well beyond 2012. If there are only 13, then December 21, 2012 would become22.214.171.124.0.1, marking the completion of the first piktun since the calendar's beginning date.The word piktun is not an original Mayan word, but evidence of higher orders is found in Mayanrelics. In fact there are an additional three units, kalabtun, k'inchiltun, and alautun, all higher thanthe piktun. The names of all of the units above the b'ak'tun were created by scholars in theabsence of knowledge of Mayan words for them.Since the age of the Mayan civilization occured within a single piktun, however, there was noneed to use more than five digits in their calendar for most uses. This alone may be the cause for confusion about the supposed end of the long-count calendar.Some interperetations of Mayan dates also suggest that the 3114 BCE date of creation isincorrect, and that the 13-b'ak'tun (or 5,125 solar year) calendar has completed before. Oneinscription, for example, puts the creation date at
. By this date, the calendar won'tend until 4.134105 × 10
years into the future, a span of time three quintillion times thescientifically-accepted age of the universe. By that time, the sun will have long-since devouredthe Earth and been destroyed itself, and the universe may have drifted apart, condensed or otherwise reconfigured itself in some unrecognizable way. If you're concerned about the fate of mankind, there are more pressing issues than the end of the Mayan calendar.
No cause for alarm
There are a number of new-age theories surrounding 2012, which predict anything from galacticalignment and solar flares, to alien invasion, to global consciousness. However, these predictionsare not based in or accepted by science, or even the so-called predictions of the Mayathemselves. They are at best misinterperetations of science and myths, and at worst totalfabrications. There is simply no evidence that December 2012 will be any more important thanthe average month, other than the Y2K-like hysteria that has developed since.