If you were already planning your end of the world parties for December, 2012 based on the crap about the Mayan long count calendar, the bad news is that the end date for the calendar may not be 2012. It may be more like 2062 or 2112-ish, so you may want to reschedule your plans accordingly.
Gerardo Aldana, associate professor at the Univ. of California at Santa Barbara, challenges the accepted Gregorian dates of all Classic Mayan historical events, including the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it 2012 prophecies in Calendars and Years II: Astronomy and Time in the Ancient and Medieval World, the second in a series edited by John Steele, associate professor of Egyptology and Ancient West Asian Studies at Brown Univ.
Aldana’s research, in general, focuses on reconstructing Mayan astronomical practices, which for the most part can be recovered from their applications. Most of the data found in the archeological record amount to ritual events timed by astronomical phenomena; architecture oriented to observable astronomical events; or numerology tying together science, history, and religion with hieroglyphic inscriptions carved in stone. “One of the principal complications is that there are really so few scholars who know the astronomy, the epigraphy, and the archeology,” says Aldana. “Because there are so few people who are working on that, you get people who don’t see the full scope of the problem. And because they don’t see the full scope, they buy things they otherwise wouldn’t. It’s a fun problem.
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