Photo: Second 2012 Reference in Mayan Ruins
Mexico’s archaeology institute says an apocalypse is unlikely to occur next year, yet on Thursday admitted that a second reference to 2012 exists on a carved fragment found at ruin site in southern Mexico.
The whole 2012 Mayan Calendar doom prophecy stems from studies and interpretations of a stone tablet from the Tortuguero site in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco.
The Tortuguero inscription describes something that is supposed to occur in 2012 involving Bolon Yokte, a mysterious Mayan god associated with both war and creation.
The National Institute of Anthropology and History said that there is another reference to 2012 on the carved or molded face of a brick in the nearby Comalcalco ruin, different from other Mayan temples in that it was constructed of bricks.
“Some have proposed it as another reference to 2012, but I remain rather unconvinced,” David Stuart, a specialist in Mayan epigraphy at the University of Texas at Austin, said in a message to The Associated Press.
The date inscribed in the Comalcalco brick does coincide with the end of the 13th Baktun. Baktuns were roughly 394-year periods and the number 13 carried a sacred significance for the Mayas. The Mayan Long Count calendar begins in 3114 B.C., and the 13th Baktun ends around Dec. 21, 2012.
But according to Stuart, the date on the brick could also correspond to similar dates in the past.
“There’s no reason it couldn’t be also a date in ancient times, describing some important historical event in the Classic period. In fact, the third glyph on the brick seems to read as the verb huli, “he/she/it arrives.”
“There’s no future tense marking (unlike the Tortuguero phrase), which in my mind points more to the Comalcalco date being more historical that prophetic,” Stuart wrote.
Both inscriptions — the Tortuguero tablet and the Comalcalco brick — were probably carved about 1,300 years ago.
The Comalcalco brick is also odd in that the molded or inscribed faces of the bricks were probably laid facing inward or covered with stucco, suggesting they might have been purposely ‘scratched out’.