Easily influenced by scant fact and wild interpretation, the general public believes that the Mayans predicted the end of the world. Yet there is nothing contained in the Mayan record to indicate they were describing a catastrophic, world-ending event. Although there are some that are tempted to inject prophecy into the fact that the last date on the last calendar the Mayans decided to chisel out before they disappeared from history forever falls within their lifetime…
Only four Mayan codices are known to still exist. Each one is named after the place in which it was found or kept. The Dresden Codec tends to be the most referenced one. Investigations over the centuries have uncovered three other codices – in Madrid, Paris and Mexico City. The Dresden Codec is still considered the most ornate and complete.
The Dresden Codec references and predictions for time and agriculture, favorable days for predictions, as well as texts about sickness and medicine. It describes celestial events and movements of stars, conjunctions of constellations, planets and the Moon.
The Codec in Paris refers to questions of ritual and their corresponding gods and ceremonies. Some pages are full of predictive almanacs, New Year ceremonies and a zodiac.
The Madrid Codec is mostly filled with signs and omens that helped priests make predictions. It includes rituals for the gods Kukulcan and Itzamná; and the final parts refer to hunting, calendars, death and purification.
The so-called Grolier Codec was found in Mexico in the 1970’s. It is badly degraded and damaged but seems to show a list of dates. It contains no information not already known from the Dresden Codec. The validity of this document is often questioned however. Many scholars only recognize the other three as authentic or relevant.
The Mayan departure
Somewhere around 900 AD, the Mayan civilization all but vanished from history. The Spanish would not arrive for another 600 or 700 years and the Mayan left us no clues as to where they went. All we have left are three curious documents that managed to survive the tests of time.
The Mayan Calendars
The Mayan solar, lunar and planetary calendars are curious to say the least. Nearly as accurate as our modern-day atomic clock. The Mayans and many other ancient cultures believed that the world had been “remade” many times over in the long forgotten ancient past. Think of it as recycling, albeit on a cosmic scale.
According to the Mayan Planetary Calender the last thirteenth b’ak’tun occurred on August 11, 3114 BCE. The next thirteenth b’ak’tun occurs on December 20, 2012.Creepy, huh?