Archeologists have unearthed what they say is the oldest known version of the Mayan calendar and one that doesn't "end" with the Earth's destruction later this year. Yeah, you're welcome.
According to The Washington Post's Brian Vastag, researchers excavating the "lost" city of Xultún in present-day Guatemala discovered new astronomical tables carved into the wall of a "1200-year-old residential building." Much like the Maya codices that conspiracy theorists say predict an end-of-the-world date in December 2012, the tables chart planetary movements, moon and star patterns, and can predict the positions of celestial bodies thousands of years into the past and the future.
Numerous doomsday predictions are based on the claim that previously known codieces, like the famous Dresden Codex, chart the entire length of human history, but mysteriously stop on December 21, 2012 as if the Mayans knew that would be the last day humans would be around. However, the archeologists say that these the newly discovered tables — which pre-date the oldest known codex by as much as 500 years — span over 7,000 years of time, stretching far beyond of present age. So, you can breathe a little easier, though the news will come as a big shock to the tourism industry in Belize and other "entreprenuers" who are willing to take all your money off your hands before the big one hits.
If you still need something to panic about, Tulane University’s Marc Zender, who led the expedition, says that the Mayan calendar still begins a new “long cycle” in 2012, but compares he compares to an "odometer on a car rolling over from 99,999 miles to zero: “You go, ‘Yay,’ but the car just doesn’t disappear.” Oh, really? Well, we'll see about that.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.