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Archaeologists Find Oldest Known Mayan Calendar

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the when-does-it-end? dept.

Science 185

sciencehabit writes "A team of American researchers has discovered a small trove of ancient Mayan texts in a surprising place. In a paper published online today in Science, researchers report finding Mayan astronomical tables and other texts painted and incised on the walls of a 1200-year-old residential building at the site of Xultún in Guatemala. The newly discovered astronomical tables are at least 500 years older than those preserved in the Maya codices, giving researchers a new glimpse of science at the height of the Maya civilization. 'I think we are all astonished by this find,' says Stephen Houston, an archaeologist at Brown University who was not part of the team."

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185 comments

Go Figure! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962291)

They are just trying to make it sound like we will be here longer. We already know that the world goes "boom" on 12/21/12!

Re:Go Figure! (5, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962299)

But which time zone?

Re:Go Figure! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962527)

Does it predict that an AC would say NIGGER and a liberal would shit his pants and wet his bed after reading it?!

If not then it's no good.

Re:Go Figure! (3, Funny)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962605)

It goes boom at 24 hours in every timezone simultaneously, obviously.

Re:Go Figure! (1)

hi-endian (2589843) | more than 2 years ago | (#39963283)

I can't tell if this is a joke or if it's serious.

Re:Go Figure! (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 2 years ago | (#39963499)

I can't tell if this is a joke or if it's serious.

It is seriously a joke...

Re:Go Figure! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39964185)

I can tell you like the Wind a lot.
You seem to like large gushes of wind whooshing around you.

Re:Go Figure! (1)

mcneely.mike (927221) | more than 2 years ago | (#39964791)

And now the whooshing noise is in your own head, AC!

Re:Go Figure! (5, Funny)

AshtangiMan (684031) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962623)

Rolling apocalypse

Re:Go Figure! (1)

LongearedBat (1665481) | more than 2 years ago | (#39963383)

I wonder what will happen to you if you're in the last time zone, then cross over the dateline before the apocalyse reaches you...?

Re:Go Figure! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39963593)

I wonder what will happen to you if you're in the last time zone, then cross over the dateline before the apocalyse reaches you...?

You drown in the attempt.

Re:Go Figure! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39963985)

now?

Re:Go Figure! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39964893)

Rolling apocalypse

Standard or Daylight Saving?

Re:Go Figure! (1)

user flynn (236683) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962689)

Obviously it happens at the precise moment the earth and sun are directly aligned with the black hole at the center of the milky way.

Re:Go Figure! (5, Funny)

qu33ksilver (2567983) | more than 2 years ago | (#39963127)

Oh I just remembered something.. I was making cookies for a website, and while setting the expiry date of the cookies, an idea struck. Guess what did I set the expiry date - 21/12/2012 !! Such an epic easter egg !

Re:Go Figure! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39963885)

As long that entertains you...

Re:Go Figure! (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | more than 2 years ago | (#39965003)

Were they chocolate chip cookies? They're much better than those fruit ones any day of the week :)

Re:Go Figure! (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39963325)

Right above the calendar is an ad from an insurance agent.

Re:Go Figure! (2)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39963989)

But which time zone?

Mayan central time

Re:Go Figure! (1)

ZombieThoughts (1735956) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962937)

I'll be 37 on that date. So for conspiracists, 3 x 7 = 21 which also is 12 when transposed and all the necessary numbers to make 2012.

So hopefully, it all ends soon, 'cause I'm tired of the conspiracy theories. Get over it.

Re:Go Figure! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39963365)

You need to also include

3 + 7 = 10

which gives the other required numeral (otherwise you lose 0).

Looks like the world revolves around you. :-P

Re:Go Figure! (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 2 years ago | (#39963403)

The destruction will be caused by Obama's ego exceeding critical mass, causing the Earth to be destroyed by his black hole.

Re:Go Figure! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39963647)

Yet, Romney will be there to take credit for it

Re:Go Figure! (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#39964435)

Still better than being destroyed by being drowned in a flood of Santorum...

Re:Go Figure! (0)

svick (1158077) | more than 2 years ago | (#39964653)

So, never? There are only 12 months in a year, not 21.

Pity (1, Funny)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962297)

And cue an entire slashdot discussion about base(60)less conspiracy theories. Please, any chance of talking about the archaeology here without descending into numerology? No? Oh well...

Re:Pity (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962379)

Let me cowardly start this one

http://www.khanacademy.org/math/vi-hart/v/doodling-in-math--spirals--fibonacci--and-being-a-plant--1-of-3
http://www.khanacademy.org/math/vi-hart/v/doodling-in-math-class--spirals--fibonacci--and-being-a-plant--2-of-3
http://www.khanacademy.org/math/vi-hart/v/doodling-in-math--spirals--fibonacci--and-being-a-plant--part-3-of-3

What if these numbers natural numbers are simply how nature works and anything else would be a conspiracy!

Smart people still lurk here.

Re:Pity (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962645)

Thank you, that's snapped me out of it somewhat. Platonism != Numerology, I'm off to re-read some Anathem.

Re:Pity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962491)

Pity? You're the only one who mentioned any conspiracy theory.

Re:Pity (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962839)

That's because everyone else is part of the conspiracy. Now hush, before you give the game away!

Important question! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962309)

Was this discovery found in time to interpret it in time for the 12-2012 alignment of the planets?

JJ

Predictions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962315)

New discussion about 2012 and how these new Mayan calendars are "more accurate" than the previously known.
Hence, dooms day is pushed forward in time for another generation to torment and manipulate.

I bet.

just another reason to hate jesus freaks (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962327)

if those franciscan pricks hadn't torched all of the maya records we wouldn't have to try and decipher this shit off some half-buried wall. all of it was well preserved on codices but the church figured it would be easier to convert them all if they incinerated their cultural history.

Re:just another reason to hate jesus freaks (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962459)

the church figured it would be easier to convert them all if they incinerated their cultural history.

What? Was the church wrong? Was it harder to convert them without their cultural history?

Re:just another reason to hate jesus freaks (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962911)

Wrong about... it being easier to convert a people after destroying their culture? Well.. probably not.

But... wrong about destroying a people's culture in order to convert them to a different opinion? Yeah. Fucking wrong.

Re:just another reason to hate jesus freaks (4, Informative)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962483)

the mayans killed themselves long before the europeans came over. they weren't one people, but a group of city states always fighting each other and destroying neighboring cities

Re:just another reason to hate jesus freaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962551)

Yeah, no shit but just like the muslims smashing the faces off ancient egyptian statues when they took over egypt it's a classless act that disrespects world heritage.

Re:just another reason to hate jesus freaks (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962653)

Right, like when the allies drove into Berlin and ... wait, Like when Hussein was finally overthrown and they tore down..umm, I mean when Pol Pot moved into town and everyone lived happily ever...Nah.
Conquerors generally don't give a damn about your new world order views, they tend to implement their own.

Re:just another reason to hate jesus freaks (4, Informative)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962655)

I think you mean the Buddhas statues in Afghanistan [wikipedia.org] ? I know that this is a pathetic troll, but figure I should nip this in the bud right here:

Most muslims were opposed to the action, even high ranking officials in the Taliban.

In July 1999, Mullah Mohammed Omar issued a decree in favor of the preservation of the Bamiyan Buddha's statue. Because Afghanistan's Buddhist population no longer exists, which removed the possibility of the statues being worshiped, he added: "The government considers the Bamiyan statues as an example of a potential major source of income for Afghanistan from international visitors. The Taliban states that Bamiyan shall not be destroyed but protected.

According to UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura, a meeting of ambassadors from the 54 member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) was conducted. All OIC states – including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, three countries that officially recognised the Taliban government – joined the protest to spare the monuments. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates later condemned the destruction as "savage".

Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf sent Moinuddin Haider to Kabul to try to prevent the destruction, by arguing that it was un-Islamic and unprecedented. According to Taliban minister, Abdul Salam Zaeef, UNESCO sent the Taliban government 36 letters objecting to the proposed destruction. He asserted that the Chinese, Japanese and Sri Lankan delegates were the most strident advocates for preserving the Buddhas.

Re:just another reason to hate jesus freaks (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962903)

No, I mean the ancient statues in Egypt. Before you call people "pathetic trolls" maybe you should learn basic history. You do realize Egypt was not originally an Arab country? They are colonizers just like the Spanish Catholics in Mesoamerica. When the muslims conquered Egypt they smashed the faces off any "idols" they could find in an iconoclastic orgy. Monotheistic fanatics are authoritarian and violent no matter which brand or logo they operate under. Deal with it.

Re:just another reason to hate jesus freaks (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39963419)

Interesting. I was not aware that there was any significant number of such statues left outside of tombs after the Christian fanatics smashed the faces off the idols, dragged the priests out into the streets, and killed them, centuries before Islam was even founded.

To put it more plainly: I think you might be confusing christians and muslims.

Re:just another reason to hate jesus freaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39964743)

I was going to answer with the very same thing, but thought I'd check that someone else hadn't. Christians who (verbally) bash Muslims should check their own history for unwarranted violence first.

Re:just another reason to hate jesus freaks (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39964781)

There's a difference?

Re:just another reason to hate jesus freaks (1)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39963949)

You must have read another version of the history than I have. After the muslim conquest of Egypt, Coptic christians got their freedom, which they've previously lost. Their churches were returned after being seized by earlier conquerors.

The only option they received were to either convert to Islam, or pay taxes. They choose to pay...

Re:just another reason to hate jesus freaks (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962913)

In fairness to the Taliban, if a bunch of smug foreigners from UNESCO showed up in my country and offered me a massive cash payment to take care of the statues at a time when my people were starving from famine (and, truth be told, a really poorly run government), I'd be tempted to do it too. Taking the money would be placing a statue, albeit significant, over the value of living humans.

All major poltical movements have always taken part in some iconoclasm. Hell, read any piece of Utopian literature from Plato to Ann Rand and they are full of iconoclasm. You have to destroy before you build something new. The most significant moments in European art history have been iconoclastic too -- some Reformation movements destroyed religious paintings and sculptures. In order to paint their enemies as ignorant savages, the Catholics and Lutherans had to shift art away from the sacred towards the autonomous. The great representational art (i.e. not religious art) that followed tended to be in Protestant areas, especially the Low Countries. The French Revolution did the same thing for art and politics. The revolutionaries destroyed the artifacts of the monarchy and the class system. In order to portray them as Vandals (when the term started to be used to describe those that wantonly destory things), art had to divorce itself from politics too.

What should folks in Eastern Europe do? Should they leave the statues of Lenin and Stalin litered throughout their countryside as "cultural heritage"? Or should they smash the symbols of the assholes who they really hated? The Allies took down lots of Hitler's monuments and public works projects. Hitler himself took down much of the iconography of the Weimar Republic. (The Russians took down lots of the Prussian monuments in East Germany too) Is this stuff "art" that should be left untouched for history and to respect "the self-expression of the artists" or is it something more than just art with real significance in how one views the world as it is and how it should be?

Without artistic iconoclasm in the West, we'd still be stuck painting religious allegories for rich ass aristocrats. The whole idea of "art" as autonomous from forces in the world emerged out of the responses to iconoclasm. To knock another society or time period for destroying pre-existing artifacts is to fail to open ones mind the the concept that art was not autonomous in the past. Indeed, it really isn't autonomous in the present either, as much as we try to pretend that it is.

Don't buy into the propaganda of artists. We've made the same argument time and time again over the last 1000 years. Folks come along and say our art is bad for one reason or another (usually religion or politics). They destroy it. We abstract the art from their plane of attack and portray them as ignorant savages. I wonder who the ignorant savages really are. Those who believe in beautiful objects devoid of any meaning other than themselves or those that believe art has real power and significance in our world?

For the members of the Taliban who destroyed the statues, those statues were no longer a nice piece of rock. Nor indeed were they "cultural heritage" to Buddhist nations either. They had become objects that were being given offerings at the expense of doing something that actually mattered. In their shoes, I might have done the same thing too. Savage or not.

(From an anonymous coward musician/composer)

Re:just another reason to hate jesus freaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39963451)

Hell, read any piece of Utopian literature from Plato to Ann Rand and they are full of iconoclasm.

Well that covers the whole range of Utopian literature from A to B. Yep.

I guess I should follow suit and post this anonymously.

Re:just another reason to hate jesus freaks (5, Insightful)

lordholm (649770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39964253)

It is quite OK to destroy statues of Stalin and Lenin in the eastern parts of Europe as there are still people around who suffered from those bastard's reign. However, it would not be OK to destroy them if they where 2000 years old. Whatever you think, it is not OK to destroy 2000 year old statues of Julius Caesar in France, even though the guy was responsible for killing off something like a quarter of the local Gauls.

It may also be understandable if the statues where old, but symbolizing an oppressor that just left. If the Buddhists would have ruled and oppressed the Afghans until say 20 years ago, it would be understandable that the statues where destroyed during the processes of liberation (not nice, but understandable). As it stands however, Afghanistan has been islamic for a very very long time. Destroying the statues this long after, is thus just simply put a crime against our common cultural heritage.

It is not so much about priorities, being poor is no excuse for actively ruining such a site, it would be an excuse for letting it slowly crumble due to the lack of maintenance however.

Re:just another reason to hate jesus freaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39964079)

The habit of defacing statues in Egypt predates Islam. It has to do with beliefs that the statue is an embodiment of the soul and by destroying its senses (nose, eyes, etc.) you are killing.

Re:just another reason to hate jesus freaks (5, Informative)

dmbasso (1052166) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962617)

He was talking about this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_codices [wikipedia.org]
“[...] recorded their history for more than eight hundred years back, and that were interpreted for me by very ancient Indians.” (Zorita 1963, 271-2). Fr. Bartolomé de las Casas lamented that when found, such books were destroyed: "These books were seen by our clergy, and even I saw part of those that were burned by the monks, apparently because they thought [they] might harm the Indians in matters concerning religion, since at that time they were at the beginning of their conversion."
And this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_Inquisition [wikipedia.org]
"[...] The failure of this movement prompted more aggressive evangelization, with the Franciscans finding out that despite their efforts much of traditional beliefs and practice survived. They, under the leadership of Fray Diego de Landa, decided to make an example of those they considered back-sliders without regard to proper legal formalities. Large numbers of people were subjected to torture and as many of the Maya sacred books as could be found were burned."
The emphasis on the "good" actions of the church is mine.

Re:just another reason to hate jesus freaks (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962629)

Rather like those cultureless losers who never invented anything, the greeks...

Re:just another reason to hate jesus freaks (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962897)

The Mayans are still around. Sheesh.

Re:just another reason to hate jesus freaks (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 2 years ago | (#39964241)

Well if you read TFA and looked at the pictures taken of the calendar, you'd see that after the last date there is a pictograph of a pulpy, tentacled head surmounting a grotesque scaly body with rudimentary wings.

So really it's no surprise they constantly fought each other and destroyed neighboring cities.

Re:just another reason to hate jesus freaks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962563)

if those franciscan pricks HAD torched ALL of the maya records we wouldn't have to try and decipher this shit off some half-buried wall.
And I wouldn't have had to spend my whole life listening to tales of doom.
oh, and fu2 cave dweller.

Re:just another reason to hate jesus freaks (1)

rev0lt (1950662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962777)

Shure, those arab pricks or jew pricks would have been much better. Because franciscan monks are to blame for people needing an owner and a motive to live.

Re:just another reason to hate jesus freaks (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39963825)

Archeaologists Find Oldest Known Mayan Calendar

... we wouldn't have to try and decipher this shit off some half-buried wall. all of it was well preserved on codices but the church figured it would be easier to convert them all if they incinerated their cultural history.

I think its common for people to keep old calendars around... I worked at a woodshop two years back, and the Hooter's calendar they had was from the late '90's. If the calendar is a good one, then it doesn't matter how old it is. Even if the dates are wrong, the pictures may still be quite compelling. [cpcache.com]

No Doomsday (4, Informative)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962337)

More importantly, the records they found at the site indicate that the Mayans viewed the calendar as CYCLICAL and just like our Bad Girls of Linux Wall Calendar, the world doesn't end when the last day of the Calendar is reached.

Notably absent was the Thirteenth Crystal Skull and ancient UFO instruction manual.

Re:No Doomsday (3, Funny)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962521)

More importantly, the records they found at the site indicate that the Mayans viewed the calendar as CYCLICAL and just like our Bad Girls of Linux Wall Calendar, the world doesn't end when the last day of the Calendar is reached.

But the cycle is Region 4 only, so it doesn't help us in the US. (Unless you are a dirty Pirate)

Re:No Doomsday (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962619)

Hee hee hee I'm tryin to be funny, mod me up plz! Patent law is soooo funny! Give me an "A" for effort even if the result sucks ballz.

Re:No Doomsday (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39963427)

Doesn't deserve -1. I found this funnier than GP.

Re:No Doomsday (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39963571)

More importantly, the records they found at the site indicate that the Mayans viewed the calendar as CYCLICAL and just like our Bad Girls of Linux Wall Calendar, the world doesn't end when the last day of the Calendar is reached.

Notably absent was the Thirteenth Crystal Skull and ancient UFO instruction manual.

I was so terribly disappointed when I googled for the Bad Girls of Linux calendar and didn't find anything. Sadist.

Re:No Doomsday (2)

kestryn (222463) | more than 2 years ago | (#39963595)

More importantly, the records they found at the site indicate that the Mayans viewed the calendar as CYCLICAL and just like our Bad Girls of Linux Wall Calendar, the world doesn't end when the last day of the Calendar is reached.

Notably absent was the Thirteenth Crystal Skull and ancient UFO instruction manual.

I was so terribly disappointed when I googled for the Bad Girls of Linux calendar and didn't find anything. Sadist.

I hate it when I forget to log in. Also, I narcissistically want credit for my (incredibly) clever comment, which I will never be able to truly have. Now my post becomes a zen exercise to focus on "not grasping". Also, if a post is never read by a human, does it make a point?

Re:No Doomsday (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 2 years ago | (#39963957)

I miss the golden days of slashdot where there weren't guys like you.

Linux bad girls (1)

Sigg3.net (886486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39963645)

Hey, hey, hey! URL pls!

500 years..older?? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962347)

Holy shit! Does this mean we actually all died almost 500 years ago??? Damn, life is like a really bad Voyager episode.

So I do have to... (3, Funny)

Bodhammer (559311) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962351)

Buy Christmas presents this year?
Plan my New Year's Eve party?
Pay my taxes?
Vote?

This sucks...

Re:So I do have to... (1)

Algae_94 (2017070) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962371)

Aside from voting, you can do all of those after December 21st. I know lots of people that do that already.

Re:So I do have to... (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962441)

Aside from voting, you can do all of those after December 21st. I know lots of people that do that already.

After 12-21-2012, everyone will be a registered voter.

Re:So I do have to... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962635)

Well, I'm definitely voting for Gucumatz this year. Though I don't think he's made his views on gay marriage public yet.

Re:So I do have to... (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 2 years ago | (#39964641)

Good election to vote for that ficus on Slashdot's poll 4 years ago.

Re:So I do have to... (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#39964977)

Don't blame me, I voted for Bill and Opus.

Apocalypse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962381)

2012 ...

When does it end? (1)

ZeroSerenity (923363) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962383)

Is it 2012 or a different date?

Re:When does it end? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962435)

According to my calculations, the world ended about three years ago when a black Kenyan Marxist anti-colonialist Nazi with a fake birth certificate seized power in the United States in order to arrange the theft of the Anglo-Hungarian Crown Jewels which were stored inside Lincoln's memorial.

Re:When does it end? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962681)

Baszom a Kristusmarjat, is that where you stashed it, damned thieves.

Re:When does it end? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39963025)

I saw that movie. It's the one where you can only see the treasure map if you wear Ben Franklin's spectacles, right?

Re:When does it end? (2)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962699)

It doesn't end as such. The Mayan had epochs. Sort of like if our dates got to the year 999, then instead of moving to 1000, they moved to 1 again, but called it the millennium of [something].

The first age was where the gods created the world, but the animals and humans could not speak and so were unable to worship the gods. In the second age, the gods created humans out of mud, then in the third, out of wood. The gods were not pleased with either of these, so they wiped them out and started over - in the fourth age where we are now. This whole 2012 thing is simply the end of the fourth epoch of the Mayan calendar.

Simple. (1)

detritus. (46421) | more than 2 years ago | (#39963093)

They weren't Y1K compliant and it killed them all off!

Re:When does it end? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39963117)

Umm that sounds like it ends to me. My life is over if they continue the trend of wiping....

Re:When does it end? (3, Funny)

Ambvai (1106941) | more than 2 years ago | (#39963215)

So, in either case, we're still getting wiped out. Good to know!

Naw. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39963693)

In the fifth age, the gods still aren't satisfied with humans, but they've got a raid night coming up, so you know what, just screw it.

I expect humanity won't be wiped out again until the sixth age.

Re:When does it end? (1)

cplusplus (782679) | more than 2 years ago | (#39964829)

The first age was where the gods created the world, but the animals and humans could not speak and so were unable to worship the gods. In the second age, the gods created humans out of mud, then in the third, out of wood. The gods were not pleased with either of these, so they wiped them out and started over - in the fourth age where we are now. This whole 2012 thing is simply the end of the fourth epoch of the Mayan calendar.

Cool! So we're going to get wiped out, but also get a major upgrade? This sounds like the beginning of the technological singularity [wikipedia.org] !

What did the cleaning lady said? (3, Funny)

rev0lt (1950662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962385)

'I think we are all astonished by this find,' says Stephen Houston, an archaeologist at Brown University who was not part of the team."

What an insightful comment by someone related with this find. Oh wait...

That's a good start. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962399)

Now they have to bring in James Spader to tell us what it all means.

And (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962543)

So it begins....
 
Apocalypse 12/21/2012

Images (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962579)

The article mentions hi-res images were taken and sent to an expert. Why aren't these online for everyone to see yet? Now that this infomation has been returned to the world, why can't we all enjoy it?

Re:Images (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962685)

Haven't you seen the documentary yet, they are selling first row tickets right now, for 1.5 billion euros each, inflation indexed.

End of the world: urgent update (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962583)

Shows the real end of the world is the day before the day after tomorrow! AAAAaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111

Maya scientists? (0)

qbitslayer (2567421) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962601)

And I was told that only atheists are allowed to be scientists. Fooled again.

it wouldn't be the oldest known calendar... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39962679)

...if they hadn't found it, now would it?

Turns out that that Harold Camping... (1)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 2 years ago | (#39962785)

....is an ancient Mayan time traveler.

Re:Turns out that that Harold Camping... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39963031)

this is news for nerds?

good grief, I haven't been back to /. in a few years but wow. what a colossal article of monkeyshit.

So .... (3, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39963193)

... what did Miss June look like back in those days?

to late (1)

pbjones (315127) | more than 2 years ago | (#39963267)

we only have so few months before the end of the earth to study the new finds.

Leap year (1)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39963447)

Maybe someone who knows this stuff can chime in. I've heard it said that since the Mayan calendar had no leap year it loses a day every 4 years. So if you add up all the missing leap years the end of the world would have came around the middle of 2011.

Others claim this is incorrect. Which is it?

Re:Leap year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39963677)

It's pretty obvious: our solar system actually fell into a black hole in 2011, and it is ripping us a new one as we speak, but we're all still under the delusion that nothing is happening because our perception of time is skewed with the collapse. This theory also explains the faster than light neutrinos. :D

There haven't been enough leap years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39963793)

I'm not familiar with the specifics of mayan calendar but what you say sounds very suspect. December of 2012 translating to middle of 2011 is about 1,5 years or about 550 days worth of error. Error of 1 day for each four years means that it would take about 2200 years to accumulate that much error... and before this find, we didn't know that the calendar has existed for even half that time. To accumulate enough error to get barely to the end of 2011 would take about 1400 years, which is still - even after this - longer than the calendar might have existed as far as we know.

So I think it's safe to say it's incorrect. I don't know whether the leap years do result in error but if they do, I'd expect the error to be much less than the amount you stated.

Interestingly enough, we do now know that they used the calendar system at least 1200 years ago and still used it 700 years ago... If they didn't account for leap year, that's over three and a half months of error accumulated. If they didn't make any corrections, I guess they were okay with shifting years?

Re:Leap year (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#39963939)

I went to visit the State Library and have look at the Dresden Codex last month. The curator was around and gave us a little talk about the thing. There are in fact two calendars - one is tuned to the solar year, the other is a 260-day ritual calendar. The solar calendar was off a bit (and would have needed leap years), but that doesn't affect the translation of dates. The only effect it had was that the seasons were not fixed to given dates - they moved around. The Mayans were obviously fine with that.

Confusing, this is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39964053)

I keep looking at the date 12/21/12 and keep wondering what this 21st month is. I have to keep reminding myself that "you people" use MM/DD/YY instead of DD/MM/YY, it just feels like going back and forth.

(Not being a troll, or seeding flamebait, just stating a small fact that contributes nothing to the on-topic conversation, oh wait...)

Indeed, surprising place! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39964069)

A team of American researchers has discovered a small trove of ancient Mayan texts in a surprising place. In a paper published online today in Science.

Indeed, surprising place!

New civilisation end date (5, Funny)

MrMickS (568778) | more than 2 years ago | (#39964583)

According to my iPhone there is no calendar beyond Wednesday 2nd April 2149. It won't even let you book an all day event, so the end must come sometime during that day.

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