We're not dead yet! (Issue 2, 2012)
La Trobe University PhD candidate Sven Gronemeyer has presented new research at an international conference that reinterprets Mayan predictions.
Mr Gronmeyer’s new decoding of a Mayan tablet with reference to a 2012 date denotes the transition of a new era, not a possible end of the world.
The research was presented at a conference for the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies in Mexico.
Mr Gronmeyer says the inscription describes the return of mysterious Mayan god, Bolon Yokte, at the end of a 13th period of 400 years, known as Baktuns, on the equivalent of 21 December 2012.
'Mayans considered 13 a sacred number. There's nothing apocalyptic in the date,’ says Mr Gronemeyer.
The text was carved about 1300 years ago. The stone has cracked, which has made the end of the passage almost illegible.
Mr Gronemeyer says the inscription refers to the end of a cycle of 5125 years since the beginning of the Mayan Long Count calendar in 3113 B.C.
'The fragment was a prophecy of then ruler Bahlam Ajaw, who wanted to plan the passage of the god.
'For the elite of Tortuguero, it was clear they had to prepare the land for the return of the god and for Bahlam Ajaw to be the host of this initiation.'
Bolon Yokte, god of creation and war, was to prevail that day in a sanctuary of Tortuguero.
'The date acquired a symbolic value because it is seen as a reflection of the day of creation,' says Mr Gronemeyer. 'It is the passage of a god and not necessarily a great leap for humanity.'
Sven Gronemeyer is completing his PhD in archaeology, his topic is The orthographic conventions of Maya hieroglyphic writing as a basis for the reconstruction of the Classic Mayan language.