Tag Archives: Central America

Mayan prophecy 2012

via The Skeptic’s Dictionary

Note: by the time you read this, you won’t need to read this because you’ll know the world didn’t end as some people said it would on December 21, 2012. Doomsday predictions are a dime a dozen. Why anyone believes them is the real mystery.

In a nutshell: The Mayan prophecy for 2012 is something made up by people who don’t know much about the Maya. The Maya didn’t predict anything, much less the end of the world.

The idea that the Maya predicted the end of the world on 12-21-2012 is a hoax.

mayantempleThe Maya had several calendars and one of them starts over in 2012. Some people think this means they predicted the end of the world. Why? I don’t know. Maybe they like to scare people. The Maya didn’t predict the end of the world. But even if they did, so what? The Maya couldn’t even predict the end of their own civilization, which collapsed over one thousand years ago. Anyway, anyone can predict anything about the future. That doesn’t mean their prediction will come true.

Mayan civilization was at its peak for over 750 years in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula and parts of Central America. The Maya, like all farming societies, had to study things that affect the soil and the growth of plants. They studied the pattern of the seasons and knew when to plant and when to store up food for the dry months. Their studies led them to create several calendars. We don’t really know much about these calendars. For example, we know that the Long Count Calendar—the one that ends on 12-21-2012—began about 5,000 years ago on August 11, 3114 BCE. 2012_failWe don’t know why the Maya started their calendar on that date and we don’t know why they ended it on 12-21-2012. We don’t even know if 12-21-2012 is the actual date the Long Count Calendar ends. All we know is that the Maya reset this calendar to day 0 every 1,872,000 days, a period known as The Great Circle. We don’t know why they thought this number was important. It’s a big number and amounts to more days than the oldest Egyptian pyramids have been around.

We know that the Maya had a large empire, but they were not able to solve some important problems. They had too many people on too little land. They destroyed their own environment by cutting down too many trees and by farming in ways that ruined their soil. Climate change brought long periods with no rain. Why should we think the Maya prophets would be any better at seeing the distant future than failed prophets of other times and other peoples?

The fact is that anybody can predict the end of the world, but nobody knows when it will happen.

MORE . . .

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‘Alien-Like’ Skulls Excavated in Mexico

By Charles Choi via LiveScience

Although cranial deformation and dental mutilation were common features among the pre-Hispanic populations of Mesoamerica and western Mexico, but scientists had not previously seen either in Sonora or the American Southwest.
CREDIT: Cristina García / INAH.
Click image to view full size image

Human skulls deliberately warped into strange, alien-like shapes have been unearthed in a 1,000-year-old cemetery in Mexico, researchers say.

The practice of deforming skulls of children as they grew was common in Central America, and these findings suggest the tradition spread farther north than had been thought, scientists added.

The cemetery was discovered by residents of the small Mexican village of Onavas in 1999 as they were building an irrigation canal. It is the first pre-Hispanic cemetery found in the northern Mexican state of Sonora.

The site, referred to as El Cemeterio, contained the remains of 25 human burials. Thirteen of them had deformed skulls, which were elongate and pointy at the back, and five had mutilated teeth. [See Photos of the ‘Alien’ Skulls]

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Of the 25 burials, 17 were children between 5 months and 16 years of age.
CREDIT: Cristina García / INAH.
Click image to view full size image

Dental mutilation involves filing or grinding teeth into odd shapes, while cranial deformation involves distorting the normal growth of a child’s skull by applying force — for example, by using cloths to bind wooden boards against their heads.

“Cranial deformation has been used by different societies in the world as a ritual practice, or for distinction of status within a group or to distinguish between social groups,” said researcher Cristina García Moreno, an archaeologist at Arizona State University. “The reason why these individuals at El Cemeterio deformed their skulls is still unknown.”

“The most common comment I’ve read from people that see the pictures of cranial deformation has been that they think that those people were ‘aliens,'” García added. “I could say that some say that as a joke, but the interesting thing is that some do think so. Obviously we are talking about human beings, not of aliens.”

MORE . . .
Also see Cranial deformation is not ALIEN – Take a minute to Google it.

Mexico’s ethnic Maya unmoved by 2012 ‘Armageddon’ hysteria

By Alexandra Alper via Reuters

Mayan_018889_200pxIZAMAL, Mexico, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Thousands of mystics, New Age dreamers and fans of pre-Hispanic culture have been drawn to Mexico in hopes of witnessing great things when the day in an old Maya calendar dubbed “the end of the world” dawns on Friday.

But many of today’s ethnic Maya cannot understand the fuss. Mostly Christian, they have looked on in wonder at the influx of foreign tourists to ancient cities in southern Mexico and Central America whose heyday passed hundreds of years ago.

For students of ancient Mesoamerican time-keeping, Dec. 21, 2012 marks the end of a 5,125-year cycle in the Maya Long Calendar, an event one leading U.S. scholar said in the 1960s could be interpreted as a kind of Armageddon for the Maya.

Academics and astronomers say too much weight was given to the words and have sought to allay fears the end is nigh.

But over the past few decades, fed by popular culture, Friday became seen by some western followers of alternative religions as a day on which momentous change could occur.

“It’s a psychosis, a fad,” said psychologist Vera Rodriguez, 29, a Mexican of Maya descent living in Izamal, Yucatan state, near the center of the 2012 festivities, the site of Chichen Itza. “I think it’s bad for our society and our culture.”

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A Spiritualist Ghostbuster’s Crystal Skull

A Canadian spiritualist ghostbusting actor walks into a bar wearing New Age crystals and a crystal skull around his neck, goes up to the bartender, and orders a vodka. . . . No, this weird mashup is not the setup to a joke (certainly not a funny one) but instead more or less describes one of the strangest intersections of Hollywood, New Age paranormal belief, ghost hunting, and alcohol.

This story involves crystal skulls. There are many skulls in the world carved out of quartz crystal of varying sizes and designs. I’ve seen them in a lot of places, especially in South and Central America, where they are sold as tourist trinkets. The ones you can buy for a few dollars are rather plain, but the big ones (life-size or so) are steeped in myth and romance. There are only a handful of the life-size skulls in existence, and they have inspired awe for generations. They are said to be hundreds of years old and possibly of Mayan or Aztec origin.

Continue reading: CSI | A Spiritualist Ghostbuster’s Crystal Skull.

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