Posted by: marjbicknelljohnson | January 31, 2012

December 21, 2012: The 13th Bak’tun

What will happen on December 21, 2012? There are many theories about what will happen at the end of our year 2012, when the Maya Long Count calendar reaches the 13th Bak’tun. Some scholars say that the Maya calendar will reset, others say it continues. Doomsday soothsayers predict disaster, while spiritualists expect an age of enlightenment. However, while the ancient Maya hieroglyphic texts say nothing at all about 2012, ancient kings celebrated the end of a Katun and erected monuments; bak’tun endings, much less frequent, were viewed as major times of change.


At the start of the 9th bak’tun, AD 435, the age of kings began and many new cities were established. In AD 830, the 10th bak’tun, the age of kings ended and many cities were abandoned. The 11th bak’tun, AD 1224, brought the abandonment of Chichen Itza and the rise of Mayapan with a new council form of regional government. The mighty Itza, last kingdom of the Maya, announced to the Spaniards in AD 1618 (12th bak’tun) that a great cycle had ended and that they were prepared for change.


Now, at the dawn of the 12th bak’tun, we can only guess how the Maya would have prepared. However, the ancient Maya believed that the turn of a bak’tun was not something to be feared but rather an opportunity for change in their lives.


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