The Mayan civilisation lasted from about 500 BC to 1200 AD, with a classical period from 300-900 AD. The earliest known writing in the Mayan script dates from about 250 BC, but the script is thought to have developed at an earlier date. Recent archeological finds indicate that the Mayan civilisation started much earlier: around 3,000 BC.
The Mayan Calendar
Among their other accomplishments, the ancient Mayas invented a calendar of remarkable accuracy and complexity. At right is the ancient Mayan Pyramid Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico. The Pyramid of Kukulkan at Chichén Itzá, constructed circa 1050 was built during the late Mayan period, when Toltecs from Tula became politically powerful. The pyramid was used as a calendar: four stairways, each with 91 steps and a platform at the top, making a total of 365, equivalent to the number of days in a calendar year.
The Mayan & 2012 Doomsday
According to their calendar, the Maya believed that their world would end on Dec 21, 2012. Of all the dates put forth by prophets and cultures for a doomsday, this is one with an authentic almost eerie feel to it. But what will happen? A global cataclysm is one possibility.
Thus the December 21, 2012 AD is not the day where all of the sudden a light switch will flip on and everything will change, rather, we are NOW in the process of this transition from one World Age to the next. The changes are underway and will continue steadily accelerating as we head towards the culminating date!
The ancient Maya understood this 26,000 year cycle to be specifically composed of 5 lesser cycles, each 5,125 years each. Each of these 5 cycles was considered its own World Age or Creation Cycle. As depicted on the familiar, circular MesoAmerican Sun Stone, (often called the Aztec Calendar) each Creation Cycle is said to have been ruled and destroyed by one of 5 elements. Specifically, 4 Jaguar, 4 Wind, 4 Rain, 4 Water.
Our present great cycle (3113 B.C. - 2012 A.D.) is called the Age of the Fifth Sun. This time period is ruled by 4 Earth. This fifth age is the synthesis of the previous four. 4 Earth (called Caban in the Maya language and Ollin in Aztec) has several meanings, including: movement, shift, evolution, earthquake, navigation, synchronicity, clue tracking, turtle. In the Maya language, the word "ol" of ollin means consciousness.
In Mayan calendrics, the initial date that Earth entered the Fifth World was August 13, 3113 BC, written in Mayan long count notation as 126.96.36.199.0. Every day from that point was reckoned by the number of days passed since the event of this cosmic beginning point.
As Dr. Jose Arguelles writes in "Time and The Technosphere" - "August 13, 3113 BC is as precise and accurate as one can get for a beginning of history: the first Egyptian dynasty is dated to ca 3100 BC; the first 'city,' Uruk, in Mesopotamia, also ca 3100 BC; the Hindu Kali Yuga, 3102 BC; and most interestingly, the division of time into 24 hours of 60 minutes each and each minute into 60 seconds [and the division of the circle into 360 degrees], also around 3100 BC, in Sumeria. If the beginning of history was so accurately placed, then must not the end of history, December 21, 2012 also be as accurate?"