Friday, December 21, 2012

B'ak'tun, baby!

Today is December 21st, 2012 AD. The "End of the Mayan calendar". It marks the final end of the 5125 year cycle (baktun, or b'ak'tun) in the Precolumbian Long Count Calendar.

A lot of people looked forward to this day with a lot of apprehension and uncertainty, fearing the "End of the World" and that apocalyptic events would unfold. But in truth, no predictions of impending doom are found in any known Mayan accounts. The beginning of this b'ak'tun began c. 3113 BC. Not much archaeological evidence from Mesoamerica exists from this far back. But in other parts of the world, the Sumerian culture was flourishing in Mesopotamia, the Ban Chiang culture was going strong in Thailand, and the first Egyptian kings were uniting the realm in what became the First Dynasty of ancient Egypt. Stonehenge in England dates to around this time, and other Neolithic cultures everywhere from Macedonia to Korea, Pakistan to Malta, India to Europe and North Africa were thriving.

World cultures have come and gone over these millennia, and those cultures who held the power have changed over and over again. The world still turns. Who knows what these next 5125 years will bring?

If ever there was a day to sing Robert Burns' poem/song Auld Lang Syne ("Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind... Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne") today would be the day.

1 comment:

  1. Great to see this back! I have always enjoyed these! 12-21-12 never filled me with apprehension but allowed me to reflect on how advanced this and other prior civilizations have been. I too wonder what the future will bring! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!