Remember those Mayan heiroglyphics that were supposed to forecast the apocalypse for next year?
Turns out somebody got the translation wrong.
A German archeologist, Sven Gronemeyer, has been studying this tablet. He says it talks about a transition to a new era, not the end of the world.
Gronemeyer said that the people instead expected to prepare for the god's return. The Mayan elite liked the idea of that date, he said, because, according to their calendar, it was nicely symbolic.
Per the AP:
He said 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 Dec. 21, 2012. Mayans considered 13 a sacred number. There's nothing apocalyptic in the date, he said.
The tablet, which was carved about 1,300 years ago, is partly illegible. So it's possible he's still missing something.
But Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology is pretty serious about this. They've been trying to squelch rumors on the interwebs about 2012 bringing the End Times for awhile now, even setting up a special round table of Mayan experts to debunk it.
Whatever happens in 2012, we can now be reasonably confident that it won't be this.