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Maya apocalypse goes boom

World doesn’t end, ancient astronomy gets a boost

9:02pm, December 13, 2012

2012 SCIENCE NEWS TOP 25: 25

If you’re reading this story, the day the ancient Maya supposedly had the world scheduled to end has come and gone. Whew.

It’s no shock that December 21, 2012, fizzled as the end of days. Earlier this year, anthropologists working at Maya ruins in Guatemala uncovered a written mention of the 2012 date that concerned political maneuvering way back in the day, not a prediction of Judgment Day (SN: 8/11/12, p. 15).

A team led by Marcello Canuto of Tulane University in New Orleans discovered and deciphered the 2012 allusion in hieroglyphs (above) carved on 22 staircase steps at an ancient Maya site called La Corona. The 1,300-year-old inscription describes two centuries of political activity.

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