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2012: Is it the end of the world as we know it?

By Kim Urquhart | Emory Report | Oct. 2, 2012

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Will Dec. 21, 2012 signal the end of the world or some cataclysmic event, as some believe the ancient Maya calendar has foretold?  

No, says Mayanist scholar Mark van Stone. In an upcoming lecture at the Carlos Museum, van Stone will discuss what the ancient Maya really believed. "It's Not the End of the World: What the Ancient Maya Tell Us About 2012" will be held in the Carlos Museum Reception Hall on Thursday, Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m.  

Van Stone, professor of art history at Southwestern College in California, will examine the popular prophecy through the lens of Maya art and literature. A calligrapher and carver specializing in Maya hieroglyphs, van Stone is author of "2012: Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya."  

"There has been so much misinformation about the Maya calendar in popular culture, with people believing that the Maya thought the world would end in December of 2012," says Elizabeth Hornor, director of education for the Carlos Museum. "Dr. Van Stone has been researching Maya literature to ascertain what the Maya actually thought about the cycles of time."  

The lecture is related to the educational programming surrounding the Carlos Museum's current exhibition "'For I am the Black Jaguar': Shamanic Visionary Experience in Ancient Art," on view now through Jan. 5, and the museum's permanent collection of art of the ancient Americas.