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The Return of Bolon Yokte

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Published on Mar 10, 2012

Experts: Mayas Predicted God's Return in 2012, Not End of World

MEXICO CITY -- The Mayan predictions for December 2012 were about the return of the god Bolon Yokte and not about the end of the world, the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said in a report.

Bolon Yokte's return would mark the end of one era and the start of another, experts Sven Gronemeyer and Barbara Macleod of Australia's La Trobe University said in a new interpretation of the Maya glyphs from the Tortuguero arhaeological zone in the southern state of Tabasco.

The experts discussed their findings on Wednesday at the 7th Palenque Roundtable in the southern state of Chiapas.

The Dec. 21, 2012, date found on Mayan glyphs led to speculation about "Maya prophecies of the end of the world," prompting archaeologists and epigraphists to deny them.

The Mayans created a calendar based on 400-year periods, known as "baktuns," with each era made up of 13 cycles of 400 years that added up to 5,125 years.

The current era, according to their calculations, would end in December 2012, the specialists said.

In the Mayan cosmology, a cycle of creation was completed at the end of each era and another began, and the inscription on the glyph notes that the "deity Bolon Yokote would be invested on Dec. 21, Gronemeyer said.

Bolon Yokote is a god associated with creation and war that participated in the start of the current era, which began on Aug. 13 of 3114 B.C., the expert said.

The glyph is linked to the history of the Mayan city of Tortuguero and mentions ruler Bahlam Ajaw (612-679) as a future participant in an event at the end of the current era, Gronemeyer said.

The glyph's text says Maya rulers should "prepare the land for the return of the god Bolon Yokte, and that Bahlam Ajaw would be the host at his investiture," the expert said.

Bolon Yokte, according to the prediction, would preside over the birth of a new era that would start on Dec. 21, 2012, and oversee the end of the current era.

"The arithmetic of the Maya calendar shows that the end of the 13th baktun is simply the end of a period and the transition to a new cycle, but this date is loaded with symbolic value, such as the reflection on the day of creation," Gronemeyer said.

The view of history as a narrative of human events was a secondary concern for Mayan scribes, who instead focused on rituals, Mexican epigraphist Erik Velasquez said.

"The inscriptions show complex relationships between time, the sculptures and the buildings," Velasquez said.

"In the ancient Mayan view, time was constructed just like the sculptures and the buildings that contained them, the periods had consciousness, will, personality, and they behaved like humans," Velasquez said.
---------------------------------------------- /Latin Americas Herald Tribune/

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