Cool your jets: The Mayans did not predict the world will end in 2012, or so says a German expert. Sven Gronemeyer yesterday shared his reading of a 1,300-year-old Mayan stone tablet that makes reference to 2012: He says the hieroglyphs describe the return of Bolon Yokte, the mysterious Mayan god of creation and war. The date of his reappearance? At the end of a 13th period of 400 years: Dec. 21, 2012. The date, therefore, marks a transition to a new era, not an end, he says.
The stone has cracked, making the end of the passage nearly impossible to read, reports the AP. But Gronemeyer says it conveyed the prophecy of the ruler at the time. "For the elite of Tortuguero, it was clear they had to prepare the land for the return of the god." Gronemeyer's pronouncement comes on the heels of the revelation that Mexican archaeologists found a second reference to the 2012 date in Mayan inscriptions, spurring more apocalypse talk; click for that story. (Read more apocalypse stories.)