“The times Mayas used dwarf those currently used by modern astronomers,” he explains. “According to our science, the Big Bang occurred 13.7 billion years ago.
There are dates in Mayan ruins that stretch back a billion billion times farther than that.”
The Maya Long Count Calendar was designed to keep track of such long intervals.
“It is the most complex calendar system ever developed.”
Written using modern typography, the Long Count Calendar resembles the odometer in a car. Because the digits rotate, the calendar can ‘roll over’ and repeat itself; this repetition is key to the 2012 phenomenon.
According to Maya theology, the world was created 5125 years ago, on a date we would write ‘August 11, 3114 BC.’
At the time, the Maya calendar looked like this: 22.214.171.124.0. On Dec. 21, 2012, it is exactly the same: 126.96.36.199.0.
In the language of Maya scholars, ’13 Bak’tuns’ elapsed between the two dates. This was a significant interval in Maya theology, but, stresses Carlson, not a destructive one.