The core concept of the 2012 mythos is the Mayan Long-Count calendar. It 'ends' on December 21, 2012, although there have been some disputes about the actual date. Whatever the conclusion, the calendar and the incredible astronomical knowledge the Maya left carved on their temples and cities is one of their best known legacies.

But they also left mysteries, too. The Spanish conquistadors managed to destroy the bulk of their written material, but three of their bark books survived, as did their incredible hieroglyphs. For a long time, no one knew how to read them. But, not any more. Their system of writing has been figured out, and the writings on their temples - and a good bit of their culture, have been translated.

PBS' Nova has a documentary about that process. You can watch it on Hulu, or at the Nova website. While it just brushes up against their calendar and numbering system, it is a good look at this ancient culture, and the effort to help the surviving Maya reclaim their culture and writing. It's definitely worth your time as an enriching exercise.
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2012: Investigating the Possibilities

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