21 December 2012: Countdown to Armageddon, the prophecy of Maya (video)
Are we three years from the end of the world? Based on an actual ancient Maya calendar that will end on December 21, 2012, the National Geographic Channel asks, "What truths lie behind the fears?". Answers to these questions are found in the NGC program 2012: Countdown to Armageddon aired on Feb. 21, 2010 (watch video below). The documentary chronicles the investigation of Princeton University scientist Adam Maloof.
What is the Dresden Codex?
The Dresden Codex is an ancient Maya text. While the Codex is known for its precise recording of lunar and solar eclipses, it is also recognized for hieroglyphs and icons that some say predict the destruction of the world. The Codex is currently located at the Saxon State Library in Dresden, Germany.
The Maya civilization paid great attention to one of the world’s most astounding natural phenomena: the eclipses of the sun and moon. They recorded these events and other astronomical phenomena in paper books created out of a type of bark. These books are now commonly referred to as ‘codices.’ During the invasion of the Americas, the Spaniards intentionally destroyed many of the books, however, four are known to have survived. They are known as the Dresden, Madrid, Paris, and Grolier codices.
The Maya Calendar
The Maya had several calendars: one, known as the tsolkin, was made up of 260 days. Another, referred to as the Long Count calendar, acted as a reference for historical events in Maya society. Because of the organization of the Long Count calendar, the dates can be linked to our Western calendar, allowing historians to measure the accuracy of the Maya’s method. The Long Count calendar began at 22.214.171.124.0; and in 2012 it will reach 126.96.36.199.0 once more, for the first time in over 5,000 years.
Lunar and Solar Eclipses
Illustrations in the Dresden Codex appear in the forms of both hieroglyphic scripts and icons. The illustrations specifically referencing eclipses are known as ‘eclipse glyphs.’ There are reports that during a lunar or solar eclipse, old Mesoamerican civilizations reacted with fear. Mesoamericanists have described scenes of chaos that included shouting of war cries and weeping. It is possible that murders also occurred during the solar eclipses as many may have feared that the world would truly become dark forever.
Some people believe the text of the Dresden Codex predicts the end of the world in 2012. Many see a dragon-like being while others see an animal more like a crocodile. The creature, residing in the sky, has water pouring from its mouth, creating a world covered by water. The Maya Goddess O, also known as Chac Chel, is pouring water from a jar. The word Chac can mean both “great” and “red,” while Chel means “arc of heaven.” The combination of the color red with images of the full moon represents a prediction of strong rains. A menacing figure at the bottom of the page holds weaponry over the Earth. A number of anthropologists believe that two phrases in the Codex, meaning “black sky” and “black earth," imply the end of the world. While some believe the Maya were predicting a massive flood, there are numerous theories: everything from storms, to the crumbling of society’s ecosystems, as well as the reversal of the Earth’s magnetic fields. Still, anthropologists generally see the images in the Codex as simply part of Maya cosmology.