back to article Boffins find new 2012 glyph on 'secret' Mayan brick

The Mexican archaeology institute says that a second possible reference has been found to a date in December 2012 as the end of a 5,200-year Mayan calendar cycle after which "the cosmos is regenerated". Reportedly the glyph in question is carved into the back of a brick found in ancient temple ruins - suggesting that it was a …


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  1. Chemist

    "the cosmos is regenerated"

    So was it or was it not regenerated ~5200 years ago ?

    Must check the house insurance.

  2. TRT Silver badge


    Back... To... Newbie?


    1. Anonymous Coward

      if I must...

      Noob and Newb are two entirely different things:

      (Sorry: not normally a pendant but I've had a long day and the cat wasn't nearby to kick.)

      1. Reallydo Wannaknow

        you must, for you're shiny and dangly ...

        After all, you said it yourself: "not normally a pendant but..." Now a pedant might pick a nit or two here.

  3. Eddie Edwards

    Hidden secret or typo?

    "Reportedly the glyph in question is carved into the back of a brick found in ancient temple ruins - suggesting that it was a hidden secret, not meant to be seen"

    So either (a) it was a hidden secret, only meant to be found by someone after thousands of years, or (b) it was a typo, hidden so people didn't notice one mason's "monumental" cock-up.

    1. TRT Silver badge


      aka Mayan Tippex(tm).

    2. Franklin

      A title is optional

      "So either (a) it was a hidden secret, only meant to be found by someone after thousands of years, or (b) it was a typo, hidden so people didn't notice one mason's "monumental" cock-up."

      ... or (c) graffiti.

      The Egyptian artisans were quite fond of putting "secret" inscriptions on everything from the undersides of thresholds to inside the joints of coffins, which were often the equivalent of insults directed at local politicians, "Kilroy was Here," and the like. Wouldn't be too surprising if the Mayans did the same. I imagine that carving bricks every day gets a bit dull after a while, y'know?

  4. TRT Silver badge
    IT Angle

    You know, you only get 12 regenerations, then, during your 13th incarnation, you would need to have a new cycle of regenerations initiated.

    Why don't we have a TARDIS icon?

    1. Sam Liddicott

      what a relief

      I was wondering how they would keep Dr Who going.

      You are an ace thinker!

      (Of course Dr Who has already re-generated the cosmos by having the tardis be at the point of singularity or some other such nonsense but that wont stop the BBC saving the Dr).

    2. TRT Silver badge


      The Leisure Hive. Recreation generator. Re-creation.

      The brick probably had "for recreational purposes only" on it.

  5. Robert Ramsay


    The cosmos could do with a bit of a regeneration.

  6. pootle

    A longer view than programmers then...

    5,200 years to the apocalypse - presumably regarded by the ruling elite to be far enough away to be Somebody Else's Problem. Compare with programmers in the 1970's whose long term view extended to - oooh - nearly 30 years. Not that we're any better now with the unix 'regeneration' cycle due to arrive in 27 years (assuming there are any 32 bit systems left by then????)

  7. Natalie Gritpants

    As eny ful kno

    If you want to keep a secret don't tell anyone.

    And don't carve it into a brick. This is more likely a typo and since bricks were expensive it was used elsewhere.

    And anyway the Mayans have had their doomsday haven't they? Or are there some left somewhere?

  8. Hendala

    You say it now

    But in 2012, when we're all dying in agony, we'll be laughing at you, while suffocating from toxic alien volcano ashes. In a last grasp of the remaining air i have, just seconds before the internet goes offline, I will be posting a comment on the register, "I told you so..." as I lay dying I will have the satisfaction of proving that everyone rational was wrong and that i was right.

    Than again... if December 22nd will come and go, we'll just choose another date and start all over again. You can't win, the end is nigh!

    1. proto-robbie

      If ever there was...

      ... a situation demanding the future perfect tense, this will have been it.

    2. ArmanX

      Doomsday yesterday, doomsday tomorrow, but never doomsday today...?

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Another theory....

    The people that built the temple have succeeded in pulling off one of the longest running trolls in history.

    1st Builder: "Kinda sad that one day some right plonkers are gonna come along and pull our nice big temple down"

    2nd Builder: "Yeah, true, but I got us a great idea that will freak 'em the hell out. Will keep them going for millennia with this one!"

    N.B. Quotes may not accurately reflect Mayan dialect.

    1. James O'Brien

      Or Could it have been a Flame War Instead?

      Builder 1: My bricks are the best ever and no one can say differently.

      Builder 2: Like hell they are, they crack and fade quickly.. Brick B is better.

      Reg Commentard: iOS/Droid/BBX is the best. Mac, PC, Apple, Microsoft etc etc

      St. Jobs: Just change the formula for your brick. Its not that big of a deal.

      Derek Smart: BC3K and I am the smartest man in the universe. Posted to the brick via Usenet.

  10. Alien Doctor 1.1

    For proof...

    just experience what Tex Murphy saw in his investigations. What more proof could one want?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It might just say

    'Continued on next pyramid'

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      "After this message"

  12. Alain Moran


    OK, so this isn't such a 'sexy' explanation, but is it possible that the block is actually the result of the mayans re-using an incorrectly carved block? - by putting the carved side on the inside 'nobody will ever see it' ;)

  13. Billy Bob Gascan

    BALDERDASH: "the expiration of the thirteenth and final Baktun of the current long count on or about December 21 next year" - This is CODSWALLOP. THERE IS NO 13 Bak'tun CYCLE in the Long Count. There are NO calendric inscriptions that use 13 Bak'tuns and a large number of them (in the form of distance inscriptions, particularly at Palenque and Long Reckonings in the Dresden Codex) that use 20 Bak'tuns in a Piktun. The first Piktun won't be completed until Friday, October 13, 4772. There are no Mayan doomsday prophesies. See:

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's all right then.

      Thank god for wikipedia.

  14. Jüri

    yes hmm... 5200 ago

    Yes, the world is in pretty good shape if you consider that is was totally regenerated 5200 years ago sad that my grand grand ... grand father didn't leave a message how it was to be totally regenerated with the cosmos...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Most Likely

    It's little things like this that sneering skeptics often miss. To busy trying to prove how clever they are with their "knowledge" than actually "thinking" looking at the facts and reaching their own conclusion. Not relying on mealy mouthed semi-denials from a government agent.

    I think the author deep-down knows this with his choice of words "titanic". Because that was unsinkable right ? Or may "most likely" not to sink.

    Anybody with any sense would realise that from pre-historic times onwards, epoch changing events are preceded by warnings. A quick look at papers should be enough warning for you as the fossils were for the dinosaurs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Oh deary me. I really wish I could tell whether you were just trolling.

      If you're not, then the human race really has gone down the shitter.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        there I was thinking I'd gone too far

        I though suggesting that the fossils were a warning to dinosaurs would be a big enough clue.

        I am quietly pleased it wasn't.

  16. Nerd

    Red Dwarf

    Reminds me of that Red Dwarf episode

    "Archaeologists have discovered what they believe to be the first page of the bible, which says "To my darling Candy, all figures portrayed in this book are entirely fictional and any resemblance to any person, living or dead is entirely coincidental"

  17. regadpellagru

    Is it not each 50,000 years ?

    Hmmm, that is coming faster than expected. Other boffins (here: wrote 50,000 years before

    the reapers wipe the whole galaxy.

    Anyway, other sources say this war is coming march of 2012 ...

    Whatever, bring them on, my Shepard is ready !

    /me go write something terrible will happen in 5055, somewhere

    in an old cave of the countryside, just to make sure some folks in the

    future will have something to think of.

  18. GatesFanbois


    graffiti on an old brick really a good basis for forecasting the end of the universe? If it had been calculated via excel on the otherhand I doubt there would be so much uncertainty.

  19. Sir Runcible Spoon


    "Cosmos Regenerated" != "Earth Apocalypse"

    because the Earth isn't the center of the known cosmos now is it?

    The date probably has more meaning to ET's who's society encompasses vast areas of space-time.

  20. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    > mega solar flares

    > super volcanoes

    > titanic disasters

    > suffering on an immense scale

    That kind of warmed-over low-budget menu is considered "regeneration of the cosmos"?

    I would expect at least a serious change in ℏ or α otherwise I want my money back.

    1. TimeMaster T

      Forgot one

      >Cats and dogs living together.

      the one with the Ecto meter in the pocket please

  21. Arbuthnot Darjeeling

    It's a mistranslation

    It actually means 'this side to the front'

  22. /dev/me

    every 13 baktunoob the cosmos is regenerated

    Also known as patchbaktunoob, we get important updates and a reboot.

    /looking for the changelog

  23. John Savard

    Oh, Dear.

    The world didn't end 5,200 years ago. We're still here, aren't we? So why would anyone be worried?

  24. C 2

    Rounding error?!

    Seriously a Bak'tun is 394.26 years (144,000 days) and 13 of them are 5125.38 years (1872000 days), get it right. After all its going to be a BIIIGG new years party so we must get the date right.

    1. Billy Bob Gascan


      The length of the tropical year is 365.2422 days so 13 Bak'tuns is: (144,000 x 13) / 365.2422 = 5,125.3661 and THERE IS NO 13 Bak'tun LONG CYCLE in the Long Count anyway.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's the exact date in December 2012?

    Do I need to buy Christmas cards next year or what?

    1. Billy Bob Gascan is December 21, 2012 using the GMT correlation *NOT* December 23. Those idiot anthropologists (or whoever wrote that press release) don't have any idea what they're talking about. See:

      1. Cameron Colley

        By "... anthropologists..." I take it you mean "people who have done actual real research on the subject and not just read a Wikipedia article on it and assumed it is all correct"? Of course, you'd have to be an idiot to do actual research rather than just read an article on an sometimes unreliable online encyclopedia.

        1. Billy Bob Gascan

          How do you know I just read the Wikipedia article? You must be psychic or you're stalking me. Maybe I'm one of the world's leading authorities on this subject and I wrote the Wikipedia article. I thought that by reading what I wrote you might deduce the above.

    2. FredScummer

      > Do I need to buy Christmas cards next year or what?

      Of course you do. Just don't plan on receiving any.

  26. Brent Longborough

    Don't panic

    They forgot to add in the leap-bak'tuns, the 11 days correction from 1752, and British Summer Time.

  27. JanMeijer

    this clearly shows

    timetravelers do exist, they have a sense of humor and no "star fleet regulations" to consider. Who knows, it might just be the Dwarfers pulling one on us. "No Lister, you will not find a fresh supply of papadums in the Maya era" ...

  28. Pete 8

    Masonry gets a new

    point of view, installed on their rear.

    Bikestand anyone?

  29. Paratrooping Parrot

    For those who repeatedly spout this rubbish

    Spend all your money before then, go into huge debt! Live as though it is the end of the world! But don't have sex with the beautiful women.

    You can tell I don't believe that it's the end of the world then!

  30. jake Silver badge

    During the meanwhile ...

    I'm minding the Ranch the same as I have since I built it ... Seasons come & go, and all have their peccadillos, but all 'round just getting on with it seems to be the best foot forward.

    Or, I could wring my hands and worry about the end of the world, without actually getting anything done. Erk .. Hang on .. Do they actually PAY people for that?

  31. skeptical i

    Is this where fundamentalist xians get the "earth is 6000 years old" idea?

    (I wouldn't expect these folks to understand that 5200 != 6000 either.)

  32. Billy Bob Gascan

    Confused Ignorant Journalists

    There are a bunch of really buggered up English language versions of this story on the web. It turns out that the brick only has a Calendar Round not even a Long Count on it and it has no distance glyphs to indicate it refers to the future. A Calendar Round is a combination of a 260 day ritual calendar and a 365 day vague solar year with no leap year. It can only specify a date as far as 18,980 days or 51.9641 solar years. See:

    The Calendar Round on the brick is 4 Ahau 3 K'ank'n. Yes this is the same CR as the one that will occur on Does this mean any thing? No, Not according to David Stuart, one of the world's leading experts on Mayan epigraphy and participant in the Palenque congress. Still the media went wild and reported that it did.

    This is B**l Sh*t.

  33. Winkypop Silver badge

    Sell everything!!

    <--- Send your cash to me.

  34. Brett the Brat

    Another mysterious brick says.........


  35. Gav76

    count to 13?

    If the long count date is base20 then why would it end after 13? won't it just roll over to 14?

    And do these doomsayers not read how the 'world' started according to the Mayans? Somebody lifted up 3 stones to allow the sun to be seen!! They're going to believe these people that the world will end wen nobody can count past 13?

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