Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ends of days?

Some say the Maya people predicated the worlds end in 2012. Not quite, say the experts by Carolina A Miranda is a lonely planet guidebook author. She recently visited Honduras en route to Costa Rica.
The end of the world in Honduras? Executive summary by darmansjah

The ruins of the ancient Maya city of Copan rest in a gently sloping valley on the northern edge of Honduras. Family farms and patches of tropical forest form an idyllic quilt around towering pyramids sand ornate monuments. As I stand on the remains of an elaborate residential compound built sometime between 420 and 880 AD, my only company is a twittering bird and my Honduras guide. If the world is scheduled to come to an abrupt end in 2012. Copan, it appears, didn’t get the memo.

Since the 1980s, Copan and other Maya sites, which cover a territory from southern Mexico to Honduras, have been at the centre of a cottage industry of doom – one that claims that the apocalypse will arrive on 21 December 2012, when the Ma(which runs on a 5,126-year cycle) enters its final day. This has been refuted by academics and archaeologist, who point out that a new calendar should simply begin when the old calendar ends-the same things that happens every 31 December on a conventional one-year calendar. However, the internet, which is chock-full  of 2012 merchandise, and Hollywood (see Roland Emmerich’s explosions-filled movie 2012) have kept the end-of-days mania alive.

The Hondurans I spoke to weren’t buying the idea of Amageddon: dissecting the fortunes of the local football team is far more passion inducing. Yet the interest in 2012 could mean a surge in foreign travelers to Maya sites all over Central America. And Honduras, for one, intends to be ready for them. In December 2011, the country launched ‘Copan 2012: A New Beginning – a series of archaeological conferences and cultural events that will mark the changeover in calendar. ‘If there’s anything that visitors should do to prepare for 2012, ‘says Salvador Echigoyen of the Hondurans Tourist Institute, ‘it’s reserve a hotel room. It’s going to be a very busy year.’

No comments:

Post a Comment