Archaeologist to lecture on Maya 'End of Time'

In a lecture at Pennsylvania College of Technology on Feb. 9, a renowned Maya archaeologist will discuss the Maya calendar and the notion that the ancient civilization predicted the end of time.

The lecture, titled “December 23, 2012: The End of Maya Time?” will be offered free to the public at 7 p.m. in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium by Edwin Barnhart, director of the Maya Exploration Center.

Barnhart will address the significance of the date in 2012, which he says is definitely important, but not for the apocalyptic reasons currently professed. The confusion may lie in our misconceptions about the Maya calendar.

Participants attending the lecture will gain the tools they need to form their own opinion about the arrival of the 13th Bak’tun in December 2012. Barnhart will explain the mechanics of the major Maya calendars and the important hieroglyphic texts that discuss time continuing beyond 2012. Maya philosophy about the nature of time, gathered from both ancient texts and modern Maya people, will shed better light on the 13th Bak’tun’s arrival.

Barnhart has more than 17 years of experience in Mesoamerica as an archaeologist, explorer and instructor. He has appeared on the History Channel, Discovery Channel and Japanese public television. A widely recognized authority on ancient Maya astronomy, mathematics and calendar systems, Barnhart has published more than a dozen papers and given presentations at five international conferences.

Through his studies, Barnhart discovered the ancient city Ma’ax Na (Monkey House), a major center of the Classic Maya Period. He has surveyed and mapped Ma’ax Na and the island of Caye Coco, both in Belize, and the ruins of Palenque in Mexico. The resultant map of Palenque – which documented 1,100 new structures – has been celebrated as one of the most detailed and accurate ever made of a Maya ruin.

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Last Updated March 19, 2009