Contributed Papers

Cosmogony and prophecy: Maya Era Day cosmology in the context of the 2012 prophecy

Carl D. Callawaya1

a1 Humanities & Social Sciences (Archaeology Program), La Trobe University, PO Box 199, Bundoora, Victoria 3552 Australia email:


The Maya 2012 prophecy foretells events that will occur at the close of the current Maya ‘era’ and at the end of the 13th BˈAKTUN period of the Maya calendar. This paper explores the mythic and astronomical events that occurred previously at the start of the Maya era in 3114 BC corresponding to the close of the first 13-BˈAKTUN period. These two 13-BˈAKTUN Period Endings, separated by a span of approximately 5125 years, are like two bookends on a single shelf that inextricably link ancient Maya conceptions of time, mythic history and prophecy. The following presentation will demonstrate how in this case, the past is very much prologue. Mythic events and godly actions recorded at the beginning of the era directly parallel those actions that will occur at the end of the era. In addition, new insights will be shared into how ancient Maya scribes linked Era Day events to temple dedications and architecture to reflect the sun's daily solar trek—a journey charted and revered by ancient peoples from all corners of the Americas.

(Online publication July 26 2011)


  • Maya mythology;
  • Maya cosmology and prophecy;
  • Era Day inscriptions;
  • Maya 2012 prophecy;
  • Maya mythic history