Will the World End Tomorrow? Drexel’s Mayan History Expert Says No

If you haven’t started your Christmas shopping yet because you were counting on the apocalypse taking place on Friday, December 21, 2012 – as many people claim the Mayan calendar predicts – Drexel anthropologist Dr. Judith Storniolo has bad news for you.

Storniolo claims that – while we live in a culture that has a linear perception of time – the ancient Maya measured time cyclically based upon the repetitive movements and positions of the heavenly bodies and circadian rhythms of nature. One of the Mayan’s calendric counting of days ends on December 21, 2012, which many have interpreted as the end of the world.

According to Storniolo, several Mayan hieroglyphic inscriptions mention dates far beyond December 21. These references not only show that the calendar is fluid and continuing, but that our sense of time leads to confusion and misunderstanding of the Mayan calendar.

So you’d better get shopping!
Storniolo is a historical and comparative linguist and anthropologist and a teaching professor of anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences. She has done field work among the Maya in Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala since 1985. She has been a Chimicles Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, a Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks of Harvard, and the Senior Researcher for the Maya Hieroglyphic Database Project.