Maya Exhibit Opens in Mexico City Before Calendar Ends

Hundreds of ancient Mayan artifacts return to Mexico City soon before the December 12 end of the Mayan calendar and what some predict to be the end of the world.Full Story:A new Mayan exhibit opened up in Mexico City on Friday, just a few weeks before the Mesoamerican civilization's calendar is set to expire.Crowds arrived at the Museum of Anthropology in the capital city for "Maya: Space and Time," an exhibition of priceless pieces from Mayan archaelogical digs across the country.It is the exhibit's latest stop in a world tour that has included South Korea and Colombia. It arrives in Mexico City just before the December 12, 2012 date at which the Mayan calendar ends, a fact that has prompted many to speculate an impending apocalypse. Among one of the more popular artifacts on display is an ancient stone tablet that is the Mayan calendar.However, the director of Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History says it simply marks a new era rather than an end of everything.[Alfonso De Maria Y Campos, Director of INAH]:"What is confusing people is that the long count that we are in now is the end of a Baktun (period of Maya calendar), a very long count. This long count is what is being celebrated on December 21 because this is the date that is found in different tablets such as the tortoise tablet which talks about the arrival of a man, a new man, who is going to take over a specified Mayan region. It a very important historical moment." The Mayan civilization dominated Mesoamerica for around two millenia before mysteriously abandoning most of their major cities around 900 C.E. However, descendents of the Maya are still one of the largest indigenous communities of Mexico, the director says.For more news and videos visit http://ntd.tvFollow us on Twitter us on Facebook

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