Xultun, Guatamala. The Mayans were very good at math. So much so that they could actually make corrections over time using statistical methods to calculate minutes, degrees, and seconds of an arc with a precision unmatched until the invention of the microchip.
Dr. William Jupitero, chief archaeologist on the site, working with a grant from Arkham University (Massachusetts) has been arguing with an international team of experts in Mayan codices over the proper translation of "… What seems like some kind of punctuation or an asterisk that relates directly to the end of what is called 'The Long Count'". Some claim the Mayans have predicted that the end of time will occur on December 21, 2012. Now they're not so sure.
At issue is something the archaeologists have labeled a "Q. Puente", or a reference of some kind, to a "destroyed or burnt bridge" before the very end.
"The mark appears in the Dresden Codex, but it was originally considered just a smudge made by a careless scribe," Dr. Jupitero said, "Now, after a lot of scraping we found the exact same thing carved in rock, and we've been arguing about it ever since."
"Many of us see it as a reference to 'a beginning of the end', when humans turned away from their original nature to pursue an unnatural man-made one. This is consistent with other Indian traditions, including the Hopis." Other scientists at the site contend that the mark is indeed a smudge and was copied onto the recently discovered stone at the Xultun dig by mistake.
"We've never seen any mistakes in carved rock before", Dr. Jupitero explained, "when they made a mistake, they destroyed the tablet and started over, so I do not believe this is an error."
"On the other hand, the calculation for the beginning of the end came to August 2, 1937. This makes no sense at all. We were thinking it would point to the beginning of World War II - September, 1939 , or the detonation of the A-bomb at Hiroshima at the end of the war - something like that. But two years before World War II began? Maybe we have made a mistake somewhere, but where? These people were too good at math to ignore all of this."
Dr. Jupitero sat down and lit a doobie the size of the tire iron. "We'll just have to think about this one for a while. We'll figure it out eventually." He said.