Maya Calendar and Significance of Year 2012 Explored at Tulane Symposium

“Maya Calendars and Creation” will be the topic of discussion at the sixth annual Tulane Maya Symposium and Workshop Feb. 6-8 at Tulane University. Through a series of lectures, workshops and roundtable discussions, specialists at the symposium will discuss, within the worldview of the ancient and contemporary Maya, the final baktun, or cycle, of the current era of the Maya long-count calendar, which began more than 5,000 years ago and ends Dec. 21, 2012. The symposium is hosted by Tulane University"s Stone Center for Latin American Studies and the Middle American Research Institute.

Among the topics to be considered at the workshop are divinatory almanacs and references to Maya creation mythology in the texts and iconography of pre-Columbian manuscripts and the Colonial Books of Chilam Balam. The Books of Chilam Balam is a group of documents written in Yucatec Maya during the 17th and 18th centuries that include Mayan myth, prophecy, medical lore, calendrical information and historical chronicles.

“With guest speakers from the fields of archaeology, art history, epigraphy, ethnohistory, linguistics and archaeoastronomy, the symposium promises to be a memorable weekend spent exploring and discussing Maya creation mythology, divination and prophecy, and calendar systems,” says Denise Woltering, program manager for educational programs at the Stone Center.

Registration for the symposium is open through Feb. 6. For more information, including a fee schedule, visit