By Elizabeth Puranam
Mayan experts have gathered in Guatemala this week to denounce doomsday predictions as the end of the Mayan calendar nears.
The ancient calendar predicts the end of Earth's current astronomical cycle on December 21 this year.
But that prediction has led to many a doomsday theory and even a Hollywood movie.
When the Hollywood blockbuster 2012 came out three years ago, there was already an army of doomsdayers who believed the last day of the Mayan calendar's current cycle would coincide with the end of the world.
The movie is fictional, but there were and still are people who believe that we've only got another six months left.
Experts on the Mayan civilisation who have been attending a two-day conference in the Guatemalan town of Antigua say theories about the world's demise are pure fiction.
“We reject 100 percent that this is the end of the world,” archaeologist Rosendo Morales says. “It's the end of a cycle and beginning of the 14th baktun.”
The Mayan calendar's ancient hieroglyphs represent different cycles.
The calendar predicts this December will end a 5126-year cycle, and archaeologists say the once-in-a-lifetime event should be celebrated.
“What we will see here is a new era,” archaeologist Richard Hensen says. “We are privileged to experiment and enjoy the end of an era that started 3,114 year before Christ.”
While the experts might not appreciate all the misinformation, there's little doubt the theories have once again got people interested in a civilisation that came to an end more than 1000 years ago.