Countless earthlings have bought into the Dec. 21 Doomsday supposedly predicted by the Maya calendar's "end date." But while Dr. Dirk Van Tuerenhout, the curator of anthropology at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, acknowledges that the movie 2012 made for good entertainment, he's out to prove those theories wrong.
Maya 2012: Prophecy Becomes History is a chronological exhibit that starts with the pre-Hispanic era from 1500 BCE to 1500 CE, touches on the colonial period that existed until the 1800s and ends with the modern Maya of the past two centuries — the point being that Maya people are still around, says Van Tuerenhout.
"There is a focus, of course, on the calendar."
The museum has borrowed artifacts that tell the story of the rich and ancient Maya culture, demonstrating its advancements in crop cultivation, art, writing, math and astronomy through the display of murals, architectural models, carved jade, painted ceramics and more.
"There is a focus, of course, on the calendar," Van Tuerenhout tells CultureMap. He said that the exhibit will reveal the complexities of Maya timekeeping and give a final answer to the question of what happens after Dec. 21.
Discover the answer for yourself: The special exhibit will be on display at HMNS from Friday through March 31, 2013. If the world's still around by then, of course.