Mayan Prophecy Glyphs
2012
Description
Illustration based on Tortuguero stela Mayan glyphs, by Gabriel Martínez Meave.
Fields
Illustration, Calligraphy
  • Mayan Prophecy Glyphs
    Based on the Tortuguero stela for the cover of a book published by Grijalbo
  • There’s a lot of fuss about the Mayan Prophecies, that supposedly predicted the end of the world in 2012. But very few people actually know where they are written, if they are written, or where these claims come from. As it happens, the only place where we can find something similar to an actual Maya date for the «end of the world» is the Tortuguero stela, found in Tabasco, México, some years ago. According to the Long Count calendar –just one of the ways the Maya used to measure time and eras– the glyphs in this stela do state the date of December 23rd, 2012. However, they do not talk specifically about the Apocalypse or the end of times, but about a prognosticated «descent of nine dark gods».
     
    Reality is, most «end of the world» Mayan prophecies come from undated accounts found in the Yucatecan books of Chilam Balam and the Quiché’s Popol Vuh, as well as the final page of Codex Dresden, said to contain a sort of «prophecy» on apocalyptic terms. These texts do not contain any reference to 2012. I think of this «Mayan prophecy craze» as rather sensationalistic stuff, fueled and confused by our own Western, Judaeo-Christian, millenarian, journalistic view of History and Myth (and plain fondness for scandal and gossip). 
     
    This is an illustration for a book on the subject, published by a well-known publisher in Mexico. It features exactly the glyphs in the Tortuguero stela said to contain the date and the prophecy. The artwork was executed with traditional/digital techniques, based on a graphite drawing completed with digital colour and stone textures, plus some light effects.