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BY: Will Housley

The apocalypse: it's a human fascination. Since the beginning of time, mankind has tried to predict the end of time.thumb_barnhart_sm

The most recent prediction is 2012 in conjunction with the Mayan calendar, but on Tuesday, April 5, Edwin Barnhart, director of the Maya Exploration Center in Austin, Texas, will visit Tennessee Tech University to discuss why it is a misconception.

Barnhart's lecture, entitled "2012 and the End of Time, Misunderstanding the Maya Calendar," will be held in Clement Hall 212 at 3 p.m.

The Mayan society viewed time as circular, and 2012 is when one of the Maya calendar eras ends and a new era begins.

The lecture will give the audience a good understanding of the Mayan culture, their calendars and mathematical notations. The lecture will be illustrated with pictures of pre-Columbian Mayan art and architecture.

Barnhart has more than a decade of experience in Mesoamerica as an archaeologist, an explorer and an instructor. He has published more than a dozen papers and given presentations at five international conferences.

His involvement in Mayan studies began in 1990 as an archaeological intern in the ruins of Copan, Honduras. In January 1996, he was invited to return to Copan and help the University of Pennsylvania excavate the early acropolis and the tomb of the city's lineage founder.

The presentation is a Center Stage event that is free and open to the public.

For more information about this presentation, contact Andrzej Gutek, professor of mathematics at (931) 372-3441 or email

For more information about the Maya Exploration Center, visit