Mayan numbers on the wall stretch 7,000 years into the future.
The recent discovery of an underground Mayan workshop in the dense Guatemalan jungle is important for two reasons: one, the murals and other wall painting are all surprisingly well preserved; and two, calendar fragments show that the Mayan calendar does not end this year.
According to NPR:
Writing in the journal Science, the scientists say the murals confirm what Mayan archaeologists have been saying for years: The Mayan calendar does not predict the end of time in 2012, as some New Age prophets have argued. In fact, the murals register future time stretching far beyond 2012.
Archaeologist William Saturno from Boston University compares Mayan calendars to a car's odometer. "If we're driving a car," Satruno says, "we don't anticipate that at 100,000 miles the car will vanish from beneath us. We know that it will reset to zero, and the next 10th of a mile we go we'll have another number to look at."
What these Mayan timekeepers were doing was simply marking the passage of time from past to future, but in discrete intervals.
The buried room apparently was a workshop used by scribes or astronomers working for a Mayan king. The paintings depict the king and members of his court. The numbers mark important periods in the Mayan calendar.