The end is not near, at least according to the interpretation of the hieroglyphs by Sven Gronemeyer of La Trobe University in Australia, who says his decoding of a Mayan tablet with a reference to a 2012 date denotes a transition to a new era and not a possible end of the world as others have read it.

A week ago, Mexico's archaeology institute acknowledged there was a second reference to the 2012 date in Mayan inscriptions and Gronemeyer says the inscription describes the return of mysterious Mayan god Bolon Yokte at the end of a 13th period of 400 years, known as Baktuns, on the equivalent of Dec. 21, 2012. Mayans considered 13 a sacred number but there's nothing apocalyptic in the date, he said, and the text was carved about 1,300 years ago.

The inscription refers to the end of a cycle of 5,125 years since the beginning of the Mayan Long Count calendar in 3113 B.C.

Expert: Mexico glyphs don't predict apocalypse By Adriana Gomez Licon, Boston Globe