At the height of their culture, the Maya were fascinated by astronomy.
They developed elaborate calendars counting thousands of years into the future.
They had a 260-day calendar known as the Tzolkin, a 365-day solar year known as the Haab and a 52-year cycle known as a Calendar Round.
The current nonsense surrounds the longest Maya calendar, known as the Long Count, which most scholars consider to have started on September 6, 3114 BC.
Just as our year ends on December 31, so will the current time period of the Long Count.
The Maya celebrated the ends of their many and diverse "years" in the same way we celebrate New Year and there is absolutely no evidence that they read anything more significant into these dates. They had so many of them so why would they?
The Maya didn't die out with the arrival of the Spanish - there are still seven million Mayas living in modern-day Mexico and areas of central America. None of them attach any significance to the 2012 date.
I live at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza on the Yucatan Peninsula and spoke with several experts - all of whom dismissed the so-called 2012 prophecy as totally baseless.
Indeed, one leading authority has said that the 2012 myth is a "complete fabrication and a chance for a lot of people to cash in". I wonder where we've seen that before?