The Maya recognized that the natural world, the cosmos, and even their own bodies functioned according to observable cycles. To locate themselves within these cycles they tracked the movements of planets, the moon, and the sun. They also used a 260-day calendar that many scholars believe to be based on the approximate duration of a human pregnancy. Another Maya calendar, the Long Count, was used to tally the number of days that had elapsed since the mythological date of their creation. The Long Count is set to reach the end of a 1,872,000-day-long period on December 21, 2012. (Some scholars, however, pinpoint the date as December 23.) Regardless of the date, this has given rise to widespread apocalyptic predictions about what will happen. Evidence from archaeological sites, ancient books, and the modern-day Maya themselves shows that while this one cycle is ending, many others will continue.
ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE: The Maya Sense of Time – Archaeology Magazine.