The ancient Mayan calendar terminates in a week and a half – on December 21, 2012 – and some believe that day will mark the end of time.
But a University of Houston graduate went right to the source to find the truth.
Anthropologist Carminia Martinez is living among the Mayans' descendants in the Yucatan Peninsula, documenting their culture as the end date arrives.
Martinez says the significance of the calendar's last day has been widely misunderstood and that has many modern Mayans upset.
"Some are very offended at the fact," Martinez told FOX 26 News over a Skype connection. "They say this is another insult to Mayan culture because what is going to happen after December 21st? Everybody's going to say, ‘The Mayans were wrong; the Mayans are liars.'"
Martinez says the end of the Mayans' long count calendar simply marks the close of one era and the dawn of the next. And she fully expects the sun to rise again on December 22.