The 2012 conference at Tulane University, February 2009

John Major Jenkins

to / to / to / to The Center for 2012 Studies

While writing my book The 2012 Story I was able to break away and attend this important conference in New Orleans. I knew that Maya scholar Anthony Aveni would be presenting a keynote address, including his critique of my solstice-dark-rift theory, precessional knowledge, and other things. I sent him my list of essential things that any rational investigation of 2012 should address. Nevertheless, the key fact, that the cycle ending falls on a solstice (December 21, 2012), went unheeded and he completed his 60-minute dissection of the silliest areas of the New Age fringe.

This page will provide links to audio clips from, primarily, Aveni's presentation. It is intended to augment the verbatim exchanges I included in my book The 2012 tory, so that readers can hear for themselves the approach that Aveni takes.

Aveni's talk at the Tulane University 2012 conference

At the very end of this clip, at about the 1:04 mark, you can hear the questions I asked of Aveni, and his responses. I have responded at length to hgis other critiques, which are peppered throughout his talk, in Chapter 6 of my new book, The 2012 Story.

I recorded a large number of the other presentations, by Marc Zender, Victoria and Harvey Bricker, Dennis and Barbara Tedlock, Allen Christiansen, Matthew Looper, John Justeson, and others. However, since only the Tedlocks made explicit references to 2012, there's no point in providing the audio for everything here. My recording of the Tedlock's presentation can be heard with difficulty but it is very very quiet. I can report that they dealt with 2012 primarily in their conclusion when Barbara mentioned that the Maya are interested in what is passing through the zenith at dawn. So, in a sky image for dawn on December 21, 2012, she points out that the Western constellation of Virgo was at zenith. Barbara suggested that this fact might reflect the importance that the great mother has for the Maya (Virgo being associated with the Virgin Mary). In my opinion it seemed as if Barbara offered this observation almost as clever aside, to provide some kind of creative perspective on how the Maya may have thought about 2012. Obviously, as a realistic suggestion as to ancient Maya intent, it is hard to take seriously, because it is very unlikely that the Maya saw the Virgo constellation in the same way that Western astrology does. In addition, she provided no evidence for her suggestion; it seemed to be just an entertaining speculative quip to cap off the presentation. However, it is interesting to note that Virgo's presence in the zenith at dawn on December 21, 2012 is a function of the precession of the equinoxes. Therefore, as with my galactic alignment theory, for Barbara's theory to work the ancient creators of the Long Count would have had to have been able to calculate precession accurately into the future.

Aveni moderated the Sunday panel discussion. Before the session began and people took their seats, I tried to place around the tables my four-page write-up which I intended to serve as a guide to various facts and misconceptions in the 2012 discussion. The panel organizers, however, stepped in and snatched them all up and told me not to do that. I therefore had to do my best to hand them out individually if the occasion arose. Most of the conference speakers were present, excepting Zender and perhaps Eberl. William and Barbara Fash were also in attendence. There were perhaps 30-40 attendees sitting conference style around the perimeter of tables arranged in a large rectangle.

Several important items came up in relation to 2012 during the Sunday panel: 1) the correlation (Tedlock); 2) Izapa ballcourt alignment; 3) solstice placement in 2012; 4) Justeson's statistical analysis of probability regarding intent in placing in 2012 on a solstice. I will provide the complete audio recordings of Sunday in two files below. At some point I will flesh out the various information that relates to 2012. At this stage of the preparation of the material it will probably be a bit tedious for listeners to wade through the audio, but it is all there. I will eventually divide the important sections into clips.

Sunday panel discusion I

Sunday panel discussion II

Note: This material is provided in the interest of advancing our understanding of 2012. I request and advise that it be used for educational purposes only and that it not be packaged or sold for profit. If anyone has questions or comments or requests, please direct them to me at