Maya Calendar
The first day of summer, or the Summer Solstice, arrived Wednesday, June 20, to mark the start if the year's warmest season. But the day holds another meaning for some. It is the six-month mark until the Winter Solstice on Dec. 21, the date some believe the world will end.

Film director Roland Emmerich came up with his own vision of the end of the world in his celebrated movie "2012." In fact, there are many theories about an apocalypse in 2012 that have been making the rounds for quite some time, most related to either the ancient Mayans' calendar or their legends.

Mexican archaeologists have now confirmed the existence of another possible Mayan reference, which indicates that an apocalypse of sorts will occur toward the end of next year.

The 1,300-year-old inscription on a carved brick fragment was found at a ruin at Comalcalco in southern Mexico. It is said to be associated with the ancient Mesoamerican people, and it includes an ominous forecast of the end of the world, according to some experts.

Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History has confirmed that the new discovery is the second such reference to the 2012 apocalypse theory that has been detected formally. The other surviving relic, also dating back to the classic Mayan era that ended around 900, is a stone tablet from the Tortuguero site in the Gulf Coast state of Tabasco.

The newly discovered inscription, spotted by experts years ago, has been subjected to thorough scientific analysis, according to institute representative Arturo Mendez. The relic is now being kept in safe custody at the institute.

The inscription on what is called the "Comalcalco Brick" is believed to be on the carved or molded face of the brick. The discovery has thrilled archaeologists and doom-and-gloomers alike. Those who back the apocalyptic theory argue that either Dec. 21 or Dec. 23, 2012, is the date cited on the relic as the possible end of the world.

According to experts, the theory is based on the Long Count calendar of the Mayans, which began in 3114 B.C., marking time in roughly 394.26-year periods known as baktuns. Thirteen is believed to have been a sacred number for the Mayans, and the 13th baktun culminates around Dec. 21, 2012.

According to interpretations of Mayan legends, the inscription is related to something that is supposed to occur in 2012 involving Bolon Yokte, a mysterious Mayan god associated with both war and creation.

The tablet was believed to have been laid facing inward or covered with stucco. Erosion and a crack in the stone have made the end of the passage almost illegible.

"Some have proposed it as another reference to 2012, but I remain rather unconvinced," David Stuart, a specialist in Mayan epigraphy at the University of Texas at Austin, told The Associated Press.