In this age we are approaching the same count again, only there is a common misconception of the Maya's practice of abbreviating their dates to five vigesimal places. According to the Maya there will be a baktun ending in 2012, a significant event being the end of the 13th 394 year period, but not the end of the world.
 Inscriptions beyond 2012
Maya stela occasionally show dates beyond 2012. Most of these are in the form of "distance dates", where a Long Count date is given with a distance date to be added. For example, on the Tablet of Inscriptions from Palenque the following Long Count date was found: 18.104.22.168.0 8 Ahau 13 Pop (24 March 603 Gregorian) with a distance date of 10.11.10.5.8. The resulting date is given as 22.214.171.124.0.8 5 Lamat 1 Mol, or 21 October 4772 – almost 3,000 years into the future. The king Pacal of Palenque predicted that on this date the eightieth Calendar Round anniversary of his accession will be celebrated, suggesting he did not believe the world would end in 2012.
Despite the publicity generated by the 2012 date, Susan Milbrath, curator of Latin American Art and Archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, stated that "We [the archaeological community] have no record or knowledge that [the Maya] would think the world would come to an end" in 2012.
"For the ancient Maya, it was a huge celebration to make it to the end of a whole cycle," says Sandra Noble, executive director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc. in Crystal River, Fla. To render Dec. 21, 2012, as a doomsday or moment of cosmic shifting, she says, is "a complete fabrication and a chance for a lot of people to cash in."