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Guatemalan Mayan Indian elder Apolinario Chile Pixtun gestures as he pays his respects at an altar in Tecpan, Guatemala in 2009.
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexico's archaeology institute is downplaying
theories that the ancient Mayans predicted some sort of apocalypse in 2012.
But the institute acknowledges that a second reference to the date exists on a carved fragment from a ruin site in the country's south.
Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History has long said rumors of a world-ending or world-changing event in late December 2012 are a Westernized misinterpretation of Mayan calendars.
The institute repeated Thursday that "western messianic thought has twisted the Mayan cosmovision."
Most experts cite only one surviving reference to the date in Mayan script on a stone tablet. The second reference on a fragment was found at a second ruin site.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)