December 21, 2012. This date, identified by the Maya nearly 1,400 years ago, has in recent years become the source of great curiosity and debate. Some believe it will bring catastrophic events. Others, an era of enlightenment. But what did the ancient Maya themselves believe? In 2012: THE BEGINNING, we travel the world to examine what the Sacred Maya texts really say. Throughout, our journey is guided by noted archaeologists, scholars, and the living Maya, who take us into the field--to the very origins of the Maya Long Count Calendar--and into their lives and sacred ceremonies. Together, these people from very different worlds shed light on a date that has long been shrouded in mystery and intrigue.