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They did predict the coming of someone like Cortez but misread the intentions of these conquistadors. www.bci.org... is *by no means* a definitive narrative but explains some of this pretty well.
A baktun (properly b'ak'tun) is 20 katun cycles of the ancient Maya Long Count Calendar. It contains 144,000 days, equivalent to 394.52 tropical years. The Classic period of Maya civilization occurred during the 8th and 9th baktuns of the current calendrical cycle. The current (13th) baktun will end, or be completed, on 220.127.116.11.0 (December 21, 2012 using the GMT correlation). This also marks the beginning of the 14th baktun, as such a term is usually used among Mayanists.
The earliest Long Count inscription yet discovered is on Stela 2 at Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas, Mexico, showing a date of 36 BCE
The Long Count, for which we do not know the Maya name, is commonly considered the Maya's linear count of days. In truth it is yet another cycle, but its great length of at least 5126 years makes it essentially a linear count through all of Maya history. The earliest known Long Count date, carved in 31 BC, was found at the Olmec site of Tres Zapotes. The earliest known Maya long count was recorded in year 32 AD at the site of Chiapa de Corzo in the Highlands of Chiapas, Mexico. Like the Christian calendar, the long count has a start date: ours is January 1 of 0 AD, and theirs (by our reckoning) is August 11 of 3114 BC. But unlike ours, theirs also has an apparent end date, December 21 of 2012 AD.
The Origins of the Long Count by Mark Heley The beginning date of the Long Count corresponds to the equivalent of August 11, 3114 B.C. in our calendar. However, the first recorded inscriptions of the Long Count actually appear around 35 B.C. at the pre-Maya sites of Chi-apa de Corzo and Tres Zapotes. This was some 300 years before the Maya emerged as a fully fledged culture, so the Long Count wasn't their invention. One of the great mysteries of these early Mesoamerican cultures is how the calendar reached such a remarkable state of development right at the beginning of their recorded history. The Maya inherited this knowledge, but they took its application to spectacular new heights.
Over time, the Long Count calendar spread from city-state to city-state across the Maya lands. Its influence eventually reached from Chiapas in the west to Guatemala in the east and the Yucatán peninsula in the north. The propagation and development of the Long Count was to become one of the greatest cultural achievements of the Maya. It became a defining characteristic of what it meant to be Mayan. City-states and their rulers competed to create the most ornate monuments and statues, incorporating significant and auspicious dates of accessions and conquests.