The writing system of the Maya was used throughout the Lowlands to record feats of rulers and important calendar rituals. A new understanding of Maya hieroglyphs developed in the past thirty years has unlocked the meaning of most Maya inscriptions.
The cyclical nature of the Maya concept of time is shown in this artist's use of intersecting wheels. For the Maya, when one cycle of time ends, another immediately begins. As an example, the year 2012 ends a very long cycle of years, and begins a new one.