Just as the Maya postulated an end date, an explanation was given for the beginning. Even before Mesoamerica, ancient India explained the origins of the universe.
Their architectural feats are unmatched today. We would not be able to build what a culture with no power tools or heavy equipment was able to build with apparent ease. But the Maya were not alone in these feats. Evidence of similar accomplishments are found around the world -- most of them hidden due to a phenomenon known as "forbidden archeology."
This states that what does not make sense according to prestigious and established theories of how cultures evolved, from lower and more primitive to higher and more "modern," are rejected out of hand. One will be drummed out of the field for attempting or speculating something that contradicts current thinking. Such is the state of "unbiased" science and academic politics. The truth may eventually win out, but it would have won out much sooner had it not been hampered by obstacles that have nothing to do with the science.
The world is familiar with the magnificent Stone Age ruins in Buddhist Cambodia (Khmer empire), but we argue about the date choosing to believe the official royal histories of self-aggrandizing kings who claim construction to forward the notion that they were omnipotent. Stonehenge is also widely recognized as nearly impossible to explain (less well known being nearby complexes and burial mounds, not to mention similar sites found even in America).
The exact same thing has happened in Egypt, where pharaohs tore down statues of former rulers, erected their own, and claimed larger (much more ancient) monuments a result of their efforts. It worked. Those rulers basked in the glory of inherited sites too grand to be comprehended even in their time and all the more in ours. Zahi Hawass (Egypt's own Indiana Jones, a megalomaniacal Head of Antiquities, who has now been given a prison sentence for his ongoing outrages) ignores egyptologists and any alternative theories, as if to hide the truth to promote his own opinions.
Less well known are many underwater structures kept hidden, such as those photographed by deep water submersibles and those found in and around India, which has a mythological basis for them but very little formal research funding. Why? Governmental and extra-governmental (military-industrial complex) agencies do not want these widely known.
This brings us back to the Maya and the Mayan calendar. Their sophisticated understanding of time, history, and cyclical ages was not their own. It was handed to them from "on high," as it were, through visitations. We mask it in religious terms because that makes sense to those familiar with Judeo-Christian mythologies. But there is very little spirituality around this, except for the advances advanced civilizations (who have visited this planet) seem to exhibit as part of the evolution of any sophisticated culture. ETs are capable of things we would call miraculous, not only with their machines but in terms of their own organic abilities -- telecommunication, telekinesis, cloaking/invisibility, healing, and so on.
Being so intelligent and advanced, capable of genetic manipulation and war, they had much to say about time. What then did they say about the past, our origins, our creation? Mayan creation myths should be as popular a subject as their scatological myths: "2012, the end of the world." They never said such things, but that's what we hear. Their year 2012 merely marks a 26,000 year cycle that is the end of an age. The world will change. The world has already radically shifted in a relatively short period. Expect more, but the drama of obvious difference on December 22, 2012 is misguided.
Quetzalcoatl will return. A new planet will be announced (not "discovered" since it is already known an in view) in our solar system, and revelations will be made (but not the biblical doom and gloom). That disclosure is taking place even now. India knew thousands of years ago because devas had told humankind, and the Vedas record that knowledge. Sumerians were told. Every great culture that became an empire was told. Only we have been kept in the dark. But even we had the mythology and scripture discussing it. Science liberated us (by rejecting interpretations and editing of sacred texts), and science enslaved us when it was co-opted by powers who saw how easy it was to manipulate by funding and public relations campaigns.