Mexico’s Maya heartland greets dawn of new era

People gather in front of the Kukulkan Pyramid in Chichen Itza, Mexico, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012. American seer Star Johnsen-Moser led a whooping, dancing, drum-beating ceremony Thursday in the heart of Mayan territory to consult several of the life-sized crystal skulls, which adherents claim were passed down by the ancient Maya. (AP Photo/Israel Leal)MERIDA, Mexico (AP) — Ceremonial fires burned and conches sounded off as dawn broke over the steps of the main pyramid at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza Friday, marking what many believe is the conclusion of a vast, 5,125-year cycle in the Mayan calendar.