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How were the Mayans able to predict the cosmic events that will occur in 2012?


My understanding is that the Mayan calendar ends on December 21st, 2012, the winter solstice and shortest day of the year. At this time the sun, earth, and milky way are expected to align at the galactic equator which only happens every 25,800 years! How were people of relatively primitive times able to predict this event?

 

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