According to that last article, humans are represented by different materials in each age in their calendar:
In previous cycles, man was made from different things, such as wood and earth. Those were imperfect designs, and humankind had been evolving. This year marks the end of the Men of Corn, and we wait to see what the next incarnation will be.
Can’t wait actually. It is very interesting that with the rise of communication technology and the connection of everyone on the planet we have an ancient epoch ending. Perhaps it’s simply coincidence (how many different ancient epochs end each year, really?) but it’s a compelling argument to make that Mayan age or no, we are entering a new phase of humanity.