Skip to comments.Maya Artwork Uncovered In A Guatemalan Forest
Posted on 05/13/2012 8:34:28 AM PDT by Theoria
Conservator Angelyn Bass cleans and stabilizes the surface of a wall of a Mayan house that dates to the ninth century. The figure of a man who may have been the town scribe appears on the wall to her left.
Archaeologists working in one of the most impenetrable rain forests in Guatemala have stumbled on a remarkable discovery: a room full of wall paintings and numerical calculations.
The buried room apparently was a workshop used by scribes or astronomers working for a Mayan king. The paintings depict the king and members of his court. The numbers mark important periods in the Maya calendar.
The room is about the size of a walk-in closet. It's part of the buried Maya city of Xultun. There are painted murals on three walls, depicting a resplendent king wearing a feather and four other figures. Maya paintings this old the site dates to the ninth century are very rare; tropical weather usually destroys them.
But David Stuart, an anthropologist at the University of Texas, Austin, says the numbers are the most intriguing discovery. "The wall is covered in numbers and this is something that really got our attention very early on," he says. "This is an unusual thing about the Xultun mural."
Four long numbers on the north wall of the ruined house relate to the Mayan calendar and computations about the moon, sun and possibly Venus and Mars; the dates stretch some 7,000 years into the future.
Stuart says some of the numbers are calendars that mark Maya ceremonies, or the cycles of the moon, Venus and Mars. Some calculations appear to be efforts to predict lunar eclipses.
"It's kind of like having a whiteboard in your office where you write down numbers you want to remember if you are a physicist or a mathematician," Stuart says. "And it's amazing it's on a wall. It's not in a book."
Maya numbers are written with bars and dots. Their use in calendars and astronomy is well-known from a Maya book called the Dresden Codex, which is written on the bark of a fig tree. But the Xultun murals are centuries older than the book.
Writing in the journal Science, the scientists say the murals confirm what Maya archaeologists have been saying for years: The Maya calendar does not predict the end of time in 2012, as some New Age prophets have argued. In fact, the murals register future time stretching far beyond 2012.
Archaeologist William Saturno from Boston University compares Maya calendars to a car's odometer.
"If we're driving a car," Satruno says, "we don't anticipate that at 100,000 miles the car will vanish from beneath us. We know that it will reset to zero, and the next 10th of a mile we go we'll have another number to look at."
What these Maya timekeepers were doing was simply marking the passage of time from past to future, but in discrete intervals.
The buried city of Xultun was discovered in 1915 but was so hard to get to that archaeologists mostly ignored it. Saturno started exploring it in 2008. A member of his team found the mural room two years later, under just a few feet of soil. They got an emergency grant from the National Geographic Society to dig into it.
The painted figure of a man possibly a scribe who once lived in the house built by the ancient Maya is illuminated through a doorway to the dwelling, in northeastern Guatemala. The structure represents the first Mayan house found to contain artwork on its walls.
Looters had stolen everything removable, but the murals and the numbers remained.
Saturno says there may be lots more to find at Xultun. They've examined only about 1 percent of the buried city.
‘They’ve examined only about 1 percent of the buried city. ‘
And the great buried city hides the little known fact of its demise - that dreaded “hackey sack” fad which took the unpleasant turn of using heads instead of sacks.
Thus ruining the premise of outrageous EOTW parties this coming Dec. 21st.
They made those calendars to calculate when people would pay off their student loans.
The article says, “Four long numbers on the north wall of the ruined house relate to the Mayan calendar and computations about the moon, sun and possibly Venus and Mars; the dates stretch some 7,000 years into the future.”
You said, Theoria, “Thus ruining the premise of outrageous EOTW parties this coming Dec. 21st.”
What great information to spread out there!
When your father gets homes and sees what you’ve done to the walls.......
Should ping this to Sunken Civ but I don’t know how. I did add godsgravesglyphs to the keywords.
Can somebody teach me how to ping someone else?
The first painting looks like Iron Man.
You just ‘pinged’ me. A reply to someone is a modified ping. A ‘ping’ from my understanding, is simply replying to someone and ‘ping’ as the message. The point is to send a article to someone so they can read it.
Go look at a picture of the English guards in those tall bearskin hats or the Extemely tall hats worn by some military units in the Napoleanic Era.
I think its psychological ;try to appear taller and bigger to intimidate your opponents.
I’ve always said, semi joking, that the only reason the calendar ends in 2012 is that that was the size of the stone. Had they had a rock three feet bigger, the calendar would have gone on many more years. They simply just ran out of paper, so to speak.
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