2012 End of the World? Ancient Maya Astronomical Tables from Xultun, Guatemala
William Saturno Found a Maya Mural that Contradicts 2012 “Doomsday” Myth.Maya astronomical tables are recognized in bark-paper books from the Late Postclassic period (1300 to 1521 C.E.), but Classic period (200 to 900 C.E.) precursors have not been found. In 2011, a small painted room was excavated at the extensive ancient Maya ruins of Xultun, Guatemala, dating to the early 9th century C.E. The walls and ceiling of the room are painted with several human figures. Two walls also display a large number of delicate black, red, and incised hieroglyphs. Many of these hieroglyphs are calendrical in nature and relate astronomical computations, including at least two tables concerning the movement of the Moon, and perhaps Mars and Venus. These apparently represent early astronomical tables and may shed light on the later books. – Prof. William Andrew Saturno Assistant Professor of Archaeology. Areas of interest: New World archaeology and Mesoamerican civilization. Research scientist, marshall space flight center/national space science and technology center. director, proyecto san bartolo, instituto de antropologia e historia, guatemala research associate, peabody museum, harvard università. Excavations & field work: Southwestern United States, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and most recently
Guatemala. From 1994 to 2000 he was the Field Director of the Río Amarillo Archaeological Project in Western Honduras, examining the ancient sociopolitical relationships between large and small Maya cities around the site of Copán. In March 2001, while exploring in northeastern Guatemala for Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, he discovered the remote archaeological site of San Bartolo and the oldest intact murals ever found in the Maya world. Since then he has directed the San Bartolo Regional Archaeology Project dedicated to the excavation and conservation of these spectacular murals and to understanding San Bartolo’s role in this largely unexplored region of the Maya area during the period when Maya civilization itself was just forming. His academic interests include the evolution of complex society, particularly among the Ancient Maya, Mesoamerican religion, iconography and epigraphy, remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications in archaeology and the role of archaeology in popular culture. Contct: Prof. William Andrew Saturno. News from: American Association for the Advancement of Science & Boston University is a private research university located in Boston, Massachusetts. With more than 4,000 faculty members and more than 31,000 students, Boston University is one of the largest private universities in the United States. and one of Boston’s largest employers.
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