As anthropologist Joe Awe explained to the guests who attended the unveiling ceremony held at Chaa Creek, the ancient Maya used the carved stone monuments to record important dates and events in their various city-states spread across the vast Maya empire, which covered all of Belize and parts of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
Ms Fleming said that people from around the world have been converging at the Belizean eco resort for days of educational workshops and hands-on training in Maya skills such as tortilla and chocolate making, thatching with jungle palm fronds and the use of medicinal plants in preparation for the grand ceremonies that will take place on the evening of December 21 2012.
According the December 19 Sydney Morning Herald article (“China alert to doomsday rumours”), authorities in China have detained more than 90 people across seven provinces for spreading rumours about so-called Maya prophesies linking the 2012 Winter Solstice to the end of the world. According to the reports, theories posted on the internet and in the US film “2012,” which was hugely popular in China, have fueled fears of what is being called the “Maya Apocalypse” resulting in people scrambling to prepare for survival.
“We’ll be updating our posts throughout the week with information gleaned from the workshops, seminars and lectures we’re hosting, and will be compiling that information into one document to be released early next year. Besides hosting a great celebration, we’re hoping that renewed interest in this fascinating culture will be an outcome of the 2012 Winter Solstice,” Ms Fleming said.
Brion Young, assistant manager of the Chaa Creek NHC, which, among other activities, catalogues the Maya presence in Belize, was commenting on media reports that the Director of the Institute of Archaeology of Belize, Dr Jaime Awe, is suing the producers of the 2008 Harrison Ford film “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” for use without permission of one of Belize’s most iconic and controversial images, the Crystal Skull.