The Maya of Belize and the entire Mundo Maya region welcome new facts coming from recently unearthed murals at Guatemala’s Xultún archaeological site because they serve to further debunk myths while opening the real Maya culture to the world, Chaa Creek’s resident Mayanist said today.
Speaking from the Chaa Creek Natural History Centre, anthropologist Joe Awe said many Maya were disgruntled with how their culture and history has been portrayed, and they welcome factual information such as that discovered on recently unearthed murals at Xultún, Guatemala.
“Over the last few years the Maya suddenly found themselves all over the media – but for all the wrong reasons. Here’s one of the most advanced civilisations the world has ever known, and they become famous for things made up by another culture, with complete fabrications of their beliefs, scientific calculations and history.
“It is very frustrating, and that’s why information coming from the find at Xultún, especially during 2012 is so welcome. It shows the ancient Maya as scientists working out precise calculations, and not some spooky medicine men practicing mumbo jumbo and predicting the end of the world. In fact the murals at Xultún show they were planning for events 7,000 years from now,” Mr Awe said.
A team of scientists working at an archaeological site at Xultún found what is described as a work room for ancient scribes and celestial record keepers, with walls covered in precise mathematical calculations. According to an article in the May 29 edition of National Geographic magazine, “The calculations include dates some 7,000 years in the future, adding to evidence against the idea that the Maya thought the world would end in 2012—a modern myth inspired by an ancient calendar that depicts time starting over this year.”
Dr Mark Van Stone, one of the world’s leading Mayanists, and a guest speaker at Chaa Creek’s 2012 Maya lecture series, said he was excited about this new find and was still reviewing the details of the findings. Dr Van Stone was speaking from the Archaeology Channel’s annual film festival in Eugene Oregon, USA, held 8 – 12 May.
Another leading Mayanist, Dr David Stuart of the university of Texas, who was at Xultún studying the murals said “The Maya calendar is going to keep going for billions, trillions, octillions of years into the future… Numbers we can’t even wrap our heads around.”
For Joe Awe and the Maya studies team at Chaa Creek, this is good news.
“At last we are getting a more accurate depiction of the Maya’s fascinating cosmology and their vast scientific achievements. It is about a meeting of the minds between today’s scientists and their earlier Maya contemporaries, rather than some of the Hollywood or internet nonsense we’ve been seeing in popular media.
“Here at Chaa Creek we welcome this addition to the body of legitimate Maya research, which supports the work Mick and Lucy Fleming have been sponsoring in Belize over the years,” he said.