New Maya Mural, Calendars Debunk 2012 Myth

In the last known largely unexcavated Maya megacity, archaeologists have uncovered the only known mural adorning an ancient Maya house, a new study says—and it's not just any mural.

In addition to a still vibrant scene of a king and his retinue, the walls are rife with calculations that helped ancient scribes track vast amounts of time. Contrary to the idea the Maya predicted the end of the world in 2012, the markings suggest dates thousands of years in the future.

Four numbers, written in columns on the house's north wall, are Maya "Long Count" dates—one of which was nearly 7,000 years in the future. Saturno's research suggests that these dates likely recorded astronomical cycles, such as lunar eclipses or the movements of planets.

"The ancient Maya predicted the world would continue, that 7,000 years from now, things would be exactly like this," Saturno said in a statement—a view that contradicts theories of a Maya-predicted apocalypse in December 2012.

Another wall of the house is covered with tiny marks that seem to show calculations for important calendar cycles, such as the 260-day Maya ceremonial calendar, the 365-day solar calendar, and the cycles of Mars and Venus.

Perhaps most important, the otherwise humble chamber offers a rare glimpse into the inner workings of Maya society.

Video: Mysterious Maya Calendar and Mural Uncovered

"The paintings we have here—we've never found them anyplace else," excavation leader William Saturno told National Geographic News.

And in today's XultĂșn—to the untrained eye, just 6 square miles (16 square kilometers) of jungle floor—it's a wonder Saturno's team found the artwork at all ...read more

Source: news.nationalgeographic

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