Archaeologists working at the site of La Corona in Guatemala have discovered a 1,300 year-old Maya text that provides only the second known reference to the so-called “end date” for the Maya calendar on December 21, 2012. The discovery, one of the most significant hieroglyphic find in decades, was announced today at the National Palace in Guatemala.
A Reminder: Every Mayan elder I have communicated with, also with Mayan historical scholars, tell us the date of December 21st 2012 is but a marker in the road. Dec. 21st will be no different than Dec. 20th or 23rd. Yes, it is the end of an era – and the beginning of a new one. The shift, as the Maya refer to as the “transition” – has already begun.
Remember, it is a “cycle” and as all cycles go, there is a beginning, a middle, and an end. Think of it as a bell curve. The top of the bell curve is known as the “apex”. I do not believe Dec. 21st is the maximum, but rather a marker which tells us we are in the “ascension” of the cycle – at some point it will peak (apex) and then we continue onto “descending “.
La Corona for many decades has been known as the enigmatic “Site Q,” the source of many looted sculptures whose whereabouts had remained a mystery until its rediscovery only fifteen years ago. For the past five years, Marcello A. Canuto and Tomás Barrientos Q. (Director of the Centro de Investigaciones Arqueológicas y Antropológicas at Universidad del Valle de Guatemala) have directed the La Corona Regional Archaeological Project (PRALC) which has been investigating this intriguing Classic Maya city and its jungle environs.
In 2012, Canuto and Barrientos decided to excavate in front of a building that had been heavily damaged nearly 40 years ago by looters looking for carved stones and tombs. “Last year, we realized that looters of a particular building had discarded some carved stones because they were too eroded to sell on the antiquities black market,” said co-director Barrientos, “so we knew they found something important, but we also thought they might have missed something.”
The 2012 excavations not only recovered 10 more discarded hieroglyphic stones, but also something that the looters missed entirely – an untouched step with a set of 12 exquisitely carved stones still in their original location (in total, 22 carved stones were recovered). Combined with the known looted blocks, the original staircase had a total of no less than 264 hieroglyphs, making it one of the longest ancient Maya texts known, and the longest in Guatemala.
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