June 29, 2012 - Archaeologists operating at the site of La Corona
have discovered a 1,300-year-old-year Maya text
that provides only the second known reference to the so-called "dooms day" or "end date" of the Maya calendar, December 21, 2012. The discovery, one of the most important hieroglyphic finds in decades, was announced June 28 at the National Palace in Guatemala.
"This text, however, talks more about ancient political history rather than an earth-changing prophecy," says Marcello A. Canuto, director of Tulane's Middle American Research Institute and co-director of the excavations at La Corona.
Since 2008, Canuto
and Tomás Barrientos of the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala
have directed excavations at La Corona, a site previously ravaged by looters.
"Last year, we realized that looters of a particular building had discarded some carved stones due to the fact they had been as well eroded to sell on the antiquities black industry," mentioned Barrientos, "so we knew they found some thing important, but we also thought they might have missed some thing."
What Canuto and Barrientos found was the longest text ever discovered in Guatemala. Carved on staircase steps, it records 200 years of La Corona
history, states David Stuart, director of the Mesoamerica Center at The University of Texas
at Austin, who was part of a 1997 expedition that first explored the site.
Whilst deciphering these new texts in May, Stuart recognized another 2012 reference on a stairway block bearing 56 delicately carved hieroglyphs!
It commemorated a royal go to to La Corona
in AD 696 by the most potent Maya ruler of that time, Yuknoom Yich'aak K'ahk' of Calakmul, only a handful of months after his defeat by extended-standing rival Tikal in AD 695. Thought by scholars to have been killed in this battle, this ruler was visiting allies and allaying their fears after his defeat.
"This was a time of excellent political turmoil in the Maya region and this king felt compelled to allude to a bigger cycle of time that occurs to end in 2012," says Stuart.