MessageToEagle.com - The oldest ever Mayan calendar has been unearthed by archaeologists at the Xultun ruins in Guatemala.
Today, the whole world's attention focuses on a small, about 1,200-year-old room in Guatemala' s ancient ruins,
where royal scribes covered its walls with astronomical records, hundreds of scrawled numbers and the society's
Additionally the walls of the room are covered with totally unique paintings, like for example one depicting a lineup of
men in black uniforms.
The ancient walls reveal the oldest known astronomical tables from the Maya times. Scientists already knew they must
have been keeping such records at that time, but until now the oldest known examples dated from about 600 years later.
Astronomical records were of crucial importance to the famous Mayan calendar, to which so many people worldwide paid
recently so much attention due to doomsday warnings and the end of the world in December 2012.
"There are tiny glyphs all over the wall, bars and dots representing columns of numbers. It's the kind of thing that
only appears in one place -- the Dresden Codex, which the Maya wrote many centuries later.
We've never seen anything like it," said David Stuart, Schele Professor of Mesoamerican Art and Writing at the University of
Texas-Austin, who deciphered the glyphs.
However, according to experts, there is absolutely no prediction of the coming doomsday.
Additionally, the calculations include a time span longer than 6000 years that could extend well beyond 2012.
The astronomical cycles and corrections were used to predict lunar eclipses far into the future
"Why would they go into those numbers if the world is going to come to an end this year?" observed Anthony
Aveni of Colgate University in New York, an expert on Mayan astronomy.
"You could say a number that big at least suggests that time marches on."
The room is part of a large complex of Mayan ruins in the rain forest at Xultun in northeastern Guatemala.
The walls also contain portraits of a seated king and some other figures, but it's clear those have no connection
to the astronomical writings, the scientists said.
One wall contains a calendar based on phases of the moon, covering about 13 years. The researchers said they think it
might have been used to keep track of which deity was overseeing the moon at particular times.
Inside a structure excavated at the ancient Maya city of Xultun, researchers found walls
bearing astronomical tables and paintings of big-wigs such as these. Credit: Tyrone Turner, copyright 2012 National Geographic
Aveni said it would allow scribes to predict the appearance of a full moon years in advance, for example.
Such record-keeping was key to Mayan astrology and rituals, and maybe would be used to advise the king on when to go to
war or how good this year's crops would be, he said.
"What you have here is astronomy driven by religion," he said.
On an adjacent wall are numbers indicating four time spans from roughly 935 to 6700 years. It's not clear what they represent,
but maybe the scribes were doing calculations that combined observations from important astronomical events like the
movements of Mars, Venus and the moon, the researchers said.
"It's weird that the Xultún finds exist at all," William Saturno commented.
"Such writings and artwork on walls don't preserve well in the Maya lowlands, especially in a house buried only a
meter below the surface."
"It's really a wonderful surprise," said Simon Martin, co-curator of an exhibit about the Mayan calendar at the
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
While the results of the scribes' work were known from carvings on monuments, "we've never really been able to identify
a working space, or how they actually went about things," Martin said.
The new work gives insight into that, he said, and the fact the room had a stone roof rather than thatching supports
previous indications that the scribes enjoyed a high social standing.
"It's a very important discovery. We're only getting a glimpse of it" in the published paper, said John B Carlson,
director of the Center for Archaeoastronomy in the US.
The discovery seems to be of great importance and this is only the beginning of archaeological discoveries in the area.
The site of Xultún, hidden in the remote rain forest of the Petén and covered with vegetation, was first spotted
by archaeologists in 2010.
Xultún, a 12-square-mile site where tens of thousands once lived, was first discovered about 100 years ago by a
Guatemalan worker and roughly mapped in the 1920s by Sylvanus Morley, who named the site "Xultún" -- "end stone."
Scientists from Harvard University mapped more of the site in the 1970s. The house discovered by Saturno's team
was numbered 54 of 56 structures counted and mapped at that time. Thousands at Xultún remain uncounted.
The Xultun find is the first place that all of the cycles have been found tied mathematically together in one
place, representing a calendar that stretches more than 7,000 years into the future.
Anthony Aveni, along with William Saturno of Boston University and others, report the discovery in Friday's
issue of the journal Science.
Several "God Spots" Are Responsible For Spirituality
Spirituality plays an important part in many peoples' daily life.
For years scientists have wondered whether there is a particular place in the brain, a so-called "God spot" that is responsible for spirituality.
What mechanism does determine why a person is more spiritual than others?
Fascinating Gigantic Creatures Today Totally Extinct 13,000 Years Ago Coexisted With Early Americans
The Ice Age world was, geologically, just a moment ago. Fascinating but today extinct giant animals, like mammoths,
mastodons and giant ground sloths, coexisted with early Americans in those days....
For millions of years, these animals survived, living in temperate climates and on the wind-swept lands of the frozen north – great
beasts weighing as much as eight tons and bearing tusks up to 16 feet long.
Secret Lives Of Our Mediaeval Ancestors
Many have a low opinion of people who lived in mediaeval times.
We often consider our ancestors primitive and uneducated.
Recent studies give us a unique opportunity to reveal the inner thoughts of our ancestors, and many of us will be surprised
to learn how little humans have changed over the years...
Hidden Misshapen Celestial "Wonder"
It is one of the brightest and strangest objects in the Milky Way - the corpse of a star that exploded around 1000 years ago.
Only a handful of such young supernova remnants are known.
The object named G350.1-0.3 is also incredibly small (only eight light years across) and young in astronomical terms.
Mercury Surprises Scientists
On March 17, MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space Environment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) completed its one-year primary mission, orbiting Mercury, capturing nearly 100,000 images, and recording data
that reveals new information about the planet's core, topography, and the mysterious radar bright material in the permanently shadowed areas near the poles.
Living Earth Simulator - Supercomputer Predicting The Future
In Douglas Adams book the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy we encounter a machine called Deep Thought. It is the most powerful computer ever built. Deep Thought is capable of answering questions
concerning life, the Universe, and simply everything. Now scientists are planning to create a similar machine. It is called the Living Earth Simulator (LES).
Alien Life Inside A Postbiological Universe Where Time Has No Meaning
The quest for extraterrestrial life continues. This time our journey takes us straight into the heart
of a postbiological Universe where time no longer has a meaning, or has it?
Ray Kurzweil, a leading American futurist have along with a number of other scientists suggested that humans could become immortal very soon...