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Sky News: Archaeological discoveries in Guatemala

Archaeologists in Guatemala on Thursday (June 28) announce they discovered the second-known reference to the 'end date' of the Mayan calendar at newly-uncovered 1,300 year-old panels at the La Corona archaeological site, one of the most significant hieroglyphic discoveries in decades.

‘I was very amazed and amused yesterday to notice that that panel records the date of the end of the 13th baktun (20 cycles of the Mayan long count calendar), which for us is coming up in just a few months time in December of 2012. Here we have a Mayan monument that was carved 1,500 years ago that’s talking about the year we’re in right now,’ said archaeologist Dr. David Stuart of the University of Texas at Austin.

In the Mayan calendar, the long calendar count begins in 3,114 BC and is divided into roughly 394-year periods called Baktuns.

Mayans held the number 13 sacred and the 13th Baktun ends on December 21, 2012.

The inscriptions depict the visit to La Corona by the ruler of the nearby Mayan city of Calakmul after a stinging military defeat, apparently in an effort to reassure worried allies.

The inscriptions also predict that the ruler’s lineage will continue, rather than any apocalyptic prophecies.

Tomas Barrientos, the Director of the Centre of Anthropological and Archaeological Investigations at Guatemala’s Universidad del Valle, said that the archaeological site ranks among the most important Mayan sites in Central America or Mexico.

‘When we take into account how the monument originally was, we can see that it’s the largest concentration of inscriptions in the country, and one of the three or five most important in the Mayan world. We can compare this to the site at Copan, with the inscribed panels of Palenque, with the stairs at Dos Pilas. This will definitely be remembered as a great discovery for archaeology and the study of inscriptions,’ he said.

According to a May poll, nearly 10 percent of people think the Mayan calendar could signify the apocalypse will happen in 2012.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: Sky News: Archaeological discoveries in Guatemala.

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