The Mayan Archaeological Revolution

Jacques Coulardeau at Academia.edu (41)

THE MAYAS

LANGUAGE & DICTIONARY

QUAI BRANLY MUSEUM & MUSIC

LES MAYAS

LANGUE & DICTIONNAIRE

QUAI BRANLY & MUSIQUE

+

LATEST NEWS à further down

THE GUARDIAN, Saturday 6 August 2016 17.28 BSTLast modified on Saturday 6 August 201617.55 BST

Image for post
Image for post

THE MAYAS-LANGUAGE & DICTIONARY-QUAI BRANLY MUSEUM & MUSIC

https://www.academia.edu/17222509/THE_MAYAS-LANGUAGE_and_DICTIONARY-QUAI_BRANLY_MUSEUM_and_MUSIC

1. JOHN MONTGOMERY — DICTIONARY OF MAYA HIEROGLYPHS — 2002 — SECOND PRINTING 2006

2. JOHN MONTGOMERY — HOW TO READ MAYA HIEROGLYPHS — 2002

3. MUSEE DU QUAI BRANLY — MUSIQUES ET CHANTS — MAYAS — LES AMERINDIENS, PEUPLES MAYA, TOTOMAQUE, CORA — MEXIQUE — FREMEAUX ASSOCIES, 2014

4. MUSÉE DU QUAI BRANLY — MAYAS, RÉVÉLATIONS D’UN TEMPS SANS FIN — 2014

I am here finding elements that can be connected to many other systems in the world, both languages and rituals. Maya as a language is not an isolate. The point is that the written system is so complex and the calendar calculations are so complicated that we cannot consider they appeared like that, ready to be used in about 1000 BCE and certainly not later.

These systems must have required many milennia to be invented and refined, just like Mayan architecture and Mayan technology capable of producing a durable material medium for their language and stories.

It is the same thing with corn that had to be completely genetically modified to become what we know it is that CANNOT reproduce without a human hand to get the grains out of the husk. And we could speak of their ritualistic beverages that are so complicated that they look like some fine art perfume produced by today’s chemical laboratories.

I think here that the Mayan culture, the Aztec culture, the Toltec culture, the Inca culture could not have evolved from a population coming along with the Clovis migration. If it took 5,000 years for the Sumerians to devise their writing system which is child’s play when compared to the Mayan system, I believe these Homo Sapiens must have arrived in the Americas before the Ice Age and certainly not late after it. To devise this writing system when the language would have stabilized enough, not to speak of the calendars, the Mayans must have needed at least 15,000 years, probably more.

Except of course if you consider language is a gift from extraterrestrials or angels and gods, which is not within my frame of mind.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU

LATEST NEWS

Maya ‘snake dynasty’ tomb uncovered holding body, treasure and hieroglyphs

Find is ‘one of the largest burial chambers ever discovered in Belize’

Hieroglyphic panels, skeleton and offerings hidden for 1,300 years

Image for post
Image for post
Xunantunich, in western Belize, where archaeologists found a tomb and hieroglyphic panels depicting the history of the ‘snake dynasty’. Photograph: Jaime Awe

Alan Yuhas in San Francisco @alanyuhas

THE GUARDIAN, Saturday 6 August 2016 17.28 BSTLast modified on Saturday 6 August 201617.55 BST

Archaeologists have uncovered what may be the largest royal tomb found in more than a century of work on Maya ruins in Belize, along with a puzzling set of hieroglyphic panels that provide clues to a “snake dynasty” that conquered many of its neighbors some 1,300 years ago.

Image for post
Image for post
Liquid mercury found under Mexican pyramid could lead to king’s tomb, Read more

The tomb was unearthed at the ruins of Xunantunich, a city on the Mopan river in western Belize that served as a ceremonial center in the final centuries of Maya dominance around 600 to 800AD. Archaeologists found the chamber 16ft to 26ft below ground, where it had been hidden under more than a millennium of dirt and debris.

Researchers found the tomb as they excavated a central stairway of a large structure: within were the remains of a male adult, somewhere between 20 and 30 years old, lying supine with his head to the south.

The archaeologist Jaime Awe said preliminary analysis by osteologists found the man was athletic and “quite muscular” at his death, and that more analysis should provide clues about his identity, health and cause of death.

In the grave, archaeologists also found jaguar and deer bones, six jade beads, possibly from a necklace, 13 obsidian blades and 36 ceramic vessels. At the base of the stairway, they found two offering caches that had nine obsidian and 28 chert flints and eccentrics — chipped artefacts that resemble flints but are carved into the shapes of animals, leaves or other symbols.

Image for post
Image for post
The excavation site at Xunantunich. Photograph: Jaime Awe

“It certainly has been a great field season for us,” said Awe, who led a team from his own school, Northern Arizona University, and the Belize Institute ofArchaeology.

Advertisement

The tomb represents an extraordinary find, if only for its construction. At 4.5 meters by 2.4 meters, it is “one of the largest burial chambers ever discovered in Belize”, Awe said. It appears to differ dramatically from other grave sites of the era. Most Maya tombs were built “intrusively”, as additions to existing structures, but the new tomb was built simultaneously with the structure around it — a common practice among cultures such as the ancient Egyptians, but uncommon among the Mayas.

“In other words, it appears that the temple was purposely erected for the primary purpose of enclosing the tomb,” Awe said. “Except for a very few rare cases, this is not very typical in ancient Maya architecture.”

Many Maya societies ruled through dynastic families. Tombs for male and femalerulers have been found, including those of the so-called “snake dynasty”, named for the snake-head emblem associated with its house. The family had a string of conquests in the seventh century, and ruled from two capital cities. Awe said the newly discovered hieroglyphic panels could prove “even more important than the tomb”, by providing clues to the dynasty’s history.

Image for post
Image for post
The third hieroglyphic panel discovered at the Maya ruins in Xunantunich, with Jaime Awe holding a flashlight. Photograph: Christophe Helmke

The panels are believed to be part of a staircase originally built 26 miles to the south, at the ancient city of Caracol. Epigraphers say the city’s ruler, Lord Kan II of the snake dynasty, recorded his defeat of another city, Naranjo, on the hieroglyph, to go with his many other self-commemorations. On another work, he recorded a ball game involving a captured Naranjo leader whom he eventually sacrificed.

Naranjo apparently had its revenge some years later, in 680AD, having the panels dismantled and partially reassembled at home with gaps and incorrect syntax — possibly deliberately, to obscure the story of the snake dynasties’ conquests. Fragments have been discovered elsewhere in Caracol and at a fourth site along the Mopan river, but Awe said the new panels could be “bookends” to the story of war and sacrifice in the ancient Maya world.

According to the University of Copenhagen’s Christophe Helmke, the research team’s epigrapher, the panels provide a clue for Kan II’s conquests — he appears to have dedicated or commissioned the work in 642AD — and they note the death of Kan’s mother, Lady Batz’ Ek’. The panels also identify a previously unknown ruler from the Mexican site of Calakmul, Awe said.

Helmke said the panels “tell us of the existence of a king of the dynasty that was murky figure at best, who is clearly named as Waxaklajuun Ubaah Kan” . This ruler reigned sometime between 630 and 640AD, and may have been Kan’s half-brother.

“This means that there were two contenders to the throne, both carrying the same dynastic title, which appears to have been read Kanu’l Ajaw, ‘king of the place where snakes abound’,” he wrote in an email.

The panels clarify what Helmke called a “tumultuous phase of the snake-head dynasty” and explain how it splintered between cities before dominating Maya politics in the region.

The panels identify the origin of the snake dynasty at Dzibanche, in the Yucatan peninsula of modern Mexico, and refer to the family’s move to their capital of Calakmul. Awe said Lady Batz’ Ek’ “was likely a native of Yakha, a site in neighboring Guatemala, who later married the ruler of Caracol as part of a marriage alliance”.

Image for post
Image for post
The nine eccentrics. Photograph: Kelsey Sullivan, courtesy Jaime Awe

The researchers have had their work peer-reviewed for publication in the Journal of the Precolumbian Art Research Institute.

Awe said it was not clear why the panels appeared in Xunantunich, but the city may have allied itself with or been a vassal state to Naranjo. The cities both fell into decline, along with other Maya societies, around 800 to 1,000AD, for reasons still mysterious but possibly including climate change, disease and war.

The city was called Xunantunich, meaning “stone woman” in the Yucatec Maya, long after its abandonment by original residents. The name derives from folklore around the city about a hunter who saw a ghostly, statuesque woman, dressed in indigenous garb, standing near an entrance to a temple called El Castillo — a storytouted by tourist sites today. The site was also once called Mount Maloney, after a British governor.

The temple is impressive in its own right, a stone structure that towers 130ft above the city’s main plaza, adorned with a stucco frieze that represents the gods of the sun and moon.

Image for post
Image for post
Great Blue Hole off Belize yields new clues to fall of Mayan civilisation, Read more

Written by

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, PhD in Germanic Linguistics (University Lille III) and ESP Teaching (University Bordeaux II) has been teaching all types of ESP

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store