Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mayan Creation Myth Now Deemed Earlier

A section of the Mayan panels uncovered in the Guatemalan rain forest.

Archaeologists studying two large carved stucco panels in northern Guatemala say the panels depict a scene from the Popol Vuh ~ the Mayan creation myth ~ yet predate any other such artifacts by a millennium.

The recently uncovered panels ~ 26 feet long and 20 feet high ~ formed the sides of a channel for carrying rainwater into a series of stepped pools, where it was stored for drinking and agriculture. They date to 300 BC.

Idaho State University archaeologist Richard Hansen, directing the ongoing excavation, says the panels depict an important scene from the Popol Vuh, a text of the Mayan myth first recorded in the 16th century. In the part of the story shown, the Hero Twins swim through the underworld after retrieving the head of their father, the deity Hun Hunahpu, according to Discover News.

Some historians dismiss the Popol Vuh as a contaminated, containing not only ancient Mayan mythology but also Spanish Catholic influences. Hansen believes the panels establish key portions of the stories as genuinely Mayan. “We can now extend the authenticity of the creation myth back another 1,000 years,” he says.

1 comment:

Online Printing said...

Wow, that's something else. Just goes to show how little we know about earlier civilizations and how much more there is to discover. With every discovery, we learn something new or update what we currently know. It's constantly changing and we are learning much more, that's why it's so exciting and fulfilling!