What about those inscriptions in Guatemala referring to 2012?

After a long time, I want to continue this blog with a short and rough article about the recent discovery of insprictions in Guatemala. The media says they are very important for the topic of 2012 and I’m sure many of you wonder, if this is another exagerration of the media or if it is in fact true. Did the Maya think, there would be an apocalypse after all? Is the finding important? Well, let’s say it like this: I’m in the midst of prepararing my presentation for an event about the Maya myth and the 2012 phenomenon, and I had to change some aspects in it. So there you have a first clue for the importance of this finding.

Up until some days ago, if someone would have asked me about the importance of the date 23.12.2012 for the Maya, I would have answered, that there is only one single inscription, which refers to this date and that everything else is merely speculation and interpretation about what the Maya thought about it. Now, however, I would have to say, that there are exactly two inscriptions, that we know of.

And this is the new one…
Picture: Tulane University via Phys.org

At the archaeological site of La Corona (formerly known as Site Q, ) in the northern part of Guatemala, the La Corona Archaeological Project (PRALC) found a staircase with several inscriptions. David Stuart (whom we referred in several articles before) deciphered the writings. The inscribed stones, are about 1.300 years old and one of them refers to the infamous date, that we all like to talk about and at which nothing will happen. But what does it say exactly?

First of all, it doesn’t refer to any prophecy – in fact, it’s rather political: King Yuknoom Yich’aak K’ahk’ from Calakmul was visiting La Corona after a defeat he suffered by the rivaling troops of Tikal. For a long time it has been the interpretation that the king died in this defeat or that he was captured. Now we know, he didn’t, so there’s one reason, why we call it a very important finding. Furthermore, king Yuknoom Yich’aak K’ahk’ had given himself a very special name, and here we come to the reason for the reference to 2012: He was called 13 K’atun lord – the lord who reigns in the 13th K’atun cycle 9.13.0.0.0 lasting 7.200 days. Those of you who carefully studied the article about the Maya calendar know exactly what this means.

To show his unbroken will and to motivate his allies to stand by him, it was announced – and later inscribed on this staircase – that his kingdom would last until the next place in the Maya calendar would also reach the magical number 13: the 13th B’ak’tun or 13.0.0.0.0! Yuknoom Yich’aak K’ahk’ puts himself in a large cosmological context, from 9.13.0.0.0 to 13.0.0.0.0, strengthening his power. And this last date is exactly the date, that everybody keeps talking about, the 23rd of December 2012.

So there you have it! That’s – in short – why there is this special date on this special inscription. No prophecy, no apocalypse – but certainly furter evidence, that the date 13.0.0.0.0 was of vital importance for the Maya. A historical date, the completition of a cyle – and that only happens every 144,000 days. Reason enough to celebrate! But certainly no reason to panic.

For further information, aside from the magazines, I would like to refer you to several places:

  • David Stuart’s topic relevant article
  • The PRALC homepage of the Middle American Research Institute at Tulane University
  • The press release of the PRALC of the 28th of June
  • The presentation about the findings the PRALC gave
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    This entry was posted in 2012 Countdown, Archaeology, Deciphering, Maya and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

    2 Responses to What about those inscriptions in Guatemala referring to 2012?

    1. norm says:

      I’m thinking Mixco Viejo for the big day. It is at the end of a hard top road, only a few hours out of Guatemala City(or more likely Antigua) and it has camping. I was there a few years ago and the site shows evidence of use by the local Maya. Mixco is not well known, going there should be a way to avoid the tourist crush. Many of the highland Maya follow the old ways.

    2. Pingback: Anything? (21.12. 8:15 GMT) | The Complete MesoAmerica… and more

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