The German Mesoamericanists have released a representation (on German) on Monday, in which they harshly condemn BILD’s course of action:
It sees BILD’s actions as scandalous and totally unscientific. The execution of this project and the connected media echo, damage the constantly developed good relationship between the anthropologists and countries of Germany and Guatemala. Also it damages the reputation of Germany in Guatemala as well as the archaeological sites, which will be looted now more than ever, if people think, there is gold to find.
Furthermore it analyzes Rittstieg’s theories and see racist thoughts, considering the esoteric belief of a superior Nordic-Germanic race. It continues to tell, that the Codex Dresdensis has been examined for 100 years and assures, that there is no secret map on those pages.
The behaviour of BILD against the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Guatemala has to be judged harshly as well. BILD uses the German ambassador to build up pressure to shorten the way to a permission for excavation.
Comparable treasure hunts showed that they are highly problematic, as is this one. The local people and international art looters may be animated to look for Maya gold. This could quickly end up in destroyed items of high cultural value for something that doesn’t exist.
Archaeologists always tried to make clear, that there is no gold at the ancient Maya sites. In years of work this picture got formed. BILD destroys this hard work at one go, endangering the Maya sites in Guatemala, the reputation of German scientists and Germany in whole Latin America.
I can only second that and explain again, why I write this coverage of the actions in Guatemala. Rittstieg’s theories are outlandish claims. BILD’s course of action is sensationalistic. This combination often draws the attention of many interested people that look for real information without sensational agenda. This is what I try to give here, even if some of the information may be boring compared to what BILD says – at least it’s true (or scientifically spoken: more probable).