XULTUN: Past and future in a mural

In Xultun, the last known largely unexcavated Maya megacity located 40 km northeast of Tikal and 8 km south of the smaller site of San Bartolo, in northern Guatemala, archaeologists have uncovered the only known mural adorning an ancient Maya house.

In addition to a still vibrant scene of a king and his retinue, the well-preserved mural is rife with calculations that helped ancient scribes track vast amounts of time. Contrary to the idea the Maya predicted the end of the world in 2012, the markings suggest dates thousands of years in the future.

Perhaps most important, the otherwise humble chamber offers a rare glimpse into the inner workings of Maya society.

What the archaeologists found, after a full excavation in 2011, is likely the ancient workroom of a Maya scribe, a record-keeper of Xultun. Erased by erosion and creeping plant life, the scribe’s chamber was once part of a small building just off a massive Maya plaza circled by pyramids, where kings and high priests conducted ceremonies and peddlers likely sold the clay pots whose fragments now litter the forest site.

The Maya civilization spanned much of what are now Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico’s Yucatán region. Around A.D. 900 the Classic Maya centers, including Xultun, collapsed after a series of droughts and perhaps political conflicts.

Vamos a practicar con el siguiente ejercicio.

Exercise:

According to the video, are the following sentences true or false?

a) There is a seated queen in the mural wearing blue feathers.

b) The chamber was found deep in the forest.

c) The Maya filled in structures that were no longer needed.

Comprobar la solución haciendo click aquí.

In Xultun, the last known largely unexcavated Maya megacity located 40 km northeast of Tikal and 8 km south of the smaller site of San Bartolo, in northern Guatemala, archaeologists have uncovered the only known mural adorning an ancient Maya house.

In addition to a still vibrant scene of a king and his retinue, the well-preserved mural is rife with calculations that helped ancient scribes track vast amounts of time. Contrary to the idea the Maya predicted the end of the world in 2012, the markings suggest dates thousands of years in the future.

Perhaps most important, the otherwise humble chamber offers a rare glimpse into the inner workings of Maya society.

What the archaeologists found, after a full excavation in 2011, is likely the ancient workroom of a Maya scribe, a record-keeper of Xultun. Erased by erosion and creeping plant life, the scribe’s chamber was once part of a small building just off a massive Maya plaza circled by pyramids, where kings and high priests conducted ceremonies and peddlers likely sold the clay pots whose fragments now litter the forest site.

The Maya civilization spanned much of what are now Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico’s Yucatán region. Around A.D. 900 the Classic Maya centers, including Xultun, collapsed after a series of droughts and perhaps political conflicts.

Vamos a practicar con el siguiente ejercicio.

Exercise:

According to the video, are the following sentences true or false?

a) There is a seated queen in the mural wearing blue feathers.

b) The chamber was found deep in the forest.

c) The Maya filled in structures that were no longer needed.

Comprobar la solución haciendo click aquí.

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