Jacques Coulardeau at Academia.edu (41)
BRANLY MUSEUM & MUSIC
LATEST NEWS à
THE GUARDIAN, Saturday 6 August
2016 17.28 BSTLast modified on Saturday 6 August 201617.55 BST
THE MAYAS-LANGUAGE & DICTIONARY-QUAI
BRANLY MUSEUM & MUSIC
1. JOHN MONTGOMERY
– DICTIONARY OF MAYA HIEROGLYPHS – 2002 - SECOND PRINTING 2006
2. JOHN MONTGOMERY
– HOW TO READ MAYA HIEROGLYPHS – 2002
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
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.
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
Xunantunich, in western Belize, where archaeologists found
a tomb and hieroglyphic panels depicting the history of the ‘snake dynasty’.
Photograph: Jaime Awe
THE GUARDIAN, Saturday 6
August 2016 17.28 BSTLast modified on Saturday 6 August
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.
mercury found under Mexican pyramid could lead to king's tomb
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
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.
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.
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.
The third hieroglyphic panel discovered at the Maya ruins
in Xunantunich, with Jaime Awe holding a flashlight. Photograph: Christophe
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
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
“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”.
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.
Great Blue Hole off Belize yields new clues to fall of