"During his research, Gadoury examined 22 Mayan constellations and discovered that if he projected those constellations onto a map, the shapes corresponded perfectly with the locations of 117 Mayan cities. Incredibly, the 15-year-old was the first person to establish this important correlation, reported the Journal de Montreal over the weekend. Then Gadoury took it one step further. He examined a twenty-third constellation which contained three stars, yet only two corresponded to known cities." [more inside]
Early Urban Planning: Ancient Mayan City Built on Grid No other city from the Maya world was planned using this grid design, researchers say. There is more background on what was typical on Urban Planning in Ancient Central Mexico.
This would not make Chipotle the first major American chain restaurant to decorate with death iconography from another culture (that distinction may go to P.F. Chang's, with their terracotta soldiers), but I'm of the opinion "death by burrito" should be about portion size, and not about inadvertently invoking the wrath of an ancient deity.So it turns out those "Mayan" glyphs at Chipotle restaurants are indeed of Mayan origin, explains Taylor Jones in Slate. (Via Languagehat)
A monster mouth doorway, ruined pyramid temples and palace remains emerged from the Mexican jungle as archaeologists unearthed two ancient Mayan cities.
3 poems about language. 9 poems without language. 4 poems of language on the edge. 3 poems from languages on the edge. 3 poems about zombies. 2 poems about mermaids. 6 poems drawn in color. 1 poem erased from black and white. 3 dreams by Zurita. 16 dreams by Bolaño. Something about bricks. Something about America. Wot kynde horse brayne spoile our cheery meal. wurrrghc brggguhdrvl.
To commemorate the Mayan Apocalypse, video game tycoon Richard Garriott de Cayeux threw a lavish soiree at his 65-acre spread along Lake Austin, complete with various scenes of imagined end-of-the-world scenarios. - Sonia Smith in Texas Monthly
Rock Cellar Magazine has come up with a list of eleven songs to listen to in case the world comes to an end on December 21 2010. [more inside]
Historically, archaeologists have largely ignored acoustical science as a tool for archaeological discovery. This is changing with the advent of acoustic archaeology. “Could the Maya have intentionally coded the sound of their sacred bird into the pyramid architecture? I think it is possible.” Hear it for yourself in this video. While this is a pretty astounding feat of architectural engineering, it’s by no means the only example of archaeoacoustics that can be found at Chichen Itza, amongst the mayan people, or throughout the many other cultures who’ve built structures that integrate unique auditory phenomenon to stimulate the senses. [previously]/[previously] [more inside]
Master Builder Uncovers Striking Similarities In Indian and Incan / Mayan Sacred Structures:- It is Sthapati's theory that Mayan, the creator of Indian architecture, originated from the Mayan people of Central America. In Indian history, Mayan appears several times, most significantly as the author of Mayamatam, "Concept of Mayan" which is a Vastu Shastra, a text on art, architecture and town planning. The traditional date for this work is 8,000bce. Mayan appears in the Ramayana (2000bce) and again in the Mahabharata (1400bce) - in the latter he designs a magnificent palace for the Pandava brothers. Mayan is also mentioned in Silappathikaram, an ancient Tamil scripture, and is author of Surya Siddhanta, one of the most ancient Hindu treatises on astronomy. (Original ca. 1995) [more inside]
This weekend, TAL ran an episode on the massacre at Dos Erres. What they didn't mention was that this happened as part of the "Silent Holocaust" -- a "systematic campaign of genocide against the Mayan people." An estimated 83% of the massacred people were indigenous Maya. Throughout the period of the genocide, the USA continued to provide military support to the Guatemalan government, mainly in the form of arms and equipment, despite knowing that the Guatemala military was responsible for the killings. Horatio Castellanos Moya, an exiled Honduran writer, wrote Senselessness, his first book to be published in English, based on the testimonies taken by the Catholic Church's Recuperation of History project, which led to Bishop José Gerardi Conedera releasing the Guatemala: Never Again! report. Two days later, he was bludgeoned to death.
Archaeologists from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History have used a remote-controlled microcamera to explore a 1500-year-old sealed Mayan burial chamber at the Palenque archaeological site in Chiapas, Mexico. Story in English from the Guardian but be sure to click on "Fotos" at the first link.
The ancient Hebrew Conception of the Universe. Mayan Interdimensional Star Map. A scale model of the orbits of the planets in our solar system. More by Michael Paukner (via).
Jon Klassen is an illustrator and designer, with a blog and a lovely website full of artwork, including The Miser (3:53, 2004, made with Kyle McQueen and Dan Rodrigues), An Eye for Annai (5:27, 2005, previously, also made with Dan Rodrigues, .MOV video link), an interpretation of a Mayan folktale (available in full in Flight vol 4, previously), The Adventures of Ship, a family art project, visual development and drawings for sets and props for the movie adaptation of Coraline (a couple previous), amongst other bits and bobs. Illustration Mundo had an interview with Klassen earlier this year.
"Look at the surrealist moustache on the Mona Lisa. Just a silly joke? Consider where this joke can lead. I had been working with Malcolm Mc Neill for five years on an illustrated book entitled Ah Pook Is Here, and we used the same idea: Hieronymous Bosch as the background for scenes and characters taken from the Mayan codices and transformed into modern counterparts. That face in the Mayan Dresden Codex will be the barmaid in this scene, and we can use the Vulture God over here. Bosch, Michelangelo, Renoir, Monet, Picasso — steal anything in sight. You want a certain light on your scene? Lift it from Monet. You want a 1930s backdrop? Use Hopper." -- William S. Burroughs, Les Voleurs [more inside]
Architecture, Restoration, and Imaging of the Maya Cities of Uxmal, Kabah, Sayil, and Labná - a new extensive exhibition site from Reed College (with nice large images available). See: Contents. The site includes "19th and early 20th century drawings, prints, and photographs, showing the appearance of these four cities before the extensive restoration campaigns of the twentieth century [..and..] over 1000 recent photographs."
Don Berto’s Garden. "The plants of the ancient Maya whisper their secrets to those who speak a shared language."
Were the Mayans expert sound engineers? Perhaps we could learn something from them to aid our pursuit of technological solutions to modern noise pollution problems.
Mayan Stairway reveals a longer chapter of missing history. New glyphs revealed by a hurricane at Dos Pilas, Guatemala, tell of "the attack on Dos Pilas by Calakmul in this powerful kingdom’s strategy to control the river trade routes between the Maya Lowlands and the Highlands of Guatemala in the Southwestern Petén and the resulting Dos Pilas’ acceptance of a subservient role in this affair." Same report in Spanish. There is also a weak New York Times report.