The End of the World as We Knew It
Ancient Mayan calculations uncovered by CAS’ William Saturno creates global buzz| From National Geographic
William Saturno on how he uncovered the mysterious Mayan calendar and mural. Video courtesy of National Geographic Society
Everyone can rest easy, now. The world isn’t going anywhere in 2012. William Saturno, a College of Arts & Sciences assistant professor of archaeology, has debunked the internet-fueled doomsday scenario ascribed to a Mayan calendar. When he excavated an ancient house in the Guatemalan jungle last year, he found on the walls the oldest astronomical charts known from the Mayan civilization. After he described the excavation and what it means in the journal Science, the world media came calling.
In the last known largely unexcavated Maya megacity, archaeologists have uncovered the only known mural adorning an ancient Maya house, a new study says—and it’s not just any mural.
In addition to a still vibrant scene of a king and his retinue, the walls are 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.
“The paintings we have here—we’ve never found them anyplace else,” excavation leader William Saturno told National Geographic News. Read more…
Read all media on William Saturno’s finding on BU Newsmakers.