At the 7th Palenque Round Table
NEW INTERPRETATION OF MAYA GLYPHS SUPPOSEDLY RELATED TO THE END OF THE WORLD
*** Epigraphists announced that Monument 6 at Tortuguero is related to a mythic event that would happen on December 21st 2012
*** The German specialist Sven Gronemeyer made a new interpretation of the inscriptions on the Maya stele, which marks the closing of an era and the beginning of another
Far from the versions of a catastrophic age, the Maya hieroglyphs inscribed in Monument 6 at the archaeological site of Tortuguero, Tabasco, are related to a mythic event that would happen on December 21st, 2012, during the Winter solstice, when Bahlam Ajaw, an ancient ruler of the city, foresaw himself as the host of Bolon Yokte’, a deity that would return on that date, when the change of eras takes place.
This was announced by Maya epigraphists who conducted a new interpretation of the monument guarded at the “Carlos Pellicer Camara” Museum, which has attracted attention worldwide in the past few years because it records the end of an era in the long-count calendar used by the ancient civilization.
Reunited in Chiapas, where the 7th Palenque Round Table organized by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) took place from November 27th through December 2nd, specialists exposed advances on the decipherment of glyphic inscriptions of Monument 6 at Tortuguero.
On this regard, Sven Gronemeyer, from La Trobe University, Australia, announced that with his colleague Barbara Macleod, he conducted a new interpretation of the text sculpted in the 7th century of the Common Era, in which right panel is registered the mentioned date, related to the end of a 5,125 years cycle.
The panel refers to the end of 13 baktunes (each baktun is integrated by 400 years), when a creation cycle was completed. It is mentioned that when the date arrived, one of the deities that participated in the beginning of the present age, Bolon Yokte,’ would be invested in 4 Ajaw 8 Kumk’u, date that corresponds to August 13th 3114 BC.
The German epigraphist pointed out that this fact is linked to the history of the ancient city of Tortuguero, because in Monument 6, ruler Bahlam Ajaw (612-679 AD) is mentioned: “the mention of a future event when the 13th baktun is over, puts the Maya ruler in a mythic and historical narrative, connecting the beginning of the current era (4 Ajaw 8 Kum´ku) with his reflex in the future”.
The mention of Bolon Yokte’ in the text indicates that “It was evident for the Tortuguero City elite that they had to be prepared for the return of the god, being his host the ruler Bahlam Ajaw. Bolon Yokte’, deity linked to creation and war, could even be represented by governors”.
After the mention of the end of 13 baktunes, at Monument 6, the date 4 Ajaw 3 Kankin (December 21st 2012) is recorded as the beginning of a new era. Bolon Yokte´ would preside on that day with the shrine of Tortuguero as scenery, place where once such stele was placed.
“Arithmetic at the Maya calendar shows that the end of the 13th baktun was simply the end of a period and the transition to a new cycle, although the date is charged with symbolic values, such as the reflection about the day of creation”.
“The Lord at Tortuguero, Balam Ajaw, is represented as the guarantor of the temporary transition, supported by the patron deities. In the eternity, the investiture of Bolon Yokte’ to supervise the end of the 13th baktun is a small step for a god, and, not necessarily, a big one for humanity”, warned Gronemeyer at his lecture “The end is not close: the Maya calendar and the end of the 13th baktun according to Tortuguero, Tabasco perspective”.
Erik Velasquez, epigraphist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, when reflecting about the historical time at Maya inscriptions, emphasized that history, in the way we understand it to present as the narration of human events, was a minor preoccupation of Maya scribes.
“Scribes emphasized ritual acts over any other aspect of the life of nobility, so when studying inscriptions we can find complex relations between time, sculptures and buildings”, declared Velasquez.
He recalled that at Monument 6 of Tortuguero, the culminating moment is marked with the ritual dedication of the building that contained this inscription, in 669 of the Common Era. The text places this event in relation with the consecration of a steam bath more than 150 years before and the end of 13 baktunes that would happen in 2012.
“In the ancient Maya conception, time was built in the same way that sculptures and buildings: periods of time had conscience, will, personality and behaved like humans”, concluded Velasquez.