World won't end in 2012 after all, scientists say.
In the last known largely unexcavated Maya megacity, archaeologists have uncovered the only known mural adorning an ancient Maya house, a new study saysâ€”and it's not just any mural. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/12/111220-end-of-wor etc ...
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.What the team found, after a full excavation in 2011, is likely the ancient workroom of a Maya scribe, a record-keeper of XultÃºn.
"The reason this room's so interesting," said Rossi, as he crouched in the chamber late last year, "is that ... this was a workspace. People were seated on this bench" painting books that have long since disintegrated.
The books would have been filled with elaborate calculations intended to predict the city's fortunes. The numbers on the wall were "fixed tabulations that they can then refer toâ€”tables more or less like those in the back of your chemistry book," he added.
"Undoubtedly this type of room exists at every Maya site in the Late Classic [period] and probably earlier, but it's our only example thus far."