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David Stuart Deciphers Meaning of Newly Discovered Maya Monument

Posted: July 12, 2012

UT Professor of Art History David Stuart was among a team of archaeologists who recently discovered a Maya stone in Guatemala that makes a second reference to December 21, 2012. Dr. Stuart recognized the date reference among fifty-six glyphs that were carved on the stone block. 

The date has commonly been interpreted as a prophecy about the end of the world, but the glyph indicates a different interpretation. "It was a time of great political turmoil in the Maya region, and this king felt compelled to allude to a larger cycle of time that happens to end in 2012," says Dr. Stuart. 

The findings, made in conjunction with Marcello Canuto of Tulane and Tomás Barrientos of the Universidad del Valle Guatemala, are the latest from more than fifteen years of exploration at La Corona, a Maya ruins site in northwest Guatemala. 

Dr. Stuart is the David and Linda Schele Professor of Mesoamerican Art and Writing and Director of the Mesoamerica Center at the University of Texas at Austin. He is author of The Order of Days: The Maya World and the Truth about 2012. The Mesoamerica Center will be featured in the upcoming issue of Portal magazine, due out in September 2012. 

For the full story of the discovery, visit the Public Affairs website.

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