Uxmal: Deep inside the jungle of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, near the pre-hispanic city of Uxmal, a team of archeologist from the university of Boston in collaboration with local archeologists from the University of Mexico, have uncovered yet another pyramidal structure estimated to be 1,100 years old. But even more surprisingly enough, satellite imagery confirmed the existence of a secret chamber where the team found thousands of mayan codices, a discovery that could shatter previous views and shed a new light on our understanding of mayan culture and the sudden and tragic destruction of their civilization.
Professor Jenny Rothsgard from the research team from Boston was in for a huge surprise when she fell first hand on the codices, which only three copies remain in the world today. "Most copies were burned during the Spanish conquest" she concedes. "Most of them were destroyed by Bishop Diego de Landa in July of 1562. They were deemed diabolical at the time by the authorities, who burned all copies. For a long time, archeologists were hoping that a mayan ruler might have hid some from the spaniards. This might just be our luck!" she adds, very enthusiast.
"If these are proven to be authenticated by carbon dating, this could be the find of the century" explains world renown expert on mayan writing, Dr. Pizarro, from University of Mexico. "They seem to have been made of similar material as the original ones, that is of the bark of the amate, or wild fig tree, which the Nahuatl people called huun. Yet scientific tests will prove without an inch of a doubt if we are in the presence of the real deal or if these are forgeries" he adds.
Forgeries have been known to have been made in the 20th century. Two elaborate forged codices were in the possession of William Randolph Hearst, a private collector. Even though the debate still fires on today as to the authenticity of the these two last mentioned codices, chances are that the newly found ones have a good probability of being real, explains expert John H. Rawls.
"The emplacement of the ruin, which is totally out of reach today for most humans, hidden behind the thick foliage of the Yucatan jungle, makes it more probable that these are authentic documents. Possibly hid here by an ancient mayan ruler who feared, and for a good reason, the ultimate destruction of these historically and culturally significant documents" he concludes.