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Archaeologists Find Oldest Known Mayan Calendar 185

sciencehabit writes "A team of American researchers has discovered a small trove of ancient Mayan texts in a surprising place. In a paper published online today in Science, researchers report finding Mayan astronomical tables and other texts painted and incised on the walls of a 1200-year-old residential building at the site of Xultún in Guatemala. The newly discovered astronomical tables are at least 500 years older than those preserved in the Maya codices, giving researchers a new glimpse of science at the height of the Maya civilization. 'I think we are all astonished by this find,' says Stephen Houston, an archaeologist at Brown University who was not part of the team."
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Archaeologists Find Oldest Known Mayan Calendar

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2012 @01:27AM (#39963419)

    Interesting. I was not aware that there was any significant number of such statues left outside of tombs after the Christian fanatics smashed the faces off the idols, dragged the priests out into the streets, and killed them, centuries before Islam was even founded.

    To put it more plainly: I think you might be confusing christians and muslims.

  • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Friday May 11, 2012 @07:51AM (#39965067)
    I'm no Christian, but I think it's safe to say that regardless of history, you've got some easy things to compare and contrast today. There are plenty of backwards minded Christians. But they are totally eclipsed - in numbers and actions - by medieval-minded Muslim BS. Plenty of Christians have - historically - killed those who didn't share their flavor of mysticism, because of that difference. That really doesn't happen any more, and no leaders in any numbers or of any consequence within that broad swath of culture either call for or defend religion-based aggression for its own sake. Compared to Islam, which has a very vocal sub-group that rants endlessly about killing peope for not being Muslim or the right flavor of Islamic, and who inspire people who then run out and do exactly that. I'm not seeing large armed Christian movements that burn school teachers alive for teaching girls to read, though I'm seeing large, well-financed Islamist movements that do exactly that, and which are not condemned in any serious way by the wider Muslim community.

    It's useful to examine history, but also worth remembering that history isn't what's happening right now. Some cultures have moved past medieval theo-thugocracy, and other cultures are reaching backwards towards it as an ideal, and actually acting on that, killing people every day with that in mind.
  • And yet extreme Muslims still went ahead and started destroying these artefacts contrary to world and Muslim leaders. Granted, the P got the origin wrong, but the essence of the statement still has merit. Leaders, from whatever group, eventually reap what they sow. There is enough Muslim radicalism that at some point, it will be taken so far that the same leaders who condemn are the one's responsible for feeding that type of action (I wanted to say hate...maybe).

    Look at the US and the current Republican party. The leaders set about to make Obama a one term president which was fertiliser for the budding Tea Party. 2010 was the storm clouds on the horizon of the Grand Old Party, 2012 may be the storm that does major damage for seat after seat is going to TP candidates and their extreme, almost destructive action in congress. So now leaders try to say one one hand "Stop, this is not the way to govern", yet continue the fan the flames by exclaiming provocative statements to the press, even on area of agreement.

    Once you start a ball rolling downhill, the path is out of your control. You cannot stop it by crying "Please, don't roll any more", but only by destroying the ball or getting directly in its way...even then you'd most likely be crushed.

Nothing is finished until the paperwork is done.