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Stolen Hieroglyphic Blocks From Ancient Mayan City Returned – End of the World Mayan Calendar in Symbols 2nd Sighting

November 7, 2012

Stolen Hieroglyphic Blocks From Ancient Mayan City Returned – End of the World Mayan Calendar in Symbols 2nd Sighting

Guatemala recovers three hieroglyphic blocks after looters raided the ancient Mayan city of Corona and sold the stolen merchandise to private collections.

Full story:

Guatemalan authorities have recovered three limestone blocks with hieroglyphic inscriptions. They come from Mayan ruins at La Corona in Guatemala.

The blocks had been looted and taken out of the country.

Guatemalan archaeologists said the recovery of the blocks will allow them to re-build a staircase discovered earlier this year. It had that had been stripped bare by looters.

[Dr. Tomas Barrientos, Co-Director, La Corona Archaeological Site]:
“The staircase blocks that we discovered this year are of the same size, the same format, and from the same time, so they form a continuous text that has allowed us to place them. This is a very important addition to what had already been discovered.”

With the return of the three blocks, Guatemalan archaeologists now have 18 of 22 known blocks which made up the staircase at La Corona.

The Guatemalan vice-minister of Cultural and Natural Heritage, said that the blocks are of enormous financial value.

[Maria Chan, Vice-Minister of Cultural and Natural Heritage]:
“This is part of our cultural heritage, and we recognize it has value. It has important economic value for collectors. It doesn’t have that much of an economic value for academics. Collector’s desire grows, facilitating the demand for archaeological objects, which they see more as works of art than we do, as we see it as part of our heritage. That leads to many people looting.”

Smuggling has been rampant in the area since the 1960s. Back then looters raided the buried temples at La Corona and sold the stolen merchandise to private collections.

In June, archaeologists at La Corona announced they discovered the second-known reference to the so-called “end date” of the Mayan calendar.

It was on the newly-uncovered 1300 year-old panels at the site, one of the most significant hieroglyphic discoveries in decades.

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