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Maya wall calendar discovered

Ancient astronomical records found on room’s painted walls

Astronomical tables dating to the golden age of Maya civilization have unexpectedly come to light on the walls of a roughly 1,200-year-old room in Guatemala.

Hieroglyphs and numbers painted on the stucco walls of a structure built during the Classic Maya civilization record cycles of the moon, and possibly Mars, Venus and Mercury, say Boston University archaeologist William Saturno and his colleagues. Excavations in 2010 and 2011 at Xultun, a Maya site first described in 1915, revealed that painted murals once covered three of the room’s inside walls and its vaulted ceiling.

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