#mitúWORLD

Scientists Finally Confirmed The Authenticity Of The Oldest Book Mayan Book Ever Discovered

CREDIT: RT AMERICA / YOUTUBE

For years, scientists weren’t sure whether the Grolier Codex, a 600-year-old book supposedly written by the Mayans, was real or a very detailed fake. When the Spanish came to America, they thoroughly destroyed the Mayans’ written works, making it easier for Europeans to spread their religion and culture in the New World. As a result, pre-Columbian Mayan writings are exceedingly rare. So when this particular codex was discovered in the 1960s, researchers had several reasons to doubt its authenticity.

If real, the Grolier Codex would be the oldest surviving book in the new world, and only the fourth surviving pre-Columbian Mayan work ever discovered.

CREDIT: NEW YORK TIMES / ACADEMIA

The book surfaced when “pothunters,” looters who sold antiquities for profit, sold it to Dr. Josué Sáenz in 1965. Because it was “discovered” by looters, researchers were doubtful that the book was legitimate, but they kept it safe so they could do the proper research. After many years of scrutiny and doubt, advancements in dating technology made it possible for researchers to prove the validity of the book. In late 2015, scientists were finally able to put their money where their mouth was.

Researchers put the book’s creation at 1230, C.E., meaning the Grolier Codex is well over 700 years old.

CREDIT: ELECTRIC SCIENCE NEWS / YOUTUBE

Before modern radiocarbon dating techniques, researchers only had a few clues pointing in the direction of the Grolier Codex’s authenticity. The materials and pigment used to create the prints suggested it was real, but a good forger could easily replicate these things. And when you consider the Grolier Codex’s dubious discovery (looters found it in a cave near Tortuguero), anything less than a rigorous scientific confirmation would lead researchers to doubt. Though some debate still exists around the document’s validity, historical heavyweight Smithsonian has endorsed the document after the latest round of testing.

So what is the Grolier Codex?

CREDIT: ELECTRIC SCIENCE NEWS / YOUTUBE

The document was named after the venue where it was first displayed: the Grolier Club in New York. The 11-page artifact offered a glimpse into how much astrology affected Maya religion. As Dr. Michael D. Coe told the New York Times in 1971, “The Codex shows us for the first time that the Mayas considered all four phases of the Venus cycle to be equally malevolent and threatening to human welfare.” Thanks to the efforts of the scientific community, scientists have finally given back some of the history that was so violently taken from Mayan culture.


READ: Scientists Just Discovered 500-Year-Old Mexican Manuscript

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Thanks To Disrespectful And Maskless Tourists, Authorities Have Closed Down Chichén Itzá

Things That Matter

Thanks To Disrespectful And Maskless Tourists, Authorities Have Closed Down Chichén Itzá

Fresh on the heels of Spring Break travelers from the United States, Mexico is facing another surge in tourism as Mexicans celebrate Semana Santa. The week long vacation period is traditionally the countries busiest travel season as residents flee the cities for the beaches and popular tourist attractions like Chichen Itza

However, thanks to the pandemic, this year is obviously going to look very different. Even though travelers are required to wear masks in public places, many travelers are ignoring this common-sense safety measure and putting lives at risk.

Mexican authorities have decided to close the popular Mayan temple complex of Chichén Itzá after local officials expressed frustration Friday about tourists not wearing face masks. Police in the Yucatan state of Quintana Roo have been angry as they patrol the streets of the popular resort of Tulum, reminding people to wear masks and criticizing how few people did.

“It is regrettable to see how undisciplined things have become,” said Lucio Hernández Gutiérrez. “It was truly frustrating to see hundreds of people walking around without face masks,” noting that tourists were the worst offenders.

“It really is embarrassing that we have to get to this point of asking people [to wear masks] when we should be conscious of the risks we face,” he told ABC News.

Federal authorities took the steps to close the attraction, at least from April 1-4, to avoid the possible spread of the coronavirus. The sprawling temple complex is Mexico’s second-most visited archaeological site and usually draws about 1.8 million visitors a year.

A popular natural attraction in the state of Oaxaca, known as Hierve el Agua, was closed by the local community indefinitely out of fear for the virus but also that the tourism to the site wasn’t benefiting the local community.

And for the second year in a row, Latin America’s most famous reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ will be held without spectators in Mexico City. The multi-day ceremony will be broadcast instead,

The spectacle had drawn about 2 million spectators in recent years, but authorities said such big crowds would be too risky during the pandemic.

The detailed performance has played out in the borough of Iztapalapa since 1843, but was closed to the public in 2020 for the first time in 177 years because of the virus. It was first performed in 1843 after a cholera outbreak threatened the then-rural hamlet.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Mexico City Celebrates Its 500th Birthday Amid A Pandemic And Mounting Violence

Culture

Mexico City Celebrates Its 500th Birthday Amid A Pandemic And Mounting Violence

Most of us are looking to 2021 with optimism, but for Mexico, this upcoming year won’t just be about saying goodbye to 2020. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) says 2021 will be the “year of independence and greatness” for Mexico, celebrating not only 500 years since the founding of Mexico City, but also 200 years since Mexico achieved its independence from Spain.

As Mexico City turns 500, the city faces many challenges and reasons to celebrate.

Pretty much the entire world was waiting for 2021 to arrive, so that we could all say adiós to 2020. But few places were as eager to welcome 2021 as Mexico was.

You see, it was in 1321 that the ancient city of Tenochtitlan (modern day Mexico City) was founded by the Aztecas, in 1521 the city was conquered and rebuilt by Spanish conquistadors, and in 1821 the nation gained independence from Spain. So you can see why 2021 is such a major year for Mexico.

President AMLO presented a plan to commemorate two centuries of Mexico’s Independence, the 700th anniversary of the founding of Mexico-Tenochtitlan and the 500th anniversary of the fall of the city that became the country’s capital city.

“Next year is the year of the Independence and the greatness of Mexico,” the president said, joined by Mexico City Head of Government Claudia Sheinbaum. In a detailed report on the year’s celebrations, IMSS head Zoé Robledo pointed out that the whole program includes 12 national events including tributes to national heroes, commemoration of relevant dates, exhibitions, parades and the traditional Independence celebration known as El Grito. Other events and celebrations are also expected in 65 cities across 32 states, starting on Feb. 14 in Oaxaca and ending on Sept. 30 in Michoacán.

The nation’s capital has been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and faces other serious challenges.

Like many major cities, Mexico City has been severely impacted by the pandemic. It’s the epicenter of the health crisis in Mexico with more than 500,000 confirmed cases and nearly 25,000 deaths. In recent weeks, hospital occupancy has surpassed 90% meaning there’s little to no room for people to be treated. Meanwhile, the government has come under fire for a lack of any economic security to those who have been forced to go without work as the city of more than 20 million people was placed under lockdown. 

In addition to the health crisis, a growing issue of cartel violence has plagued parts of the capitol – a city once thought immune to the cartel wars that rage in other corners of the country. In 2020, violence in the capital broke records with brazen attacks on elected officials and bloody turf wars between long standing gangs and the Cártel Jalisco Nueva Generación.

But the city also has many reasons to be optimistic in 2021.

Mexico City remains the epicenter of progressivism in the country and that can be seen in the many policies put forward in recent months. With a focus on protecting women’s safety and health and empowering the LGBTQ community, Mexico City is emerging as a safe space for some of the country’s most maligned citizens. 

The city is also undergoing a rapid transformation to a greener society with bans on single-use plastics and a move towards greener policies. From the city’s southern districts to its historical center, the city is also seeing major beautification works to help increase its draw to international tourists – of whom the city has come to rely on for the much needed tourist dollar.

“2021 will be a remarkable year for the city — a city that welcomes all and provides a home for people of all ages and nationalities, which has resulted in a unique cultural hybrid,” says Paulina Feltrin, director of marketing and communications at The St. Regis Mexico City. “I hope this becomes another reason for international and domestic travelers to come celebrate with us.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com