Mexican experts: nearly 1,000-year-old Maya text authentic

Mexico's National Anthropology and History Institute says it was made between 1021 and 1154 A.D., is the oldest known pre-Hispanic text, and will now be known as the "Mexico Maya Codex." (INAH/AP)
Updated 02 September 2018
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Mexican experts: nearly 1,000-year-old Maya text authentic

  • The 10 surviving pages of the tree-bark folding “book” will now be known as the Mexico Maya Codex
  • The fact that it was looted and had a simpler design than other surviving texts had led some to doubt its authenticity

MEXICO CITY: Fifty-four years after it was sold by looters, an ancient Maya pictographic text was judged authentic by scholars Thursday.
Mexico’s National Institute of History and Anthropology said the calendar-style text was made between 1021 and 1154 A.D. and is the oldest known pre-Hispanic document.
The 10 surviving pages of the tree-bark folding “book” will now be known as the Mexico Maya Codex. It had been known as the Grolier Codex. It may have originally had 20 pages, but some were lost after centuries in a cave in southern Chiapas state.
It contains a series of observations and predictions related to the astral movement of Venus. Mayan texts are written in a series of syllabic glyphs, in which a stylized painted figure often stands for a syllable.
A Mexican collector bought it in 1964, and it was first exhibited at the Grolier Club in New York in 1971.
Collector Josue Saenz returned the book to Mexican authorities in 1974.
The fact that it was looted and had a simpler design than other surviving texts had led some to doubt its authenticity.
“Its style differs from other Maya codex that are known and proven authentic,” the institute said in a statement. About three other later Maya “books” survived an attempt by Spanish conquerors to destroy Mayan artifacts in the 1500s.
But the institute said Thursday that because the book was written so early, it had been created in an era of relative poverty compared to the other works. It said a series of chemical tests proved the authenticity of the pages and the pre-Hispanic inks used to write it.
While previous studies had supported the authenticity of the text, it was the end of decades of doubts for the book.
“For a long time, critics of the codex said the style wasn’t Mayan and that it was ‘the ugliest’ of them in terms of figures and color,” said institute researcher Sofia Martinez del Campo. “But the austerity of the work is explained by its epoch, when things are scarce one uses what one has at hand.”


Blake Lively makes a surprise trip to Abu Dhabi

Updated 19 November 2018
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Blake Lively makes a surprise trip to Abu Dhabi

  • Blake Lively is the wife of Ryan Reynolds who is currently shooting a film in the UAE capital
  • The pair were spotted at various locations across the city by excited fans while Reynolds posted photos of Lively and the crew enjoying dinner in Abu Dhabi

DUBAI: Hollywood actress and style icon Blake Lively jetted into Abu Dhabi over the weekend to pay her equally famous heartthrob husband, Ryan Reynolds, a visit as he shoots scenes for action movie “6 Underground.”

The pair were spotted at various locations across the city by excited fans while Reynolds posted photos of Lively and the crew enjoying dinner in Abu Dhabi on his Instagram stories.

Reynolds, Latin actress Adria Arjona and a host of other famous faces will be in the city for 30 days to shoot scenes for the Netflix/Skydance Media film.

Arjona took to Instagram to post a series of snaps from the UAE, including shots of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The star, who is best known for her role in the HBO television series “True Detective,” is joined in the film by actors Ben Hardy, Lior Raz, Mélanie Laurent, Corey Hawkins and Manuel Rulfo.

There are more than 300 cast and crew in the country working under award-winning director Michael Bay, whose portfolio includes “Bad Boys,” “Armageddon,” the “Transformer” franchise and “The Rock.”

The cast will shoot at four locations, including the Liwa desert, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ras Al-Khaimah.

 “Shooting in Abu Dhabi is going to be one of the highlights of this production, although you’ll have to wait until the movie hits Netflix to find out why,” Reynolds said in a public statement last week.

“We’ve only been here a few days so far, but the welcome from everyone has been amazing and I can’t wait to explore Abu Dhabi more.”

The movie’s production team includes more than 100 Abu Dhabi-based production specialists, who are working closely with media zone twofour54, which is providing production services.

This is just the latest in a string of blockbusters to use Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE as a location.

Others have included the comedy “War Machine,” starring Brad Pitt, in 2015.

In a statement, Michael Bay said: “Abu Dhabi is a unique place to make a movie, with a lot of great looks.  It’s got the diversity and architecture I need in front of the camera, plus the professional facilities, crew and infrastructure to back it up.  I’m very excited to be shooting here over the next few weeks.