Copyright date: 2007
Publication date: 2007
By Donald N. Yates
Journal kept by author on month-long visit to Ek Balam, Merida, Chichen Itza, Valladolid and other sites in Yucatan.
From the first page . . .
Why Yucatan? I think because of its mystery. I know little about Maya culture or history. Does anyone? All my efforts to learn more seem to have been stifled by the obtuseness of the books I’ve read – witness one called A Forest of Kings. Traveling there has only compounded my confusion. The Maya may as well have been dropped into place fublly formed from the moon. Stephen Jett, wearer of Barry Fell’s mantle, told me matter-of-factly that Quiché was a form of Chinese. The author of Voyages of the Pyramid Builders agrees in principle, arguing that the start of Mexico’s Olmec civilization lies in the arrival of refugees from the expiring Shang Dynasty about 1600 B.C.E. The Chinese thus set the tone for all subsequent civilizations in Mexico, Central and South America. Maya hieroglyphics, for instance, were based on the same rectangular template of Chinese pictogram writing. Mexican weights and measures reflect Chinese standards. The double-geared calendar of Teotihuacan, the Toltecs and the Maya is similar to the Chinese system of reckoning. I will be interested to see if I catch any perceptibly Chinese flavor in my observations this time. It may be the whole key to understanding the Maya. Perhaps they are wrapped inscrutably behind a double mystery.