Mayan ‘apocalypse’ codex goes on display
The famous Dresdner Codex, one of the original Mayan books that set the end of the Mayan calendar on December 21, 2012, went on display in Dresden on Friday as part of an exhibition on the apocalyptic prophecy.
The 78-page book, also known as the Codex Dresdensis, which has been in the eastern German town since 1739, is being exhibited for the next few months in the Book Museum of the Saxon State Library.The codex consists of 39 leaves made of bark, each around 20 centimetres long, encased in wooden lids and wrapped in jaguar hide. It is thought to have been written and illustrated in several phases the 13th century – when the high period of Mayan culture had already been dead for at least four centuries – by up to eight authors.
Despite the distance, researchers believe the book’s authors had access to and could easily read the old Mayan texts.
The codex is thought to have been sent to Europe in 1520 by Hernán Cortés, a Spanish conquistador who conquered the Aztec empire. He sent shiploads of treasure to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, who kept the gold and left the books to rot in the archives.
According to a report in Die Welt daily, the codex was rediscovered 200 years later in the possession of Viennese citizen by Johann Christian Götze, court librarian at the royal library of Saxony in Dresden. He bought it, but it took two more generations before researchers began deciphering it.
read more at www.thelocal.de