An ancient Mayan document was considered for a long time a forgery, but recent discoveries proved it to be actually genuine. The text is known as the Grolier Codex has been researched by scientists from Brown, Yale, University of California, Riverside and the results claim it to be a real thing.
The codex itself is a ten page document, consisting of Mayan ritual paintings and calendar which charts the movement of Venus. It dates back to the beginning of 13th century, which makes it the oldest surviving document from the Americas.
The codex is written on the amate paper, crafted from fig tree bark. The reason why it was believed to be forgery, is due to the circumstances it popped out in the late 60-s. At that time one of the collectors – Josue Saenz flew to a remote airstrip somewhere in the Mexican state of Chiapa, where he was met by a crew of looters. They were the ones to show him ancient Mayan text. According to looters, they found it in the dry cave along with few more artifacts, which included a wooden mask and a sacrificial knife. The artifacts were proved to be genuine.
The Grolier Codex was taken then to the Mexican National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico city, and you can see it even until now exactly there.
Unfortunately there were lots of discussions about the codex to be forgery and this became like a dogma which followed the artifact for decades. According to Dr. Stephen Houston from Brown University, there were many reasons why the document was considered forgery. But there are many other criteria to reconsider. First of all the codex was unveiled in the times when the whole Mayan documents were faked. Of course people had enough reasons to believe that this was another trick. In the 60-s there was like a boom of copied and faked Mayan documents.
The studies have shown that the codex had been radiocarbon fated to prove that the amate paper was actually from 13th century. The team has spent around two years on studying carefully all the pictures and photographs of all ten pages. According to the researches there are certain details of the God and system of writing numbers that have been revealed by archaeologists long after the time the codex showed up. If the codex was fake, it means that the faker in those times had an ability to look into future.
In addition to this discovery, the blue pigment used in the codex’s artwork could be faked not earlier than in 80-s, as the technology appeared just in that time. These are only few examples to show that it was impossible to forge the document in 60-s.
Now when the document is finally authenticated, Houston believes it should be removed from the museum and given reverence it deserves. As it is a national treasure – the oldest written book in the New World.