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No. 59: Sep-Oct 1988

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Stele With Unknown Glyphs Found Near Vera Cruz

A basalt stele found submerged in the Acula River, 40 miles southeast of Vera Cruz, Mexico, is "the most important stele found in America to date," says F.W. Capitaine, Director of the Jalapa Museum of Anthropology. The stele is 7.8 feet high, weighs 4 tons, and is adorned with 16 columns of glyphs.

"The Vera Cruz stele has the same enumeration symbols used by the Mayas -- small circles and bars -- which enabled Mr. Winfield to identify two dates among the hieroglyphics: May 22, 143, and July 13, 156.

"The remaining glyphs probably record events between those dates. Although there are 20 glyph types similar to the ones used by the Mayas, 100 more are new. The stone carries a total of 600 glyphs."

Winfield hopes that the newly found stele will help explain what happened during the transition between Olmec and Maya cultures. He thinks it possible that the stele is the product of a previously unrecognized civilization.

(Anonymous; "Inscribed Stone May Hold Secrets of Mexican Culture," Baltimore Sun, June 8, 1988.)

From Science Frontiers #59, SEP-OCT 1988. 1988-2000 William R. Corliss