- IN THE MIDDLE PART OF THE 19TH CENTURY, the Europeans became
fascinated with the Mayan people and their grandiose structures that had been left standing, buried
deep in the modern day jungle. The question the experts were asking was, "Who Were
These People?". Eventually this fever spread to the U.S., as many American archaeologists
took it upon themselves the task to be the ONE to discover the Truth behind
these mysterious people, which they called the Maya, based on translations of the
Maya Glyphs left on their structures. But still till this day, no one can fully understand
why they abandoned their great cities about 600 hundred years ago..
Tikal is considered to be one of the most beautiful Mayan ruins in Guatemala
incredible structures and pyramids can be found here. On this morning, on August 2nd, we
find a research team exploring the site, having received special permission from the
The research team is from Dartsmouth College on the East Coast of
the U.S., a very prestigious school indeed. The team is led by Professor Harry Nielson,
a world reknown archaeologist and Mayan expert, now in his early forties. Besides being
on the faculty at the College, Professor Nielson is an accomplished writer and speaker,
and has had a number of articles published by professional trade magazines about the Maya.
Dartmouth was quite thrilled to have Professor Nielson accept their offer to be an
instructor at their school in 1965.
Professor Nielson is no newcomer to this part of the world, he has been involved in
numerous expeditions to Central America and Mexico and by this time had personally been
to over twenty different Mayan sites. Of course, one of his dreams is to be the
discover of a new Mayan ruin which so far has not been the case. From various contacts with
the local people, he had received a few leads, as the people re-counted some of their
older legends that within Tikal exists a special cache of treasures left by one of the
great rulers of the city, Caan Chac ("Stormy Sky"), 4th Century A.D.
Primarily the team consists of students with
a few other teaches from the History Department and local guides. One delightful addition
to the team is the professor's young daughter Jamie, 7 years old, who is the favorite of
one and all (she has a special magic about her even with the locals) as well as demonstration
of a fearless spirit that shines out for all to see.
The local people explain that there is a story told by their ancestors
of a powerful object, a skull made from pure quartz crystal
a tool of magical power,
convented by all Mayan rulers of the past but which now is lost. However, their legends
says when the crystal skull returns
then the Mighty Mayan will rise again. As Jamie
approaches her father, she sees that he has a very strange look on his face ...
ON THIS SPECIFIC DAY, JAMIE is getting bored of just entertaining herself
-- seeing the
same people and places around her
so she looks for her dad. We see her father conversing
with some of the local Mayan people as they are in front of a wall of one of the structures.
This wall features the writing of Maya, in their traditional glyphs and pict-o-grams which is of course
featured in all the known Mayan cities that have been uncovered so far. However on this day, the professor is
drawn to a specific image on this wall ... an image of a skull ... he can't take his eyes off it and inquires of the natives
what this image means. Actually the professor, normally a cool and calm individual, is getting quite
animated, which is what draws Jamie's attention, as she has never seen her father in this way.