“Q” MARKS THE “X” SPOT.
Ó By Ric Polansky
Like every good treasure map it is of little value unless there is an “X” to indicate where the treasure is. Anthropologists excavating deep in the Peten jungles of Guatemala have been searching for more than 25 years for a mysterious city called “Q”. In Spanish the word “Que” is an interjection meaning “what” or “where”. In fact “Q” is the mysterious place where many ancient artifacts and Mayan relics have been emerging on clandestine markets. Archeologists simply wanted to know where this mysterious city was that contributed to all the object d'art that were filling up the museums. The particular artistic style and conjectures on design and historical format meant most certainly, profoundly hidden in the jungle, a lost city existed that could lead to a more complete understanding of the Mayan civilization.
If all the artifacts concerning the mysterious Mayan culture that seems to have vanished, could be collected in one specific large room, then maybe some analysis could be garnered about their history. “Q” might prove to be part of the missing link that helped define the newly evolving Classic Mayan culture of the 7th century A.D.
The discovery just a few months ago by Marcelo A. Canuto, an Archeologist from Yale University, might have turned the tide of learning in favor of the academias instead of the looters. He seems to have located a place in the North Western section of Guatemala inside the Luna del Tigre National Park, and only 20 miles from the temple ruins of Waka (called El Peru today by its local inhabitants).
Although the Mayan culture might not interest the neophyte reader to the subject, let me astound you with some surprising facts: Which culture built the biggest pyramids in the world? Well, it wasn’t the Egyptians. The great pyramid of Keops in Egypt is surpassed by the Mayans in a place called El Mirador, a mere five day strenuous jungle trek from the nearest civilized jumping off point to get there. Still not fully uncovered yet measurements have shown it is higher than some 18 stories and a bigger base than Egypt too.
Site “Q” is now believed to have been discovered by Dr. Canuto and his assistant Mr. Guenter, who made their find aided by support from the National Geographic Society. He said, “I looked into a trench where looters had obviously dug through to the interior of a temple. They had stripped the open trenches bare, its former contents presumably all becoming some sort of goods of illicit trade. Stepping into the interior of the temple I came upon 2 stones of a monument which measured 40 by 14 inches.”
There he immediately saw the lines and marks etched into the gray limestone that confirmed his belief that the site was in fact that of the ruler Chak Naahb Kaan, and the date of the hieroglyphics came to October 25th 677.
New York Times writer John Noble Wilford quotes Dr. David Freidel, a Maya archaeologist at S.M.U. who is a leader of the nearby Waka Excavations, supported the interpretation in an interview. "This is substantial evidence that this is Site "Q", he said, adding with admiration, "Marcello was touched by the gods."
So starts the Guatemalan adventure of looking for the Chinese connection to the Mayan enigma. As you read these few lines I am in the forests of the Peten jungle, the heart of the ancient culture.
The Spanish turned late to this country as it had no rumors of gold, silver or any importance for being conquered. In 1521 Hernan Cortez sent his trusted, handsome and psychopathic Captain Pedro de Alvarado to triumph over the Indians. Again the strategy of divide and conquer was used, allying himself with other tribes for their information to win-- then turned on them. He tortured, sacked and ran rampage over the entire area. His later descendents continued to do so too. Within less than a generation more that 75% of the Indians population was buried in the region that Alvarado’s Mexican mercenaries referred to as Iximche, “Land of Many Trees” --Guatemala.
Just two years ago a tourist and his driver were beaten to death for taking photographs of little children. Eighty-five percent of the children are born out of wedlock, 23% of the populace ladinos (of mixed Spanish and Indian descent), twenty-two different languages in the country are spoken and more gods and demons than stars in the sky. This should be a fun trip going back in time to the ancient Mayan’s who still rule the jungle forest of today.