About this blog
Al Argueta loves Guatemala, and travels there often. This blog will update information found in his books, and also be a forum to answer reader questions about all things Guatemala.
- Dresden Codex May Yield Location of Maya Treasure
- A Room with a View
- Weekend en Guatemala
- Reflections on the 1996 Peace Accords
- New Flights to Guatemala City
- Alta Verapaz Under State of Siege
- A Very Important Message Regarding ATMs
- Antigua Guatemala Tones Down New Year's Celebration
- Pollo Campero Takes on Disney World
- Widespread Disgust at Murder of Anthropologist
- More Good Press for Guatemala
- Eight Found Guilty in Slaying of Salvadoran Diplomats
- Lake Atitlán to Host Film Festival
- Galerias La Pradera Gets a Facelift
- Former INGUAT Director Accused of Stealing $3.5 Million
Dresden Codex May Yield Location of Maya Treasure
A German expedition sponsored by Bild newspaper and composed of two reporters, two cameramen, and a divemaster headed by mathematician Joachim Rittsteig departed for Guatemala this week. Its mission: to find gold supposedly submerged at the bottom of Lake Izabal, the country's largest. Rittsteig claims to have deciphered the ancient Dresden Codex, one of only three codices (ancient Maya books) to have survived burning by Spanish conquerors. The other two codices are found in Paris and Madrid. According to Rittsteig, the Dresden codex places Lake Izabal as the site where the Maya hid 2,156 gold tablets engraved with their laws. The eight-ton-treasure has an estimated value of 211 million euros.
Rittsteig bases his claim on a translation of the Dresden Codex which describes the ancient Maya city of Atlan, found on Lake Izabal and destroyed in an earthquake October 30, 666 B.C. Satellite images of the lake point to the exact location of the ancient Maya city and even an ancient burial chamber where the gold may lie buried, according to Rittsteig.
Guatemalan authorities, meanwhile, have stepped up surveillance, particularly along the Rio Dulce access way connecting the lake to the Caribbean Sea, in an attempt to avoid an avalanche of treasure-seeking opportunists lured by the news. According to government entities, the expedition lacks the necessary permits and no applications for such documents have been submitted.