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A new book, Astronomy in the Maya Codices, claims that the ancient Maya accurately predicted astronomical phenomena centuries in advance, including a (relatively) recent eclipse:

Anthropologist husband-wife team, Harvey and Victoria Bricker have devoted their lives to understanding the pre-Columbian Maya and how they understood the world around them. The Brickers conducted most of their work by translating complex hieroglyphics to see what Mayan scribes felt was most important to record on parchment.

By decoding early Mayan hieroglyphics from four different codices housed in Madrid, Paris, Mexico and Dresden, the Brickers tracked how the night sky would have looked to the Mayans when they were alive.

…The Brickers translated the dates cited in the Mayan calendar to correspond with our calendar and then used modern knowledge of planetary orbits and cycles to line up the Maya’s data with ours. It was surprisingly accurate.

In fact, the Brickers found the astronomical calendar dated to the 11th or 12th century accurately predicted a solar eclipse to within a day in 1991, centuries after the Mayan civilization had ended. The 1991 eclipse occurred on July 11.

Okay, so after the whole 2012 thing, I guess the Maya are now 1 from 2…

Read the full story at Livescience.