“December 22, 2012. If you’re watching this video, it means one thing: the world didn’t end yesterday,” this video begins. Yes, NASA is so confident the world won’t end that they released the video early. Pretty sassy for a bunch of earnest scientists.
Obit of the Day: Mayan Legend
Merle Robertson died at the age of 97. Among Meso-American archaeologists, she became one of the most influential individuals, male or female, in the field. Deciding to focus on Mexican and Central American ancient history rather than more “traditional” locations such as Egypt and Greece, gave Robertson a clean slate to begin her work in the 1940s.
For four decades she travelled to over 130 different ancient American archaeological sites, recording the incredible carvings of the Mayan people through rubbings (using a new technique that involved rice paper and ink), drawing (a skill she honed with help from her architect father and legendary Western artist, Charles Russell), and photography.
The importance of her work to the preservation of Mayan art and history was recognized by the Mexican government in 1993 when she was awarded the Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest award given to foreigners. (The medal looks as cool as the name suggests.)
Even without whips, guns, fedoras, and Nazis, archaeology is pretty awesome.
(Drawing of Mayan art is copyright Merle Green Robertson via alongdrive.com)