An ancient Mayan document long thought to be a forgery was recently found to be genuine. The text, known as the Grolier Codex, was analyzed by researchers from Yale, Brown, and the University of California, Riverside, and, according to their results, is the real thing.
The codex—a ten page document consisting of Mayan deity/ritual paintings and a calendar that charts the movement of Venus—dates back to the first half of the 13th century, making it the oldest surviving document from the Americas.Consisting of amate paper made from fig tree bark, the codex was widely believed to be a forgery partially due to the circumstances in which it turned up back in the late 60’s.
The story goes that collector Josue Saenz was flown to a remote airstrip somewhere in the Mexican state of Chiapa, where a crew of looters met him. They showed him the ancient Mayan text, claiming to have found it in a dry cave along with several other artifacts including a wooden mask and sacrificial knife (all which later proved genuine).