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Mexican experts nearly 1,000-year-old Maya text authentic

MEXICO CITY — Fifty-four years after it was sold by looters, an ancient Maya pictographic text has been judged authentic by scholars.

Mexico’s National Institute of History and Anthropology says it was made between 1021 and 1154 A.D. and is the oldest known pre-Hispanic text.

The 10 surviving pages of the tree-bark folding “book” will now be known as the Mexico Maya Codex. It had been known as the Grolier Codex.

A Mexican collector bought it in 1964, and it was first exhibited at the Grolier Club in New York in 1971.

Collector Josue Saenz returned the book to Mexican authorities in 1974.

The fact it was looted and had a simpler design than other surviving texts led some to doubt it. But the institute said Thursday tests proved its authenticity.