Archaeologists in northern Guatemala have found the oldest evidence of the Mayan calendar.
Two painted pieces of masonry according to them, they come from the pre-Columbian site of San Bartolo from the years around 300 to 200 BC, so far the oldest evidence of the Mayan calendar is from the period around 100 BC. This is stated in a study published in the journal NewScientistreported by the daily El País.
The San Bartolo site is unique due to the murals in the local pyramid, which some therefore call the Mayan Sistine Chapel. Thousands of fragments of masonry from the pyramid called Las Pinturas (Paintings) have been studied by a team of experts for ten years. Thanks to the radiocarbon method, he also identified the age of the two pieces, on which there is a dot and a line above the deer’s head. According to them, the fragments were part of a calendar that was 260 days old between 200 and 300 BC.
“It simply came to our notice then. We believe that these pieces were part of the Mayan calendar and marked the seventh day of the deer, “said one of the study’s authors, David Stuart of the University of Texas. “The pieces come from a place that probably served as an astronomical observatory or as an architectural clock,” Stuart added.
The ancient ancestors of today’s Maya, who live in southern Mexico in the Yucatan region and parts of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Belize, built an advanced civilization that experienced its greatest prosperity around 250 to 900. They also had a very sophisticated timekeeping system based on astronomical observations. They used several calendars for different purposes, and their calendar was actually an intertwining of several cycles that were constantly repeated. They had a solar year (haab) with 365 days for common use and a sacred year (tzolk’in) for divinatory purposes – it had 260 days. These cycles met after 18,980 days (52 years) and it all started again.Read also Astronomers have measured the largest comet to date, with a core of 130 kilometers
At the end of longer cycles, the Maya expected a catastrophe, which could be just as much a war as a drought, a flood, or a mare raid. However, their concept was not about extinction, but about transformation into a new cycle. From the imaginary interpretations of the Mayan calendar, some in modern history have already determined the end date of the world several times. The last time, according to some interpretations, was to be December 21, 2012.
Source: Pravda – Veda a technika by vat.pravda.sk.
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