(ORDO NEWS) — An international team of archaeologists using aviation lidar discovered very special structures on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.
They were built thousands of years ago and specially aligned to the cardinal points for use as a 260-day calendar.
This sacred Mayan calendar was borrowed from an older civilization that lived in these places long before them.
Previous research has shown that civilizations living in Mesoamerica, including those on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, used the 260-day calendar as early as 300 to 200 BC. This is evidenced by the found fragments of gypsum painting.
In a new work, archaeologists have shown that this calendar is not only much older. It turned out that it was also very widespread in Mesoamerica. It is possible that this calendar was used by Mesoamerican civilizations before they could write.
Scientists took a lidar survey of the Gulf of Mexico coast. They found the remains of 415 ceremonial complexes built by the Olmecs or Maya.
Analysis of the complexes showed that they were aligned in such a way that they marked the rising and setting of the luminaries on certain days marked in the 260-day calendar.
The buildings date from between 1100 BC. and 250 AD.
Ancient peoples belonging to the Olmec society lived in parts of Mesoamerica as early as 3,500 years ago. Previous research has shown that after the decline of Olmec society, Maya culture emerged.
Inscriptions and documents made by the Maya describe, among other things, a 260-day calendar borrowed from the Olmecs.
The researchers note that the presence of such a calendar would have allowed ancient people to plan rituals, as well as coordinate agricultural activities.
They also note that some modern Mayan communities still use the 260-day calendar.
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