Discovery of Earliest Known Record of Mayan Calendar

Historians in the News
tags: archaeology, Mayans, Mesoamerican History

 A team of archaeologists has discovered the earliest known record of the Mayan calendar system. Among them was an art history professor from the University of Texas at Austin.

The team's findings were published in "Science Advances" on April 13, and focus on a fragment found at the Las Pinturas pyramid archaeological site in San Bartolo, Guatemala.

David Stuart is an art history professor and director of The Mesoamerica Center at UT. He was part of identifying the fragment, which he told The Daily Texan comes from a 260-day calendar system used by indigenous groups in Mesoamerica that is still in use today. 

Stuart said researchers have recovered thousands of fragments from painted murals from the Las Pinturas site over the past 20 years, including the fragment from the recent discovery.

"They’re using this calendar and they’re using it in this temple that was modified over the centuries," Stuart told the paper. "It’s the same calendar system many Maya people today are still using, without interruption."


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