Bob Yirka is a research scientist at Phys.org.
In a paper published in the journal Science Advances, four people describe how they were able to see the alignment of ancient structures. They talk about how these structures could have been used.
The written evidence was found on plaster mural fragments.
Researchers suspected that the calendar had been developed long before people were able to write it down. The researchers found that the calendar was made thousands of years ago using large structures.
The work involved pointing equipment at the ground from a plane. The researchers were able to see the remains of ceremonial complexes. The alignment of the structures was noted by the rising and setting of the stars on certain days. Most of the angles of the complexes were east to west, which would correspond to the rising and setting of stars. Between 1100 B.C. and 250 A.D., the structures were built.
The Olmec society lived in parts of Mexico and Central America as far back as 3,350 years ago. The decline of the Olmec society is believed to have led to the development of the Maya culture. The Mayas had a 260-day calendar.
The researchers note that having a calendar would have allowed ancient people to plan rituals. The 260-day calendar is used by some modern Maya communities.
Evidence from the Olmec and Maya regions can be found in Ivan prajc and his colleagues. There is a book titled "Sci Adv.abq7675."
Journal information: Science Advances
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