The Maya civilization flourished in 250 to 950 AD (Classic Period) in southern Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, and El Salvador. The date of the earliest known stone calendars that were created by them is recorded on the Biblical Timeline Chart with World History starting in 400 BC. The Maya people built temples, markets, plazas, and palaces located in their great urban centers of Tikal, Chichen Itza, and Palenque. They used the Milpas system and grew corn, squash, beans, manioc, and chili peppers side by side in the same field. The Maya religion reflected their reliance on nature by their worship of gods such as Chaac (god of rain), Ah Mun (corn god), and Kinich Ahau (sun god).
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The Olmec people (1200-400 BC) were the first to develop the concept of a calendar in Mesoamerica. This was improved by the Maya people. Some of the earliest Long Count calendar monuments were found in Olmec-Maya archeological sites in Guatemala and Mexico. While others were found in Mexican sites, such as Chiapa de Corzo, Tres Zapotes, and La Mojarra.
The Maya made three additional calendars: the Haab’, Tzolk’in, and Calendar Round. The Haab’ was a practical 19-month calendar with 365 days in one solar year, and it had 18 months of 20 days, plus a 5-day intercalary month. Each month was also symbolized with a unique glyph.
The second calendar is the Tzolk’in which was a 260-day sacred calendar created for ritual purposes. It had thirteen Maya numbers and twenty days represented with glyphs of animals, objects, and events. These numbers and days were moved against each other every day until a complete 260-day cycle had passed.
The combination of Haab’ and Tzolk’in calendars was the Calendar Round, which will not repeat until the end of a 52-year cycle. For events longer than 52 years, the Maya people used the Long Count Calendar. The oldest Maya calendar (9th century) was discovered in 2012 in the Xultun archeological site in Guatemala. It contained murals, hieroglyphics, and astronomical calculations. Another stone calendar was found in an altar in Tikal archeological site.
Stark, Barbara L., and Philip J. Arnold. Olmec to Aztec: Settlement Patterns in the Ancient Gulf Lowlands. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1997
https://maya.nmai.si.edu/sites/default/files/resources/The Maya Calendar System.pdf
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