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Mayan Calendar Similar to Ancient Chinese: Early Contact?


After reading this article, I don’t think that it really presents any truly revolutionary ideas in archaeology and history. Also, I don’t think that there is any real evidence that supports the idea that the Ancient Chinese made contact with the Ancient Maya. Here are some reasons why:

The primary evidence cited in this article for contact between the Chinese and the Maya seems to be focused on similarities between the calendar systems. For example, both the Chinese and Maya calendars include depictions of animals and the four elements (Chinese civilization includes wood). Even though one could argue that this demonstrates contact, it could also just be coincidence. Both the Chinese and Mayan civilization were both sophisticated and skilled at astronomy and calendar formation. They also both used logograms, however, if there really was contact between the two civilizations we would likely see the writing systems look similar to each other which doesn’t seem to be the case. The logograms of China don’t share great resemblance to the hieroglyphics of the Maya.

In order to really demonstrate that there was contact you will need to provide evidence such as DNA analysis. We know that during the Last Ice Age, there was a land bridge on the present-day Bering Strait. It was here that people came from Northeastern Asia and crossed into the Americas. This is demonstrated by evidence from DNA, artifacts, and the morphology of the early peoples in the Americas.

Further, if there really was any contact between the two civilizations we would likely see other artifacts that demonstrated they encountered each other. Context is key to archaeology and encounters with other cultures usually require several varieties of artifacts to be present at a site. Are there any Chinese tools in Mexico from the Ancient Chinese? Is there any maize or beans from the Maya in China? Are there similarities in architecture that demonstrate any groups influence on the other? Again, I don’t see enough artifacts that belong to the Ancient Chinese or the Ancient Maya that indicate any sort of contact.

I took a look at David H. Kelley’s bibliography and he is a well-respected archaeologist and epigrapher specializing in the Maya Civilization. However, I don’t find any evidence that suggests that he believes the Ancient Maya and the Ancient Chinese made contact with each other. If there really was contact between the two civilizations, wouldn’t most archaeologists know this? How could this be unknown to several different specialists? I recommend you look at some articles from Jason Colavito, Michael Coe, Kenneth Feder. These are some great professional archaeologists that you should look into reading.

I hope that you continue finding new information and be sure to think with a critical eye.