The Mayan civilization is one of the oldest civilizations in the history and culture of Central America. This civilization lasted for more than 2,500 years. Therefore, expeditions are always interested in exploring the areas that contain traces of this civilization.

Important archaeological murals

The San Bartolo site in Guatemala is one of these important archaeological sites that were discovered in 2001;

Archaeological excavations at this site have revealed a number of important wall paintings dating back to between 400 and 200 BC.

These archaeological excavations were compiled from a single archaeological structure consisting of a pyramid - known as Las Pinturas - with 7 terraces and several auxiliary structures. These multicolored frescoes included examples of hieroglyphs used by the ancient Mayans.

However, a recent study published in the journal Science Advances on April 13 indicated that one of these murals - consisting of two pieces - bears a hieroglyphic date, which is the oldest evidence of the calendar used by the Mayan civilization.

It is reported that the Mayan civilization destroyed the pyramid of "Las Pinturas" and built it 7 times from 400 BC to AD 100, which resulted in a number of frescoes dating back to different times.

Therefore, scientists used radiocarbon dating to determine a specific time range for the discovered mural, and the results showed that the age of this mural ranges between 300 to 200 BC.

The Mayan civilization destroyed the pyramid of "Las Pinturas" and built it 7 times (Reuters)

Old and perpetual calendar

The Mayan calendar, which consisted of 260 days, was widely used in ancient Mesoamerica, as this calendar identified one of 20 names for each day, in which symbols including "deer" and numbers from 1 to 13 were used to describe these days.

The unearthed mural shows a picture of a deer's head and a Mayan symbol referring to the number "7".

Scholars believe that this glyph refers to the calendar of one of the days of the Mayan "calendar" (record of days of the year), and thus this mural was given the name "7 Deer".

But this calendar did not hold for 1800 years only during the Mayan eras that preceded the Spanish occupation of these areas, but it has continued to this day;

The indigenous peoples of Guatemala and southern Mexico still use this calendar.

According to the report published by Science News, "The use of this calendar throughout this period of time attests to the continuity of the Mayan intellectual culture," according to David Stewart, the study leader from the University of Texas at Austin. at Austin).

The mural shows an image of a deer head and a Mayan symbol referring to the number 7 (Reuters)

A civilization interested in time

However, this calendar is not the only one of its kind, but the Mayan civilization used 4 calendars, which indicates that this civilization was very interested in controlling time, and then they found elaborate ways to keep track of timing.

The 260-day calendar is known as the Tzolkʼin calendar, and was used by the Maya to predict as well as to keep festive dates.

"This calendar is the only one that survived the civil wars in Guatemala from 1960 to 1996," Stewart added, in what he told Live Science.

In addition, there were other Mayan calendars, including the solar calendar, which lasted 365 days, the lunar calendar, and the long-counting calendar.


The authors of the study state that the "7 Monastery" mural may represent the oldest known evidence so far of the Mayan peoples' use of this religious calendar.

"The level of sophistication depicted in these murals confirms that the calendar system actually existed centuries before the time when these murals were painted," notes Stephen Houston, an archaeologist at Brown University who was not involved in the study.

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