Archaeological excavations taking place in Copan have revealed unprecedented similarities between the ancient Chinese and Maya civilizations.
Although these two ancient cultures were separated by thousands of miles, sitting on the opposite sides of the planet, researchers have recently revealed that the Chinese and Maya culture bear more similarities than we’ve ever thought.
According to discoveries made by Chinese archaeologists at the ancient Maya city of Copan, in Western Honduras, these two ancient civilizations had numerous things in common.
Experts note that sculptures excavated at the archeological site bear incredibly similar designs to sculptures made by China’s Neolithic Liangzhu Culture.
Archaeologists point towards the cultures of the Mayan feather serpent God Kukulkan unearthed at Copan, and how it bears striking similarities to depictions of dragons in ancient China.
As explained by news agency ECNS, ” the recent findings have drawn public attention to the concept of the “China-Maya continuum” first proposed by late Chinese American Archaeologist Kwang-Chih Chang in the 1980s.
Chang’s theory suggests a link between the Chinese and Central American cultures based on their shamanistic roots.
However, the enigmatic sculptures are not the only similarity shared by these two ancient civilizations.
Scholars note that other similarities include the ancient Mayan calendar and the portion of the traditional Chinese calendar referred to as the 10 Heavenly Stems and 12 Earthly Branches.
“Even though similarities do exist between the two cultures, there is no historical evidence that direct communication occurred between them,” Li Xinwei, head of the Chinese archaeological team from the China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) Institute of Archaeology explained to the Global Times in an e-mail interview.
“Central American culture took shape around 15,000 years ago when northern and eastern Asian humans migrated to the Americas through the Bering Strait, but since then, it developed quite independently with little interaction with other civilizations,” Li wrote.
Furthermore, Li notes that the similarities between these two ancient civilizations may result from the fact that both of them share the same Paleolithic ancestors and possibly cultural genes.
As noted by Global News, although the archaeological excavations at Copan are not China’s first overseas archaeological project, this archaeological mission marks the first time that Chinese archaeologists have conducted an excavation at a world-class archaeological site.